How To Feel And Show Up Like You Belong

belief system burnout mode impostor syndrome inner voice subconscious programming success checklists Mar 27, 2024
With Clarity & Purpose | Sense Of Belonging


Sometimes, we struggle so much to please everyone or try to fit in a certain community that we lose ourselves in the process. When it comes to proving what we can do, it must not involve losing our sense of belonging and getting into the trap of imposter syndrome. Yanet Borrego is here to share how to reclaim your power and avoid the emotional burnout caused by over-performing. Tune in as she explains how to unleash your unique superpower that allows you to foster a sense of belonging from within, which leads to a meaningful and authentic life.

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How To Feel And Show Up Like You Belong

This episode is all about reclaiming your power. It's all about fostering a sense of belonging from within. I've worked with many high-achieving women. Almost all of them struggle with feeling that they don't belong, finding sometimes that connection between the external world and the internal world. Many times this manifests as imposter syndrome, overperforming, overdoing, and overpleasing to the point of burnout. I saw this in corporate for many women that I mentored and coached when I was there. I see this now as an entrepreneur. I've gone through it myself.

It's such an important topic to tackle and to talk more about because I truly believe that my perspective is one that is not shared often. Not from me, but a lot of people don't necessarily express this perspective because sometimes may be one of those unpopular opinions. I'm here with you to make sure I add value to you and that whatever I bring you through these episodes is going to uplevel you and empower you to the next level. I was preparing for this episode. I was looking at statistics in EY survey. EY is a consulting company.

They found that more than 40% of US respondents, the people who answered the survey, reported feeling physically and emotionally isolated in the workplace. This includes men and women, but based on my perspective on a lot of studies I've read, including one from Accenture, women struggle a lot more with this. It's important that we talk about it. These percentages are based on the workplace, but even in entrepreneurship, it's a very lonely journey to take on at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. It can be very lonely because you're creating and crafting your own path. I think this is something that I experienced earlier on in my entrepreneurship journey.

I’m going to teach you all of the concepts and strategies so you can implement them. These are things that I continue applying every single day. These are things that remind me and humble me to go back to the foundation and the basis. Whenever you foster this sense of belonging within you, and you're not relying 100% on the external environment to provide you that fulfillment, grounding, and belonging, then you start truly creating an empowered path different than the history that you have repeated in the past.

We are here to also transition from being in survival mode to being creators of our own reality. Many times in these situations, you may feel hopeless and powerless compared to the outside environment, you don't have a choice and you don't have any power of decision. I'm here to remind you of your true power because it doesn't matter what the circumstance is. You always have a choice. Whenever we forget that we always have a choice, it doesn't matter what it is. That's when we fall into this pattern of powerlessness. A lot of people, men and women, but mainly women, struggle with feeling not connected, that they don't belong and they are not enough.

Search For Belongingness

I remember this happened to me very intensely and very consistently. It happens, but in waves. It happens when something is going on in my life, but not consistently. There was a moment in time when I felt consistently like I didn't belong. This was when I started working in corporate as a chemical engineer. Even though I had every success factor that everyone told me to pursue, I felt completely disconnected from myself and the environment that I was in. I remember at the beginning of this journey not knowing what was going on because for the last five years and a half of school, internships, getting good grades, and following this success checklist, I had a vision of accomplishing what at that moment I had finished to accomplish.

At that moment I thought, “This is it. I'm going to feel amazing. I have the rest of my life figured out.” At that moment when I got to the mountain top, I looked around and realized that I had a blunt convo, and I didn't know myself, but I didn't know this at that time. What I remember feeling was, “I don't belong here. With the people that I work with, I feel excluded, unfulfilled, and empty.” This happened within the first few months. I started asking myself about, “Why is this happening to me?” There were a series of events, and I shared this in a couple of my episodes and interviews, where I kept tolerating that internal pain, and I kept ignoring that inner voice. I ended up having a panic attack because I was in full burnout mode. I was burning out completely.

As a chemical engineer wherever I was, was not aligned with my values. I didn't know what my values were until that panic attack triggered me to prioritize myself. What the panic attack taught me also was to stop relying on my external environment to give me that sense of fulfillment. Don't get me wrong, your environment can create a positive influence on you, but when you let yourself be fully controlled by your environment, then you are giving up your power because you are way more powerful than that. At that moment, I remember thinking, “I just finished my Chemical Engineering degree. I started this new job. I'm a new hire. I am from the University of Puerto Rico, a university that is not very well known. I have an accent. I'm very different than the people around here. These people are coming from MIT and Georgia Tech. I felt like a fish out of water.”

