What ‘Rules’ Are Holding You Back? - Fran Excell Mindset and Productivity Mentor

What ‘Rules’ Are Holding You Back?

 In Entrepreneur, Mindset, Podcast, Self sabotage

What ‘Rules’ Are Holding You Back?


What rules do you have for yourself that are holding you back?


At this time of year it’s really easy to get sucked into doing things you ‘should’ be doing (think resolutions, all the goals, stop drinking, eat healthy etc) or ‘shouldn’t’ be just because the date has changed.


So with this episode I just want to help you to become more aware of these rules.


What if this year we focus less on the ‘have tos’ and focus more on how and who we want to be.


The rule book has changed.


2020 was a shocker for many.  2021 we’re still in the same place right now.


So why would we add extra pressure in a time where even the most resilient of us are starting to buckle?


Live this year with consciousness.


What do you want to feel?


Rules are the things we blindly follow in life because there will be consequences if we don’t. So there’s the usual life rules, often with legalities attached that make sense or come from authority!  Those aren’t the rules I’m talking about here.


I’m talking about the internal ‘rules’ that we take on from parents, friends, society, our experiences when we’re young and the ones we just create for ourselves in our own noggins!


The things where we make up stories.  


‘If I do this then that happens’.  Or ‘If I don’t do this then that happens, or won’t happen’.


A pretty common one as an example, is this idea that you have to hustle and work hard to be successful.


But the thing is, there are so many nuances just to that statement alone!


What even is hustling?  How hard?  What even is success?  What measures either?


They are unconscious (usually unreasonably high!) standards that we set for ourselves.  And often, other people. 


I do really have to watch myself with this and be super conscious because I like rules.  I like order.  I like control and setting rules for ourselves is a way that we can achieve that.  


It’s something that creates a sense of safety for me.


My Dad was a teacher and housemaster and my Mum worked in schools too so rules were part of my make up.


Rules can be a good thing IF we allow ourselves to challenge them and be curious about whether they are true and whether they work for us or not.


For example one of my rules now is I don’t have to do things like everyone else to be successful.  


So you can see how that could be a good rule to have.  


It gives me a lot of freedom.  


It allows me to act with curiosity and find the best route forward for me, in line with my values. 


It allows me to be on clubhouse and not get sucked in or worry about being left behind. 


It’s still a framework that I have for myself, but MUCH more helpful than.  


‘I have to do X, Y and Z in my business’ because some guru told me it worked for them and was the ONLY way to run a business.


But, without that consciousness and curiosity, these rules stop us living consciously, meaning our choice is taken away and we blindly follow.


They stop us from seeing the truth.


They stop us seeing a potential way forward.


They stop us seeing simple ways to be happier and live how we really want to.


They limit us and give us a reason to beat ourselves up.


My husband is actually incredible at challenging these for me when they come up.  


It’s infuriating at the time yes, BUT, always helps me see a blind spot that can move me forwards.


He’s not always right, I might add.  Sometimes I actually like the rule and I’ll keep it and set some boundaries.  


But instead of thinking he’s being a pain in the butt and nitpicking and wanting me to do things ‘his way’ (which are HIS rules, by the way!) It helps me with the curiosity piece of the puzzle, the challenge the rule piece of the puzzle.  Does it help or hinder?


Our partners can be our biggest mirrors and triggers and that can be really helpful if we let it!


So here’s a few rules you might have to help you start to identify and challenge them for yourself.


Goals must be set in January

Why?  Yes it makes sense, I love goals.  But this one suggests that if you don’t start in January you have to wait until NEXT YEAR to do anything.  Which is bonkers.  It’s also one of the reasons that my gratitude journal (available on Amazon now!) is dateless and The Positive Pants Planner will be too.  You can decide on any day of the week, month, year to make changes.  This is NOT your rule.  It’s society.


The hours you work

When I went full time in my business I noticed this rule.  You start at 9 and finish at 9.30.  Why? What if you worked out what actually works for you and your life? 


I have to work Monday to friday

Again, who said?!


If I’m not on the latest platform i’ll be left behind

Where is the evidence against that? If you’re spending 8 hours a day on clubhouse just because other people are…is that really going to move you forwards?


Who I know/are friends with validates me

I get this one.  It’s the bullied child in us that thinks if we can just get accepted by the cool kid then everything will be ok.  It’s not true.  If it’s not a genuine connection it will feel empty.  Focus on REAL connection and support and you’ll get there and feel a lot happier along the way.


I have to make 6 figures before I can feel successful

Who…flippin…said! It’s simply not true.  Your bank account/income is not what validates you as a person. You choose what makes you feel like a good person.  What makes you feel ‘worthy’.  It’s got nothing to do with how much you earn!


I have to get 10k followers before I can feel successful

Same thing with your numbers of followers. Your followers are also not what validates you as a person. It means nothing in the grand scheme of things.  It doesn’t make you a better person.  


I can’t make mistakes or fail

My darling if this were true no one would ever get anywhere.  Failing and making mistakes is a HUGE part of success and growth!


It’s too late to start (too young, too old)

It is NEVER too late.  You’re never too old or too young to start anything.  If it’s calling you it’s meant for you.


I can’t change your mind when i’ve already done so much work.

You can ALWAYS change your mind!  It hasn’t been a waste of time to get there even if you realise it’s not what you want.  You needed all the lessons along the way!


It’s how I’ve always done it.

Does that necessarily mean it’s the best way to do it?


I have to do things the way the ‘gurus’ say, even if they don’t feel right.

No.  No you don’t.  Follow people you trust and feel are authentic because they will always tell you the good, the bad and the ugly and encourage you to do things your way. If anyone tells you their way is the only way and without it you’ll fail…run!


You have to wait for things to be perfect before you press go

Just no.  Do the thing.


You can’t have a job and a business

I’d love to know who came up with this one.  The idea that if you have a job that ‘means’ your business is successful.  I kept my job for years because I wanted to and it made sense for my life and my circumstances.  I also know people who still had a job AND a 7 figure business.  If you want to keep your job, keep your job!! 


Anything you’re telling yourself you ‘should’ do


Someone else’s version of success has to be mine (cars, handbags, luxury etc)

You are the only person that can define what success means to you.  It’s about how YOU want to live your life and what’s important to YOU!No one else gets to tell you what that is. 


I should be married by X age, have kids by X age, own a house by X age

This is crazy talk.  Who is dictating these rules?  


The first key is to notice these rules.  


Notice where you’re telling yourself what you can or can do/say/think/be/have.  


Where have you set a rule around this?


Is it true?


What if you didn’t have it?


Where did it come from?


What did your parents or primary care givers teach you growing up? 


What rules do you have around success, money, relationships, what you can or can’t should or shouldn’t do. 


What did you hear, see, model that has shaped how you do things today?


Ask yourself.  Why do I think this?  Where does this come from?  Do I see anyone doing it differently and being where I want to be?


What if you broke your rule? Ooooooh!


Where are you following an out of date rule that wasn’t yours in the first place?  Or doesn’t fit for the person you are now?


None of this stuff has any real meaning except the meaning that you give it.  So what’s true for you?


Really what I would love is to help you be more conscious of these.  What if the focus for 2021 instead of all the pressure, the need to DO and ACHIEVE we focused more on really getting to know ourselves.  


Really understanding why we do the things that we do…or don’t do!


Let’s be a little more gentle with ourselves this year and know that we can do that and STILL achieve great things.




Fran Excell, Subconscious Success Mentor – Helping Business Owners Overcome Self Sabotage & Get More Done In Less Time at www.franexcell.com


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