Whose Rules Are You Following?


“So often I have listened to everyone else’s truth
and tried to make it mine. 
Now, I am listening deep inside
for my own voice
and I am softly, yet firmly, 
speaking my own truth.” 

Liane Cordes 

I came across this quote several months ago – the message it shares is not new to me, and I’m sure it isn’t new to you, either. 

Yet understanding something in our heads, on an intellectual level, is completely different from understanding it in our hearts, and even more importantly, living it every day. 

We all know that we have choices about everything we believe, the things we do, and how we react. We are all blessed with minds of our own…even little children know, at a very young age, how to voice their own desires – pretty clearly, as a matter of fact. 

I recently spent some wonderful vacation time with my 2 ½ year old nephew, Alex, and he reminded me of how determined children are and how easily they voice their wants and needs. 

As adults, we have forgotten this skill. 

We have learned to listen to everyone around us…we’ve absorbed the rules of our own childhoods, the rules of our professions, the rules that ‘good people’ follow, even if they don’t serve us anymore or make us happy. 

We also have plenty of unwritten rules of our own: “if I’m a good mother/father, I must…..”, “if I’m a good friend, I must…”…and if we don’t measure up at all times, we feel we’ve failed. 

It may be time for you to re-evaluate the rules you’ve been basing your life on, often without realizing it. 

For example, the rule ‘don’t talk to strangers’ makes perfect sense for children. It is one way to help keep kids safe.

However, as adults, if we unconsciously continue to follow this rule, we may miss out on some great opportunities to network and connect with other people. 

Once you start paying attention to all the subtle rules that are running your life, you’ll be able to consciously choose to keep those that support you, and let go or change those that don’t. 

Awareness is the first step; you may be surprised at how many rules you find! 

This week, pay attention to all the things you think you ‘should’ be doing. 

Whose rules are you following? 

Do they serve you? 

If not, what would it take for you to let them go?