I remember thinking when I had this panic attack, I had to go inside of me and stop relying on all of these people to make me feel good. I have to reclaim my power, go back, foster, and create that sense of belonging, “I'm equal,” I'm as important as everyone else and it doesn't matter where I come from, but I have as much value to give to the world as anyone else. The panic attack forced me to look inward and stop relying on my boss and coworkers. To be honest with you, when I looked around me, everyone else was unhappy, tolerating their lives, complaining, and not many people were doing much about it.

I understand that this is a challenging situation. I'm not blaming anyone, but to me, in that case, I had to reach that drug bottom, that crisis for me to finally wake up and realize that the power was never outside of me. The power was always within me. I had never learned until that moment how to connect with the creator within myself. I thought that I was the victim of that environment, circumstance, and choices from the past. My wish for you and all my coaching clients, and I have many coaching clients that struggle with this, I've struggled with this myself, is to never, ever let yourself be victimized by anything or anyone that you always truly remember that you have a choice and that you are a creator of your reality. You always have a different way to look at things or a different way to decide.


Never let yourself be victimized by anything or anyone. You always have a choice. You are the creator of your own reality.


Belief System And Subconscious Programming

When I started going through this introspection and this process of getting to know myself, defining my values of fostering this belief system, these emotions that were backing up, that sense of belonging, that I didn't need to wait for anyone else to tell me, “Great job,” give me great feedback or tell me, “Do you need a day off?” or anything like that. When I started tapping into that power, that's when things started changing.

I'm telling you this because many times we put a lot of power into the external, system, coworkers and boss. I've had some challenging bosses and in everything, even in entrepreneurship, people that I've worked with. I mean, everything. In those moments I go top subconsciously sometimes to victim mode. Through that moment I realized that I was suffering and that I had to remind myself who is the creator of this reality myself.

I always have a choice. Now, the most aligned choices are the hardest ones to take. There is a process of also having the courage to make decisions that align with your values, and intentions and that are integrity within yourself. I would say that's your life's work to operate in integrity with yourself. That's the hardest piece because sometimes we have many subconscious self-sabotaging patterns to people please to want to be accepted. How can we be accepted by the external world if we don't accept ourselves? Whenever I was feeling that way, I wasn't showing up as equal in the rooms. I wasn't showing up like I belonged in the rooms. I wasn't speaking up in some meetings because I thought my accent disqualified me. I needed to truly work on my internal world. When I did that, the external world started aligning with who I was.

When I did that, I started seeing a different reality that I was surrounded by. I started seeing a line of opportunities everywhere. This is very important because as a coach, I specialized in subconscious programming because honestly, 95% of who you are is subconscious. It's a memorized set of behaviors, beliefs, and feelings that you have been repeating over and over. In order to create different results, you have to hijack that subconscious programming for you to align to the identity that you want to align and start creating results. The subconscious is very important because the subconscious mind is your goal-getter. You set a goal consciously, “I want to go there. I want to lose 20 pounds. I want to create six figures in my business. I want to finally speak up and set boundaries.” Those are conscious desires. You want it. There is an intention, but you end up self-sabotaging yourself.

Why? Subconsciously you don't believe that you're capable of that. Subconsciously you don't feel that you are enough, accepted within yourself, or even worthy of being loved. That's why it's important to align your subconscious programming with your conscious desires because whatever you're focusing on subconsciously, sometimes you don't even know because there are blind spots. You start experiencing if you are like, “I don't belong.” You feel consistently that way, believe me, your mind is a mega computer. You're going to find the evidence that that belief is true. Even if the opposite evidence is in front of you, you are not going to see it.

I always give this example around finding your car keys. Have you ever been in a rush and you want to leave home? You are in a rush and you're like, “I'm late.” You keep asking yourself, “Where are my car keys?” You look in your purse. You look in front of you, “Where are my car keys? They're not there. I cannot find them.” You keep feeding yourself, “I can't find them. They are not there,” and you don't find them until someone else points out that they were in your purse, in front of you at all times, or you even realize that kids were in front of you at all times and you didn't see them because you were feeding your subconscious mind that you couldn't find them. Therefore, your subconscious mind deletes the information in front of you.

I show a powerful video to all of my coaching clients illustrating this concept, and they are always in awe of how their subconscious mind can delete or distort information in order to back up their belief systems. You have the most powerful computer within you, but this computer needs programming. The most powerful computer within you is a subconscious mind, but it needs to be programmed in order for you to get the desired results. That's what I love. That's what I've studied because I realized that a lot of the coaching and a lot of the mentorship's highly conscious, “If you want to lose weight, why you don't lose it?” It's not as easy as that.


