The One Reason Why Setting Boundaries Feels So Hard And What To Do About It

boundary communicate your boundaries honor your needs and wants improve relationship integrity self-respect Apr 23, 2024
With Clarity & Purpose | Setting Boundaries


Setting boundaries is essential for self-care and developing healthy, fulfilling relationships. It allows you to live your life on your terms and show yourself the respect you deserve. In this episode, Yanet Borrego tackles the one key reason why setting boundaries feels so difficult and equips you with tools to overcome it. You'll discover the importance of respecting both your own boundaries and those of others. Ready to experience better connections and less burnout? Yanet shares a practical framework for communicating boundaries with kindness and clarity. Tune in today and learn the steps to take control of your time, energy, and interactions!


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The One Reason Why Setting Boundaries Feels So Hard And What To Do About It

Welcome to another episode of the With Clarity and Purpose podcast. I am super grateful and super honored to be here with you today talking about one of the most important topics when it comes to confidence courage when it comes to self-empowerment and living our truth. This topic is about boundaries. Today's episode is about the number one reason why setting boundaries feels so hard and why so many times we just don't speak up and what you can do about it.

The Importance Of Boundaries

If you have been listening to this podcast for a while, you know that I'm all about actionable strategies. I’m all about putting this concept into action so you can create a life with clarity, confidence, and courage so you can go after what you want unapologetically. I wanted to start this podcast episode with the story and of whenever I transition back in the day. This was back in 2015. I had transitioned from a role in my corporate job where I was doing engineering. I was in manufacturing on-call 24/7 non-stop.

I had transitioned to supply chain because it was much more aligned with the vision that I had back in the day that one day I was going to become a full-time coach and speaker, which thankfully is my reality right now. Back in the day, it was a dream. It was an aspiration. I'm moving from engineering to supply chain was very much aligned to that vision. I had moved to these new apartments with new people. Of course, I was in a position where I had to learn new skills because engineering and supply chain/procurement are very different.

These are more commercial skills, and more people skills, but that's what I love because I'm a people person. Right? I had moved from engineering to supply chain. Again, new skills, new people, new organization. When you are in that position, you always have this pressure of building the credibility of making sure that they know that even though you don't know the supply chain, you know the industry, you know your field and you're willing to put in the hard work to learn right?

I had transitioned. Then I think it was like a month after, I was taking a one-week vacation because I was getting my first certification as a coach, as leadership coach under the young Maxwell team. Again, this was back in 2015. I had taken this vacation time and I remember I was in this event getting certified attending activities putting in the work and the second day of vacation, I made the mistake of opening up my work email. At that moment, I had two phones, which I hated by the way, one was my personal one and one was my work phone.

How I hated that. I needed to have two phones charged, two phones read, two phones everything and I'm a very practical person. I'm fine with one phone. But anyway, I made the mistake of checking my email, and my supervisor back then did that same thing, he had sent me an email requesting me to do something and I was on vacation. I just remember feeling this pressure. I'm feeling this stress bubble up because I wanted to make sure I over-delivered. I wanted to make sure he knew I was there to put in the work, but at the same time I had this opposing thought of this is my vacation time.

He shouldn't be requesting anything. This is my time off because I worked really hard and I had come from another environment which is manufacturing which I wasn't called 24/7. I was getting calls at 2:00 AM because there was an environmental release in the refinery. I was getting calls on the weekends. I was working at least 12 hours a day. It was just like crazy. I remember once I left that manufacturing environment. I told myself as I’m aligning with my biggest vision, I want to make sure that I take every single vacation day in my corporate job moving forward.

I want to make sure that I honor my needs and wants because, at the end of the day, I'm the foundation. I had these two opposing views at the moment and I had even more pressure because I was new to the team. I was new to procurement. I was new to supply chain and I just remember sharing with the friends that I had made at the event. This happened. What should I do? They're like, you don't need to answer anything. Just relax. Take your time off. After freaking out for a little bit. I was like, okay, I'm going to honor my boundary.


