New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!

New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!


Chris Lee

How to Set Boundaries to Build Thriving Relationships

“Creating boundaries is not about creating a wall; it’s creating an agreement.”

There’s a lot going on in this world lately with relationships being violated. We’re seeing it daily with the #MeToo movement and so many people in Hollywood coming forward.

Problems aren’t just occurring in intimate relationships, but in business, family, friendships, and so on. Almost all of this stems from boundaries being crossed.

Boundaries are something that we all need to create and stand by. But we can’t just create them, we need to communicate them. We need to make sure the people in our lives are clear about our boundaries and express ourselves the moment that they are crossed.

You are a beautiful person and worth the best – so make sure others are aware of that.

I know it’s hard, and that you probably worry about being fired or losing someone close to you. You can’t be, because that job or that relationship isn’t make you happy. Losing it will open you up to new possibilities.

The worst-case scenario about expressing and honouring your barriers is that things will get better – even if it means moving on.

"Put your oxygen mask on first.”  

On this episode, we are joined again by the amazing Chris Lee. Chris has been on my show more than anyone else, a total of 13 times since episode 36.

Each time we have him on the air he gives incredible insights, and he has been by my side through some huge transformations. He’s helped me come clean about my past and build better and stronger relationships in all aspects of my live.

Chris is a man on a mission committed to transforming the world one heart at a time. Chris Lee has spent over 30 years of his life transforming the lives of thousands of people worldwide through his workshops, coaching, and participation in all media, teaching people how to live an abundant prosperous life.

He joins us today to give insights on how to increase yourself worth, learn to set boundaries, and how to build the most important relationship – with yourself – on Episode 580.

"There’s nothing worse than settling into a life you don’t want to live.”  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • How do we take responsibility for the relationships we want? (12:34)
  • What are things people can do to develop self-worth? (14:51)
  • Should we write down our relationship goals? (19:10)
  • What if you’re in a relationship with a bully or a decision maker? (23:34)
  • Would you say someone who does not create boundaries is saying they don’t value their self-worth? (29:23)
  • Why is it such a big fear for us to lose someone? (37:32)
  • Why are we so afraid to be alone? (45:05)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The importance of boundaries in a relationship (10:07)
  • How to tell if a boundary is being crossed (12:02)
  • Why you need a vision about your self-worth (18:28)
  • How to make the requests you need to make (20:03)
  • The reasons you should listen to other’s requests (23:11)
  • The kind of relationships you should be working towards (27:00)
  • How your environment affects self-worth (31:30)
  • Why you need to learn to forgive (41:20)
  • Plus much more…

Connect with
Chris Lee

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis Howes:                      This is episode number 580 with transformational coach, Chris Lee.

Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now, let the class begin.

Martin Heidegger said, “A boundary is not that at which something stops, but that from which something begins.” Welcome to today’s episode! You are a beautiful, powerful gift and a force in this world, and I hope you know this. You are truly an inspiration, a one of a kind. And it’s your duty to go out there and do something great today.

Today we have Chris Lee who is the transformational facilitator, coach, author and TV personality that I’ve worked with for the last few years, and for over thirty years, he has travelled the world teaching and empowering people, including world business leaders, Hollywood celebrities, et cetera, to live an extraordinary life.

He’s been on the podcast, this will be his thirteenth time as well. He’s one of the biggest hits, people love him, we keep bringing him back on, because he continues to deliver such inspiring, useful, helpful content. And he is coming back with a vengeance today to bring more inspiration.

Some of the things we talk about are how to tell if there is a boundary that’s been crossed in your relationships, whether it be personal or business. Also, ways to build your self worth. People ask me this all the time, they say they don’t have self worth, or the value in themselves and Chris covers on some key ways to build that self worth.

Also, how to make a request of your partner. How to negotiate to create boundaries that work for both people in a relationship. Also, what false rewards are and how to stop seeking them in relationships, and how forgiveness impacts your self worth. This is a profound and powerful episode.

Make sure to take a screenshot right now while you’re listening and tag me, @lewishowes and @chrismotivador over on Instagram and Twitter and share this out. The link is to share this out to people. Again, how to set boundaries to build thriving relationships.

This is a very hot topic right now, and not the one that I’ve seen talked about really out there at all. Hopefully you guys get a lot out of this. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

And I want to give a shout out, quickly, to the fan of the week. Every week we talk about those that are listening to the podcast that are getting incredible transformation and impact and inspiration and applying it in their lives. So this one’s from Mallory Divona, who said, “I travel a lot for work, and this podcast is, by far, my favourite to listen to. If you’re looking for real, raw and relatable content, that you can instantly add to your life, this is it. The value and honesty that pours through the speakers makes me want to dig deep and improve my own life. This podcast is highly recommended.”

So, Mallory, thank you so much for leaving your review, and if you guys want a chance to be shouted out on the podcast, just go to iTunes, type in, The School of Greatness podcast, or go to your podcast app that you’re listening to right now and leave a review right on your phone.

And if you’re looking to increase your income, then make sure to get my brand new, free book called The Millionaire Morning. You can go to and we ship this book all over the world. It doesn’t matter where you live, we’ll ship it to you. All you need to do is pay for shipping and handling and we’ll ship you this physical copy.

If you want to learn the morning routines, habits and mindset strategies to help you earn more money that day, then this is for you. Again, go to Also, this is very timely right now. If you are in a relationship, if you’re trying to understand the men in your life better, then make sure to pick up a copy of my other book, The Mask of Masculinity, which has been a massive hit, read all over the world, and getting so much incredible feedback.

If you go on Amazon, or, you can see all the reviews from men and women who are raving about this, the things that they’re learning, how they’re growing, how they’re deepening their relationships, how they’re letting go of the past pains and stoicism that’s been holding them back.