There is a bigger component within you that takes 95% of everything that happens in your internal world, that is your subconscious mind, that also needs to align to that goal and result. I do a lot of that with several modalities of Neurolinguistic Programming. I use meditation, and hypnosis, and it's highly effective.

Private Coaching

If this episode resonates with you, I invite you to work with me in my private one-on-one coaching. It is a six-month container where I help you go from playing small, not believing in yourself, struggling with the imposter syndrome, inconsistency, and indecisiveness to having the clarity, confidence, and courage to follow through with your dreams. When you work with me as a private client, the first thing we do is guide you through an in-depth breakthrough session where we get very clear all of the blind spots that have been preventing you from achieving your goals. We become aware of those and we release them at the subconscious level with proven techniques.

I provide you with accountability, and I'm like a GPS for you to find the resources and answers that are already within you because you are powerful. Kim, one of my coaching clients said, “Through working with Yanet, I've been able to radically shift my mindset in a way I never thought was possible. Each day I wake up feeling excited about my future and believing in my potential.” If you're ready to believe in your potential, take action, and see progress with all of your dreams and goals you have been delaying, this is your time. I invite you to schedule a clarity call. I cannot wait to meet you. See you soon.

Women Empowerment

Going back to a story, whenever I started doing this inner work that takes to get to the point where you want to feel like you belong, that's when my external world felt totally different and very supportive. It is Women's History Month. March 8th was Women's International Day, which I think is powerful. I posted something on social media. I wanted to share part of it with you because it is very much related to this concept of, “Do not wait for the environment to change in order for you to make a shift that you know is aligned with you. Do not wait for the environment to change in order for you to show up as equal or show up as you belong. Do not give that power away to the environment.”

Whenever you put that power back in you, empowerment relates to that, whenever you reclaim that power, that's the only time when you start changing your environment, not the opposite way. Sometimes we want the environment to change so we feel happy, good, supported, and a sense of belonging. If you don't work all of those things within you, you may be in the most supportive environment and you still may not feel like that.

That is why it's important to do the inner work. I say that this is an unpopular opinion because let me tell you, it's very easy to blame your environment. It's very easy to victimize yourself because I've done it. It's very easy. If you continue going through that route, and if you have done it in the past, you know what I'm talking about, you are going to create more suffering. You are going to impact your confidence, self-worth, and self-respect tremendously because you start feeling again like you don't have any power, like you're the victim of circumstances. That's the worst place to be in.


It is easy to blame your environment or victimize yourself. If you continue going down that route, you will only create more suffering.


I'm going to share this with you. This is the initial part, which I love, I was very proud of myself. I was creative that morning. It's about Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks was the one who stood up whenever Black people were being excluded. She stood up and she ignited the Civil Rights Movement. I'm going to explain why in a second. I said in this post that I want to share with you because it's that powerful, Rosa Parks didn't wait for the system to change in order to show up as equal. She showed up as an equal when she refused a boss to give up her seat to a White man, then the system started aligning with her level of self-respect and self-worth.

Rosa Parks said, “Enough is enough,” whenever she said that, it ignited the Civil Rights system, then things started aligning with that sense of equality and belonging. Something within herself ignited first, and she started showing up that way. like Gandhi says, “We got to be the change we desire to see in the world.” Now, let's be honest, there are not many Rosa Parks, and that's why I am sharing this with you if you're here reading this, it's all because you want to feel empowered.

You want to create your own reality. You can be a Rosa Parks, not like Rosa Parks specifically because you are your own power, but you can be that person who doesn't wait for an environment to change in order to show up in that room like you belong, to speak up in that room, like you add value, like you can take up space and it's going to be okay. I think it is important to share because many times we don't feel like that. We question ourselves, which by the way, questioning yourself is totally natural, and not every day we are going to feel empowered and super powerful, but we can remind ourselves to go back to the foundation, which is this one, to go back to the basics. We can reclaim our power because life has never been a linear path, and I never will be.

There are many curves, many layers, and complexities. I think if we continue applying the foundation and the basics of, “Everything starts with yourself. Do not wait for anyone to tell you your potential.” I remember this story. I used to work for a company where once you get hired, they define your potential. They say, “This person has the potential to be the CEO. This person has the potential to be the highest. This person will go as a manager.” For example, you would get ranked instead of in terms of potential. They wouldn't tell it to you. It was in the system.

