This week’s blog is inspired by a conversation with my business partner, Skye. If you would like to know more about the work Skye and I are doing together, you can read more here. To prepare for an exciting announcement that will be coming out soon, we have been working together and having lots of inspiring conversations.
Skye mentioned something that I found very interesting - why are young children, girls, so open to saying no? I have a 3 year old daughter and I hear it all the time: “No, I don’t want to,” or “No, I don’t like that.” Girls have no issue communicating their boundaries.
So why do we as women struggle with this? When did it change?
People ask us to do things that often make us uncomfortable and as women we don’t put our foot down. We would rather make ourselves uncomfortable than inconvenience someone else. This could be at work, in our marriage, or with our children.
My 3 year old daughter Eve will quite abruptly say, “No!” I am trying to teach her and the other people in my house-hold that this is okay. I have said outright to my 19 year old son, “When a woman says no, it means no.” Maybe he already knew this and he didn’t need to hear it again, but I felt a prompting to remind him of this boundary.
When someone asks us to do something that doesn’t align with our purpose, we have the ability to say no. We all know this. So why don’t we feel like we have the right?
And what does it look like if we do?
Perhaps the reason we struggle to set boundaries for ourselves is because we fear the repercussions but as women do we care more about upsetting others than being true to our own hearts? I would recommend practicing setting boundaries by writing out your response or sitting down with someone you trust and say, “I want to pretend you are my coworker/friend/family member, do you mind if I practice what I want to say in this situation?”
Then take a deep breath.
Firstly, say thank you for the opportunity. Secondly, try not to justify your behaviour. When we justify ourselves, we lose our spiritual authority (read more on this here). As long as we know in ourselves what our true goals are, we don’t need to explain to anyone else. We can be grateful for the opportunity, remain respectful, and then depart knowing we are closer to our life purpose.
My final advice for you is to recognise that you are working on setting boundaries. You are setting a standard for everyone around you. You don’t have to shout it from the rooftops - this quiet shift to self respect speaks volumes when practiced on a daily basis. People will soon understand that you do have boundaries and a sure sense of your needs and goals.
Be proud of yourself as a woman, as a person, as a child of the universe. And know you have a right to be heard and respected.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.