Written by: Elena Herrera, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
No. It is a small word, but so many women have a hard time saying it, no matter how successful they are.
Welcome to the world of boundaries...
Boundaries — the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental limits we set with others that determine what we will and will not accept in life — are especially difficult for women because we are natural caregivers and nurturers.
Setting boundaries is not something that is taught at school. It originates in childhood based on family standards and values, which usually dictate what women should and should not do.
As an Intuitive Transformation Coach, I see many great, caring, and kind women who struggle to set boundaries.
One of the reasons for this is the old programming.
You might be a successful woman in business, but are you letting your clients pull on you too much?
Are you overdoing in an attempt to take care of your client’s emotional state?
Are you being “nice” when you actually mean to be direct and tell your client the truth?
Don’t be hard on yourself. So many of us do it without ever questioning it, and there is a reason for it.
It is so common for women to be raised in certain social ways — being polite, overly nice, and sweet, not hurting others' feelings, being comforting, and being compliant - that it becomes their second nature.
While this might seem to be a norm in our society, this often leads to denying your own feelings, putting others first, and ignoring your own instincts — all for the sake of fitting in, being accepted, or keeping the peace.
This causes women to consistently look outside of themselves for validation, always caring about what others think or worrying about how they might react to them.
Let’s be honest — this robs us of inner harmony, integrity, and self-esteem.
Poor boundaries are the number one reason many women struggle in life - exhaustion, resentment, troubled relationships, inability to create change, etc.
Lack of healthy boundaries leads to feeling joyless, overwhelmed, anxious, jaded, overly sensitive, and unhappy.
In my younger years, I struggled with a lack of boundaries because of my own need to please others which caused me to feel insecure and lose myself in relationships. I rarely said “No” because I either didn't want to appear impolite or didn’t want to hurt other people's feelings by “rejecting” them.
But at the end of the day, I ended up rejecting myself. It took me years of self-awareness and inner growth to let go of the guilt of putting my needs first and honor my truth.
I found that at the core of the difficulty of establishing boundaries is usually some limiting beliefs like these:
It is selfish to put my needs first.
I don’t want to bother people.
If I express how I feel, I’ll be rejected.
It is my duty to help others.
I am only worthy when I do things for others.
It is important to get along with everyone. Nobody needs conflict.
Can you relate to any of these?
Or maybe you have your own limiting belief that causes you to disrespect your boundaries?
Once you identify your beliefs, you can explore your deeper WHY for the lack of boundaries.
From my personal experience, I have discovered that underneath it all is FEAR — fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, fear of being alone, fear of being “exposed,” fear of showing up, etc. This is a very primal fear that usually gets developed at a very young, vulnerable age.
How many times in the past I was afraid to communicate my true feelings to my partner because I thought he would leave me. I realized that the root of this fear stemmed from my no so peaceful upbringing with both parents constantly screaming at each other.
When my mom tried to communicate something to my dad, he would only get angry and storm out. So, she would rather keep quiet rather than asking for anything. This family dynamic taught me to suppress my emotions and needs so I wouldn't trigger my partner’s anger. When I recognized this deeply seated belief and how it affected my relationships, I then started working on my healing and inner transformation.
Once I shifted my misguided belief, “It is not safe to communicate how I feel,” to “It is safe and necessary to have an open communication to be true to myself,” I was able to set healthy boundaries and keep them.
My relationships improved tremendously, my energy level went up, and I felt more at ease with myself and life.
So, let me tell you…
You need strong, healthy boundaries for balance, self-protection, and inner harmony.
You need these boundaries to deliver the best work/service for your clients!
You also need them to be efficient and productive with your work, build and maintain healthy relationships, and raise responsible kids!
That's why the very first step on a path to healthy boundaries is to become aware of where your lack of boundaries stems from.
Knowing yourself better can help you uncover why you do what you do and reveal intentions and motivations behind your actions or inaction.
When you finally understand why you are unable or unwilling to set boundaries, you can create a desired change in your inner and outer world.
The next step is to focus on letting go of old, limiting beliefs, and adapt the truth:
Setting healthy boundaries allows me to communicate clearly and confidently.
By setting healthy boundaries, I exude self-respect and self-worth.
Setting healthy boundaries gives me the freedom to be myself.
Setting healthy boundaries allows me to attract people and circumstances into my life aligned with my true self.
By setting healthy boundaries, I give myself love and care.
Setting healthy boundaries allows me to take care of my needs, which are as important as others' needs.
By setting healthy boundaries, I create balance and harmony in my life.
Finally, be patient with yourself.
It takes time and practice to finally get comfortable with saying, “No.”
Few useful tips to keep in mind that will help you say, “No”:
1. Before you say “Yes,” take time to respond. Connect to yourself to determine how you truly feel. What do you really want to say? 2. Check your intentions. Simply ask yourself, "If I agree to this request, do I do it from a genuine place to help, or do I feel guilty to say no?" Respond from a place of your authentic truth rather than fear.
3. Keep it simple. You don’t have to give any excuses or justify yourself for saying no. Saying, “no, I cannot” is enough. If you know you need to build strong, healthy boundaries, but struggle to do it yourself, don't hesitate to reach out to me.
I will help you to set boundaries and follow through on them. The benefits to your life and your loved ones are worth the effort.
Feel free to fill out a questionnaire on my website to set up your FREE 30-min consultation.
Elena Herrera, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
My personal story of transformation took my life from “unconscious” to “connected and meaningful.” Applying the same tools and modalities I teach today, plus my gift of intuition, I grew from a personal trainer to a full-blown Intuitive Transformational Coach who helps dozens of people to live a life of self-awareness, radiance, and fulfillment.