Is it easy for you to express what you need and want? In other words, do you let others know what’s important to you and then enforce your boundaries? If not, then you need to learn this critical skill that will help you in life and business.

Maintaining your personal boundaries is essential to your emotional security. When you have healthy boundaries, you know how far people can ‘push you’ and what you’re willing to do for others. When you don’t have defined your boundaries and consistently reinforce them, people take advantage of you mentally, physically, spiritually, sexually and you suffer a life of anguish which shows up in every area of your life - your finances, health and relationships.

Boundaries are essential for the creation and maintenance of healthy relationships professionally and personally and are the cornerstone for our emotional security. With clearly defined boundaries we know where we begin, and others start. We thrive when we value, love and ensure our own security.

When we’re a developing baby, we’re a part of our mother; we even hear our mother when we’re in the womb. At this point, we don’t have a strong boundary - we are at one with our mother. Once we’re born, we cry and instantly seek attention and security. In those first few months of life, our mother is our world and we don’t feel separation anxiety or a feeling of being separate from our mother.

Around the age of two, we realize we’re separate from our mother but hopefully we have an emotional bond which assures us that we’re safe and secure. When the bond isn’t constant or solid, we start seeking emotional security. We experience heightened sensitivity and may cry and find it a challenge to be happy and focused on our play when our mother is gone. We don’t feel complete or secure when our mother to be ‘out of sight.’

How does this relate to boundaries? Simple. Our boundaries first develop when we’re a toddler and realize we’re separate from our mother. If our first experiences are anxious but our mother gives us unconditional love and makes us feel secure, we’ll develop healthy boundaries. We’ll know when it’s okay to honor our feelings and be okay saying ‘no’ to someone important to us without feeling afraid we will lose their love. We’ll be able to set boundaries that honor us and build feelings of security and safety apart from our mother.

However, if our parents don’t let us have our own say, we develop weak or non-existent boundaries. Worse yet, if our mother doesn’t make us feel cherished and safe, we’ll feel scared and not prepared to set boundaries that respect our own needs. Instead, we’ll look outside ourselves to build our security.

Further still, if we’re faced with bullies or people who don’t respect us, we’ll feel less confident to express our needs - we’ll be nice even if we feel uncomfortable. We’ll let others speak for us and do things that we regret. In essence, we won’t be ourselves. It is in this way we begin to disconnect from our True Self (our seat of integrity, real self, soul).

When our personal boundaries as children aren’t respected, we may pretend to like our relatives, permit them to kiss our cheek, hug us and get inside our emotional safe zone. Over time, when our feelings aren’t respected by others, we begin to stop respecting our own feelings. We stop trusting those feelings and this is the beginning of detaching from our knowing, our intuition, our instinct, our true self or soul.

From that moment on, we feel exposed and insecure around strong people. We may find it hard to say ‘no’ and we learn that it’s easier to ‘go along to get along.’ We avoid conflict at all costs and hate it when people are upset with us because it triggers primal feelings of abandonment; ‘they won’t like me’ and ‘they might leave me’ are very common thoughts for people suffering from lack of boundaries.

This way of being creates a deep, pervasive fear of avoiding CONFLICT. We believe it’s better to keep quiet then get into a battle that may not make a difference anyway. This turns up in your business with a fear of rejection, fear of being bold, unique and self expressed. Basically, this makes you like everyone else. Feeling comfortable and embracing being unique and even conflict can be a small business owner’s path to success.

Living with unresolved conflict without resolution can lead to a victim’s mentality. Continuing to not speak up just to ‘keep the peace’ results in our self expression getting smaller and smaller. Worse yet, we watch, listen and learn how others want us to behave so we can get along in this world because we want to be accepted. Harmony becomes the primary goal in our lives.

There’s nothing wrong with harmony if issues have been resolved and your needs are met. But when your needs are invisible, there’s a problem.

Are your needs getting met? Are you feeling validated, loved and celebrated in your career and at home? If not, you’re probably doing everything in your power to create harmony and you’re not being noticed. In fact, no one pays attention because they don’t respect you and may even perceive you as being weak. Worse yet, you may agree with them on a very deep level. You feel like you don’t deserve good treatment and aren’t worthy of ease in your life, so you continue to create it with clients you attract and in your personal life.

These negative feelings grow like mold in a wet bathroom. They have tendrils in every area of your life - in your career, your family, your intimate relationship and with your children. People around you are listening to your unconscious clues as to how you wish to be treated and they are respecting these signals.

Ironically, the very thing you wish for, recognition for your uniqueness isn’t happening; you aren’t even noticed. And, when this continues over time, you may begin to feel like a ‘ghost.’ No one really knows who you are and you don’t know who you are. You may feel ‘lost, unmotivated, directionless…’

You may have read articles about middle-aged women who say they don’t know who they are and feel ‘lost’ after their children leave home. This is often referred to as ‘empty-nest syndrome’ and affects women more than men. Women tend to put the needs of their family ahead of themselves. They may ignore their hobbies, cut back on their career obligations and spend less time with friends. As a result, they will often say, “Who am I?”

In order to break out of this mind set which has become a deeply engrained habit, you must acknowledge your fears that have convinced you to think, “It’s not okay to say and express what I want.” You need to challenge this, watch others who have strong boundaries and model this behavior in your own life. It is an essential need to love, respect, appreciate and validate yourself first to experience a full, exciting and happy life where you are free to express your wants and needs.

If you’re unsure where to begin this journey of transformation, start by studying strong people you admire. These people might be on T.V. - maybe you watch them on the Biography Channel; this is a great program that shows the ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ of some of the strongest and most successful people in the world. You’ll learn that they failed a lot, took risks, had to speak up and were forced to create strong boundaries to survive and thrive.

It’s also helpful to study family members and friends who are strong and have healthy boundaries. See where they draw the line. What do they choose to ‘put up with’ and what makes them stand up for themselves?

Finally, getting help with a group of like-minded individuals or seeking assistance from a personal development empathic coach can be the key to re-establishing healthy and strong boundaries in your life. In my experience, these deeply ingrained patterns are often a result of cellular memories and often take an experienced coach to support you in permanently overwriting them so you can confidently and automatically express your boundaries.

The first step is to realize you have the inherent power from your True Self to speak up, grow your self-worth.

Author's Bio: 

Monique Gallagher, a Certified Cybernetic Transposition Empathic Coach, has a “Take the Brakes Off” free online community where you can begin the journey of becoming the master designer of your own life. In this community, you’ll have access to FREE Tele-seminars that address boundaries, fears, blockers and much more! Visit: for all the tools you need to be productive, fulfilled and successful.