I remember I had this mentor. She was a manager. Someone in in confidentiality told her what her potential was, which by the way, she was not supposed to know her potential. This is something that you usually don't reveal to employees in this company. She was told what her potential was and she was pissed. She came back to wherever I was sitting. She's like, “I was told that my potential is this. Let me tell you, no one gets to define my potential.”

I always remember this story because it's such a simple story, but such a powerful one in the sense that no one, but you gets to define your potential and how far you are going to go. This goes back to you putting the time, effort, and energy into doing that inner work. I shared this on LinkedIn, and then later on I shared many facts related to Women's History Month. For example, I shared women were not allowed to publish books under their name until the 1840s, which is crazy.

Men had all the right to publish books, but many women didn't even receive an education. One of them that always surprises people, it wasn't until 1974 that women were granted the right to have bank accounts and credit cards in their name. 1974 was yesterday. It wasn't until that day that women were granted the right to have bank accounts and credit cards under their name. No wonder why there is much baggage on women related to not being enough.

For the longest time, we have been suppressed in many ways. There have been tons of progress and there is still a lot of progress to make. I shared in that post next that the gender pay gap still exists. Women earn 82% of what men earn in 2022, and mothers are less likely to be hired known in research as the motherhood penalty. Fathers are likely to earn more known as a fatherhood bonus. Less than 20% of the world's land is owned by women. You can hear all these facts and be like, “This system is messed up. I'm raising my hand. This is not fair.

Do you know why the system has changed? Because people like Rosa Parks exist, people who created change within themselves, and then that change is a trickle effect, is a ripple effect to the world. That's what I'm saying. Let's not spend more energy blaming the system because these are things that are going to take years or time to change, but the most impactful change you can make is one of you showing up like you deserve that money. The gender pay gap still exists. Women earn 82% of what men earn in 2022.

Knowing this as a woman, negotiate more, and ask for more because we are in power. Reading this, I would hate women to think, “That's why I don't earn enough.” If you don't earn enough, go out there to the market and find a system. Negotiate with your job first if you love it. I've known many women that have seen salaries from men and they're like, “Hmm,” negotiated with their jobs and they got an increase because they know it's not fair. Should that have happened in the first place? Of course not. As women, we have to be the first advocates for ourselves.

If the system is not supporting you, change the company, the system, the clients, and the person that you're working with. If you're an entrepreneur. Do not wait for the system to be fair. Do not wait for the person that you're working with to be great and fair to you. Start working on that sense of self-worth, and self-respect first and you'll see how you're going to shop differently in very powerful ways because awareness of these facts is important.


History informs us in many ways we don't repeat hopefully the past, but that the past doesn't have to define our present or future. It informs it so we make wiser decisions, more empowered decisions, but we don't have to keep repeating the past over and over. Saying that we are responsible as men and women for healing from our generational package, our past history, and our wounds so we can start showing up differently. I would never want any of you, my clients, or anyone to be victimized by anyone or anything. You always have a choice for the whole purpose. My being here is to remind you who you truly are so you can reclaim that power.

Dealing With Consequences

We can't enter rooms where decisions are being made with the idea that we are at a disadvantage because then we start showing up like that. If you enter a room thinking, “I'm at a disadvantage. No one is going to hear me,” you're going to start showing up like that. You're not going to speak up, you're not going to be authentic. We have to enter spaces and rooms like we belong and we are equal because we are. We have to work on that sense of belonging within ourselves first. It’s super important. One of my mentors, when I was sharing this post with him, he's amazing, I love him so much. He's good because he's authentic and he operates integrity within himself. He said, “There are consequences to sometimes speaking up to sometimes being authentic,” which is true.

Rosa Parks's consequence was going to jail, and then there was a way more positive consequence after that. Here's the question for you. The consequences that we face in our day to day are not going to jail. The irony here is that fear is going to be there, but we don't have to let that fear define who we are. Whenever I had that panic attack in my corporate job, after I got clarity within myself of who I was, I decided to ask for a two-month leave of absence. I need space because I need space for my physical health and mental health, and this is not supporting it right now. Was that courageous? Totally. Mainly in that company that was not seen as a good thing to do in your career.

 That was seen as a career killer. Not only that, I said, “Whenever I come back from a leave of absence, I want to consider an organization and I want to change to that organization.” Another second step that was considered a career killer for me. At that moment, I was willing to face any consequence because I had to ask myself this question, “Am I okay with the consequence of disappointing people and disappointing others over the consequence of losing myself?” When you don't foster this sense of belonging, and authenticity and that it's safe for you to be you, you have two options. You're going to face consequences in terms of disappointing others. That's one or two. If you continue going the way you may be going, you are going to face the consequence of losing yourself with a lot of rock bottom, crises, and a lot of painful challenges too.

