5 Reasons Women Struggle When Setting Boundaries Plus How to OvercomeJul 10, 2022
In life, it’s important to let others know what we will and won’t tolerate in our lives. When it comes down to it, setting boundaries is an act of self-compassion and a way that any woman can protect herself emotionally and energetically. People who love and respect you will honor your limits, but there are energy vampires who push back hard on any established boundary.
Setting boundaries is challenging when you first begin, but in time, with practice, you will master the art of setting boundaries.
Let’s explore the 5 primary reasons women feel challenged when the time comes to set a boundary.
1. Guilt and Shame
Ah, guilt and shame are well known to most women. Guilt and shame get in the way of setting healthy boundaries, and it’s understandable why it’s an issue. It’s not uncommon to feel emotional pain when you try in vain to set boundaries.
Let’s say you have plans with a friend and looking forward to a spa day together. Out of the blue, your mother or another family member calls, “I need you to pick me up at the train station at 3:00 PM; my ride home fell through.” What’s a woman to do? You could hardly say no to your mother; you’d feel too guilty or downright ashamed.
We’ve been raised to be nice girls, to do the right thing, and so on. Is it any wonder you have difficulty saying ‘NO’ and often ignore your own needs and self-care to please others, no matter the cost?
People-pleasing is an unhealthy behavior pattern that can lead to self-abandonment.
Overcoming Guilt and Shame
We must learn to silence shame and guilt and speak truthfully to those we love most. How could the above situation have been handled differently by honoring your previous commitment and practicing boundaries and self-care? “Mom, I’ll arrange for Bill (hubby) or Cindy (daughter) to be there for you as I’ll be across town. But there’s no need to worry. I love you, Mom, and I’m sorry your ride fell through.”
You honored your plans, made sure your Mom was all set, practiced self-care, and had no guilt; instead, you have peace. Boundaries will set you free to live a better and more balanced life.
If there were an emergency, of course, you would drop everything, get your family member, and apologize to your friend.
It’s true what they say,’ there’s nothing to fear but fear itself.’ When you live in fear of expressing yourself and your feelings, you are literally bound by fear. Stop being a slave to the fear of hurting other people’s feelings or upsetting them.
Often fear arises when your internal boundaries have been violated. Are you being mistreated? Do you feel threatened in any way? Are you more worried about other people’s feelings at your own expense?
Fear is paralyzing and limits your potential to live your best life.
Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”
— Rudyard Kipling
You’re no longer a child, dear one; you’re a strong woman; step into your power unapologetically and start setting boundaries to overcome fear. Once you begin, the perceived giant of your worries will shrink and sometimes disappear altogether, and you’ll wonder why it took you so long to get started.
More often than not, you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable in order to face your fear head-on. Like any other healthy practice, it will take time to form a boundary habit, but it is entirely within reach.
Here’s to mastering the art of setting healthy boundaries and finding peace in your life! Because you’re worth it!
When we try to control a person, situation, or outcome, it’s often a red flag or indicator that we are not in a place of faith and trust; something is out of sorts. This need to control is an excellent indicator that you must start setting boundaries.
This can arise when you try to control or manage an alcoholic, a drug addict, a mentally ill partner, or any problematic person in your life that is draining your life force and affecting your sanity.
Ask yourself, who or what am I trying to control in my life? Take an honest inventory of your behaviors.
Overcome Control issues
You cannot control anyone’s behavior but your own. But you can set limits and boundaries for what you will and won’t accept in your life. You can’t be hitching your wagon to someone with out-of-control behaviors; as the term indicates, you cannot control the uncontrollable. Also, it would be best if you detached from any outcomes. Start with you.
What will you allow? Draw a line in the sand.
Let go of control of other people’s behavior, and work on yourself. Either they will catch on, or they won’t.
And stop worrying about how they’ll react to your boundaries; it’s not for them to decide what you’ll tolerate; that bit is in your court.
4. Take Things Too Personally (Easily Offended)
Are you a sensitive soul? Your tendency to take things too personally and be easily offended really gets in the way of setting boundaries. Why do we care so darn much about what others think of us? It brings us back to the control issue. We cannot control what others think or say about us.
Being sensitive is both a blessing and a curse. On the positive side, it makes us empathic and caring towards the feelings of others. On the flip side, you may take things too much to heart, which means you get easily offended. All of this contributes to difficulty when setting boundaries. You’re worried about ‘what they’ll say,’ so you say nothing.
Don’t take it personally; there may be pushback when you lay down a boundary.
It’s time to be sensitive to your own needs, desires, and wants.
There is no shame in standing in your power and being your authentic self; it’s gloriously freeing. Try it on for size.
Procrastination is a habit of avoiding what needs to be done. And quite simply, it’s holding you back on many levels.
Are you waiting for the perfect time to set boundaries?
The conditioned self-thoughts are: it’s not the right time to set boundaries with him/her. You are waiting for the perfect time and circumstance that never comes, which puts your boundary setting on the back burner.
Being able to overcome procrastination sounds daunting.
But, it’s an excuse reinforced by your conditioned self that wants to protect you. Deep down, you’re afraid to set boundaries for fear of the other person’s reaction. This feeds into the same behavior, and nothing will change until you bravely decide to step into your power and take courageous action.
Kick Procrastination to the Curb
News flash: if you are waiting for the “perfect time” to set a boundary, it’s a huge red flag that one needs to be set pronto (in fact, it’s probably long overdue)! The time to stop with the excuses is NOW.
One of the best ways to overcome procrastination is by practicing starting rituals. Often when we begin something, we automatically keep going. So, choose one boundary you want to set and start with that one -- only. Ease into it, and before you know it, you will permanently kick procrastination to the curb.
Setting Boundaries Finding Peace
Only YOU can establish and clearly express your preferences, limits, and boundaries. Nobody else will do it for you. You can choose to stay stuck or take action to redefine the quality of your life. Less strife, more peace; it can be yours!
What are your deal breakers?
Setting healthy boundaries will create an abiding peace in your life. You are worthy of such a life. Begin your boundary-setting journey today!
Need help to get started?
Be sure to read Why Setting Healthy Boundaries is the Cornerstone of Self-Care; it will help you gain the clarity needed to begin your boundary journey.
If you’d prefer one-on-one guidance, just fill out the contact me form below.
Working with a coach to help you through the process can be instrumental to your success. Having someone who you trust, guide you, and hold you accountable will give you the courage and confidence to stand in your power. It takes consistency and a steadfast commitment on your part to create and follow through with the boundaries you want to put in place.
Setting boundaries finding peace will lead to a more joyful life and emotional wellness!
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