Again, go to and pick up a copy of The Mask of Masculinity. It’s all about how men can embrace vulnerability, create stronger relationships and live their fullest lives. Again,

And I am super pumped for this one. It’s all about building those boundaries so you can have more thriving relationships. Again, without further ado, let me introduce to you the one, the only Chris Lee.

Welcome back everyone to The School of Greatness podcast. We have none other than Chris Lee on the podcast for the thirteenth time!

Chris Lee:                                Oh my gosh! Lucky thirteen!

Lewis Howes:                       Lucky thirteen! Super excited! The first time you came on was Episode 30. Something like that. Around Episode 30, and it’s now in the four or five hundreds, I think this will be number 570-something, 580-something.

Chris Lee:                                From thirty to five-something!

Lewis Howes:                       It’s crazy! And this will the thirteenth time you’re on. So welcome back to the podcast.

Chris Lee:                                Wow! Has anybody else been on thirteen times?

Lewis Howes:                       No. I think three, maybe four, a couple of people two, three, so you’re the most! Most downloaded, most everything.

Chris Lee:                                I’m proud. Over a million.

Lewis Howes:                       You’ve impacted millions of people’s lives who have listened. It’s inspiring.

Chris Lee:                                That’s why I do this. Because I love your audience.

Lewis Howes:                       Yes. And for those that don’t know Chris, he’s been doing transformational work for thirty years now, twenty-nine, thirty years?

Chris Lee:                                Thirty plus.

Lewis Howes:                       Thirty plus years working in intensive, workshop style, three, four, five day experiences from early morning till late night, helping people break through their biggest barriers, blocks that hold them back from having intimate relationships, feeling healthy, happy, achieving their dreams and…

Chris Lee:                                Feeling fulfilled.

Lewis Howes:                       Feeling fulfilled, and tapping into the inner blocks, the mental blocks, the emotional blocks that hold us back from being able to connect on deeper levels and achieve what they want in life. Right? That’s the main things.

Chris Lee:                                Yeah.

Lewis Howes:                       You helped me tremendously facilitate an experience where I opened up for the first time about being sexually abused, as a boy, when I was a kid, which went on a whole path of me talking about it on the podcast, writing a book that talks more about just the topics of men, and the stresses that men face.

You’ve seen a lot of men go through challenging experiences and helped them break through a lot of things that hold men back, and there’s just this space in the world right now, with the “Me too” situation, in a time where people don’t know how to set boundaries, and people are feeling taken advantage of. Men taking advantage of women that work with them, or in Hollywood, things like that.

Chris Lee:                                People in positions of power abusing their power. Relationships, personality types.

Lewis Howes:                       Yes, and this goes to all genders. I think women sometimes will take advantage of men in relationships, where men don’t feel like they’re able to do certain things as well, so it’s not just only men who are hurting women. That’s what we’re seeing in the “Me too” scenario, where there’s not boundaries that have been met, or been set clearly, because of fear and other things like that.

Chris Lee:                                Or boundaries get, maybe they’ve been set and they’ve been violated and so it’s really about being conscious of those boundaries and being willing to take a stand for yourself.

Lewis Howes:                       Scary too, sometimes, huh?

Chris Lee:                                Very scary. Especially when, in Hollywood, where you see some men who are the decision makers for your livelihood.

Lewis Howes:                       For your dreams.

Chris Lee:                                For your dreams, for what you’ve dreamt of your entire life.

Lewis Howes:                       And one person holds the keys.

Chris Lee:                                And one person holds the key, and if you don’t do what they say, they could blow it up. Because at the end of the day, it goes right back down to, “What’s your value?” And how you value yourself, and we’ll go in to that into detail.

Lewis Howes:                       So, for those who don’t know Chris, he’s worked with hundreds of thousands of people in intimate settings with these workshops and helped them unlock and tap into the things that are holding them back so they can achieve what they want and have more fulfilment in their lives, whether relationships, business, spirituality, their health, their career, everything. So, it’s good to have you back!

Chris Lee:                                It’s great to be back!

Lewis Howes:                       And you’ve been coaching me for four years in the process of when I go on a big stage, when I’m producing a big event, media, I’ll call you and ask for feedback and just to get grounded.

Chris Lee:                                Yeah, and if you’ve got something that’s blocking you, we talk about it.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, of course. That’s every other month! Because the work doesn’t end.

Chris Lee:                                Yeah, well because you’re somebody, you coach a lot of people, you empower a lot of people, you facilitate a lot and so it’s important to have an objective person that could support you and that’s me. And that’s awesome! It’s fun!

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, it’s fun! Today we’re talking about how to create powerful extraordinary relationships in your personal life, in your business life, by creating boundaries. And now, do you think you can have extraordinary relationships if you don’t have boundaries?

Chris Lee:                                No.

Lewis Howes:                       So boundaries are a necessary key in order to build relationships.

Chris Lee:                                Boundaries are a critical key to have successful relationships.

Lewis Howes:                       Why is that?

Chris Lee:                                Because if there aren’t boundaries, you lose trust. You lose trust, you undermine the relationship. Then you have a resentment and an anger experience between two people that is unnecessary. You know, if the key to a relationship is communication, one of the keys to communication is being able to express what you need, what works, what doesn’t work. And if I don’t express what works for me and what doesn’t work for me, and you don’t honour that, then a relationship is undermined.

Lewis Howes:                       You lose trust.

Chris Lee:                                And if you don’t know what my boundaries are, then you might cross them without me knowing it, and without you knowing it. And then I could get mad because you didn’t read my mind. Because that happens a lot too.