Make sure to honor your needs and wants because you're the foundation.


I'm going to honor the word I gave to myself and he knows I'm on vacation so he doesn't have to be requesting anything. At that moment I said, I know this is going to be hard because you know as high-achieving women a lot of times we have these people-pleasing patterns. We want to make sure they see we are available. They see we are performing and overperforming. At that moment was such a pattern interrupt for me because I decided to lead with integrity with what I had promised myself and also set that boundary of no sorry. It doesn't matter how many messages or emails you send me, off and I'm going to honor that right?

In the process of battling this self-doubt on people pleasing, which I think is totally normal when you're breaking a pattern from before and you're creating one. It's so important that you don't get tempted by the fear of missing out by the fear of what would they think by the fear of like, “Well, they think I'm not performing.” Again, this was my time off and I was just so proud even though I was so nervous at the moment that I had honored that boundary. Many times we don't respect our own boundaries and we wonder why people are crossing them. I have these amazing clients that I'm working for a second time.

We just finished six months and then we're going to work another six months in a different area of life and every other Friday she has set off in her corporate job. Sometimes or many times, she ends up working on that Friday off. I remember we were having a coaching session about it and she was like these people keep reaching out. It’s my Friday off. They keep putting meetings in my calendar that I have to attend and I asked her, “When you logged into your computer to do this one minor thing that you were going to do, right? Did you leave the light in the chat?” In Messenger, there is a light. If it's green, it means you're available. You can put do not disturb.

You can leave it in red meaning that you're busy. Ideally, if you're not working, you leave it offline. This is my day off. This is my boundary like I'm offline. I'm not available to anyone, but she runs this pattern of living this light green, and therefore, when you leave the light green in your messenger it's a green flag for people to reach out. We coached in this session on her respecting her own boundaries so others could also respect them. If you are saying I don't want to do this, but then your behavior does not match your intention. No wonder why people keep violating your boundaries.


Respect your boundaries so others can also respect them.


No wonder why people keep reaching out. I think one of the hardest things and I think this is one that I'm working on and one that we need to work on a daily basis. It’s us honoring our own words. It’s us when someone is violating our boundaries reflecting, am I respecting the same boundary? Imagine if I had answered that email to my supervisor during vacation, at that moment, I had created a pattern to say, “It's okay to reach out to me during the vacation. I'm available to work.” Thankfully I decided not to do it but that's exactly how we lead other people to violate our boundaries when we don't respect our own. I think that's a foundational step.

Sometimes we are not aware of those things and we feel that people are violating our boundaries and sometimes we need to have this conversation with people and we are so afraid of having direct and honest conversations about our needs and our wants. Honestly, the one thing that prevents people from setting boundaries and why boundaries feel so hard is that many times we associate a negative meaning with boundaries. We associate conflict. We associate disappointing others. We associate us damaging the relationship because we are speaking up for ourselves.

Benefits Of Boundaries

I'm here to change that mindset and you're listening to this because if you're listening to this podcast episode, it means that you want to do better. It means that you want to live in integrity with your wants and needs and you want to speak up freely from the heart in a kind way. Sometimes we tend to associate being direct and clear with being assertive communication. Being an assertive communicator, with not being kind. Those two things are not interrelated. You can be direct, clear, assertive, and kind. You can set boundaries and reinforce boundaries from the heart.

I'm going to tell you why boundaries are opportunities in the form of communication to build and create healthier and happier relationships with ourselves and others. Boundaries are supposed to be this big enabler for healthier relationships for win-win relationships with everyone around us, right? Boundaries is not about conflict and all the negativity that we associate with it. I think we also see this negativity because we are not used to speaking up. We are not used to communicating our needs and wants and after doing four years of one-on-one coaching with high-achieving women.

There is one when we dig deep in the breakthrough session and during coaching. There is this element of not feeling good enough to speak up. Not feeling worthy to speak up to communicate what's important to you. Every time we start working on the wordiness component, when we start releasing limiting beliefs at the subconscious level and just reprogramming our whole mind because beliefs are subconscious. A lot of time you keep asking yourself. I want to communicate the boundaries but I don't do it right when your behavior is not matching the intention.

