Break Your Own Rules

Do you ever find that your creativity shows up the moment you say it’s nowhere to be found? Or, after proclaiming that you have nothing to say, the words you’ve been searching for are there…fighting to get out? Maybe you’ve just been feeling lost or uninspired or maybe you just feel like something is holding you back.

A few weeks ago, I posted about getting back to blogging for me.

Strangely enough, the moment I pushed “publish” on that post, a well of ideas, inspiration and renewed passion started flowing.

It’s almost as if just saying those words took this huge pressure off my shoulders. I no longer felt like I had to do anything – I’m just doing what I want. But I want more!

I have all these ideas that weren’t here until that self-inflicted pressure was gone. I’ve been making list after list of ideas on recipes, posts, and stories I want to tell.

It’s as if I had these ridiculous rules for myself, creating undue pressure and stress on my life. I’m not sure when or why that started, but it felt great to “break my own rules”.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Where do we come up with these crazy ideas that we need to do certain things that aren’t required of us or, even worse, that we talk ourselves out of the things that we truly desire?

I’ve heard of some strange ones, and I’m sure you have, too.


I’m not eating anything after 7 pm.

I can’t eat a cookie if I haven’t worked out today.

There’s no way I could ever do (fill in the blank) so I’m not even going to try. It’s not going to happen for me, so I’ll just forget it.

I’m not strong enough to do that so I’ll just find something else to go after.

I don’t deserve to be happy or successful.

I’ve messed up so badly, I can never get back on track.

There are still things I’m not sure of, but at least I’m moving forward. Slowly but surely, things are falling into place.

And – to tell you the truth – I’m terrified.

Of everything…failure, success. Acceptance, rejection. Moving forward, falling back.

I guess what I’m really scared of is change.

I’m comfortable where I am, whether I like it or not, and changing your life is hard to do. Change is uncomfortable. It forces us to get out of those comfort zones we’ve created and step out into the unknown. And that is scary.

I feel as though I’m finding myself again. Some days, I think I can do it. Then there are other days that I wonder what I’m doing, doubting myself and finding all the reasons I shouldn’t be trying.

So every day, I’m trying to give myself a pep talk, just to get those thoughts out of my head and remind myself that I’m stronger than I think I am.

That my doubts and fears don’t define me. That being scared of the unknown is part of being human and I’m not alone in those feelings.

And that I can do whatever I put my mind to.



What about you?

Do you have strange rules or habits that you’ve created for yourself? How have you broken through them, or have you? Are they holding you back?


  1. I am So about change these days but it used to terrify the crap out of me. And now, I am just hungry for new and exciting things. I think it is SO easy for us to get caught up in the way things are that we become blinded to the possibilities. We have expectations of the way things should be and if I may quote Baron Baptiste here, Expectations are actually limitations. When we put expectations on ourselves, we are actually just putting ourself inside of a box when really, the sky is the limit! There is no limit to what we can do. And embracing that change is a scary but beautiful thing.

    You are amazing and headed for great things, dear friend!

  2. I’ve definitely felt the pressure timeto time to eat perfect, or eat vegan, or eat closer to nature, and it’s the pressure more than anything that throws me. Now I just make sure that any “rule” Iset will let me thrive and never hinder me

  3. I have many rules that feed my disordered eating and have yet to be broken. I have certain times I have to eat and of course the no eating after 7 rule. If I didn’t exercise for the day I have to be careful with my calories too. I know this is no way to live so I’m trying to push myself out of these barriers.
    Don’t forget to enter my birthday giveaway!!

  4. As a lady whose life used to consist almost entirely of rules, habits, and dire fear of spontaneity (I was terrified of novelty even as a little child), I think I’ve evolved in a big way over the course of my twenties. I’m still a planner, a goal-seeker, and a fairly un-spontaneous person, but I know better than to think that there’s any use in making rules for myself anymore, in any way. Don’t break this or that food rule? Don’t work past this or that hour? Don’t date this or that kind of man? Whatever. Life is multifarious and unpredictable, and we can’t reign it in.

  5. THANK YOU for this post! this is exactly the way i’ve been lately – letting fear control me and hold me back. i need to just breathe, stop overthinking it and take that leap of faith. thanks girl :)

  6. I have a lot of self imposed rules on myself. And this week I’m giving myself permission to break them and see what happens. I know what is good for my body and I’ve been ignoring that for years. Now its time to see if eating to make my body happy will actually work.

  7. Great post! I’ve start relaxing my rules, HEAB did a great post on her rules for eating out and I totally related to it. Everything she said totally applied to me. I still don’t feel comfortable eating out all of the time (I just get anxious about making good choices), but I have been getting better. Life’s too short to worry about one meal!

  8. I can relate to this post SO MUCH. My blogging was seriously drying up because I felt like I *should* be blogging in a certain style, about certain things, at a certain frequency. When I let that go and decided to change the way I was doing things, posts and ideas and passion for it just flowed back! I was so much happier when I accepted that I could just blog MY WAY!

    Awesome post, girlie x

  9. I definitely feel the stress to post more and that is why I had to take a hiatus from posting for a while to re-evaluate some things in my life. The blog world pulled me back because I think we are all so aware of others with the same situations. I also feel that rules I set up aren’t necessarily healthy. I now try to make short term goals over things that I can’t accomplish right at this moment. example = half marathon over full…I can’t run a half yet but definitely more doable. same goes for my career, I felt like at such a young age, I was hoping to be the editor in chief of my own mag (yeah right!)

  10. I’ve been clinging to a weird 1600-calorie-per day rule for the past few months, and over the weekend I just threw it out the window. Now, I can cry and say I “fell of the wagon” or some such nonsense, or I can take the opportunity to /finally/ free myself from the chains of calorie counting once and for all. I have to keep reminding myself at every meal: “Health, not numbers. Health, not numbers.” Zen.

  11. I break my own rules all the time and feel awful. I have to remind myself again and again that MY rules aren’t the ones I need to follow.

  12. great, enlightening post! i definitely relate. i wouldn’t call them rules but i have lots of judgments. about my eating, my workouts, my social life, etc. i started meditation recently though and it’s been so amazing!!! i’ve learned to sit with these thoughts and let them pass by like clouds in a blue sky :) and realize that the way i am NOW at any given moment is ok.

    my fav rapper quote, “life ain’t a track meet, it’s a marathon…” relates to this journey. sometimes it’s hard when i feel alone with certain issues which is why i am so thankful for you and other bloggers being so open and honest on your blogs :D

  13. Oh man, change is the epitome of my life, seeing as how i never stay or do the same thing for an extended period of time!

    but in that, i find that even though so much changes, i find more ways that it can benefit my life, how i see and react to things that i think, and how i can be more positive about my outlook on life/stuff. it’s amazing the process i go through when i move everytime!

  14. I definitely have “rules” for myself, ones that I break and ones that I’m too afraid to break. But the one thing I DO tell myself is this: if the only reason I’m NOT doing some is fear, that’s not enough to stop me. Fear is worth pushing through, because most of the time there is something beautiful on the other side. :) GREAT post!

  15. I hate those “rules!” Ugh, I hate when people just beat themselves up for things they did or didn’t do, but then don’t actually do anything to change how the feel about it. They would rather just wallow in pitty and feel ashamed. It’s sad.

    If there is something you want, then go for it. If there is something that you are feeling guilty about, then move on. I know its easier said than done at times, but think of how much happier this world would be if we all could just break our own rules! ;)

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