Lewis Howes:                       You’re resentful because, “Why didn’t you…”

Chris Lee:                                “Because you should have known that.”

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, that’s the worst. And I think guys get that in relationships.

Chris Lee:                                Guys get that a lot, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                       Where it’s like, the woman says, you know, not all the time, but sometimes this happens where (I got to be careful of my words here), where it’s like, “Well, why don’t you just know?” Well how am I supposed to know? You didn’t tell me.

Chris Lee:                                Well, we all think differently, we have different personality types, we all have different strengths, weaknesses, and what’s easy for some people might not be easy for other people. So, I think that one of the ways that we could serve your audience, and our audience, is by coaching them on how to set healthy boundaries, and how to create relationships that work, and avoid unnecessary trauma.

Lewis Howes:                       And relationships that work and that thrive, that continue to grow, right?

Chris Lee:                                Yeah. Because the idea of a relationship is joy, and empowerment, and when I’m with you I feel special, unique, and I feel like you’re contributing to me. If you are in a relationship right now, those of you listening, evaluate the question. If you’re in a relationship right now and thinking of that person causes you anxiety or stress or fear or discomfort, then most likely there’s a boundary being crossed. It’s really your job to take responsibility for the relationships that you want.

Lewis Howes:                       So how do we take responsibility for a relationship?

Chris Lee:                                Let’s go through some steps here. The first step in creating extraordinary personal and business relationships, by creating those boundaries, is getting clear about your own worth. If my self worth is dependent on you, then I don’t have a relationship.

Lewis Howes:                       Dependent on what? What you do for me, or how you treat me, or what you say to me?

Chris Lee:                                Yeah. How you treat me, that you like me, that you’re nice to me, that you’re in a good mood, that my joy and well being has everything to do with you, meaning that if I lose you, I have nothing. And so if my self worth is based on whether you like me or not or whether you’re in a relationship with me or not, then there’s no relationship.

Lewis Howes:                       You’re going  to be up and down constantly then.

Chris Lee:                                Right, because there’s a hole that nothing’s going to fill. And so that’s why I say, “Put your oxygen mask on first,” that means, the most important priority in your relationship is not your significant other, it’s not your boss, it’s not your children, it’s not your brother, your sister, mom or dad. You are the most important relationship. So, taking care of you, developing your self worth. The more value you see in yourself, the easier it will be to set boundaries.

One of the reasons why we don’t set boundaries, is because we’re afraid of losing something. Like, if I’m honest with you, that “I want X,Y and Z,” and that that’s not negotiable for me, then I’m risking you saying, “Well, I don’t want that. And so, in many cases, if I have no self worth, I’ll stay quiet and I’ll settle for anything that is given to me, or settle for a relationship that doesn’t serve me. And that is why many of you listening, and I know it, because you write to me, are stuck in relationships that are dead-end, or you’re not happy or you don’t know how to get out of it, because you’d rather be in a miserable situation than alone. But if I have self worth and self value, then I’m happy alone.

Lewis Howes:                       If someone feels like they don’t have self worth, or they don’t feel valuable within themselves, what are some things they could do to develop self worth? To build that muscle, through practice.

Chris Lee:                                That’s a great question. Some of the things that people could do is take a moment to take inventory on their successes. What are things you’ve accomplished, that you’re proud of. We don’t highlight that enough. So make a list of five things that you’re proud of.

Lewis Howes:                       They can be small things too, right?

Chris Lee:                                Yeah. “I’m proud that I graduated high school or college. I’m proud that I completed this task; that I got hired for this job.” There’s so many things that you could be proud of. You know, when you highlight the things you’re proud of and highlight the things that you’ve accomplished. That builds your self worth and your self value, because the more you value you, the higher your self worth goes up.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, I think also, something for me, when I keep my word, consistently.

Chris Lee:                                Well, you just stole the next thing I was going to say. Honouring my word, yes! Honouring my agreements, that’s another thing that builds self worth. There’s nothing that undermines your self worth (I just said this for five days), nothing’s going to undermine your self worth more than breaking your agreements.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, and that could be as simple as, “I’m going to be on time.” You know, you have these five meetings today, you’re five minutes early for each one, or you’re always on time, and repeating that day after day.

Chris Lee:                                Keeping your agreements to yourself, keeping your agreements to other people, acknowledging when you don’t keep your agreement and taking responsiblity for it, and cleaning it up. That’s another thing that builds self worth. And not just builds self worth, it builds credibility. People trust you. That’s another way of building self worth.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, it builds credibility, integrity, all those things, yeah.

Chris Lee:                                Yeah. Completing also, creating goals and completing those. That feels great!

Lewis Howes:                       I always like to tell people to do a seven day challenge for themselves. If you feel unhealthy, then for seven days, I want you to move for 30 minutes a day. Schedule it in and complete it and tell me how you feel after seven days of doing one challenge.

Or I’m going to have a smoothie every single day in the morning, as opposed to maple syrup or something like that on my pancakes. One thing a day, for seven days, and complete that challenge. You make your bed for seven days in a row. Do something small that you did it every single day and you can say, “Okay, I built up the momentum.”

Chris Lee:                                Correct. Clean your house. Clean your room. Another thing you could do is read a book. There’s nothing more fulfilling than to know, I read this. I read the whole book! It feels good. So, there’s many ways. Educate yourself, learn, develop your intellect, exercise. Exercising. Even it’s swimming or, like you said, moving around or going for a walk. Just commit yourself to a 30 minute walk every day.

