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Your Life, Your Rules

I started my leadership and coaching journey,

not because I struggled with other people,

I wanted to understand how to work with different people.

I wanted to gain leadership skills.

I wanted to know myself better.

I wanted to improve my communication skills; I knew that this was the key to being an effective leader.

If you’re like me, and you want to grow, this is the article for you.


Sounds impossible right?

Especially when we were always told as kids to “be nice” and “follow the rules”.

Adults around us telling us white lies,

Constantly making us do things, even though we said “no”.

(Even if was for our own good!)

If someone came to me and said "I have 3 steps to live your life on your terms", I would have thought I'd have to be selfish, I would have thought I would create a few enemies, I would have thought a few white lies would be involved.

This article isn’t about just doing what you want to do,

It's about creating boundaries, learning to say “no” and doing what you said you’d do. This might be something that doesn’t come as second nature or makes you feel uncomfortable.

Hear us out.... the reward for you is great.



Straight in with Part 1: Creating boundaries.

Easier said than done.

You’ll notice right now you already have boundaries or non-negotiables.

Maybe you don’t work weekends, or you always play golf with Ted on a Thursday. No matter what happens, you will always meet Ted on a Thursday at 7:00pm.

Then there’s the situations in which we find it difficult to say “no” too.

As a child we were told

“Be nice and hug your Uncle Albert”

“Share your toys with Linda”

“Finish all your dinner before you get an ice cream”


“You were not a nice person”

“It would make someone sad”

“You wouldn’t get something”

Now when your team doesn’t complete a piece of work and you decide to do it yourself,

“I’ll have to cancel the gym”

“I’ll have to work the weekend”

Creating a life where you want to work 37.5 hours a week, go to the gym 3 times a week and spend time with your family/friends at the weekend...


You could blame others...

OR You can look at “What can I do about this?”

Learning to say “no” and put in boundaries.

If you’re ready and willing to make a change,

Write down all the non-negotiables you want to have in your life.


“Not answering work calls after 6pm”

“Going to the gym 3 times a week”

“Not working on a Friday”

Part 2 and 3, help you out with your boundaries, in a way.

You see, to be able to live your life on your terms, you also need to actually do the things you say you will do.

You may say, but I do everything I say I will do!

Or you may be someone who knows they don’t do what they say they will do... and hopes no one notices!

Or you could be somewhere in between...

As a side note: Watch out especially for those things that you say you will do and don't involve others (e.g. going to the gym). This are the things that we tend to trade off or not do them.

I’m playing monsters with my niece. I say, “One more time and then Auntie Becca is going to go in the other room and drink her cup of tea.”

We play one more game, and you know kids... “Just one more...”

At this point, you may be thinking “It’s only one more time. Don’t be mean.”

“No, Auntie Becca is going to drink her cup of tea in the other room.”

You see, I did what I said I was going to do. You know what happened next time...

She didn’t ask. She knew that what I said was going to happen.

I’m on a call with my colleagues who talk a lot. I say, “We have 2 minutes left of this meeting.”

One of my colleagues keeps talking. I interrupt and I say, "I'm interrupting you, the time for our meeting is up, we will continue next week."

My colleague is a bit taken back, and maybe even put out.

..and the next time I do the same.

..and the next time I do the same.

Until they got it and became a new habit to finish our meetings on time.

You can start to see how Part 2: Do what you say you will do

Allows you to start creating boundaries.

I’m in a meeting and I say, “I will complete this document by the end of the week and email it over”.

But I forgot!

It’s now Thursday and I suddenly remembered about the document.

“Sh*t!” Is what I thought.

I have a few options here:

  • To lie to John and pretend I didn’t say I would complete it

  • Stay late and not go to the gym so I get it complete

OR (the option I chose) “John, I won’t have the document completed by the end of the week. I can have it emailed over by Monday end of day. Does that work for you?”

You see, you’re not always going to do what you said you would do. When you’re able to, you can let the other person know, and give a new deadline.

Other people will start to think of you as someone who can be trusted.

Once you start to put this into practice,

You’re more likely to follow up with the thing's others said they would do,

And after some time you might find that,

others are then more likely to start to do the things they said they would do.

Part 3 Dealing with others

My team member Suzie says, “I can complete the PowerPoint for our meeting on Monday.”

“Thanks Suzie! Can you email it over by Wednesday end of day?”

“Yes, no problem”, she says.

It’s Wednesday, and a reminder pings on my calendar “4pm Suzie to send PowerPoint”.

I go to Suzie, “Suzie have you done the PowerPoint for our meeting, you said you’d be able to send it over in the next hour.”

Suzie’s face drops. “Ah I completely forgot... Linda asked me to...”

You know this kind of excuses!

At this point I’m ready to call Polly to cancel the cinema, and to do the PowerPoint myself. Instead I ask, "When will you be able to finish it?”, “Tomorrow lunch time”, she replies. “Is there anything you need from me?”, I ask. “No, no, I can do it. I’ll put in my diary now”.

At first, we find that other people don’t do what they say they’re going to do. But then the magic happens... (with consistency on your part)

  • We start to uncover the things that really aren’t working in our team(s)

  • Other people know that we will ask, and therefore they will start doing what they said they would do

  • We have more time; that before was used chasing our team or even doing the work ourselves!

AND Part 3, starts to influence Part 1: Boundaries. I was able to have the work finished AND go to the cinema with Polly.

To sum up!

Part 1: Boundaries

What are your non-negotiables or what non-negotiables are you creating?



Part 2: Do what you said you’d do

(It’s basically in the title)

If you can’t? Let the other person know; create a new deadline.

Part 3: Dealing with others

Someone else said they would do something?

Work with them to have it be finished.

Sometimes it can be uncomfortable, “Oh it’s much easier to do it myself.”

You choose whether you have a life on your terms, or someone else's.


The is one of the 8 tools you are trained in, in our program Licence to Lead. During the program, you will be coached in situations and experiences you’re dealing with in your day to day work;

  • Allowing you to see how you are interacting with your team members

  • Discover new ways of responding in challenging situations

  • Creating new practices for YOUR life!

You can use these tools in all areas of your life; as a support for your growth, peace of mind and relationships with others.

Out of participating in this program, you start to have an increased level of: 

• Self-confidence to take the next step in your career 

• Clarity and assertiveness in your conversations with your peers and your leaders 

• Effectiveness in communicating with your team 

• Resilience and satisfaction in the work environment  

Find out more about the Licence to Lead program here.

Or why not book a call with us? 

You can do so here. 

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Andra and Becca 

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