What if you could change the rules?

Don’t know about you, but my kids make really frustrating rules. Things like “If my sister takes my toy, I hit her” or “When you (mom) say no, I cry” or “If you make vegetables for dinner, I’ll feed them to the dog while you’re not looking.” Their rules make me a little nuts. Mostly because they don’t SAY them, they just DO them, and everyone else just has to deal with them.

But here’s the bad news: We all make annoying rules. If you sat and thought about it for a minute, you’d realize just how many rules you have. We all do. What side of the bed you sleep on. The time of day you have coffee. The colors you wear together. The kinds of things you do if you have free time. The ways you respond to people when they do certain things. The way you think about yourself when you look in the mirror.

The Rules We Follow
A rule is a regulation (conscious or unconscious) that governs a situation or behavior. It’s an if/then statement. Or a when/then statement. It’s something that we do or think by habit, but it is, at some level, A CHOICE. What kinds of rules do you live by? Do any of these sound familiar?

If I’m x weight, I’m unattractive.
If my kids are misbehaving in public, I’m a bad parent.
If I’m hungry, I snack on chips.
If something changes, I worry.
If I’m tired in the evening, I surf the net or watch a movie.
If I pray for a certain amount of time each day, God will bless me.
When someone yells at me, I yell back.
When someone cuts me off on the freeway, I get mad.
When my kids tantrum in the store, I get frustrated.
When I say no to that request, I’m not a good friend.

If I….. When I…..

What if we change the rules?

Changing the Rules
What would happen if we just decided to change the rule that’s making us feel angry, frustrated, lonely, guilty, ugly or stressed?

What if the rule was:

The scale doesn’t matter. If I’m healthy, I’m attractive.
When my kids misbehave, I calmly redirect it or leave the store.
When someone yells at me, I walk away.
When someone cuts me off on the road, I pray for them. 
When I say no to something, I’m helping my relationships be healthy.
If I’m hungry, I snack on healthy foods.
If I’m worried, I take a deep breath and do a hobby or go for a walk.
When I visit someone who’s difficult for me, I remember verses that strengthen my heart.
If I’m tired, I go to sleep.
When changes happen, I trust myself to get through them.

We’ve all got rules. They’re part of every aspect of our lives. What if our rules GAVE LIFE instead of making it miserable?

I’d love to hear your ideas on this. Click here to leave a comment.

Have a great week!

If you’re stuck with this right now, don’t stay stuck! Email me at lauriewallin@gmail.com for more information on individual coaching or small group teleclasses to get some new, helpful, rules in place in your life. 

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  1. says

    Hi Laurie! Thanks for stopping by at my place – Life Emerging – today. So nice to meet you. I can't wait to read more of your stuff. Tonight, I am tired and I am making the choice to go.to.bed! 🙂

    Blessings, Robyn Q

  2. says

    Love LOVE these comments! You are all so inspiring to me… to keep breathing, to keep changing those rules that I don't even notice (like how I respond to an unfriendly customer service person on the phone!). Keep enjoying changing those rules, ladies!

  3. Shannon says

    Old Rule: When I have to tell my son the same instruction over and over, I get angry and yell at him and everybody else.

    New Rule: When I have to tell my son the same instruction more than once, I do not get angry. I remember that he is challenged in hearing me, understanding it and carrying it out. I start over by giving him one instruction at a time, and then follow him and be 6 inches from him while he completes the task.

  4. says

    This is great! I just broke a rule I had…

    I was just on the phone with the bank needing help to get online to see my account…

    My rule… When customer service reps talk to me like I am stupid, I get an attitude. Rule just broken… When rep talked to me like I was stupid, I just smiled and spoke even nicer to her 🙂

    Such easy happy freedom!

    Thanks Laurie!

  5. Lisa V. says

    This is so refreshing. I believe in some ways I do create my own positive rules but have a ways to go with others. One rule I created for myself was when I had children and realized, my rule of success drastically changed. My employment at a 9-5 job no longer defines me as a success. My success is now being a loyal and loving wife and loving and raising my children. If I still held on to the belief of climbing the corporate ladder or that I failed because I didn't pursue and complete an education degree, I could be miserable but I know HIS plans for me were and are best.