Boundary Boss by Terri Cole: My Top Ten Takeaways

Terri Hanson Mead
Terri Hanson Mead
Published in
5 min readMar 26, 2024


This book (Boundary Boss by Terri Cole) was recommended to me by a childhood friend along with The Book of Boundaries by Melissa Urban. I will be forever grateful to Lesly for introducing me to this book; my life will be forever changed as I continue my personal work on setting and maintaining boundaries, and “making self-love, self-consideration, and self-care a daily discipline.”

This book has given me permission to shamelessly, selfishly, and clearly: “State the issue. State your feelings. Make a simple request. Suggest an agreement.”

The author has also reminded me that, “This is your life; you come first” and “We are never too old or too late for fulfillment.” And, finally, “I wish I hadn’t been so hard on myself.”

Here are my top ten takeaways from the book just in case you want my cheat sheet. If you struggle with self-esteem and self-confidence issues, and it’s hard to clearly ask for what you want, you may want to consider reading the entire book.

  1. “Healthy, robust personal boundaries are key to living a fulfilled, empowered, and self-directed life. At the heart of personal boundaries is the courage to tell the truth.” This isn’t just granting permission; this is a directive to be forthright and honest to have deep and meaningful relationships.
  2. “Your past behavior is not a reflection of who you are — just what you knew at the time.” The wounded child in me practically cried when I read this.
  3. “When you speak directly and honestly, the benefits are twofold. You get to be seen and you create space for everyone else in your life to be seen as well. You are no longer robbing the world of your authenticity, something you and only you have.” This reminds me of something Richard Branson wrote about in Just Do It: playing small doesn’t serve the world; do not shrink (from my blog post on Screw It, Let’s Do It — Takeaways).
  4. “There are a few ways this internalized oppression manifests in women. We invalidate our own experiences, for example, by not speaking up because we fear being seen as drama queens. We become overly concerned with our physical attractiveness, identifying with youth and beauty so much that we believe we are less valuable as we age or if we show signs of aging. We readily prioritize the needs and desires of others above our own, as if self-sacrifice proves we are good.” This one really resonated especially after reading On Our Best Behavior (see my blog post On Our Best Behavior-Top 25 Takeaways).
  5. “You don’t need to provide your worth by over-giving. You are worthy simply by virtue of being alive, uniquely and authentically yourself. Giving is loving; over-giving is dysfunctional. Am I giving from a place of love or a place of fear or need?” I’ve been working on my over-functioning and over-compensating behavior, and this really helps to support the work I’ve been doing. I can now ask myself that last question and if I am giving out of fear or need, I can do some reflection and hopefully change things up.
  6. “Limiting beliefs are seeded in childhood and can negatively impact our boundary behaviors and self-identity.”
  7. “Repetition compulsion makes stunning sense. It’s our mind’s way of hoping for a better outcome…the child within us is desperately seeking a do-over of a disappointing, painful, or traumatizing childhood experience.”
  8. “Changing long-standing behavioral patterns can feel plenty daunting…you have to change your behavior patterns repeatedly…the brain is changeable and adaptable…the brain’s neural connections…are formed and potentially altered every single day, thanks to our lived experience. This is called neuroplasticity.” We are not stuck. We can change. And as we change, we create new lived experiences which propels further change.
  9. “To get your needs met, you have to be willing to be specific about what you would like and then open your mind and heart to a compromise, a conversation, a negotiation, a yes or a no. Compromising with discernment is important.” This has me rethinking how I ask for what I want or need and what happens after the request especially after reading, “making demands of others kills cooperation and collaboration.” As I read this, I realized I haven’t trusted others to be willing to cooperate, collaborate, and compromise. As a child and young adult, this wasn’t patterned for me to learn from and follow.
  10. “Self-love begins and ends with you. Celebrate each and every mindset shift, no matter how big or small. Celebrate every time you recognize you have a choice. Drawing boundaries is one of the highest expressions of self-love.” This work is never over so long as we breathe, and we all need to recognize and celebrate our progress to avoid becoming disillusioned. I talk about the importance of celebrating in Piloting Your Life.

Bonus: “Your level of self-love sets the bar for every other relationship in your life. Aim high.” We are all deserving.

Did any of these resonate with you? Are you inspired to make some changes in your own life? If so, let me know in the comments or drop me a line at

Note: all bolded, italicized quotes are from the book. I’ve taken the liberty of making some minor changes for ease of communication and have kept the integrity of the author’s intent.

Next up: The Menopause Manifesto by Dr Jen Gunter.

This is not an endorsement for Bird scooters, especially since they filed for bankruptcy in 2023. Such a waste of good VC money!

About the Author

Terri Hanson Mead is the multi-award winning author of Piloting Your Life, Managing Partner of Solutions2Projects, LLC, travel journalist and vlogger with her husband Zeke (Zeke and Terri), and an advocate for women through all of her platforms including YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and this blog. Terri, the mother of a college sophomore and recent college graduate, is based in Redwood City, CA and in her spare time, loves to travel, cook, play tennis, and fly helicopters around the San Francisco Bay Area, especially under the Golden Gate Bridge. Oh, and she loves a good craft cocktail!



Terri Hanson Mead
Terri Hanson Mead

Tiara wearing, champagne drinking troublemaker, making the world a better place for women. Award winning author of Piloting Your Life.