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07 – Actually questioning the rules

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Welcome to another episode of the Rules are made up. 

I took a break last week, because the world is on fucking fire, isn’t it? 

And I don’t know, I just didn’t feel like recording, I tried to and I actually had, like I did 5 attempts of recording just a short and sweet one to basically validate whatever you’re feeling, whatever is going on for you at this point in time is totally OK. Some of us need to process this kind of shit more openly with other people. 

Some of us just need to recharge in our own time, and you know look at new sources instead of social media and some of us just you know, maybe it’s a mix. It’s whatever it is for you is OK, right and I tried to record an episode with that, but it just every time I tried I’m like ‘nah, this isn’t it.’  

So I decided you know what, I’m in a position where I can, you know, take a break, so I did. 

But I also realized, and that’s the that’s the segway into today’s episode, I also realized that I was trying to keep following a rule that I had created for myself. 

The rule being that I had to publish a podcast episode every Monday, every week because I decided when I started this podcast that I’ll be recording an episode every week or not necessarily recording an episode every week, but I’d be publishing an episode every week. 

Cool, that’s an awesome plan and I’ll probably go back to that but at the same time I made that rule, so I can change it. 

And that’s what I want to talk about a little bit more today because for a lot of us, not following the rules, especially the ones that we’ve created, that’s hard. That’s some hard, hard shit. 

My brain hates ambiguity, it does not like not knowing what’s going on, what’s going to happen, so rules and structure, and routines and plans, and to do lists  – my brain loves that ship because it gives me a sense of control, right? 

It gives me a sense of knowing what’s going on and not following even the things that I created, like the structure or the plan that I created. 

Not following that sends off alarm bells. 

And telling myself ‘eh, I can just wing it’, The concept of doing so feels very foreign, right? 

Winging it – if you were asking people that know me, that I work with all that you know, my friends. 

And ask them “what’s one thing that Nina isn’t great at? 

It’s fucking winging it. I don’t like it. I don’t like it yet that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for probably the last, definitely the last week, maybe even the last week and a bit. 

Even me recording this episode right now is me winging it because I originally planned to do it over the weekend and then miscalculated some other tasks and some other things, and in the end had to move recording this to a Monday. 

Basically, the day that this recording will air and go live for the first time. 

And even that, my brain was like “no, you just need to find a way to do it still on Sunday” and I’m like no! I created a rule that I couldn’t record the day of publishing it, but that’s something, that’s a concept I came up with so I can change it. 

That’s hard, it’s a lot easier to just say “Oh, you know, just stop following the rules. Question the rules! Make up your own!” 

It’s very, very easy to say all of those things, but to put that into action is really, really hard. 

And so one of the things that I want to give you with this episode is a way, yes, to challenge your rules and to question what’s going on but actually, how to do that, and what that can look like based on personal experience. 

Now that may not, I have to emphasize this, this may not look or work for you. So don’t you know, take it with a grain of salt. 

Let’s actually work through what questioning the rules in this very specific example looks like. 

Obviously, whatever the rule is that you have created for yourself –part of questioning it, is writing it out and asking yourself: Why did I come up with it? 

Because you probably came up with it for a reason because it may have been helpful, right? 

So trying to figure out why you created it and just listing out all the rules that you think you have to follow, can be a very helpful first step because it brings awareness, you’re naming a lot of those rules and awareness, for most of these things, is the first step. 

Right, so take a piece of paper or an app on your phone and just write down all the rules, because chances are you don’t want to completely throw everything out either, right? 

You might have a specific rule that you want to challenge yourself on and I’d recommend you’re going to do that and focus on one area as opposed to trying to question everything. 

OK, so once you’ve written down all those rules and you’ve figured out you know what I’m really like, I’m not. It’s really hard to actually explain how you come to the conclusion that you want to question one, right? 

’cause for me it was like this woo woo like I’m not vibing with the rule anymore and it sounds a bit, it sounds very intangible and hard to explain but it was just that there was something telling me that I didn’t want to keep following it, if that makes sense. 

And so for me personally, that was posting on social media. You know having to show up having to be online the way I was, you know three weeks ago it was just, that’s what I wanted to take a break from and that’s what I wanted to challenge for myself. 

And so aside from writing it all out another or the next step then is to look at OK, cool what what’s actually what does the rule say I have to do? 

And then you basically work on not doing that thing. And that in and of itself sounds oh so fucking easy. 

But that’s part of the hard, that’s where your brain will start to go into overdrive. 

Because you not doing the thing will tell your brain to “Hold on what are we doing” and your brain will probably want to talk you into “No, no, no – you have to do what you said you need to do”. 

Your brain makes your brain doesn’t like change, your brain wants to stay safe and comfortable and doing things differently sometimes means danger, danger, danger. 

OK, so you need to watch out for that self-talk that says “AH, but actually, you need to do this thing”.  

Or the self-talk that will tell you that you’re fucking up because you’re not doing the thing or you’re doing it wrong because you’re not following that particular rule. 

Those things came up for me as well, because “how can you say you’re running a business when you’re not online?”  

Or how can you, you know, justify not doing these things when you also say that you want to be a successful business owner? 

