Written By: Girl Tyler“No” is a complete sentence. N-O-Period. These two letters pack a powerful punch. For countless women, the inability to say ‘no’ results in fatigue and other complex outcomes. Early on in our childhood, we’re taught unrealistic expectations for how girls should behave. Over time, these well-meaning principles, which were instilled in us, spiral into incessant people-pleasing. Why is it so easy to cater to the needs of others while our own needs and deepest desires go unfulfilled? One answer is our inability to communicate boundaries in our personal and professional lives. Setting clear boundaries is essential to strengthening personal and professional relationships with others and improving your overall well-being. Set healthy boundaries to protect your energy, personal space, time, religious beliefs, career path, even sexual desires, to name a few. Enforce a zero-tolerance policy on what you will and will not accept. It all starts with one word: No.The most challenging part of saying no is navigating the inevitable disappointment that may come from others. You simply cannot be everything to everybody because, in the end, you’ll wind up drowning in a sea of yeses with no one there to save you.Realize that you are not a savior. I repeat, you are not a savior. Give it a try. You may just realize that a great deal of the stress you carry is not your own.Stop accepting invitations to events when you’re exhausted or simply lack enthusiasm for the cause. If you’re too tired to volunteer, sit this one out. If you don’t want to attend a function with toxic family members, don't go. If you don’t feel like answering a phone call, let it go to voicemail. When you come from a space of thoughtfulness and self-preservation, your real friends and loved ones will understand. Saying no allows you to prioritize your needs which will ultimately create a positive shift in your relationships. When you learn to honor your boundaries, others will respectfully adjust.Don’t get it twisted. Setting boundaries is not selfish. Instead, it’s an act of self-care with a two-way payoff. With boundaries in place, you’ll have more time to replenish your energy and reduce draining interactions. In doing so, you’ll feel more excited about supporting causes and people that are near and dear to your heart. Your new boundaries may also transform your relational awareness. Communicating upfront non-negotiables can prevent future chaos and heartache. Don’t feel you have to budge or explain the logic behind your boundaries. Do what works for you. Just be mindful of the fact that your boundaries may clash with another person’s boundaries. If that happens, you’ll need to decide whether you’re able to (or even want to) adapt.As you grow, so will the interests that shape your boundaries, so after you've set clear boundaries, be flexible and give yourself grace while working consistently to maintain them. Creating boundaries will ultimately increase your productivity, which leads to better results in every aspect of your life. Just remember: You are the first line of defense in determining how you should be treated–so start writing your rules.