I have always been the girl who breaks the rules and makes up her own as she goes through life. I was recently reminded why this is truly a best practice for anyone who wants to challenge the status quo, push boundaries, or just plain change the scenery in her life.
Many of us adhere to all kinds of self-inflicted rules born of fear of “getting out of line” or the even the bigger fear of “getting in trouble.” Change doesn’t happen when fear is in the driver seat. Innovation doesn’t happen when you color inside the lines. Passion doesn’t flourish when you restrain yourself from exploration, experimentation, and curiosity along the edges of your life. We compromise, bend over backwards, stay in the lanes, and actually create all kinds of limitations for ourselves that ultimately keep us from our full potential for happiness.
I have to admit that there have been times when I have operated from this hesitant place, holding back out of fear that my “unruliness” will be disruptive or harmful. Yet each time I have done this—giving up my power and capability in favor of silence, safety, and conformity—I have discovered that while things may feel more secure and predictable, they also become uninspiring. As you know, a boring life is a deadly life.It’s only when I am breaking a few dishes and stirring things up that I feel entirely alive. Going against the grain and challenging the perceptions of people around me makes me feel closer to and surer of my values. I feel reinvigorated and recommitted to what I believe, and excited all over again about my own potential.
A few rules for breaking the rules:
Breaking the rules doesn’t mean breaking the law—just to be clear! The rules I am encouraging you to break are the self-limiting rules you have defined for yourself based on fear, low self worth, or insecurity. These are the silent rules we hold onto throughout our lives, which are many times based on false truths or mistaken impressions and have no valid reason to exist. For example: The “Don’t speak out and interrupt others in a meeting” kind of rule. Or “Never say anything that might hurt someone.” Or what about the rule that says if I wasn’t invited I should not attend the event. I would even argue against the “Family should always come first” rule. I know this last example is a hard pill to swallow, but many of us have really messed up families and putting their insanity first is never a smart thing to do. These self-restricting personal rules represent harmful limitations to your personal growth and satisfaction and need to be broken and dismissed.
Speak up. Interrupt others if you have to, crash an event or two and don’t guilt yourself out for breaking up with unhealthy family members. In fact, break any one of those dumb rules that get in the way of your passions, dreams, or causes.
I am tired of seeing amazing people stay in their lanes and would love to see more risk, fewer boundaries. I would also like to see more of us let go of trying to control every encounter and intention we have and trade it for relentless determination and unwavering commitment to ourselves and to unknown outcomes.
Live a little. Be a bad girl. Let the rule breaking begin!