Have you ever said yes when you really meant “no”, and you absolutely regretted it later?
Many incredible women ask, “How do I set healthy boundaries? I take care of everyone else (my work, my spouse, my parents, my children, etc.) and I’m putting myself on the back burner…”
Even professional women who are in positions of leadership can have a difficult time setting strong boundaries! But as an empowering, divinely radiant woman, firm boundaries are a part of creating a healthy life you deserve.
So today, we’re going to talk about three little ways you can stand up for yourself and set healthy boundaries (and still love the natural kindness and generosity within you).
What are Healthy Boundaries?
Healthy boundaries are safe, loving, nurturing, and kind. In turn, they protect your energy from draining away into other people and situations. They are the foundation for healthy relationships with yourself and others.
Personal boundaries also help us to be more present than ever before! When you set healthy boundaries, you’re able to be truly in the moment. You’ll feel less drained emotionally and physically because you won’t be carrying around so much spiritual weight. And you’ll feel more confident and self-assured about living the life you were meant to live!
Here are some examples of healthy boundaries:
- Saying no to things that drain you emotionally and physically, such as:
- Spending money impulsively.
- Eating unhealthy foods.
- Working too much.
- Staying up late.
- Being distracted by social media or anything else that takes you away from enjoying your own life or the lives of others.
- Being honest and speaking up with friends and family members when they ask you to do something you know will be hard, uncomfortable, or stressful for you.
- Communicating with your spouse, friend, child, parent, sibling, or anyone else you love when they’ve hurt you, upset you, or made you angry. It helps to share these experiences with someone you trust so it doesn’t fester inside of you over time.
- Not letting other people make decisions for you, simply because they’re older or seem wiser than you.
- Taking responsibility for your life, including making choices that support your health and well-being.
The Result of Unhealthy/Weak Boundaries
Healthy boundaries help us develop a sense of self-care. They allow us to prioritize ourselves and our needs, so we don’t over commit or overextend ourselves.
When we don’t set healthy boundaries, we often put other people’s needs ahead of our own.
And when we have too many commitments, we feel overwhelmed and express signs of burnout faster.
It could also increase your tolerance for toxic relationships and cause personal relationships to crumble. It’s important to set limits so that you’re able to focus on what matters most to you.
And when you do, you’ll find yourself more radiant, productive, and healthy!
To help you remember how to set healthy boundaries, we’ll follow this acronym:
Y – “You Are Your Highest Authority”
E – “Energize Yourself First”
S – “Serve Yourself”
Let’s go over each one together!
Recognize Yourself as the Highest Authority
The first step in creating personal boundaries is recognizing that you are the highest authority of yourself, your life, and your truth.
Y stands for “YOU.”
You are the highest authority of your life. Only you live in your skin, only you know when your “yes” is “yes” and when your “no” is “no”.
You decide how much to give where you feel like you’re fully expressed and making a difference, but also where that limit or line is drawn as well. If you over-extend or over-give (yes, that’s a thing!) you’ll feel depleted and experience life like you’re living on fumes.
Set Healthy Boundaries to Release Weight (Emotional & Physical)
Now, it’s one thing to know you’re the highest authority, it’s a whole other thing to really begin to speak your truth, know your truth, and really live from that truth.
Which leads us to our second letter and our second step: The letter E stands for “Energize yourself first.”
That could mean to make sure that when you’re making food for your whole family, that you make your serving first. For instance, if you decide to eat healthy, but you’re making pizza for the family, set aside a healthy snack alternative just for you.
It could also mean that when you’re looking at your calendar, you don’t just fill it with activities for everything else (like your team, business, and loved ones) and making sure all of their needs are met.
Look for opportunities in your calendar to include activities that get you moving and bring you aliveness!
You could meditate at your local park, hike one of your neighborhood trails, or dance like no one’s watching in your own living room.
It’s important to be mindful about where your energy goes. You may not realize that you’re spending time doing things for others that aren’t aligned with your own goals, values or health.
In fact, you’ll likely find that it’s much easier to release weight when you come from a place of self-love and care.
Remember, healthy boundaries aren’t “restrictions.” They empower you to make healthy choices.
And the healthier choices you make, the more you choose the version of yourself that’s vibrant, confident, and whole!
Boundaries Improve Our Relationships and Self-Esteem
The letter S in our acronym (Y.E.S.) stands for “Serve yourself in the center of your circle.”
We’ll go right into an exercise to illustrate this point:
Draw a circle on a piece of paper, which represents your life.
Now take a moment to consider all the things that go on in life like your family time, your romantic partner, maybe even a business.
Then, inside of this circle, draw out how big of a slice each one of those things take. Once you draw out your pie chart, I invite you to ask yourself this question:
Where inside of this circle, do I fit?
Oftentimes, your needs, health, and wellbeing turn out to be a small sliver of that pie.
Now, put yourself in the center of this circle.
