The Dark Side Of Boundaries

“Bryan, love your writing. Can I interview you on my podcast?”

“Bryan, really digging your shit. Want to come speak at my event?”

As Third Way Man grows, I’m starting to get more and more of these requests.

And while the validation is nice, I’ve more or less viewed them as distractions.

Hence my typical response:

“Thanks for the offer, but I am 100% focused on the small handful of activities I need to do to drive the business forward. Interviewing / speaking isn’t on that list, so ‘no’ for now.”

But I’ve come to realize something: I’m too good at this.

Too good at drawing boundaries.

Too good at saying “no.”

Too good at conserving my strength.

It’s easy to see your boundary-drawing as a sign of strength, as proof of focus. But if you dig deeper, it’s often an excuse to disengage, to stay comfortable.

Can you tell the difference between a productive “no” and a fearful, retreating one?

I’m not so sure I can anymore.

So I’m going to mix it up: I’m going to err on the side of “YES.”

If you are ambitious but strangely idle…

If you long to SPRINT toward your goals but never rise beyond a trot…

If you relentlessly guard the gates of an empty city…

Then you, too, must take a hard look at all the stories you’ve told yourself about “no.”

Pruning the sapling prevents the tree.

You must permit the branches to grow before you shape.

Else you’ll never have anything but a well-watered stick.

We think the “yes” will enslave us, when in fact, it sets us free.

We see the burden the “yes” will place upon your shoulders, forgetting the energy and euphoria it gives us in return.

We are not made for half-speed.

It is the sprinting, the sudden crush of work, the raging demand that makes us come alive.

You CAN make progress half-assed and controlling.

But it is only a shadow of what you could achieve, were you to fully enter the fray.


  1. STOP. Just stop it, you meddler of minds. Something in me stirs…

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