Don’t Fence Me In: 4 Practical Types of Boundaries

We are so much of a YES, YES, YES society.

How often do you take on extra projects, problems or work, when your time is already full, to-do list brimming, and your mind is already full with stuff we are doing or have to do?

How often do you take on more when your plate is already overflowing?

Or are you even aware that your plate was full to start with?

Are you frustrated? 

Are you feeling overwhelm?

Do you never seem to get anything done? Do you feel like you never complete anything?

 It’s time to talk about boundaries!

The good news is: boundaries do not have to be limiting. The other good news is: sometimes they have to be – and these boundaries will create beautiful space for your client succeed in their goals. Jenn Danielson

Before we can set boundaries, we must be clear on what we want to achieve, whats important to us. Our values and priorities, and the urgency / importance of each project or goal we are taking part in, will define how much time and energy we need in a day, wee or month. 

In my personal and work life, I love using expansive questions, calender’s (on my laptop but also I include a paper form, only cos I love pen on paper) and mind maps, to fully identify, connect,  my values, goals, projects and life.  By doing this I am setting the groundwork for creating steps to success. Because if I don’t I become overly-committed and I loose the accountability to myself. 


Because along my journey I have learnt that, much of the time I have ever done is want to please others and have felt guilty the few times I had set boundaries, I felt harsh and limiting not only to myself but to the people around me. 

But now I know and fully understand that boundaries do not have to limiting, boundaries actually create a beautiful space where I can succeed to my full potential on what ever I am working on in my personal life and in my work life. 

No more overwhelm,   

No more frustration,

No more never finishing what I have started,

No more, never ending to-do lists,

And no more feeling guilty. 

Unlock your life balance with these 4 types of very practical boundaries.

1. The Fence-ish

Our modifiable boundary. Looks like a boundary, feels like a boundary, but on closer inspection is not difficult to step around or even step over. In our world of needing flexibility and re-assessment, this can be a great option. You can still maintain choice, as well as being able to make a conscious decision to side step or invite a new new walk- around.  

This can look like:

  • Allocated time for self or scheduled commitments.
  • Allow flexibility like extending life goals, increasing time working on a project or organizing family or personal budget.
  • Using alternative solutions or compromise for challenging family members, friends or work colleagues. 

2. The Fence For Real

This fence looks like a boundary, feels like a boundary and is a boundary. Its the road that leads to a dead end. A hard breaking stop! Why this boundary? There are some things in our life or work that we simply can not negotiate on. These are often intertwined with our deepest, extremely important values and priorities. Its really important to have a complete understanding and awareness of these strong boundaries, as they are imperative to our true authentic life success. These boundaries are NON-NEGOTIABLE! 

“Occasionally there are times where you draw a line and refuse to budge.”

This boundary can look like:

  • Non-negotiable values-based decisions –  leaving a career or saying no to a commitment.
  • Allocating clear and strictly managed times for work, family or projects.

I use this fence on a daily basis, as spending time with my children right after I pick them up from school is extremely important. For example, catching up on their day, cooking an evening meal with them, helping my children with their home work, but most of all being fully present with them. In order to for-fill this boundary, I turn my laptop off, turn the WIFI off on my phone, turn my phone onto silent and unplug the house phone. I also block out this whole section of time, not just in my google calendar, but also in my had written diary, so there is no way I can slip another action, event or even client into this sacred time. 

3. Distance 

OK so this my passive boundary, which I use when there is a temptation of a shinny new thing, unhelpful distraction which is not going to help me get where I want me or the direction I am heading in. This is where I create a mental or physical distance between myself and these distractions. By creating this massive distance helps to stop me not only being distracted, taking the wrong path and getting lost from goals but also prevents me from feeling overwhelmed from taking the extra long route, instead of taking the direct route. 

This can look like: 

  • Booking and taking a vacation – either a actual holiday or creating a physical distance from a project, group you take park in or a person.
  • Focusing on a current action, goal, priority; in order to create mental space from other potential distractions.

4. The Open Door 

The open door boundary is modifiable (a bit like fence-ish) and is a great option for sel-awareness or flexibility of life. I must admit I do like this boundary and do tend to lean on it quit a lot in my personal life. Because the open door  boundary is comforting, well yet not being a fully functioning boundary. Why? Because it’s, extremely flexible, adaptive and great for when you are feeling curious.

I guess in one way, its like opening a box a chocolates and you have so many chooses to choose from. Do you have strawberry cream or do you have caramel?

The best part of the open door boundary, is that it can easily become a firm boundary (The Fence For Real) with just one turn of the handle.

This flexible boundary looks like:

  • Being able to be flexible on our time management, goals and aspirations. 
  • Having a clear awareness and recognition of our limitations. 
  • The ability to prioritize new things as they come our way as well as managing previous commitments.  


There are so many different ways we can incorporate, adjust and mix different types of boundaries into our personal and work life. Which type we choose to use, depends a great deal on our individual situations. 

For example the open door boundary can be very difficult for some people to manage, while still taking great care over their own priorities.  Flip the coin, for others a full fence is just simply too rigid. 

By asking yourself clarifying questions, can help assist you to dig deep and really define your specific boundaries, which mirror your true authentic values.

Creating this framework of your personal boundaries will help you create the best space in which you can work, live to your full potential and create your best results. 

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