5 rules to start breaking, right now
We’re our own worst enemies. We push ourselves harder and harder. We expect to get three times the work done in a third of the time. Then we berate ourselves when our immune systems start failing us and when we’re not achieving what we wanted to.
Because we think we’re super-human? Probably.
The more likely culprit? The self-imposed rules we’ve nurtured over the years.
We all have our own code of ethics, whether we’re consciously aware of them or not. We have a set of expectations that we strive to live up to, and base our success from.
Rules, rules, rules
They’re influenced by past experiences, by people close to us, and from things we aspire to be.
From being in our nappies to the time we spend at school, we’re used to rules. Rules set for us, and rules we learn and adopt.
Do this, don’t do that. If you do that, you’re this, if you don’t do this, you’re that.
It’s a minefield.
I mean, yes they do serve a purpose. They provide boundaries; a safety net of sorts.
But there’s a problem with the rules. If we’re only ever going to stay between them, we’ll never know what it is to be more than the rules.
If we stay within the prisons we create for ourselves, we’ll never know what it’s like to fly.
So let’s take these rules, bend the rules, adjust the rules until there are no rules except the ones that serve us.
I’m going to run through what I think are the most common rules that us busy folk have adopted and fuck shit up.
Rule Number One - DO NOT GIVE UP
I’m going to paraphrase an amazing metaphor I read on a blog I can’t recall for this one, because it’s helped me so many times (if I find the blog, I promise to link back to it when I remember!)
If you started walking across a bridge, and you got half way across and notice it’s on fire, would you keep walking?
You wouldn’t do it to prove a point. You just wouldn’t.
So why do we live life this way? We can’t predict what a certain journey is going to look like. Sometimes we get halfway there and know it’s not right for us.
That doesn’t mean we should persevere regardless.
It’s about pausing for reflection, looking at the personal impact the situation’s going to have on us if we get scorched, look at the options and carve a new path.
Rule Number Two - PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
That’s the whole fucking point!
If things were perfect we’d be bored and restless. We’re not meant to be perfect. If you hate something, doing it again and again probably isn’t going to make you like it.
It’s probably going to make you want to walk through fire. With no clothes on.
Rule Number Three - PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST IS SELFISH
This is something I think we’ll all had conditioned into us, some more than others. When I was in the deep dark depths of burnout, continual busy-ness, and had no idea whatsoever what self care was, someone I really respected and admired for successes in a related field to mine told me something I won’t forget: If I don’t look after myself, how can I help other people?
While I’ve changed my stance a bit now, this really helped me and is great if you’re stuck in the midst of it.
Rule Number Four - DON'T SAY NO
This one coincides with a heap of other rules. Don’t hurt other people’s feelings. Don’t make people feel like they’re burdening you. Don’t be a bad person.
We often forget that we have every right to say no. We have a choice.
There’s a lot of buzz created online about hell yes’ and hell no’s. The idea is that if it’s not one or the other, then don’t do it.
It’s about learning to say no, learning how to stick up for ourselves, and knowing that when we say yes and don’t mean it, it sucks our energy up bit by bit, until we have minus nothing left for ourselves.
Rule Number Five - I CAN ONLY RELAX WHEN I DESERVE IT
And that’s after I’ve baked the kids cakes to go to school, been to work, finished my project plans while cooking dinner, booked a doctor’s appointment, run a marathon etc etc.
No - this is completely wrong. Relaxation isn’t part of a brownie point reward system. It’s something that’s integral to being able to function.
I’m sure you can think of rules pertinent to your own life. Turn them on their head and see what happens.
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