Meditation builds self worth. So, there’s many ways to build your self worth, but the most important thing, I would say, about self worth, is highlighting your value, highlighting not only your accomplishments, but also your blessings. What are the things that you’re blessed with? When you count your blessings, like, “I am so blessed that I’m alive. I’m so blessed that I can see. I’m blessed that I have you in my life. I’m blessed because of the friends I have. I’m blessed that my mom’s still alive.”

When you start seeing life as a blessing versus a have to, and I know we’ve talked about this in the past, that develops your self worth. And once you’ve got your self worth and you’re clear about your value, then the second step would be to create a clear vision for your  relationships. What kind of relationship do you want with your boss, with your employees, with your husband, with your wife? The clearer we are about what we want in our relationships, and how we want those relationships to look, then it will be a lot easier to make and create the boundaries, versus just going into it blind.

Lewis Howes:                       How should we create that vision? Should it be something we journal and write down and say, “This is the vision, these are the types of things I want to experience in these relationships, in business, and personal.”? Should we write them down, or is it more just like a mindful thing.

Chris Lee:                                I think journalling, but I don’t really, I don’t do that for every relationship, I just kind of have a mindset of where do I want my friendship to go? What’s acceptable in this friendship? What’s not acceptable in the friendship? So part of the vision is to be clear about what are the things that I want? What are the things that work for me? Being clear about that. Journalling always helps. I’m a journal freak, so I recommend people journal.

When you journal about your vision it makes it concrete in front of you. Some people are very visual and they like to see in front of them, so being clear about what it is that you want in the relationship, how you want the relationship to look and what’s going to work, what’s not going to work. And so, once you are clear about that, then you’ve got a clear-set guide to guide you through in creating those boundaries.

Lewis Howes:                       Okay, so create the vision for your relationships. That’s step two. Step three?

Chris Lee:                                Is: Make the requests that you need to make. So, once we’re in a relationship, then it’s important to make a request and also, I would say, step three and four are back and forth, make a promise. So, “What you can count on from me, is this, this and this. What I request from you is this, this and this.”

Lewis Howes:                       Can you give me examples? Maybe in an intimate relationship.

Chris Lee:                                For example, so, “You can count on me to be faithful and loyal, and count on me to respect you, and count on me to keep my word to you, that when I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it. I’m going to return phone calls. Count on me that I will be on time.” So you’re just establishing, in that relationship, the context, the environment of that relationship.

And then, so, you’re letting somebody know what you’re going to give, and at the same time, then you can make the requests. You can’t make a request without offering something. It can’t be, “Give me, give me, give me, give me. I want you to do this, this, this and this,” and then nothing from me. So, making the request, I think, is very important, being clear about requests, but first, what can you be counted on?

So, step three is making a promise. Declaring what it is that you’re going to give to that relationship and what you’re going to be counted on for. And I don’t think we do that enough. I think we assume, we take for granted and that could also be in a work environment. You know, you could meet with your boss and say, “My vision for our relationship in this situation is that a relationship of respect, a relationship that we’re going to grow together, and what I promise you is I’m going to keep my word, I’m going to be on time,” et cetera, et cetera.

Step four is to request. What is it that you want, that, for you, is not negotiable? So, my request, if we’re in an intimate, loving relationship, because I assert that a lot of people in relationships are buzzing right now, like, “Yeah!” So, if I was in an intimate, loving relationship with you, I would make the promises of the things that you could count on from me, but I’m going to say, “And here, basically, are my requests.”

And requests are the boundaries. When you make a request you’re creating a boundary. So what I’m requesting is that you don’t disrespect me, that you don’t hit me, that you don’t force me to do something I don’t want to do, that you respect my time with my friends, that you keep your word to me. We make a promise to never go to bed mad, that when we have an issue, we talk about it. So, the requests can be as long as you want them to be.

Lewis Howes:                       You both set the boundaries. That’s the ground rules, for the relationship, essentially.

Chris Lee:                                Those are the non-negotiable boundaries. And so, once you have made your promises and you’ve made your requests, then you flip it over and step number five is to hear their requests, and what could they be counted on for. So, what can I count on from you, and what do you request of me? So then when I hear from you in the relationship, or in the friendship or whatever the situation is, what are those requests that you have, what can I count on from you.

Lewis Howes:                       What if it’s a situation like the “Me too” situation right now in Hollywood, over there, it’s like a bully who you’re in a relationship with. It’s your boss, or it’s this executive who’s got decision making over your dreams, right? You can’t really go to this person and say, “Here’s my requests,” you know? How do you deal with that kind of situation? Again, if it’s a female with a male in power?

Chris Lee:                                That’s step number six. It’s called, Negotiation. So once you hear back from them what their promises are, what their requests are, if there’s a request that they’re making that doesn’t work for me, then I can negotiate it. And the negotiation should be, like, “That doesn’t work for me, but what about this?” So, it’s a subtle way of saying “no”, but you’re not making them wrong.

Now we need to say “no”, part of the negotiation can also be, “No”.

Lewis Howes:                       This is a clear boundary for me. Don’t cross it.

Chris Lee:                                You are crossing the boundary. But in the negotiation, it’s being able to give and take and to communicate what it is that’s going work and not going to work. And, so, if in step five you are promising to me and making certain requests of me, that maybe your promises work, but the requests don’t work for me, then I’ve got to be able to say, “No,” or renegotiate. And so, when you say, “No,” or you renegotiate, you’re honouring your boundaries. And, if that person doesn’t want to honour that boundary. Then you got to be willing to walk away. And that’s the hardest thing to do.

Lewis Howes:                       It’s hard for someone if there’s an actor who has a dream, and there’s someone who’s holding the keys. It’s hard to be, like, “Oh, I’m going to walk away from my dream.”

