Break free from the cycle

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Boundary conditions and how they affect our lives

Change only happens when we change.
Things only happen when we make it happen. 

Matt Lavars

What are “boundary conditions”?

Our boundary conditions are the conscious limits of our thinking – the edge of our known world. Another way to look at it is ti’s the edge of our comfort zone or edge of what is familiar.

It is only beyond what we know that we will be able to find what we don’t know. Sounds obvious but think about it. Every result we get in our lives is based on what we know. For example, we might know how to have a really good relationship with three or four friends. But if we knew how to have close, loving and outstanding relationships with ten close friends, we would do that!

We don’t because it is outside of what we know. It is outside our boundary conditions, our comfort zone. 

To create transformation in any area of our lives, then, involves us finding ways to go beyond what we know, to what is unknown. It is only in the unknown that the transformation we desire is available. We must go beyond the boundary conditions of our thinking.

If you look at the diagrams below, notice that the possibilities lie outside of your comfort zone. Now imagine that one of those dots represents a problem. It seems bigger and perhaps unmanageable because it is beyond our boundary conditions.

We can’t move the problem into our comfort zone to make it manageable. We must expand our thinking so that what is outside of our realm of possibilities is now inside them.

Once we accomplish this, the problem is now inside our comfort zone and manageable.

How to move the boundary conditions of our thinking:

Expanding our thoughts beyond the boundary conditions of our thinking is about:

  • Being self-aware of when we are using old thinking to deal with new and unfamiliar situations.
  • Asking different questions that focus more on what we need to learn to be able to manage it.
  • Learning that courage can only come through action, it does not magically turn up one day… we must act.
  • Recognising that fear is normal, and that waiting for the fear to disappear is waiting for the impossible. The fear is always there… but so is courage, and when we act, we feel courage.

Going Beyond the Boundary Conditions

(this is much easier to do when working with a coach however you can do this by yourself as well):

  • Start analysing your thinking patterns around certain situations or problems. Or get a coach to work with you to help discover these and identify if you are using old, un-resourceful thinking for a problem or situation.
  • Ask yourself questions that will stretch your thinking

How to go stretch your thinking:

A boundary condition is easy to recognise. It’s when a person says “I don’t know…” or seems to be confused. This is the time to get excited because confusion is always followed by a new level of understanding! A new level of boundary condition.

Allow yourself to say “I don’t know…” or whatever your language is for this and ask yourself;

  • “If I did know…”
  • “What are the possibilities here?”
  • “What is the gift in this for me?”
  • “How can I turn this around?”

Once you’ve answered the question in a way that works for you, ask another question where your answer is; “I don’t know…” and do the same thing. You want to reach “I don’t know…” Because it is only in the realm of what we don’t know that the magic is.

When you ask yourself a question about how to approach a problem or situation and go blank, it is a great sign! It indicates that you have reached the boundary conditions of your thinking – you are blank because you have entered new territory.

Next steps:

Now that you are aware of some boundary conditions, you may want to take your reflection on a deeper dive. Download your FREE 8 Key Elements to Living a Balanced Life Workbook and discover what areas of your life you need to focus on more. You might already know of some! 

This workbook is designed to help you discover how you can develop deeper relationships, live a life of empowerment and achieve lasting fulfilment as a successful woman!