setting limits is expansive

I’m stuck.
There are so many options.
I don’t know what I should focus on.

Sound familiar?

Most entrepreneurs I’ve worked with struggle with this uncertainty and difficulty in deciding what to do.

I’ve felt this way. Many, many times.

Today I’m going to share a simple yet powerful perspective that can help you get unstuck.

I recently helped a friend do this thing and she was blown away.
She’s now more energized and excited than I’ve seen her in a long time.

It’s a timeless approach that we use with children.
But as adults, we forget that this kind of thing can still work for us.

And that’s…
Setting limits.

We understand that giving kids too many choices is not a good idea. We know that they need clear limits, structure, and routine to thrive.

Our thrill at being able to do what we want when we’re older is tempered by the new and numerous responsibilities we need to shoulder.

Just because our brains are now fully developed doesn’t mean we stop needing similar constraints to help us navigate what is still a very complex world.

It kinda sucks to face this truth.

That child who wanted to be an adult so badly so she could finally do what she wanted. She’s still inside you and forever will be. She showed up when I started my own business thinking: “I’ll get to make all the decisions and no one will be the boss of me!”

It seems we have to constantly remind ourselves that being able to do whatever we want can make it harder to figure out what to do.

Now, let’s get back to my friend and how I helped her get unstuck.
For months now she’s been struggling to figure out what her next move should be.

This summer she left her home in California to move to Portugal.
For a few reasons, she ended up leaving Portugal and has been pet-sitting in the UK for the past 4 months. Something she fell into that would allow her to stay in Europe and keep her expenses low.

During this time she started a graphic design course, applied to be an online language tutor and for a design internship, looked into ghostwriting, signed up to fill out consumer surveys, and did a ton of research on work visas in different countries.

Every few weeks, she found new possibilities.

When one thing didn’t quite feel right, she’d look for something else.

Then on Thursday, when we met for a Zoom chat, I asked her:
“If you had to choose between figuring out how to make money right now or sorting out where you’re going to go after this pet sit, which would you choose?”

From what I knew of her challenges, these two options were the ones that mattered most. She agreed.
And even though she still had a choice to make, she felt instant relief.

Having limits helped her see things more clearly. The next day she left me a message that made me so happy:
“Holy shit! With the help of your constraints, major breakthrough. Really helped to focus on which thing really takes precedence. I got into some interesting lanes and I’m so excited.”

Limits are expansive.
Limits give you space.
Limits are necessary.

So when you’re stuck, consider which options matter the most for where you are right now.

Setting these limits doesn’t mean that you’re missing out on all the other possible choices. It means accepting that it’s not possible to move when you give yourself too many choices.

It means being as kind to yourself as you would be to an overwhelmed child.

And understanding that you need to become your own parent when you grow up.

Lovingly creating a container that helps you thrive.

 

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