How to Create Freedom through Boundaries


You’re a successful high achiever so why are you sad, overwhelmed and struggling?

This week at the Summer Olympics, Simone Biles, considered the best gymnast of all time, showed us that even the most successful people struggle.

She also showed us how to create freedom.

Biles set a strong boundary for herself and put the well being of her mind and body over the intense pressure to perform and achieve at the world’s biggest competition.

Her decision to sit out of competition gave her the freedom to thrive in new and unexpected ways. On social media Biles wrote: “The outpouring of love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before.” She broke free of the chains that were keeping her self-worth tied to performance and expectations, creating struggle and suffering.

Biles sent the message to the world that her health and wellbeing is more important than an award. Your health and wellbeing is also more important than other people’s and our culture’s expectations and ideals of success.

If the Olympian doesn’t inspire you around the power of setting boundaires, you can also take a lesson from the river.

The water in a river flows, dances and swirls freely because the banks create a container for that flow. Without the boundaries of the banks the river wouldn’t exist.

When you set boundaries around what’s important to you, you don’t diminish your freedom, you expand it.

So, if you’re successful and struggling, it may be time to evaluate your boundaries, or lack thereof.

Start with these 3 questions:
  1. Where in my life am I sacrificing my health, wellbeing, joy and adventure to meet external pressures to be who someone else wants me to be?
  2. Does my idea of success align with who I really am, or is it a belief I’ve taken on based on other people’s ideals and expectations?
  3. What’s important to me, and what do I want?

Then take courageous action that aligns with your answers. You may not be an Olympic athlete, but saying no when you usually say yes may feel just as daunting as sitting out the biggest competition in the world. It’s not easy, but remember, change isn’t easy and courage is being afraid and taking action anyway.

Is the fear of saying no too overwhelming or are you a master of creating freedom through boundaries? I’d love to hear your insights and questions. Email me here.