Respecting other people boundaries

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By Stephane Leblanc, Founder and CEO, International Centre for Conscious Leadership 

As many of you know, I am a very enthusiastic person with boundless energy.  I was always like this and it seems to be even more intense since I have embraced my life purpose to be a catalyst for the rise of consciousness as I see the urgency to transform leadership in all organizations to create a better world. Some people describe me as blazing fire or a tornado.  This boundless energy can be contagious for some people and it can also be too much for others. I have realized that this can be helpful in creating a global movement of conscious leadership and it can also create many challenges in my relationships as I am not so good at respecting other people boundaries.

A wise man in Sweden once told me: “Stephane, less of you would be more of you."   I was struck with curiosity when I heard this.  If you know anything about the Swedish culture, you will know that they value calm and collected behaviour and frown upon people that are too excited.

When I meet someone with whom I have a heart connection, I always see endless possibilities for co-creation and I often get over enthusiastic. As I am a very creative and curious man who always seeks wisdom, I have a tendency to over share and be too enthusiastic in my communications. Some people really appreciate all I share but for most people, I share too much and many think I invade their space. This is why some choose to create space between me and them to protect their sacred space and maintain their balance. It seems that all my close relationships start like this with me being over enthusiastic, with the other person feeling the need to create space and then sharing with me how they feel and me re-adjusting to find a good balance.

I know this as several people I really care about have shared this with me and yet, it seems I have not yet learned to manage this to respect other people boundaries as I have not learned to manage my energy and enthusiasm.

This has also translated in the way I lead my business as I have a tendency to share too much on social media and send too many emails to my clients. My intentions are always good as I want to help people grow and transform and ensure everyone is aware of our activities, but as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In my case, my good intentions does not justify me invading people space.

We all know the people development industry. Once you get on someone’s email list, you start to be bombarded with emails several times a week and even many times a day. Last week, I met a wise teacher who shared with me he only sends one email a week to his clients to share some wisdom and make them aware of his activities. no exceptions. When I heard this, I thought it was a very conscious way of doing business and I intend to do the same. Once email a week, no matter what.

Recently, a new friend gave me a precious lesson.  As we are both authentic people with an open heart and a mission to help leaders raise in consciousness, I have had so many ideas as to what we can co-create together and I have shared all these ideas with her as they arose without any thoughts of how all this sharing would be received .  Recently, she shared with me that since she met me, her energy had been low and she realized that being in communication with me took so much energy from her that it drained her energy, and that all my shares were invading her sacred space and were affecting her need for presence and balance.

As she shared this with me, it triggered my fears of being rejected abandoned.  As I allowed allowed myself to feel these emotions deeply, I realized that no one was rejecting me. To the contrary, she chose to share this with me because the cares about the relationship and this was a good opportunity for me to show how much I cared by respecting her own boundaries by enlarging my own container by keeping more to myself and sharing less frequently.

I recently had an honest conversation about this with one of my best friends who is also a trained psychologist.  He taught me about secure attachment and boundaries.  How the lack of secure attachment between a mother and child can lead to the inability to honour and respect others boundaries as we want to create attachment in our relationships.  I don't remember much about what happened when I was a young child but this concept of learning to honour others boundaries fully resonates with me.

Sometimes, I get my own medicine as some of my Facebook contacts get over enthusiastic in sharing with me and when this happens, I always start laughing as I realize how I do this to people and the impact it creates in their lives

I am profoundly grateful for the lesson that my new friend taught me as this will help me transform myself one more time and improve the quality of my being in all relationships as I commit to be mindful of respecting other people boundaries.

If I have ever invaded your space, I am sorry. I commit not to do it again.

I am far from mastery but I am committed to transform this part of me to be able to honour the needs and sacred space of all who are in a relationship with me.

I love you.