Be Your Boundaries

Do we have the courage to pay attention to how we feel and if we do, do we have the fearlessness to state our feelings and stand by them?

Is it okay to feel our feelings?

Is it okay to be hurt and ashamed?

Is it okay to say NO when we really do not want to say YES?

Is it okay to think of ourselves for a change without feeling selfish?

Many of us spend our time taking care of others, fending for our family, supporting our colleagues and co workers.

We were born knowing that others existed besides ourselves.

We were raised being told that others needs come first.

We were rewarded for self sacrificing and people pleasing.

We were taught not to question authority.

We were instructed to avoid conflict at all costs and we are held accountable when we hurt other people’s feelings.

So how do we set boundaries for ourselves and still remain open to others?

Setting boundaries is not something we are born with, boundaries have to be built.

The boundaries we construct help us distinguish what is meaningful to us so we can care and protect them.

Setting Boundaries begins with SELF. The self that deserves love and care.

If we have learned that taking care of ourselves is selfish we will shut down. Boundaries is not only about SELF but it begins with self.

Inner boundaries define our heart and soul.

Inner boundaries define who we are and who we are not.

Inner boundaries shows us where “we” start and we the “others” begin.

Inner boundaries gives us a sense of ownership and freedom.

We all have within ourselves that which we inhabit in our souls -the responsibility is for us to own the things that make us who we are.

In the physical world boundaries are easy to see: gates, fences, walls….In the inner world boundaries are harder to see because they define our heart.

When we define our heart we know ourselves. When we know ourselves we can make great contributions and when we make the great contribution we are changing other people’s lives.

Lead From Within: Get to know what you want, what you love, what you hate, and start having a healthy sense of self.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Sharon Reed

    05. Jun, 2011

    Great post, Lolly! These are such important questions to ask oneself. It is only when we know who we are and where our boundaries with ourselves & others begin and end, that we can truly be at peace and live the life that is ours alone to live. Thanks, as always, for sharing your wonderful insights and wisdom.


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  2. Sherree Worrell

    05. Jun, 2011

    Thank you Lolly for another thought-provoking (for me) awesome post. Boundaries are something I still struggle with. Particularly wanting to say no and saying yes instead. Old habits, I’m sure.

    I’m really looking forward to the chat this week.

    I so appreciate your insights and wisdom. Thank you.


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  3. Wayne McEvilly

    06. Jun, 2011

    You have written a book within the compass of a short blogpost.
    Henry James deals with this issues in his novels, the drama that unfolds within as we yearn to be free of the shackles of imposed restrictions on our freedom just to be ourselves. His conclusion is that it is sufficient that we each deal with the “terrible algebra” of enlightening ourselves about who we truly are-
    I single out this- “the responsibility is for us to own the things that make us who we are.”
    This post glistens and gleams with a brilliant light.
    Thank you.

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  4. Silver Magpies

    06. Jun, 2011

    Lolly –

    I’ve just found you via twitter. Wow what a great post – “when we define our heart we define ourselves”. What a gem!

    So glad to have met you.

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  5. Simon Harvey

    06. Jun, 2011


    Do we have the fearlessness to state our feelings and stand by them?

    What a great question. I think most of the time I do, but for sure I fail sometimes. As an introvert I most certainly state them and stick to them in my mind, but alas many times slip in getting thoughts to words.

    I love what your wrote on Inner boundaries and agree with all. As to boundaries and authority, they are way, way down the road for me. I have to question authority’s boundaries, test their is validity before I can respect it.

    To truly know oneself is I feel the journey of life, as we travel our time we discover new things about ourselves, push boundaries to better understand the whys and hows and better understand the perspectives and boundaries of others.

    Many boundaries start from our parents, our upbringing our culture. As we grow and move about the world our boundaries change, and perhaps in today’s world many of us create our own cultures that become part of our boundaries.

    I think as we become more at home with ourselves we take boundaries down or move them back, allowing others to venture further in. Sometimes when we get hurt by others we may build walls and strengthen boundaries, but this is never healthy and love, kindness and openness will slowly erode them and allow new ones to be built farther in.

    On the other side of the equation there are those whose boundaries are so far from our own it may seem as if they have none. War, violence and hunger can erode boundaries and once eroded may be hard to find and build again.

    Life is wondrous, with many boundaries to take down or cross, sometimes we will venture over others boundaries and sometimes we forget our own. Everyday brings new challenges, and with them new boundaries and situations to deal with.

    Boundaries are inherent in the systems that we are all apart of, without them surely chaos would rule.

    Looking forward to Tues tweet chat.


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  6. lollydaskal

    06. Jun, 2011

    Dearest Simon,
    Your words, your thoughts, your insights ALWAYS makes me think deeper and go wider.
    Love your mind.

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  7. Edward Colozzi

    07. Jun, 2011

    Excellent post and topic Lolly,
    especially considering all the breakdown of boundaries in the news these days.

    Perhaps all humans are created with inner boundaries, a sort of blueprint for survival as we interact with our world both from within the womb and mostly, thereafter. Surely parents, the environment, and our life journey, have much to teach us about “building” (as you stated) boundaries based on love, self-respect, developing an attitude of assertiveness, and the usual ways most of us learn—experience from failing.

    Yet perhaps there IS an inner compass that is part of our True Self (connected to God/Higher Power) that we have deep within each of us, that guides our instincts and our heart’s knowing. The journey of the human condition, especially as the environment affects us in negative ways, can often distract our attention to listening to True self, leaving us vulnerable to the persuasive loud voice of False self, and the erosion of those important boundaries that are indeed necessary for healthy growth across all our life roles.

    As you poignantly share, “We all have within ourselves that which we inhabit in our souls-the responsibility is for us to own the things that make us who we are… (so we can) start having a healthy sense of self”. Keep living your calling Lolly, EdC

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  8. Eric Canja

    09. Jun, 2011

    “In the inner world boundaries are harder to see because they define our heart.” – This statement really jumped out at me.

    As parent, I need to learn how to develop my own inner boundaries to be an example to my daughters. The development process has been very difficult… but also rewarding.

    It is humbling to apologize to my daughters when my emotions have me tied up in knots with anger as a result of my own insecurities of not knowing how to respond to some of their behavior.

    There are also times when I express to them that their actions and even words can hurt my feelings. Thankfully, we (my wife and I) have worked ourselves to be examples that they can follow.

    Being in a “reversed” role household as well as a seemingly emotional man, expressing my heart seems almost abnormal because I don’t necessarily see or hear about other men being real with what’s going on inside.

    Your posts are the epitome of short and to the point with the ability to get others to engage. It is my desire to unleash what is inside to develop what you have so eloquently captured as your “motto”… lead from within!

    Thanks you very much for who you are… what you do… and inspiring other to do the same!

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    • lollydaskal

      09. Jun, 2011

      Thanks for stopping by again.
      It is interesting my favorite line in the whole blog is the one you are commenting about….

      “In the inner world boundaries are harder to see because they define our heart.”

      Be proud of who you are. Know thyself on the inside. And you will shine on the outside.

      You matter. We cherish you.

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  9. tunrah

    13. Jun, 2011

    Hi Lolly,

    am quite agree with Simon…
    Sometime it is hard to say “No” to my friends, boss, collegue as an aswer…where else it should be “No” as an aswer in a friendly debate of meeting, discussion or a small tal with our dear one…

    but each time when i say “No” to a correct situation which required an “No” make me felt better….

    thanks for ur blog aspiration…it drives me thru my daily working period..


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  10. Dawn Kelly

    27. Aug, 2013

    Great and nice blogs. It’s also very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing this kinds of blog.

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