In November 2015 I attended a friends wedding totally solo and totally sober. Not, one, drink... and when people asked I didn't make up any BS excuse, I just told the truth - that I didn't drink booze anymore because I wanted to be mindful about what I put in my body. I felt confident enough to be myself and dance my butt off without a drop of liquor for courage. It felt really good to not care and just enjoy myself. It felt liberating. This may not seem like a big deal for some, but for someone who used to to be as uptight as I once was - it's a pretty big shift.
During my adolescence and early twenties I was a people pleaser and a bit of a goodie two shoes. Someone who frequently used the phrase “OH but you CAN’T do THAT!” This attitude was mostly because I was always afraid of stepping out of line incase I got in trouble or disappointed someone. So I hardly ever broke rules and the few times I fibbed to my parents about where I was going so that I could go to a party - I experienced a tonne of anxiety about them finding out, and about a week or two of guilt about lying to them. This followed me into adult life, where doing things that “weren’t allowed” often made me anxious. I kept playing by the rules - even when they weren’t aligned with what I believed. This behaviour really smothered my inner risk-taker and threw a wet blanket on the creative, fiery and feisty Leo side of my personality.
In the past few years I’ve learnt that being a successful “entrepreneur” very much involves doing it your own way. It’s the rule-breakers and risk takers that make the most head way. Rebellion is a quality are very common among the innovative greats like Steve Jobs and Picasso. Doing things different to “the norm” is a great way to stand out in your market and position yourself as a unique individual. My favourite 21st century business rebel is the gorgeous Lisa Messenger - founder of Renegade Collective Mag, author of a shit load of books and is an all round ballsy inspiration (all you babes in business should be jumping on the Collective Hub train and reading their shiz!). Lisa knows when to both break the rules and make new ones.
I believe life’s about finding out what matters to you and letting go of what doesn’t. I believe this takes exploration, courage and trust. It requires backing yourself, being confident and staying true to yourself and sometimes that means breaking a few rules (because they might work great for others but not for you).
So next time you think “oh I can’t do that” … Ask yourself why not? Who’s rules am I following here? What’s the WORST thing that could happen if I do it differently? … and go from there.
Some of my most liberating experiences in life recently have been when I’ve broken a few rules or done something that a lot of people would say “I could’t do”.. So if you' re a people pleaser or a bit of a goodie two shoes, I urge you to give it a go - start small, start doing things your own way and indulge in a few random acts of liberation! It could be as simple as skinny dipping or eating pancakes for dinner. Just give it a go. You might be surprised and discover that like me, there’s a bit of mischief deep down inside of you - waiting to be set free.
P.S. I just want to make it clear that not all rules are bad and although I’m spiritual and not super religious, I still think that the 10 Commandments are pretty on point with the “thou shall not murder” and all that jazz…