I invite you to imagine a teacup. We want to have the teacup full so that it’s overflowing and you’re serving all of these pies from a cup that’s overflowing, not from one that’s depleted.
When you pour into yourself first, you’ll be even more empowered to give love, support, encouragement, and positivity to what’s most important to you.
And as you serve yourself in the center of the circle, you’ll see that your relationships improve, your self-esteem improves, and you’re able to be the best version of yourself.
So, to recap: You are the highest authority. Only you know what is right for you and what you need.
The second is to Energize yourself first.
The third is to Serve yourself by putting yourself in the center of your circle.And ultimately, serving yourself means saying “yes” when you mean “yes,” and “no” when you mean “no.”
If you go through these three things on your own, but still find it difficult to set healthy boundaries, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Sometimes the best way to release unhealthy boundaries is having outside support in identifying them and replacing them.
Let me tell you a quick little story to illustrate this from my client, Linda.
It’s Okay to Ask for Assistance or Support in Setting Healthy Boundaries
One of my clients, Linda, was so distraught during one of our Q&A calls in my Vibrant Healthy Women Coaching Program.
(For context, this is a program I created to support incredible women and help them generate the results that they would love.)
Linda lives in the U.S.A. and celebrates Thanksgiving the last Thursday in November with family and traditional food like turkey.
She came to the call really sad because she was grieving that she didn’t feel like she could ever have the Thanksgiving she always wanted.
So, I asked her to pause and share what her dream Thanksgiving would look like.
She said, “Well, I can’t do that because my sister always hosts, and everybody expects everybody to go to my sister’s house. And this is just the way it is and it’s always that way.”
I said, “Well, press pause on that belief that your family is the highest authority. What if you were the highest authority? For a moment, if you were the highest authority and you chose to energize yourself this Thanksgiving first, what would your dream Thanksgiving look like?
If you were to allow yourself to say “yes” to your true “yes” and say “no” to what is no longer serving you’, what would that be? What would that look like?”
Linda was able to tell me very clearly: “I want to host Thanksgiving once at my house. I would love to make the full meal and I would love to have everybody come over.”
“What’s stopping you from really knowing what your yes is, knowing what would most energize you, and really trusting that you are the highest authority of your Thanksgivings?” I asked her. “You could do whatever you would love to do at the end of the day.
“And really, instead of putting the opinion and approval of your family as the highest authority, you get to put your higher self – your relationship with your higher being – as the highest authority and dream this up.”
That’s when I taught her one more powerful Brave Thinking tool: the F.I.N.O. invitation. It’s another acronym that stands for:
Feel Invited, Not Obligated.
So I said in advance, create in your mind what you would love and set a date for when that would be.
Practice Setting Boundaries in Difficult Conversations
I continued, “It doesn’t even have to be on Thanksgiving Day, unless you want it to be on Thanksgiving. It could be a week before Thanksgiving, as to not compete with the traditional Thanksgiving that always happens. You could have it the week before or on a weekend.
“And you could say, ‘You know what, Family? I have a dream. And my dream is I would love to host a Thanksgiving meal at my house…’ and you describe it to them. ‘I’m going to be having a meal with my son. And if it’s just the two of us, great, but I would really love to see more of you. And I would love it if you would come.’
“As a result, you’re putting out an invitation, not an obligation.”
Now, the other aspect here is it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be an ultimatum where she says yes to herself only, but no to the other things.
If Linda still wanted to go to her sister’s event, she could still create and offer Thanksgiving the way she dreamt up. She’s just simply putting it out there saying, “This is what I would love.” It can be a “both, and.”
Ultimately, she put her wants, needs and desires in the center of her circle.
Realize that it Takes Practice and Patience
Setting healthy boundaries and saying “no” can feel out of character, especially if you’re known to be kind, generous, and nurturing.
But the truth is, strong boundaries are perfectly aligned with incredible, professional women because it empowers you to be kind, generous, and nurturing to your own needs and desires. It’s a “both, and” relationship rather than an “either/or”.
You can have strong boundaries and take care of your needs while nurturing your relationships with others.
And as a result of pouring into yourself, you’ll create an overflow of positive energy that trickles down to everything else in your life!
Plus, as you develop strong boundaries, you’ll also be able to say “no” to habits that keep unwanted weight on and prioritize the activities that will support your emotional and physical weight release.
So, as you learn to say “yes!” to yourself more often, I’d like to offer you a gift to help you release the things that no longer serve you:
Download your free “Love Your Body Weight Loss Meditation“!
Inside, I’ll guide you through a mediation that will brighten, refresh, and rejuvenate you in just minutes. Not only will this guided meditation re-program limiting beliefs & inner blocks that sabotage your health habits, but it’ll increase self-love, worthiness and body confidence from the inside out!
Take this moment as an invitation to live fully expressed, fully loved, and fully YOU!
To saying “yes” to a life you love,
Jennifer Joy Jiménez