Chris Lee:                                Right, but you go back to step one, which is Self Worth. And what’s self worth? “You know what, I am powerful enough, I don’t need this one person to create what I need to create in my life.”

Lewis Howes:                       I’ll go create my own movie, I’ll create my own show, I’ll find another partner.

Chris Lee:                                Exactly. And that has happened time and time again. I could tell you stories of people that I know, that have walked away, I won’t tell you who, because of confidentiality, but people that I’ve coached in business, in Hollywood, in sports, in politics, that they have walked away from a situation, and they were willing to give the whole thing up, because they had self worth.

Lewis Howes:                       You know, I think ten, twenty years ago, it was a lot more challenging to do that. So, for a lot of people, there probably wasn’t these lot of options like there is now, where there’s multiple different networks you can work with, where you can do GoFundMe pages and raise money in different ways, for your film, like in the Hollywood space.

So, I feel like now there’s a lot more options, whereas maybe ten, twenty years ago there was a few people kind of holding the keys and it might have been a lot more challenging to be creative, to find your self worth. You would have to be much more creative. And enrolling a lot more other people to make this happen.

Chris Lee:                                Absolutely. And more isolated, and less communication available. There wasn’t social media, there wasn’t all the ways that we can connect with each other, and nowadays there’s a lot of vehicles, a lot of outlets to actually pursue your dream. There’s YouTube, there’s social media, you know more about that than I do.

Lewis Howes:                       Millions of networks now, yeah, exactly.

Chris Lee:                                Yeah, there’s different networks. But I would say that in most of the case, in a severe case people are going to violate that, but in the case of a relationship of two people, or a business partnership that want to work together, you’re going to create a joyful experience, because people are going to appreciate that you’re being honest, and so in most cases, what it does, is that it builds relationship.

Now I know, I can count on from you, and what to expect and then now you know what you can count on from me. And if you’re making a request that doesn’t work for me, then we negotiate it. Or, I need to say, “No.” I got to be honest. Negotiation can also be, “No, but how about this?” So, “No, boss, I’m not going to work overtime every day, but what about two days a week?” Or, “No, boss, I’m not going to take on that project, but what about if I take that project on with somebody else?”

So, when you negotiate and you’re able to open that line of communication and you’re able to set those boundaries, then what you have is respect and what you have is a connection. Because a lot of relationships blow up because partner A has a vision and partner B has a different vision and then partner A has an expectation that partner B is not meeting. And then, instead of communicating to each other, they tell their friends about how miserable they are, and their friends basically validate it and it creates a bigger wedge.

And if you look at your relationships and the relationships that you’ve been in and that I’ve been in, I could tell you that creating boundaries, even as a parent with a child, creating a boundary with your children is very important, because what happens is a lot of times, we don’t think that we deserve to create boundaries, or we don’t think that we have a right to do that, as a parent, because we let our kids do what they want with us.

Lewis Howes:                       Walk all over us.

Chris Lee:                                And I’ve coached a lot of parents that don’t create boundaries. And creating boundaries does not need to be a mean thing or a nasty thing, it’s just expressing what is going to work for you, what’s not going to work for you, what’s negotiable, what’s not negotiable.

Lewis Howes:                       Would you say someone that does not create boundaries in a way that works for them is essentially saying they don’t value their self worth?

Chris Lee:                                Absolutely.

Lewis Howes:                       They say, “Oh, just do whatever you want to me,” then they’re saying, “I’m not valuable.”?

Chris Lee:                                Right. Because we don’t think of ourselves. Most people think of taking care of their boss, taking care of their kids, taking care of their employees. It’s like, let’s say, an employee of yours is overworked and they want a vacation. They haven’t had a vacation, but they have no self worth, they’re not going to dare say to you, “I need time off.” Or maybe they’re underpaid and they feel underpaid and given the market, the comparables, they’re not going to come up to you and say, “You know what? I’d like a raise.”

Lewis Howes:                       So creating boundaries is not about creating walls, it’s about creating an agreement. And also, when you create a boundary,  you got to be clear that you’re negotiating. So it’s not just, “It’s this or this.”

Chris Lee:                                In some cases there are some boundaries that can’t be crossed. I’ve been in offices where the boss would scream at their employees. And I’m sure you’ve walked into offices where there was that Type A, aggressive alpha boss, that would like his way of getting things done, would be screaming at the employees. And, clearly, not a single employee in that office has set that boundary called, “You don’t get to scream at me.”

Lewis Howes:                       Well, then they get fired. Who knows?

Chris Lee:                                Right. But I’d rather, if I go back to self worth, and I get, “You know what? I’d rather not work in this company and be unemployed than to be with somebody who’s abusing me. And when you have self worth and self value, then you know that no matter what happens, you’re going to be okay. Because you got to have faith in yourself and trust yourself and know that you deserve to have the best of the life that you want.

Lewis Howes:                       There may be uncertainty and challenge and some struggles if you made that decision to jump out of that relationship whether business or personal, but hopefully, long term, it’ll pay off, because you have value in your self worth.

Chris Lee:                                Well, to me, everything is environment, and so the environment, and we talk about this a lot in these podcasts, the mindset that you are, generates a frequency. That frequency that we are creates a result. And so, if my mindset is, “I’m going to tolerate abuse, I’m going to tolerate sexual aggression, I’m going to tolerate my boyfriend hitting me, or my partner invading my e-mails and checking my phone and just doing what they want with me, or my kids running around the house wild and just destroying and putting their hand in a jar of peanut butter and putting peanut butter all over the walls,” and I’ve seen that situation, where  they don’t create boundaries.

