Setting boundaries can be challenging for those of us who thrive on service and leadership. It often means giving our energy, time, and knowledge without limits. For a long time, I struggled with unhealthy boundaries, saying yes to every request and neglecting my own needs. This led to burnout, resentment, and regret.
In hospitality, our nature is to be of service, and to prioritize others’ comfort, thanks to our high empathy. However, we must also remember the importance of balance. To be our best selves for others, we must prioritize self-care and set boundaries on our energy.
Recently, someone in the industry requested my time, and while I usually go out of my way to connect, I had to politely decline and redirect them to a more suitable team member. This decision wasn’t well-received, but it was in everyone’s best interest.
In leadership, people may assume we owe them our time and energy due to our position. They may test our boundaries and make us question ourselves. In such cases, I check my initial intention and reflect on whether their point is valid. If it is, I adjust. If not, I maintain my healthy boundary.
Setting boundaries can be uncomfortable but also liberating. We can still be empathetic and caring, giving to others, but not at the expense of our own peace of mind, mental health, and energy. By taking care of ourselves, we ensure that those who truly benefit from our leadership receive our best selves.