June 29, 2021 3 min read

Have you ever changed your mind based out of fear? Maybe you were going to share something vulnerable, but you were afraid of what people would think. Or maybe you wanted to go get pizza but instead of speaking up, you let the other person choose because they tend to be more opinionated. 

The more I did this in life, the more I started to live by other people’s rules. I would lose pieces of myself as I did it. 

There is a joke I would make anytime my sister and I would stop at a rest stop while traveling somewhere. I would say “Nicole guess what!” She would reply “what?” I would then respond, “Look around, these people all around us, this is society!” She would then fake a laugh and roll her eyes at me. 

But after I made that joke for the first time I started to think. Who is society? Why do they put so much pressure on me? Why am I trying to live up to their standards for life, when I don’t even know who they are! Why am I so afraid of their opinion of me? 

Whenever I started to create a life I loved, the people I realized I feared most were the people closest to me. I had acted a certain way for so long, would they get mad at me if I started to change? 

Yes there is this idea of society pressure and yes one or two of them could attack me Instagram if they really wanted to, but do I care about their opinion? No. I care about my family and friends’ opinions though. I realized that the fear was stemming from disappointing them, not the random person on the internet. 

When you decide to embark on a new adventure in life, fear is typically not far behind. But what I have noticed is a lot of the fear is false. They are lies that we tell ourselves to keep ourselves safe in our comfort zones. 

With this said, creating your own rules for life is liberating. When you know who you are authentically, and you are able to create a life from a loving place that reflects it, it is the most empowering decision. You are able to feel more confident in yourself. You are able to experience a much more fulfilling life. 

So how do you create your own rules? First, figure out who you are. What do you like, what do you dislike. What are all those fears that are coming up for you when you think about judgment? 

I then personally love the add-in method. This is where instead of trying to eliminate things from your life, add in positive things to your life. I did this with my eating, I did this with my sleep routine. And naturally, the bad habits started to shift on their own. I no longer had a desire to participate in them, because I didn’t need them anymore to make me happy. 

Do you love to paint? Make the time to paint. If you love to read, take the time to read. Fill your life with things that light you up! That excites you, and makes you happy! Once you are familiar with what it is like to have that happiness in your life, the fear is easier to manage. 

Naturally, I have become a much happier person. I still have days I struggle (I am a human!) But overall I find much more peace in my life. My family and friends love it when I am happy! They love when I am growing and thriving. The fear I had was for nothing!

Now, if you find your friends and family are not happy for your happiness, that is where boundaries come into play. What type of boundaries are going to be a part of creating your own rules? How are you going to handle situations when they don’t go well? Do you have a support process in place for when you have to handle hard emotions? 

When creating your own rules in life, it takes a lot of responsibility. You are responsible for living them out and loving yourself through the process. It can be an extremely fulfilling process if you let it. 

Elissa Curry
Elissa Curry


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