If I allow that, as a mindset, even if I have a job or a relationship and all of the results are miserable, and so, how much value do you put on your happiness and your joy and your worth? And so, that’s got to be a non-negotiable for you. If your happiness is non-negotiable, and your joy is non-negotiable and your well being is non-negotiable, then you’ve got to learn to set boundaries.

And setting boundaries is saying to somebody, “I respect me, and I respect you.” And it’s not just about me setting boundaries with you, it’s also about asking you, “What are your boundaries? What do you need?” Think of all the unnecessary drama that we’ll get spared by being able to do this.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, it will be a lot more harmonious in relationships.

Chris Lee:                                Have you ever been in a relationship in the past where there wasn’t a boundary and it got crossed in any way?

Lewis Howes:                       Absolutely, yeah. Both sides, you know, I’ve probably crossed boundaries many times, but I’ve also felt when I set clear…

Chris Lee:                                And when you have, how does that feel?

Lewis Howes:                       It doesn’t feel good.

Chris Lee:                                No, but when you do set the boundary and it’s respected?

Lewis Howes:                       Oh, when I cross the boundary it doesn’t feel good.

Chris Lee:                                It doesn’t feel good to you, or your significant other, your friends or whatever.

Lewis Howes:                       And when it’s set and we’re both have a clear understanding and communication and awareness, then it feels like peace, it feels like harmony, it feels graceful.

Chris Lee:                                It rescues the relationship. It recharges it.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, it does, where there’s respect, there’s a level of love and support that it didn’t have before.

Chris Lee:                                I had a boss once, that the way he would communicate to me and to the other people where we worked, would be screaming. And loud and abusive and bad words, and everybody put up with it. And I was feeling… And here’s how you’ll know, like, how do you know if your boundaries are being crossed? I felt anxious in the relationship. I felt stressed. I felt sad and I felt angry. So there was resentment and there was anger.

And when you think about work, especially work, you’re at work more times that you are anywhere else. Some people spend most of their lives working. And so, there I was, twelve hours a day, in an environment that I hated, and so I was a victim of it, because I had no self worth. When you don’t have self worth, you’re a victim. “I’m powerless, there’s nothing I can do, this is the way it is.” You know, “I just got to grin and bear it.”

I would have people in my life go, “Well, that’s how it is,” so they would support that, and they’d be like, “That’s part of the workplace.” And then part of me went, “You know what? No!” And so it took a lot of self worth and responsibility to go into that person’s office, sit down with them and say, “Look, my vision for our relationship and for my experience in the workplace is a place of success and harmony and respect and calm communication, and I want to be able to be at peace here. And what you can count on from me, is I’m going to keep my word and I’m going to do this, this and this. But my request is that, when you communicate to me, that you do it in a calm way, that you don’t yell at me, that you don’t use bad words with me,” et cetera, et cetera, “and can you accept that request.

And he said, “Wow! Is that what I really do?” Because a lot of times people aren’t even aware. And I’m like, “Yeah! And it’s become unbearable for me, I don’t want to work here.” And he said, “Count on me.” From that point forward, everything shifted.

Lewis Howes:                       That’s great. Nice.

Chris Lee:                                I’ve also had friends cross boundaries, that kept crossing them. They’re not my friends any more. So, you got to be willing to say, “No.”

Lewis Howes:                       Enough is enough. And leave the relationship.

Chris Lee:                                You know, so you got to be willing to say, “No.” And the final step, for me, is appreciation. Appreciation is, once we’ve established the new boundaries, what can be counted on, et cetera, et cetera, for me to acknowledge and appreciate the person I’m in a relationship with for that.

Lewis Howes:                       For honouring those boundaries?

Chris Lee:                                For honouring those boundaries, for honouring the relationship, letting that person know that I appreciate it, and that they’re appreciated. I think also, appreciation goes a long way. We don’t appreciate each other enough. We don’t spend time acknowledging each other, and that’s part of what will ensure that those boundaries are continuously honoured and respected.

Lewis Howes:                       The consistent appreciation of the small things as well.

Chris Lee:                                So, remember, they’re shifting a behaviour. So, every time that behaviour shifts, so every time my boss would come in and he’d be like, “Oh!” And then he’d be calm, and I’d be like, “Hey, thank you so much. I appreciate that you’re honouring my boundary.”

Lewis Howes:                       That’s great.

Chris Lee:                                And I think that in a relationship that will also serve.

Lewis Howes:                       What are people afraid of in relationships a lot that you see? What’s the biggest fear?

Chris Lee:                                Their biggest fear is losing the other person.

Lewis Howes:                       Why is it such a big fear for us to lose someone? Even if it’s toxic?

Chris Lee:                                Because we don’t want to be alone. Back to self worth.

Lewis Howes:                       Or maybe because we think we won’t find someone as good, or a job as good.

Chris Lee:                                Because there’s probably a reward. Remember, for every negative behaviour there’s a reward. Like a false reward. For example, let’s say, I don’t want to lose a relationship and they’re a nightmare, but they’re awesome in bed.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. I’ve been there before.

Chris Lee:                                “This is the best sex in the world! Okay, okay, I’ll put up with being abused and what’s a couple of scratches around my body? A bruised eye?” Or the person is powerful or famous and I’m so identified with as so-and-so’s wife or so-and-so’s husband. And so, there’s a lot of pay-off to being in, and I’ve seen this happen.

I actually know a celebrity couple, where the husband is basically miserable and the wife just walks all over him and disrespects him in public and is just rude and doesn’t spend time with him and he’s actually a really good guy. And the thing is that he won’t break up with her because of the pay-off, which is: “I’m married to so-and-so.” And that opens the door to all these fabulous people and situations and et cetera, fans and the lifestyle, et cetera, et cetera.