That's when you know that the subconscious mind is playing a big role. That's why a lot of the tools that I use in coaching, they're all about reprogramming your subconscious mind to create sustainable change. Your behavior can finally match your intention and you can get the results that you desire. You can finally prioritize yourself. You can finally have a healthy romantic relationship. You can finally align your career to your purpose and to what truly lights you up, but it's a process, right? As I mentioned I'm going to tell you how to communicate effectively boundaries so that it's a win-win situation from a heartfelt way from a kind way.

Again, the number one reason I'm going to say this again because it's so important that setting boundaries feels so hard is because we think we are going to damage the relationship instead of improving it. The purpose of boundaries is to improve relationships. Think about it, what would happen if we don't communicate our needs and wants if we don't speak up? We start building so much the same resentment against ourselves and against the other person violating the boundary that we start lacking confidence. We start lacking that self-worth and that ends up damaging the relationship. What do you think boundaries cause why you're afraid of communicating boundaries? It's actually the opposite. Boundaries improve your relationship.


If this podcast resonates with you, I invite you to work with me in my private one-on-one coaching. Private one-on-one coaching is a six-month container where I help you go from plain small, not believing in yourself, struggling with the impostor syndrome, inconsistency, and indecisiveness to actually having the clarity, the confidence, and the courage to follow your dreams. When you work with me as a private client, the first thing we do is I guide you to an in-depth breakthrough session. Where we get very clear on all the blindspots 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 actually find the resources and the answers that are already weaving you because my friends are powerful. Kim, one of my coaching clients said, “Through working with Yanet, I’ve been able to radically shape my mindset in a way I never thought was possible. Each day, I wake up feeling excited about my future and actually 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 delayed. This is your time. I invite you to schedule a Clarity Call. I can not wait to meet you. See you soon.


At times I mean, I've been practicing communicating boundaries for years and years now. The times that I've communicated boundaries that relationship becomes stronger. There is a bigger sense of safety, security, and trust because now the parties in the relationship including yourself, feel confident enough to communicate your feelings, to communicate what is important to you. You feel that the other person is receiving it from a place of love. If I had to choose one word to describe boundaries is love. I mean truly, if you love a person and you want to keep a healthy relationship with that person, you communicate the boundary.


That's why when I'm communicating boundaries or when I'm nervous, it's normal before having a discussion with someone about a boundary they violated, I always think to myself how this is going to be so beneficial for the relationship. What the end goal is? The end goal is not my ego. The end goal is the health of the relationship. As I mentioned, sometimes we are afraid of having honest conversations. Not only that subconsciously, many times we believe we are not worthy of communicating our needs and having our needs met.

Sometimes people cross our boundaries because they are not even aware that it is a boundary for us. That happens. If we don't become good at communicating what's important to us, people may violate our boundaries without the intention of doing it. If we don't speak up, we start building this resentment against them, and is not their fault. We have to assume responsibility and we have to be self-empowered for us to be honest communicators with people. I always think to myself. Why are we so afraid of communicating? I know I get nervous even when I practice these and that I study them.

I get nervous before communicating a boundary because it's such a vulnerable thing to do. Vulnerability can be scary because we are opening up our hearts. If you don't do it, the consequences are way more negative. They are worse for you in the relationship. In this transformational path of self-empowerment that you are, it's important that we avoid making assumptions that people know what we need and what we want. When I coach my clients in romantic relationships, I've seen this about myself.

Sometimes we expect our partners to know exactly what we want, how to do everything, and how to communicate, and we expect them to be super proactive, and thoughtful, and yes, that's nice. Sometimes we just gotta speak up. We have to speak up about what's in our mind and you'll see how communicating boundaries is much easier than what you expect within yourself. Right? We got to practice being little speakers meaning communicating exactly what we need and how to win with us. We want to know how to win with people and relationships are important to us. Why wouldn't we give people that same opportunity?

