Know Your Boundaries

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My intention with each of these posts is that you’re challenged to interrupt the noise and routine in your life, just for a moment, to think more deeply about what really matters in life… your relationship with yourself and with others in your professional and personal life.

Action Summary

  1. Expand your professional and personal networks to expand your boundaries of thought
  2. Join on and off-line groups to discover new boundaries and help you fast-track your success

The WHY:

Trust is an all encompassing element that impacts almost every measure of success you might apply in your professional and personal life. As a reminder if you’re a regular reader of my posts, trustworthiness  comprises the confidence required for self-trust, the courage required to trust others, and the combined character and competence required to earn others’ trust.

This post is about understanding how your own boundaries of thought might impact your capacity to trust and to be trusted.

There’s a common saying used in both personal and business life that you’ve probably heard. The saying is, “You’ve got to think outside of the box”.

This is usually referring to and suggesting that you need to get creative and think beyond what you would normally think.

One of my favourite researchers into positive psychology is Todd Kashdan and in his book ‘Curious’1, suggests the evidence is clear for individuals looking to flourish in their lives and for business leaders looking to build thriving organisations, we need to get more curious.

The challenge here is that you don’t know what you don’t know.

Your thoughts, feelings, actions and results are limited within the boundaries of what you know and understand to be your truth and your capacities.  For this reason, a reframing of thinking outside the box is required.

To expand your truth and capacities requires new information, new experiences, new learning, new relationships, new possibilities.  Rather than trying to think outside of what you know, expand your boundaries of possibilities through developing intentional trust relationships where you are comfortably disturbed with new information and new hypothesis that require curiosity and exploration.

Don’t just read, watch or listen to the same news… you may just be hearing one side of the story. Even if you don’t agree with a certain point of view, suck it up for a while, and really listen in to try and understand the other person’s point of view… it doesn’t mean you need to change your point of view, but it just might help you to expand your point of view to be a bit more inclusive based on what you’ve allowed yourself to learn or at least consider.

Look for opportunities to collaborate, learn and create with people who are outside of your regular professional and personal relationships. What on and off-line groups might you join for the purpose of initially watching and learning from, and then, when you’re ready, to participate in?

This quote from Karl Weick summarises these ideas wonderfully:

“Simply pushing harder within the old boundaries will not do.”

My best to you for now and remember when you intentionally improve the life of others in your professional and personal relationships, you set up the power of reciprocity … what you give out, you get back.

  1. Todd Kashdan – Curious: Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life
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