Or maybe the person’s attached to the person financially. This guy pays my bills and house and there’s always a reason that we are willing to put up with being in a situation where we’re unhappy. I call that a false reward.

Here’s why it’s a false reward: Because you could gain all those things without that person. It goes back to self worth. If you have a clarity, that you have the power to create the life that you want, when you want, where you want, at whatever time you want, it’s a question of finding the right combination within yourself. Then you won’t settle for less. And that’s really my platform.

I stand, everywhere I go, whether it’s a podcast, television or seminar, that we as human beings are born with infinite power and we are born as a possibility and we are born unstoppable. And along the way we start forgetting that and then we start settling. And there’s nothing worse than settling into a life you don’t want to live, because the reality of life is, there’s a beginning and there’s an end. And every moment we have could be the last moment.

Why not be happy and joyful in every moment that we have? And if you’re not, it’s because you are making that choice. So when you set boundaries from a place called, “I have nothing to lose,” then you do it with power, versus, “Ah, I’m afraid that if I say this, then you’re not going to like it.”

It also goes back to vision as well. My vision for the relationship is to be married and have kids, and your vision is to kind of hang out, then up front, we’re clear that our requests and our boundaries aren’t going to match. So let’s not waste each other’s time. So it’s back to value. And I think the reason why we have a hard time setting boundaries, we have a hard time being alone, is because we have something that we have not addressed which is emptiness or lack of self worth.

Another way to build your self worth, of course, is to forgive. To let go. To let go of things from the past that are haunting you, you know? As long as you have resentment, or anger, that’s going to undermine your self worth as well.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. We did a whole episode on forgiveness, I believe. Was it the power of forgiveness or how to forgive?

Chris Lee:                                Yes. Yes, we did. Yes.

Lewis Howes:                       We’ll have that one linked up in the show notes.

Chris Lee:                                Oh my gosh, the forgiveness episode’s incredible!

Lewis Howes:                       Because, what did you say? When you are holding onto something from the past of someone and you’re not forgiving them, you’re actually hurting yourself. You’re not hurting them.

Chris Lee:                                Yeah, when you don’t forgive, basically, what you’re doing is, you’re keeping alive the hurt. So, if I was sexually abused and I don’t forgive the abuser, which is the work you and I did together, then they keep abusing me. And so, when I forgive the abuser, I’m not making it okay that he abused me, or she abused me. When I forgive the abuser, I’m basically making a conscious decision to take my power back from them and to use my power for something positive.

Because as long as I am giving somebody anger, I’m giving them my energy, and energy is power. So forgiveness is not about the other person, it’s really about you.

Lewis Howes:                       It’s not saying you need to say it’s okay what someone did to you, but it’s letting it go so you can live in peace. And I think I want to get the quote, I’m not sure what the exact quote it is, it’s Martin Luther King Jr. said something around the fact that he doesn’t get upset at people who would hate him and would get angry towards him, because he said holding on to that anger and getting angry in return meant that person had power over him.

Chris Lee:                                It’s the same thing I’m saying. If I’m angry at you or if I react to you, I’m giving you my power.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. If you have control over me, you have power over me, I’m going to react.

Chris Lee:                                Yeah, it’s like a remote control. You have control over my power.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, I can push your buttons.

Chris Lee:                                That’s right. You react the way I want you to. And then, in a relationship, when we don’t set boundaries in our friendships, sometimes friends call friends at all times of the night and they interrupt private moments or sleep or whatever, and there’s just a lack of respect. And I think that, at the end of the day, creating boundaries is creating respect between two people, so that the relationship can thrive.

And same thing in business. You don’t want to be doing something for your boss that you don’t want to do, that you know you don’t want to do, that you know that it’s crossing a boundary and you feel like you have to do it. You know that I think that it’s important to communicate and to express and to set the right boundaries. And you’re going to create thriving relationships.

Part of why our relationship works, and we’ve been close, and you’re one of my best friends, and I love you and we’ve never crossed each other’s boundaries. We’ve always been respectful. We know how far we can go. We know how far not to go.

Lewis Howes:                       We’ve pushed boundaries!

Chris Lee:                                We push a little bit and then we communicate.

Lewis Howes:                       We communicate. When something is not aligned to our visions.

Chris Lee:                                Yeah. Like if there has ever been a moment that I pushed a boundary without knowing it, you’ve had the total trust to say, “Chris, that doesn’t work for me.” And since I’m committed to the relationship, I’m going to be, like, “Absolutely!” And same thing if there is something that you have done that crossed a boundary, then I am always able to communicate that. Which is why my relationships are successful. Because I know how far I can go, and I know how far I can’t go.

Lewis Howes:                       Let’s talk about, for a minute before we wrap things up, why are we so afraid to be alone? Because my entire childhood I was afraid to be alone and I think I would hold on to certain relationships too tightly, because I was afraid. And then I remember saying to myself, “I’m going to get so comfortable being alone. I’m going to take myself out to dinner and see what that feels like. I’m going to go to movies alone. I’m going to do everything alone.”

Until I fell in love with myself. Because I needed to fall in love with me, as maybe, egotistical as that sounds, it was more of like a practice, because I didn’t have any self love. I said, “I need to figure out how I can love myself.” And I practiced that over and over again to the point where I was like, “It’s actually pretty nice, here. I appreciate myself. I appreciate my thoughts.” I was kinder to myself.

Chris Lee:                                I could tell you one of the reasons we have a hard time being alone, and it’s because 90% of what we think is negative, and so, from the moment you wake up in the morning, you have this little voice in your head that starts chattering away. And that voice, 90% of what it says is negative. “I’m tired, I’m hungry, I don’t like this.”

