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Is your head full of self-imposed rules? - 26th July 2021
This blog post was prompted by me noticing my own thought processes recently. Specifically in relation to the monthly newsletter I send out to subscribers.
When I first started sending a newsletter I decided to send it monthly. At first I was concerned I might not have content every month, but now I trust the process. Soon after I've sent out a newsletter I get an idea for the next one. Actually the newsletter is based around these blog posts, so being a subscriber is a way to make sure you don't miss a blog post!
A few days ago I suddenly realised it was much later in the month than I'd realised. I had no idea what I would be writing about and of course sending the newsletter requires a bit of work other than just writing the content for that particular blog post. I noticed myself getting a bit stressed about this. There was also a feeling of suddenly being under pressure to write and produce the newsletter so it would go out before the end of July.
Have you ever noticed how when you are stressed about needing a solution for something it seems be become even more elusive? Well, talk about writer's block! Not an idea. Nothing.
Then I smiled at the madness of it all.
I was behaving as though an irate boss was berating me for a missed deadline.
I have no boss. In reality I have no deadline either.
The irony of self-imposed rules
For a long time all my self-imposed rules were buried in my subconsious, hence I had no idea what was going on. Now I understand myself better I can see how I gave myself a hard time every time I broke one of these invisible rules. Now I have conscioius awareness of what's going on in my head I can resist making these kind of demands on myself. I might have an aim - but these days it is rarely a rule. If I "aim" to do something and it doesn't happen, well, it really doesn't matter, does it?
This newsletter thing is one that had slipped through the net. I noticed my thoughts which were trying to tell me I'd messed up. Immediately I knew that actually if my July newsletter goes out at the beginning of August nobody is likely to complain! Why not? Because it really doesn't matter if it goes out at the end of July or the beginning of August. That's why!
Why on earth do we act this way?
If your self-imposed rule gets broken, you are the only person who gets upset. If you stick with it, you are the only person feeling that the rule is valid or useful. You have more than likely made yourself a slave to this rule!
The self-imposed rule is yet another example of your conditioning having free rein inside your head. This is the voice that delights in telling you that you've failed, you're not good enough, you're an idiot, etc, etc. Hence, when you fail with your own rule, the conditioning jumps up to remind you that you are rubbish at everything!
The rule lands in the first place because of the conditioning you had at some point in life that made rules look like a useful tool. Maybe it was to do with safety? Maybe it was about getting things right, or a fear of judgement? Maybe it was about being a good girl (or boy)? Only you or your subconcsious can answer that question. It's worth finding out the truth of it though, because bringing this stuff into your conscious mind is how you can gradually reduce the power it has over you.
So although my conditioning wanted to judge me for not sending out a newsletter in accordance with my own rule I was able to more or less shrug it off. Not so long ago I would have let it get to me and would have ended up feeling crushed by self criticism.
Do you recognise any of these traits?
If you do, then you are far from abnormal. If you would like some help in understanding and unravelling the subconscious aspect of your behaviour and conditioning then do get in touch. I have spent several years working on my own conditioning and now offer one to one coaching to help you find some freedom from yours!
I offer a complimentary discussion on Zoom so you can find out more and decide if this would work for you. Please get in touch!
Keywords: beliefs, head-clutter