I coach my clients on setting and enforcing boundaries all the time and before setting the boundary before having the conversation, it's normal to imagine the worst-case scenario. Again, because we are nervous. It's new to us. Even if it's not new to you, it's nerve-wracking because, in your mind, you're like, “Well, I don't know how this person is going to respond. I hope that person responds well.” What I'm telling you with the framework and the steps that I'm going to give you, I’ve used this for years and years and I've coached my clients on these like they have utilized this framework.

There hasn't been a single person who has reacted out of proportion or negatively. A lot of times, this is in our heads. Okay, and let me tell you when they communicate the boundaries in the way that I'm going to share today. Not a single one of my clients has said, “I wish I hadn't communicated that wants that need that boundary.” Everyone is so happy and so proud of themselves when they do it. I feel the same like I said boundaries a couple of times a month depending on what's happening in my romantic relationship with my mom.

My mom lives with me so you can imagine. I mean she's amazing and sometimes she still thinks I am 12 years old. Okay, so I work on this consistently even in my coaching business with the amazing team that I have. Communicating boundaries is all about talking about the expectations, talking about what a win-win situation is. It's normal. It's a normal part of a relationship and of life. We need to normalize this. Yeah, like every client that has set boundaries with this framework, they are just so happy they did it. There is something that they mention every single time.

They always say it went better than what I expected. Not only that, my relationship has significantly improved with this person once I was transparent and honest with them. It really creates a bigger sense of safety and trust because we are just human beings. When we open up our hearts and we are kind and honest, the other person is going to see it. Everything is energy and it's going to improve the relationship significantly. If someone if the worst case scenario happens, okay, and someone is not receptive toward you communicating your needs and asking for you know that respect in a way, that's information to you about that person.

Honestly, I've never had this situation that people have taken badly or they have run away or they have said, “I don't want to talk to you,” like a lot of these things are in our mind. When you communicate boundaries and feedback from a place of love and use the steps that I'm going to teach you in a second, everything goes so much better. Not only that because you spoke up, you feel so good about yourself. You are so proud because you didn't hide, you acted with courage, with kindness in a direct and honest way. I think that's powerful. You overcame your self-sabotaging patterns of self-doubt about people pleasing. That's super important.

Steps To Effectively Communicate Boundaries

Now, I'm all about actionable strategies. I'm all about putting all of these beautiful concepts into action. How to effectively, kindly, and honestly communicate boundaries? The first step in the preparation process of communicating a boundary is asking yourself. Am I respecting this boundary? Because like I mentioned so many times we don't respect certain boundaries like my clients saying like, “Why are they reaching out to me? Why are they expecting that I'm working on a Friday?” Well, your messenger light is green on a Friday that you're not supposed to be on.

People are taking that as a sign that you're available to work. Right? It's really important to have an honest look at yourself and ask yourself, am I respecting this boundary myself? If you are great, let's go to step two. If you are not, be honest before you want this person to respect your boundary, commit yourself to respect it first. You don't have to wait to have the conversation, but you need to commit to yourself that you're going to respect it because if not, you are not leading with Integrity. You're just asking people something that you're not doing yourself and integrity in this process is super important because if you're not doing that then you're enabling others to behave that way.


That's question number one. Just being honest with you or are you respecting the boundary? After you have done that prep work, you ask yourself, “Will setting this boundary, will communicating this need, this want, it can be anything.” I remember in my romantic relationship, you know how people say, “Do not go to bed mad with your partner and all these things.” In my mind, I can never go to bed mad or in tension or whatever. My partner is someone that at night like if something happens at night and he sleeps and wants to sleep, he is not ready to have that conversation.

That's a boundary for him. I've learned to accept that and I've learned to respect the boundary of his. Now a boundary of mine is well, we got to talk about it at least within 24 hours of whatever happened because it's that important. You ask yourself will setting this boundary lead to a healthier relationship and a win-win situation? For him, setting the boundary of not having this kind of conversation of conflict resolutions at night leads to a healthier relationship because he's in a better mental state whenever we decide to have the conversation and it's a win-win situation for me.