You know all those things came up for me, so the bigger task at hand here wasn’t so much to not follow the rules, it was navigating the self-talk and managing my mind while I was not doing those things, or as that was going on. 

Another thing that really helped there as well, with that inner self talk is to work on reminding myself why I decided to question that particular rule of having to show up, having to post certain amount of times you know all of that stuff and what not doing those things meant to me in that moment like, what was I able to do instead of having to also follow that rule. 

Using my personal example of showing up online over the last two weeks, not doing that allowed me to be more present at home, but it also allowed me to be more present at work. It helped me focus on a few more things there instead of having to try to do so many other things and it just legit removed some decision making and some pressure right? 

And I reminded myself of that, whenever I noticed that negative self-talk creeping up. Did it work all the time? 

Nope, Nope. Nope. There were days where I was close to tanties and you know, literally deciding you know what actually I need to go back to implementing this rule. But even on those days, reminding myself why I was doing it ended up being so fucking helpful. 

Now I want to add and a couple of caveats towards the end of this episode. Number one I want to acknowledge the privilege that I hold to be able to do this because showing up online is not my primary way to make income to generate income right. I still work full time, so I do not have the pressure associated with having to make things work and I do not have to rely on showing my face on Instagram, for example to make sales, to bring in money to support my family, right? 

I’ve just kind of made it sound like it’s just this little thing, but that is massive, right? 

For some of these, some things, some – what am I trying to say? I know what I’m trying to say but it’s not coming out right and I’m sorry I’m not going to cut this out by the way ’cause bracing imperfections here, but I think what I was trying to say is that. 

I made that sound like it was just a little thing, but for some of you questioning the rules isn’t straightforward, well for a lot of us it’s never straightforward, but for some of you or for some people out there this is very hard to do and not just because it’s hard full stop, but because there could be other ramifications and other implications. 

So not everyone is actually able to challenge, you might be able to challenge the rules that you follow, but you may not be able to stop following them because following them means safety right? 

Following the rules that you’ve created for yourself means income for your families, being able to support your family, being able to put food on the table. 

And I don’t want to not acknowledge that. That’s number one. 

And #2, I’ve obviously used a business owner example because that is where this showed up for me mostly over the last few weeks, but actually to help you with another example. 

Because that might be, that might help you more – I also questioned my training. I’m following a powerlifting sort of template at the moment, and last Monday I didn’t feel, I just it was one of those days, I wanted to get something done, but I also knew I couldn’t do the full session. 

Like I was under a lot of emotional stress and so going through putting heavy weights on my back was like I knew my nervous system wasn’t gonna like it and so I modified that workout and after that I actually decided to change it out completely and to let myself just move the way that I want to for the next week or two weeks, even before picking up that template again. 

Because that that template there’s no dates attached to it, it literally just is ‘here is 3 days of what you need to do”. 

Right, I’m not working with a trainer or anything, I’m self-reliant in that regard. But I had created a rule that I had to do, you know that my training weeks had to look a particular way. And that’s fine. 

They can look that way when I’m feeling good emotionally, physically, mentally – and last week, and to be fair, heading into this week, that’s not where my head’s at. That’s not where I’m at. 

I will also say that it can be hard to do this, especially when it comes to things like working out right, because we often get told we have to be disciplined, it’s about consistency and if we don’t want to do something, we still have to push ourselves to, you know, do something and there is a bit of truth in that, but there also is something to be said about learning how to get in touch with yourself I guess, but like how to build that self awareness so you can recognize actually you know, do I need rest full stop or do I want to do something but I don’t want to do it the way that I had imagined in my head or the way I prescribed it to myself in my head, right? 

This is about the latter part – I don’t know if I’ve said it on this podcast before, but I’ve certainly talked about it before sometimes you know when you feel like that you can start and that might help you recognize if you need to keep going or and if it was just you know your brain trying to play tricks on you versus actually “I need to dig a bit deeper and challenge why I think I have to do this thing”. 

’cause I’m not saying you know, come up with all the reasons why not to do a certain thing, either – if at the end of the day that is actually still important to you.  

What I’m saying, and that’s I’m going to finish on this, what I’m saying is that there isn’t just one way to get there, whatever there is right, there is not one way that your training schedule has to look. 

There is not one way that you have to go about promoting your business, there is not one way that you have to live your life and what I want you to do is to challenge your own thinking to get curious and to dig into why you’re doing things a certain way and to ask yourself if that’s still working for you, and if it isn’t, to try something different. 

That’s what I want for you. 

I realize it can be daunting and a bit scary to do that on your own, so I will say at this point that that is partly what I work with clients on I guide you on your own journey of, you know, building self-awareness starting to recognize these rules, and I help you question them, I’m that objective perspective giver in your back pocket if you like 

So if you want to talk about how I can help you more the links in the show notes will take you to my website where you can find out more about me and the coaching that offer. You can also reach out to me on social media wherever we’re connected, I’d love to even just walk you through some of the stuff or help you, with a particular challenge or scenario where you’re questioning the rules. 

Because like I said it at the end of the day, that’s what I want us all to do, I want us all to challenge and question the rules that we live our lives by and make our own. 

So with that said, I’ll bring this episode to a close and I’ll chat to you next time. 

Links for you:
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