I've learned that the consequence of losing yourself is way worse than the consequence of disappointing others because we can't avoid disappointing others. It's going to be okay. As long as you are doing things with a service mindset, meaning doing things out of love, out of wanting to do the right thing, and as long as you're operating in integrity with yourself and you want to do the right thing from your heart, that's the right thing to do. That's the right choice. There is no more to question. You got to go for it. Is it scary? Yes, all aligned decisions are very scary, but you cannot face the consequences of losing yourself. It's important to remind this, how to foster this sense of belonging.

Some Valuable Advice

We covered a lot of this during this episode in stories, but I want to remind you of several key things. You have to listen to yourself first. You have to learn how to develop that sense of respect within yourself, and that is listening to yourself. What is your body telling you? What is your mind and soul telling you? What feels misaligned? That's data for you, and we want to make sure we make data-driven decisions. Your feelings are data. Do not discount them because they are not hard data or objective. Reality is not objective at all. Everything is objective, including research. It is objective. You can find on the internet two different types of research with data and all of the good stuff that proves opposite things. It's highly subjective to the human eye too. When you listen to yourself, ask yourself what would you need that is within your control to feel like you belong. What information do you need from yourself to understand what you need to feel that you belong?

The journey is inward. You have to understand what is triggering that lack of sense of belonging and what is within your control that you can do right away to feel that you belong and start being like a scientist. Start collecting data. Start learning about yourself. That's the most important project that you can have in your life. Learning about yourself.

The second one is to focus on what you want. This sounds simple. You're like, “That's obvious. Cool, thank you,” but it's not as simple as it sounds. Most people are focusing on what they don't want all the time, and therefore they keep seeing that. Like the example I gave of, “I don't find my keys. My keys are not here,” and the keys were in front of you at all times. Focus on what you want. Collect data that you belong to from your past experiences and present experiences. Find evidence and stack that evidence that you belong, that you're equal, that you're enough.


Most people focus on what they don’t want all the time. Therefore, they keep seeing only that.


Repeat every day to you, “I belong. I love myself.” Create this routine for you to continue strengthening that sense of belonging within yourself. You can start showing up like that even if the environment does not support that, that's the most empowering thing to do. The third one and it's one that I didn't talk much about, but I think it is important to give what you want to receive. What is within your control? Create for others that environment where they can feel that they belong because whenever we are focusing on, “I don't belong. I'm not enough,” we start creating that environment that others don't belong because everything that we are projecting mentally, emotionally and energetically is that. You are focusing on what you don't want and therefore, it's draining your energy.


When you start giving what you want to receive, you start energizing yourself. You start creating that difference. You start attracting the opportunities and the people that operate at that frequency. I always tell my clients who don't believe me, “Practice and see what happens. Get your own data.” The last one, which is a consequence of doing this inner work, speak up about your needs, values, and what you need. For most people struggling with imposter syndrome or even not feeling a sense of belonging, there is a big gap between who they think they need to be and who they truly are. I want you to lean towards your authenticity and start experimenting with speaking up. I've seen this in many clients, and sometimes we are afraid to have a conversation with a person, to speak up, or to have boundaries, and a lot of it is in our heads because whenever they have that conversation, they realize how great it was, one.


If you are struggling with impostor syndrome, lean towards your authenticity and start experimenting.


Two, how it fostered a better relationship with the people around them because the whole purpose of speaking up on boundaries is to create healthier relationships. 3) People want to be closer to them. They feel that energy and they want to be like, “I want more of that energy.” It sounds counterintuitive, but it's not. When you are speaking up and creating boundaries from your heart with kindness and assertiveness at the same time, pick up when you need to, and it's a practice. Sometimes I'm still nervous about speaking up or creating boundaries, but when you develop a sense of, “I need to be in integrity with myself, I need to embody courage,” by the way, if you didn't know the word courage, it comes from Latin, which comes from the heart. Courage is operating from the heart.

Closing Words

When you do that 1) You feel amazing because every time you do something courageous, it feels empowering, but 2) You are going to see how you are going to be creating deeper, more meaningful, healthier, and better relationships. I hope this episode was super impactful for you. If you found it helpful and empowering, please share it with your friends and family, and let's start this self-mastery revolution of creating change from the inside out. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope to connect with you next episode. Bye-Bye.


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