Now, we are going to have to have the conversation the next day. He is in a way, also compromising to have the conversation which for me is super important. In a way, I'm also compromising to wait until he's in a better headspace to be more patient until he's in a better headspace to have that conversation. Setting up boundaries, of course, leads to a healthier and win-win situation. If you are communicating your needs and wants, of course, that's going to lead to a better relationship with that person because the more that person violates your boundaries.

If they are not even aware of it, the more resentment you create towards their relationship the more you're going to feel like, “I don't want to win that relationship,” but you didn't put the effort to actually cultivate that honesty and speak up your needs in that relationship. Whatever this is this can be career, this can be family, this can be romantic relationships. I'm just trying to give you examples so you understand the concepts that I'm talking about. Okay, cool. Step number one is are you respecting this boundary yourself? Then number two is asking yourself, will setting this boundary lead to a healthier relationship and a win-win situation?

In your mind usually immediately is going to be like no there is no need to speak up. You can tolerate these. This is going to be fine. I want you to ask yourself what happens if I keep tolerating these behaviors or patterns for one more year, for five more years, for 10 more years. Do not let the temporary discomfort of the near-term outshadow. What is important for you in the long term? This is super important. Having this conversation is a win-win situation for the parties involved.

Normally, fear comes up. If fear is coming up, validate that fear by recognizing that every new healthy behavior feels scary at first. Every time you interrupt a pattern that is not helping you, feel scared at first because part of this process is to break the habit of the same behaviors that you have been having in the past, and that requires energy that requires for you to show up differently. Just think that when you do a fast forward and think how confident and courageous you are going to feel right after you do it.

Because I promise you, I've seen it over and over. The next step after this mindset work and integrity work is to make sure right before you communicate that want or boundary, that you feel grounded and centered because the delivery when it comes to giving feedback or setting a boundary is super super important, make sure that your ready to have a calm and center delivery that you have put the assumptions to a side the meaning that you have assigned to someone's action to the side so you can focus on the facts because that's going to be super important in the discussion.

Make sure you're calm centered balanced grounded. Once you're there, approach a person and you want to make sure that the person is also that way. What I always tell my clients and what coach them on is to always ask for permission to have this discussion. The question is like, “I have something super important that I want to communicate. Is this a good time to talk about it?” You let the person respond. It’s as simple as that. We don't have to overthink or over-deliver anything just a simple as so as for permission always.

When the person gives you a green light to communicate and both of you are in a calm grounded and centered space, start talking about the situation. When you talk about the situation, leave any assumptions behind. Leave the meaning behind and focus on the facts. For example, if I would have had a conversation with my manager after about emailing me doing vacation day and requesting something like I'm supposed to do what their. I didn't have that because that pattern was broken once I didn't respond.


He never asked me for anything and honestly, I never looked at the phone number occasion. If I would feel that a boundaries conversation was needed I wouldn't be like, “Well, you message me because you don't care about my vacation time and you have unrealistic expectations.” That's a lot of meaning that I'm assigning to a situation. I would have started the discussion with, “When I was on the second day of my vacation for my coaching certification, as you know, I received an email from you requesting me to do something that same day.” Those are the facts.

I'm not signing a meaning. I'm not making any assumptions and just tell I'm just telling the story based on what happened. In a court, in a Justice Court, that can be proven. He sends an email on the second day asking for this to be on the same day. You know, that's a factual conversation. Then after talking about the facts and the situation that you want to talk about, you talk about your feelings because your feelings are something highly subjective. It doesn't mean anything about them.

It just means how it affected you and how you felt. “I felt pressured to deliver this even though I was on vacation and I truly feel stressed in a moment that I wanted to feel relaxed.” That's the impact that he had on me. Again, it had nothing to do with him. I'm just communicating the facts and how the facts of the story made me feel. If I would have said, “This made me feel you don't respect my time.” That's not how it made me feel. That's actually I'm pointing the finger at him and that creates more tension on him. You want to make sure that you are not judging the person.

