I've been a rule-follower all my life:
I made straight A's.
I didn't do drugs.
I didn't hang out with the wrong crowd (hell, I wasn't even cool enough to hang out with the right crowd).
I went to church.
I always did my homework.
I graduated with honors.
I met curfew.
I didn't take out credit cards.
I never applied for a job that I wasn't 100% qualified for.
I definitely never asked for a raise.
Bored of me already?
(Or maybe you relate on an insanely twilight-zone spooky level because you thought you were the only one)
Why do rules appeal to us?
- It's easier.
- They're safe.
- You don't have to calculate any risk.
- You're within the bounds of what's acceptable.
- No one can argue with what you're doing.
- AND LOOK HOW GREAT YOU LOOK.
You never make a mistake. You never have to look stupid.
And you can look down on everyone else that does.
:) Yes, I said it.
It's an ego trip. Plain and simple.
Whether you realize it or not, by religiously following the rules, you become superior. Above reproach.
(No one likes a goody-goody because you make everyone else look bad)
And you don't have to take responsibility if anything goes south. By default, you fail to learn anything about life.
This is one of the big reasons people not only fail to get started in business, but also give up too soon.
If you can't make mistakes, take responsibility for fumbles, or ever have to figure it out at the 11th hour, you simply aren't going to get anywhere in business.
You're so busy thinking and analyzing and figuring out all the calculated steps ahead of time so you DON'T MAKE ANY MISTAKES that you never just go for it.
There is no way to out-calculate the risk of what you're trying to achieve.
And that's fucking terrifying, especially when you're the leader and alone.
But you know what? If you tried to do it anyone else's way, you'd be less than satisfied. (Which, hello, is how you got here in the first place)
Your dream is unique.
YOU are unique.
And there is a very unique path for you to take to get what you want.
No one else can do it.
If you're reading this, chances are good you're a closet rule-breaker. A true rule-follower wouldn't have the balls to get this far or strike out on her own.
So how do you quit following the rules and start making headway with what you want?
Until you know what you're doing, you can't change it.
- What rules are you mindlessly following?
- How much have you bought into simply because you believe you're "supposed to" do it this way?
2. Manage fears.
- What are the horrible things you imagine happening by breaking these rules? Fears around finances, relationships, judgements and criticism are all very real feelings.
- Can you live with the fear coming true?
You're afraid of having debt on a credit card because you can't pay it all off at one time.
This is a horrible thing because:
- you might not have perfect credit for a moment,
- someone might find out and judge you for it,
- you're simply doing something your mother always told you not to do,
- you might burn in hell for not adhering to Dave Ramsey's principles
Can you live with making payments for several months in order to get something you really want for your business?
*When you break it down like this, your fears begin to evaporate because you can see on paper how silly they are*
It's a choice to stay stuck in fear, holding yourself away from the things you want.
- Are you going to let fear win, close up shop and never get the dream?
- Or can you choose to face risk, and free-fall into the unknown, knowing that - even if you fail - at least you gave it everything you had?
What one rule are you going to break this week?
Start paying attention to what you want.
No more mindless rule-following.
Questions, comments, snide remarks? Hit me in the comments and let me know.