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5 Reasons You Fail To Create and Maintain Boundaries That Will Blow Your Mind

Do you try and try more to create and maintain boundaries only to find yourself back where you started or find your calendar is full of other people’s agendas? As a caregiver, there is so much to do and never enough time to manage it all. As a woman, it’s common to put others needs ahead of your own. Can you relate? There are a lot of reasons you don’t respect your boundaries. In this article, I’m sharing 5 Reasons You Fail To Create and Maintain Boundaries.

5 Reasons You Fail To Create and Maintain Boundaries That Will Blow Your Mind

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that setting, maintaining and respecting boundaries is critical to living a life full of alignment and peace. Yet, it’s easier said than done. In this article, we’re ‘going there’ with some deep discussions around why setting boundaries can be difficult. Once you understand these things, you can make a decision to empower yourself and live a life that’s true to you.

Here are the biggest 5 reasons you fail to create and maintain boundaries that will blow your mind:

1st Reason You Fail To Create and Maintain Boundaries: Guilt

Guilt is a really common reason people don’t create or maintain boundaries. This shows up in so many ways. For me, it was in the ‘stuff’ that I allowed to be spread all over the house because I felt bad that my parents didn’t have a home or independent living. The main intention of feeling guilty is to live life in the “right” direction but sometimes all it does is damage your relationships and keep you from exercising your own, powerful voice; such as the case with my parents.

Read more: 7 Secrets To A Winning Mentality - Secrets to Developing & Maintaining it

“If you avoid conflict to keep the peace you start a war inside yourself.” –Cheryl Richardson


  • Tries to keep you trapped.
  • Convinces you that saying yes in order to please others is a good thing that doesn’t need to be changed.
  • Encourages people-pleasing behaviors (especially a need to be needed).
  • Makes others feel responsible for other people’s feelings and compels to be a good person all the time, which feeds the urge to say yes, even when they really want to say no.
  • Tricks you into thinking we can successfully ignore our needs and take on other people’s responsibilities.
  • Makes you feel like you don’t have another choice.
  • Makes you feel bad about not having done enough to have prevented your loved one from getting sick.
  • Makes you feel bad for feeling like you want this to end.
  • Makes you feel bad for having been impatient with your care receiver.
  • Makes you believe you are not loving or even liking the care receiver at times.
  • Makes you feel like you aren’t doing enough for the care receiver.
  • Makes everything your fault.

If you take responsibility for someone else’s life and decisions, you’ll quickly feel exhausted, undervalued, resentful, and full of contempt.

“Compassion cannot be practiced from a position of bitterness. We need boundaries and accountability if we want to practice acceptance and compassion.” ~Brene Brown

You must set boundaries in all your relationships so that you can feel accepted, connected, heard, and loved. Speak your truth today. Tell guilt YOU are in charge now!

TAKE ACTION: Take time to write down where you feel guilty and how this prevents you from respecting your boundaries. 

Read more: Five Ways To Get Motivated And Stay Motivated

2nd Reason You Fail To Create and Maintain Boundaries: Shame

In Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she sets up the shame conversation brilliantly and I thought it was important to share this with you. Before you skip this section because you think shame doesn’t apply to you or you think shame and guilt are the same things, read this first (I’ll get to the differences between guilt and shame in a bit):

  • We all have shame or have felt shame. It started in the programming from childhood and has evolved from there. Do you disagree? Think about appearance/body image, parenting, money, family, health, addiction, aging, religion, trauma, and/or labels people gave you.
  • Virtually all of us are afraid to talk about our shame.
  • Shame has more power over our lives the less we talk about it. The same goes for fear, guilt, and any other negative emotion.

Shame is the fear of disconnection. We ALL want connection.

“Shame is the excruciatingly painful sensation or belief that we are defective and so unworthy of love and belonging.” ~ Brene Brown

Peter Sheahan, CEO of ChangeLabs, says this about shame:

” The secret killer of innovation is shame. You can’t measure it, but it is there.”

Every time you hold back on sharing an idea, giving feedback to someone or you are afraid to speak up, shame plays a role.

Shame is the deep fear we all have of being wrong, of being criticized and of feeling less than. This stops us in our tracks in setting and respecting boundaries. Shame becomes fear. Fear stifles everything. Shame sends the gremlins to fill our heads with messages like:

  • You aren’t good enough.
  • You deserve the criticism you are getting (or will get)
  • Real (insert name – daughters/caregivers/women/entrepreneurs) don’t struggle like this.


