What self-imposed rules are running your life right now? Look around and notice your requirements. What do you need to feel happy? To feel loved? To feel like a success?
Chances are you are setting the bar too high.
A good friend and mentor of mine, Lynette Patterson, walked me through an exercise once that was life changing. The idea is to write down the feelings you value in life and rate them in order of importance. You may have things on your list like financial security, freedom, love, success, and anything else that is important to you.
Next, ask yourself, “What needs to happen in order for me to feel this way?” If you are working on freedom, for example, your rules around feeling free might be that you need to rid yourself of obligations and committing to plans. You might want to be self employed so that your schedule is not determined by someone else.
Here’s the hard part… get rid of as many of those rules as you can! That’s right. Just throw them right out the window!
You can have your need for feeling free met just by acknowledging that you always have the power of choice. You can choose your job, which determines your schedule. You can choose your thoughts when you have to tend to an obligation.
The big one that surprised me personally was my rules around success. For me to consider myself successful, I needed X amount of income, X number of degrees, a perfect husband, perfect children, and a white picket fence.
With those requirements, there was a good chance that I would NEVER consider myself a success!
I revised what I need to have to feel successful. My new requirements are that I have to be constantly growing and trying to better myself. Another rule is that I have to follow my heart as best I can. Under those smaller, looser conditions, it is easy to consider myself wildly successful.
Once those needs are met, your confidence soars and the benefits trickle out into other areas of your life.
Another one that gets most people is their rules around feeling loved. Are your rules so tight that it that nearly no one could meet them? Or do you insist that someone acts a certain way and if not, you don’t feel loved?
Bend the rules… loosen them… even BREAK them until they are incredibly easy to meet. Watch how much happier you become!
Do any of your rules set you up for failure? Do some of them set you up for success and happiness? Please share!