You're not creating a meeting out of it. Maybe he's used to people responding to emails during vacation. Sorry, not me, but it doesn't mean that he didn't respect my time. It means that he's doing the same thing that he's used to doing. Leave any assumptions. Leave any meaning that you're assigning to a story behind because that's when boundary discussions are not effective. Facts, how you felt which no one can debate because those are your feelings. When you do that, just explain also how everyone would benefit If the boundary is respected.

Explain what the boundary is, for example, “I would appreciate moving forward that during my vacation days, I don't receive any requests and honestly, I'm not going to check my phone anyways, because it's my time off but I would feel better if this boundary is respected and you can send an email. I'm just not going to do it during my vacation time.” You can explain how that would benefit everyone. I work hard. I work tons of hours every day. I deliver on it in a timely manner and my performance is amazing.

Whatever you want to say, having time off is really important because it allows me to recharge my batteries so I can be even more effective. If I'm working during my time off, that’s not going to allow me to disconnect so I can be even a better professional or a better partner or whatever you want to say when I come back. Explain why this boundary is important for you and how everyone would benefit by respecting these boundaries. Then once you mention the boundary, you're also recommending what to do instead. You're saying, “I’m doing vacation, please.”

They can email you during vacation. We don't care but do not expect me to deliver anything. I'm on vacation. I'm off, right? Always give a recommendation of what you want the other person to do. As I mentioned before, we got to be little speakers. In boundaries conversations ideally, we don't leave any great area or we don't assume based on the discussion we had they know what to do. We just go directly to the point, “This is what I would appreciate you doing moving forward to respect this boundary.”

Once you do that, get agreement from the person, “Would this be okay with you?” They'll be like, “Okay. Yeah, or maybe I have a couple of questions to make sure I understand,” whatever they want to say at the moment, but it's really important that at the end you get an agreement from the person that the boundary or the need that you have is going to be respected moving forward. That's the framework and does the preparation work.

Empowering Self And Community

That’s the mindset that we got to adopt when setting and enforcing boundaries because the one reason why setting and enforcing boundaries feel so hard, is because we think we are going to damage your relationship. As I explained during this whole podcast episode, it's actually the opposite. I've seen it with myself in every person that I've had boundary conversations the relationship hasn't improved significantly. They even feel comfortable coming to me with anything with transparency, with vulnerability.

We create this safe space and have seen that with clients over and over and over. We make it hard in our mind by the stories we are telling ourselves by not feeling worthy to speak up to talk about our needs but I want to remind you are worthy of prioritizing your needs speaking of your wants and offsetting boundaries, right? The more you practice it, the more confident you feel that you're creating a life that is integrity with yourself. I think that the main purpose of life is living a life of no regrets, living a life where you feel free. That's what I'm passionate about.


You are worthy of prioritizing your needs, speaking your wants, and offsetting boundaries because the more you practice it, the more confident you feel that you're creating a life in integrity with yourself.


I would love to connect with you through social media on Instagram, @YanetBCoaching. I'm on LinkedIn. I have my email. I also offer a free Clarity Call. If you're interested to know more about how to improve boundaries and how to feel more worthy, I offer free Clarity Calls. It's literally free. At the end of course, we're going to talk about coaching if it's a good fit for you, but either way, you're going to get tons of value. I would love to connect with you on social media. Tell me what has been the hardest challenge, the hardest part for you to communicate your boundaries.

A lot of these episodes I do it because I see you struggling. I see the challenges of my clients, and I'm inspired to serve more based on my experience and what I've learned. If you tell me something about boundaries that I haven't considered, I would be happy to do a podcast episode. Please connect with me, and tell me what has been the hardest part of setting boundaries because I would love to continue serving this beautiful community. I'm so grateful for you. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you found this episode helpful, please share it with your friends and with your family. Let's continue spreading this movement of self-empowerment and self-mastery, worthiness. Thank you so much, and I'll see you next week.


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