You know, when we were younger, we were wisely taught by our parents, teachers, and law enforcement officials to say NO. Somewhere along the lines, however, we lost our way. We started feeling bad about saying no, and we began saying yes…to everything.

The result? We stretch ourselves thin by taking on anything and everything that comes our way — often reluctantly, begrudgingly, and resentfully. This happens in our personal and professional lives, and it not only creates overwhelming (yet unnecessary) stress, it also puts tremendous strain on our relationships.

In our tireless pursuit of pleasing other, the irony is that we start resenting people — often loved ones. In reality, it’s no fault of theirs. It’s our own. We never set realistic expectations, yet we expect them to understand everything that’s going on in our lives, minds, and hearts.

This is why we need to set boundaries. We have to learn to say NO, as hard as that can be. We have to do what is right — for us and those who are asking of us — and stop making apologies.

We have to protect our time and energy so we can invest it in the things and people that matter. Simply put, if you want to do great things, you have to do fewer things. When you stop taking on so much — and start saying NO — then you’ll free yourself, your mind, and your time to live up to your full potential in life.

Setting boundaries isn’t just about saying no to people. It’s also about saying no to temptations and distractions. It means cutting back on email, meetings, phone calls, and gossip that zap your precious time and resources. It’s about mindfully investing your time in your priorities.

It’s time for you to put up boundaries in your life and to stop suffering in silence. Where are you going to start?