I read a quote that Oprah came out with two days ago, “Of this I know for sure, that when we don’t pay attention to the chatter in our head, we will be happy.” And so, paying attention to the negative self talk is one of the reasons why we have a hard time being alone. And so, learning how to really pay attention to notice the talk and shift out of it and replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, is one of the ways you can learn to be alone and be happy with it.

I used to think that being alone was the worst thing that could happen to me, because, since I suck, why would I want to be with me? And so, as I started taking control, of course through the workshops I’ve done and learning how to move from that dark place and shift it and replaced negative affirmations with positive affirmations. So, instead of thinking I’m worthless, “I matter! I’m beautiful! I’m positive! I’m powerful!” And start creating positive conversations about yourself. Then you’re going to learn to actually enjoy yourself.

Another think that I think is valuable is what you did. I started going to the movies alone as well. And at first it was weird, and I felt self conscious and it gets to a point now where I’d almost rather go alone.

Lewis Howes:                       You can watch what you want to watch!

Chris Lee:                                Nobody’s going to bother me! I’m able to enjoy it! I think that the more that you learn to love yourself and to celebrate you and realise, and I say this a lot, there is so much right about you, there’s so much working, there’s so much beautiful. You are so beautiful, so powerful. A human being is amazing. I’m in love with human being.

And I think, like what you said, when you learn to fall in love with yourself, then you won’t settle. And part of that, of course, is forgiveness, but also forgiving yourself. Because we’re the hardest, we’re the kings. You’ve said this before, you used to be the king of beating yourself up. So let’s become the kings and queens of building ourselves up.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. That’s good, I like that one. Powerful points, guys. Make sure to go the show notes, we’ll have it up here with a link to where you can go. Share this with your friends. Chris has a book out called, Abundance and Prosperity. You can check it out on Amazon.

Chris Lee:                                Transform Your Life: Ten Principles of Abundance and Prosperity. Foreword by Lewis Howes.

Lewis Howes:                       That’s it! It’s a great book. And you’ll have an audio version of that coming out soon, but you can go to Amazon and get the book.

Chris Lee:                                Yeah, I’m doing an audio, actually, this afternoon I’m doing an audio. A lot of people have requested it on audio. It’ll come out next year, in the beginning of next year.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. They’ll hear your coaching. It’ll be great! So go check out the book at @chrismotivador on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Chris Lee:                                That’s right, @chrismotivador.

Lewis Howes:                       And go to one of Chris’ trainings. You train all over the place.

Chris Lee:                                All over the world.

Lewis Howes:                       But they can just message you on Twitter and say, “Where can I go?” And you can recommend different places all over the world where they live, so it’s easiest for them. But the workshops are unbelievable.

Chris Lee:                                Life defining.

Lewis Howes:                       Life changing. Everyone on my team has gone through them.

Chris Lee:                                I know! I love them all! I love them all!

Lewis Howes:                       They’ve all gone through it and seen incredible transformation.

Chris Lee:                                And Jen.

Lewis Howes:                       And Jen, my girlfriend, Jen, she just completed…

Chris Lee:                                She just graduated.

Lewis Howes:                       It was amazing. As always, I want to acknowledge you for being an incredible human on a mission to impacting so many people’s lives. I mean, every week you are doing workshops, giving of your time, of your energy, of your sleep. Sacrificing so much to show up for other people. And I don’t know anyone else who gives as much as you. So I acknowledge you for that, Chris. I appreciate you. I know everyone who listens appreciates you. So, way to finish the year with a bang!

Chris Lee:                                What an honour for me. I love you.

Lewis Howes:                       A very successful year, really amazing. I love you as well. Go check out the book, share the podcast and create powerful relationships in your life.

Chris Lee:                                I love you guys, thank you for listening to us. Number 13.

Lewis Howes:                       We’ll see you on number 14 next time.

Chris Lee:                                Yes! Bye-bye!

Lewis Howes:                       There you have it, my friends. I hope you enjoyed this one, episode number 580. If you did, take a screenshot right now on your phone of this podcast and share it out on your Instagram story, tag me @lewishowes, tag @chrismotivador over on Instagram and Twitter as well. And the link is

Share this with a friend of yours who might be going through a relationship that you feel like they can’t set boundaries, or they’re struggling in the relationship and it’s hurting them, and you know that by setting these clear boundaries, it could help make the relationship thrive and be better. Again, send this to a friend you care about, Make sure to check out the full show notes back there as well. You can watch the full video interview and learn more about Chris’ book and how to connect with him, back on that link.

And if you guys haven’t got your copy of The Millionaire Morning yet, make sure to go to The book is free, and we talk about the morning habits, mindset and routines that will make you rich that day. Again, what are those habits of millionaires? What do they do in the morning and how can you apply those same strategies to your daily life.

You can do the same strategies. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, you can do them as well. The book is free, all you got to do is pay for shipping and handling and we ship it all over the world. Go to right now and get your copy.

And for those looking to build your business online and to increase your audience, to increase your reach, to generate more leads, traffic and sales, we’ve got a free webinar training. Go to We are covering a 60 minute training about how to blow up your Instagram following to reach more people, to engage with more people, to get more people to buy your programs and services. We cover it all over at

So, again, check that out as well, for a free training on how you could do this with your Instagram, and your online business. I hope you guys enjoyed this one. It’s always amazing to bring Chris back on. He’s a dear friend and someone who’s been a part of my transformation.

As Martin Heidegger said, “A boundary is not that at which something stops, but that from which something begins.”

I hope you know how beautiful you are, how much of a gift you are in this world, and as always, you know what time it is: It’s time to go out there and do something great!

Music Credits:

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Holo by Ampyx

Lose Heart by Frame Away

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