Read more: What’s Your Excuse? How To Overcome Not Exercising And Eating Right

Here are some examples in my own life when I felt shame: 

  1. Shame is divorce.
  2. Shame is foreclosure.
  3. Shame is failing chemistry in college.
  4. Shame is getting laid off.
  5. Shame is having to tell my kids “we can’t afford x.”
  6. Shame is abortion.
  7. Shame is living with domestic violence.
  8. Shame is listening to my drunk grandparents yelling at each other and at me and going down to the basement feeling so alone and afraid.
  9. Shame is being bullied and laughed at growing up.
  10. Shame is doing a half-ass job volunteering when I was accustomed to giving 110%.
  11. Shame is taking my parents to the doctor when they have body odor.
  12. Shame is gaining 5 pounds a month because I’m not eating right (but I make sure my parents do).
  13. Shame is when someone asks me when I’m due when I’m not pregnant.
  14. Shame is watching my mother soil her pants, wheelchair, and the floor because we didn’t make it to the bathroom in time.
  15.  Shame is my dad making inappropriate comments in public.
  16. Shame is when I am running late and hurry my parents along at a faster pace than they can effectively manage because we need to get somewhere on time.
  17. Shame is when I don’t appear like I have it all together.
  18.  Shame is my new boss telling me I am being paid too much.
  19. Shame is yelling at my parents.
  20. Shame is yelling at my kids (and then being calm as a cucumber when the phone rings).

I share these real-life examples with you from my own life as a parent and caregiver so you understand how common it really is. When situations like these happen, it's easy for us to feel responsible for someone else's actions and that it's our fault.

The difference between shame and guilt

The primary difference between shame and guilt is this:

  • Guilt = I did something bad.
  • Shame = I am bad.

Shame is correlated with addiction, violence, anger and rage, depression, and bullying. When we feel shame, we are desperate for worthiness. As a result, our behaviors tend to be self-destructive and attack or shame other people as a way to avoid vulnerability and accountability.

The difference between humiliation and shame is this:

  • Shame = I deserve my shame.
  • Humiliation = I don’t believe I deserve humiliation.

TAKE ACTION: Think about times in your life when you felt shame. How is this showing up in your caregiving, parenting, work or other relationships? 

3rd Reason You Fail To Create and Maintain Boundaries: Caring Too Much

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Bernard Baruch

Caring too much about what other people think is a real issue for many people. Can you relate to one of these things:

  1. You do things you don’t want to do and you grow to resent it.
  2. You don’t really know what you want.
  3. You’re afraid to say what you really believe.
  4. You spend time with people you don’t like or you avoid people out of fear.
  5. You struggle to make decisions and want feedback from others.
  6. You think people are upset with you when they aren’t.

If you felt that nudge or got an “oh yeah” with any of these six things, you care too much about what other people think. This results in your inability to create and respect boundaries.

“Setting limits requires the strength to love ourselves, even if it means disappointing others.” Brene Brown

I LOVE this quote because respecting our boundaries has everything to do with self-love.

TAKE ACTION: Do you care too much what other people think? How does this show up for you? Where can you push through the fear and set boundaries that are true for you? 

Read more: How And Why You Should Set Goals

4th Reason You Fail To Create and Maintain Boundaries: Lack of Confidence

Your level of self-confidence, also known as self-assurance, is the amount of trust or faith you have in yourself and your talents. Your self-esteem is your view of yourself. People with strong self-confidence are less afraid of the unknown, can stand up for what they believe in, and are willing to face embarrassment. In other words, they create and maintain healthy boundaries!

Do you lack self-confidence?

Here are four signs that you may lack confidence:

  1. Giving reasons/excuses for your actions.
  2. Immediately replying to criticism or judging others.
  3. Using the word “never”, become a perfectionist, or being arrogant. 
  4. Body language: People who lack self-confidence usually take the defensive position (arms folded and may be accompanied by crossing their legs).

TAKE ACTION: Do you compensate for a lack of self-confidence in one of the above ways? How does this show up for you? Where can you push through the fear and set boundaries that are true for you? 

Read more: How To Keep Employees Motivated and Productive

5th Reason You Fail To Create and Maintain Boundaries: Lack self-love

The first four reasons discussed above typically mean you lack self-love. If you aren’t sure whether you lack self-love (which also translates to self-care, self-compassion, empowerment), see if you can relate to any of these signs listed below.

Do you?

  1. Often feel overwhelmed and stressed out?
  2. Get stuck in unhealthy relationships?
  3. Have/make no time for fun?
  4. Feel guilty when not being productive?
  5. Play small or don’t live your full potential?
  6. Play the comparison game?
  7. Say YES to stuff you want to say NO to?
  8. Feel like you constantly have to do more and be more have more and don’t celebrate your accomplishments?
  9. Hate your body.
  10. Allow fear to drive your decisions.
  11. Settle in one or more areas of life?
  12. Feel unlovable, unloved, unworthy?

TAKE ACTION: Do you lack self-love, self-care, self-compassion? How does this show up for you? Where can you push through the fear and set boundaries that are true for you? Pick ONE thing above that you resonate with and take imperfect action to change this. 


I’m sure you’ll agree with me that these five areas run deep in our lives. I hope that by sharing why setting boundaries can be difficult, you can start exercising self-compassion and forgiveness. Once you understand what stops you, it becomes easier to work through the emotions and be empowered. Living a life that’s true to you is your divine birthright.

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