3 Red Flags You Need Better Boundaries at Work (And How To Set Them)

Do you know anybody who’s running on the vicious hamster wheel of career dissatisfaction? Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s your partner or a family member.

A few years ago I was that person. And so was my friend Scott Barlow.

Stress used to wake up Scott up at night. He’d worry about all the things he had said “yes” to despite his better judgement. He was overcommitted, burned out, and scared.

Why? Because every time in his life where he said yes to too many things, he gave up his boundaries. When he gave up his boundaries, his happiness temporarily went out the door, too. Worse of all, he was wasting time and energy on work he truly didn’t enjoy.

I had a very similar experience in my own career. Recently, I got to share my story on Scott’s podcast, Happen To Your Career.

Here’s a snippet of our conversation:

“If you are someone who is a successful person, we are brought up in these systems and taught if you do the right things, do well in school, pick the right major, follow all these steps then you will be happy….

The world doesn’t work like that. It’s like this big insight that hits you. I felt like I had done everything right and ticked all the boxes. Went to school, got my undergrad degree, top of my class, and got my masters, ready to conquer the world. I took a job with a salary that was less than I could live and commute on. I was commuting back and forth to New York City two hours, each day, to a job that was not a fit for me at all. It was a small environment in a room with three other people, not a lot of autonomy, but I intellectualized it away instead of listening to what I knew about myself – that I needed a high degree of being self-directed in my work.

“I was giving my life, time, power, and energy away. I sat there and was so burnt out – physically, mentally, emotionally. A hair-trigger event could set me off. One piece of bad feedback, a surprise email. I was so low anything could send me into that tailspin.

“That was my lightbulb moment of saying ‘this is not who I am,’ and that person deep down, that kid that was ambitious filled with hope and positivity and being so excited about the world ahead of me spoke up and said, ‘This is no longer acceptable. You have to start making changes.’

“I had to look at all the ways I had let my identity, power and self-worth get wrapped up in someone else approving of me. Whether it be my boss or sending someone my work, I had become so dependent on my work to make me feel good that I sacrificed everything else. My friendships, relationships, my body. I had to make changes.“

Were you nodding your head to anything in there? If so you have to listen to my chat with Scott.

In this interview, you will learn:

  • The signs to help you identify emotional versus physical burn-out — and the steps to take to fix it
  • The three emotional triggers to know where your boundaries need to be repaired
  • How to have difficult conversations to establish (or re-establish) boundaries and gain control over your life
  • How deciding who to bring into your life makes you happier…and more profitable

…and so much more!

Click here to listen to my interview about Setting Healthy Boundaries in Your Career

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Hi, I'm Melody

I help smart, sensitive high-achievers break free from imposter syndrome and overthinking so they can find the confidence to lead effectively.


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