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How To Get Over The Fear and Guilt of Setting Firm Boundaries So You Can Grow Your Life Coaching Business

May 30th, 2017 | 4 comments

It’s Q&A week here on Wake Up Wednesday. I love when one of the amazing sisters from our tribe stops by with a question so we can jam on it together – and in the process, we all get to learn something new together.

In today’s video (press PLAY on the video below), I’m hanging out with Ashleigh Simonton, who I’ve gotten to know and love as a student in my all-in life coaching course, Mentor Masterclass and now as a sister in The Sisterhood Mastermind.

Ashleigh is the Founder and Creator of Turquoise Heals: Life Beyond Addiction, located in the Turks and Caicos Islands. She’s a recovery and lifestyle transformation coach and healer.

Her personal path of sobriety led her to love living a clean and healthy life with clarity, authenticity, and truth. Ashleigh’s passion is working with others in recovery to help them recognize and maintain the true light that shines within them.

As you might already know, I come from a family steeped in addiction problems and this is a hugely personal topic for me. I know firsthand how deeply Ashleigh’s gifts are needed in this world.

Today, Ashleigh brought a super-insightful question with her:

How do I get over the fear and guilt of setting firm boundaries with family and friends so I can build a better coaching business and a better life?

To hear my answer, press PLAY on the video below, or just keep on reading.


This is an amazing question because I see it unfolding all the time: women struggling with the communication skills it takes to set firm boundaries.

Boundaries teach us self-respect. Putting them in place is a way to practice being seen and heard, to engage in radical self-care so we’re able to launch a business or project and serve others in a profound way, and so much more.

Setting boundaries is essential to wholeness.

In your coaching business when you’re at the center of your highly personal brand, you need to be nurturing your energy and livelihood.

Learning to set firm boundaries also has a beautiful side effect: you’ll find yourself deepening your relationship with family and friends while surrounding yourself with people who treat you as you deserve to be treated. The people who’ll allow you to feel love and give it freely.

To live our best lives, we need to get to a place of loving self-responsibility as we ask our loved ones to support us in the way we need to be supported.

What’s so scary about boundaries? Well, a lot of things! No one wants to become one of those annoying jerks with a long list of ways they want to be treated. A diva! And we don’t want our loved ones to feel like they have to fulfill certain requirements just so we can fit them into our lives as an afterthought.

How to set boundaries with friends and family so it empowers you and them.

If you’re feeling fear and guilt around setting boundaries (and we all do, from time to time), these are big indicators of where to begin in self-discovery.

I want to invite you to think of fear as a teacher. Stop reading right now and write down your answer to this question: What are you afraid will happen to you if create boundaries around you and your time so you can give more space to growing your life coaching business or to support its growth?

Go ahead, write down your answer. I’ll be waiting right here!

Are you back? Now take a look at those fears you’ve written down and ask yourself, “How are these fears guiding me to become more clear about who I am as a business owner? What are these fears telling me I need to do in order to build my business with a strong foundation, protected by boundaries?”

If guilt is coming up for you when you think about setting boundaries, this all comes back to relationships, too. Guilt and shame are actually our reactions to the suffering obligations of love. If we’re using guilt or shame as our moral compass when making a decision, it’s really a deep-down fear that whatever we’re doing is going to separate us from someone we love. We feel pulled back into making decisions that are in line with how the people in our lives expect us to do things, or would like us to do things.

Being afraid (even subconsciously) of losing our loving connection with someone feels terrifying, doesn’t it? And so we choose suffering instead.

We don’t do the things that call upon us to enlist self-responsibility with a loving, open heart. We float along with the status quo and never request what we truly need, mistakenly thinking it’s the only way we can maintain our loving relationships.

If guilt is coming up for you, I invite you to shift into a new moral compass of self-responsibility. Ask yourself, “What would it mean for me to take 100% self-responsibility for this thing in my life? How would I be showing up if I was asking for what I want and taking responsibility, not placing judgment on how the other person will react or what it will make them feel?

A setting-boundaries story from my own life.

When I first began setting boundaries around my business there were elements of guilt, but what I felt was mostly fear-based. I feared that if I stopped coaching my friends they wouldn’t need me anymore.

I was also afraid I’d become burned out. Coaching was my business now, and I was getting tired of coaching my friends at happy hour or Sunday brunch.

As scary as it felt, I enlisted a firm boundary around myself. I asked my girlfriends if they would ask me more questions so I could get a chance to talk, too. I’d also tell them, “I’m not wearing my coaching hat today! I just want to have fun, spend time together, and keep the conversation light.”

At first, this felt scary – but now these friendships are even stronger.

I did have to let go of some friends who couldn’t make that shift and always wanted me to function as their coach. I had to admit to myself that we weren’t meant to be friends at this point because it was just too draining. I needed to receive as much from my friendships as I was giving. Or, they needed to officially hire me as their coach!

Putting these life-changing boundaries in place enabled me to better serve my existing clients and expand my client roster, too. I was receiving abundance in my life because my friendships were energizing, rather than draining me.

So let’s recap.

When you’re setting healthy boundaries, remember to:

  1. Follow what the fear is teaching you – and assert the boundaries anyway.
  2. Take radical self-responsibility.

These are the keys to finding the right balance between swinging too far over to a place where you have no boundaries at all because you have so much fear and guilt about it, and swinging too far over to the opposite side where you’re that annoying, unbearable diva with too many boundaries.

Instead, you’ll land right in the middle!

If you have any questions, I’d love to sort it all out together in the comments below! When it comes to boundaries, where are you thriving? Which areas could use some improvement?

I’ll see you right here next week, love!


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4 people have commented
  1. I love this question and find that MANY of my clients are working with this. Boundaries are something we have a hard time doing. But I find that when I have created boundaries I feel the power in standing up for myself in relationship. I find that my relationships are SO much better; it is key to creating stronger bonds. I love that you said that you may have to create firm boundaries to create a balance but you don’t have to swing one way or the other!!! Thanks for the question Ashleigh!! xoxo

  2. I LOVE this!!! I’m so very touched by this goddess!! As a fellow coach (who specializes in helping wives of addicts!) this episode really spoke to me – especially as I work on launching my July Self Care for the Selfless Challenge. Thank you SOOO much for discussing this important part of live as a whole!! <3

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