If you’re reading this you might have some inkling as to what I’m referring to when it comes to nonsense rules for women, and what we’ve been brought up to believe as “true” or “fact”. You might also be surprised to realise some beliefs are false or misleading, or you might just be intrigued to read this article for whatever reason. Either way something lead you to click that link. Trust your gut…. whatever the reason is, your gut told you to read this.
Each of us live by thousands of rules that we have been taught to believe through the act of spreading from mind to mind, like a contagious virus that spreads from person to person. Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mindvalley (an innovative personal transformation platform), coined the term “Brule” which stands for “Bulls**t Rule”. A Brule is a bulls**t rule that we adopt to simplify our understanding of the world. In his book “The Code of The Extraordinary Mind” (we recommend you read this), Vishen claims;
The mind is a funny, complex thing, and truth be told we subconsciously tell our mind what to believe through what we see and experience within our culturescapes. We’re all living in a massive world filled with a mix of beliefs, ideas, experiences, and practices that shape our perception of reality. This forms what Vishen Lakhiani calls the “culturescape”. We’ve validated these beliefs for so long, that we see our beliefs as “fact” and not simply something that’s been shaped by our culturescape or external world. Although Vishen Lakhiani coined the term Brule (and we love this way of looking at it), there are many studies that investigate the notion of how beliefs and life rules are formed. There are a few ways we tend to develop personal beliefs and life rules.
- The environment
- Events and outcomes
One source is internal (what we imagine within our minds) and the other external, namely the environment, education, experiences, and past events. Some of these beliefs and rules empower us as individuals (such as the belief that women can multitask) and some disempower us as individuals (such as women need a man in their lives to be complete). Humans are far less rational than we think, and we’ll believe anything, ridiculous or not, if it’s been validated and repeated enough.
Our belief system sets up our internal rules which tells us how to love, how to succeed, how to be wealthy and most importantly, they serve as benchmarks to measure our self-worth. By putting our happiness and self-worth in the hands of other people, means we give away the control of our own lives. Stop and think about that for a second.
By putting our happiness and self-worth in the hands of other people, means we give away the control of our own lives.
Let that sink in.
Let’s look at a few examples; “If he was home instead of drinks, he would love me”, “I’m obviously not good enough if they didn’t promote me”, or “They don’t accommodate overweight people – none of the jeans fit me.” Let’s look at the last example for a minute. Why don’t we question the company producing the jeans? Why do they get to decide what is thin, what is overweight, and what is ‘attractive’ for women when it comes to weight?
These are examples of disempowering beliefs. Beliefs that won’t serve you and most of all beliefs that we cannot deem as fact.
Not all thoughts and ideas grow into beliefs but constant repetition of any idea (no matter how strange), can eventually focus the mind to such an extent that the idea seems more acceptable, ‘real’, matter of fact and belief. Bringing these beliefs to the surface and questioning them can indeed be very liberating and life changing - hence why I decided to write this article. Hopefully it helps you in some way, big or small, it’s worth it!
I was brought up by a loving, dedicated mother who sacrificed her career to raise the kids while my dad worked to support the family. I’m lucky to have great parents who gave me an amazing childhood with the best of everything. In saying so, they encouraged and supported me in anything that I wanted to do. I completed 2 honours degrees, worked my way up in corporate, and learnt many great things along the way. Fast forward a few years later, I got married and had 2 beautiful kids.
As happy as I was, I felt torn. How was I supposed to have a career and have kids? I put my career on hold and felt I had to make a big sacrifice. It hurt and was difficult for me to accept for many years. For 3 years I worked parttime, from home and for myself running a small successful PR business. I was working half the hours, for the same amount of money (first rule debunked regarding working long hours to be successful). This type of work may be a dream for many women, but I was sad, lonely, and bored as hell. Why wasn’t I happy? Surely this is what most mother’s dream of?? That was not me, and I couldn’t understand why.
I believed that good mothers can’t be successful career women too, after all my mom sacrificed her career for her kids, right? Wrong. Working or not working, anyone can be a good mom and it took me a while, but I’m thankful I realised this.
As soon as I realised this was a bulls**t rule which I had validated for years, I jumped back into my career, and realised you can be anything you want if you bend your own reality and question your beliefs. Best of all? I’m still a great mom and wife. I also let go of the guilt – that was a big one. I realised this was a disempowering rule that didn’t serve me. I never questioned this before because it came from someone who was an authority figure in my life.
Now by no means am I implying that there is anything wrong with being a stay-at -home mom. I admire these women! All I mean is that there are many rules as women that we believe are to be ‘fact’ because the person we learnt the rule from is a superior, parent or someone we admire. The reality is, that it’s simply a ‘belief’ and nothing more. Something our brain has decided. The good news is that it’s super easy to change!
Believe it or not, as brilliant as the brain is, it’s very primitive in that it does what we tell it. Let’s bring some nonsense rules to the surface that I believe will apply to many women.
Hopefully one of these hit home with you, and made you question a personal belief.
Our aim here is to move past a disempowering belief so that it stops holding us back from what we really want to achieve. The most crucial step is to first bring them to the surface (from your subconscious to your conscious mind). For the next 5 minutes, think about and write down 3 nonsense beliefs you might have which were formed by your surroundings growing up.
Once you’ve done this, write down how these rules might be disempowering or holding you back from achieving things. Feel free to share it on our platform or DM us on social. It’s great to share and learn from others!
Hold onto those for a moment. Let’s understand what we can do to move past these beliefs that don’t serve us.
The Validation concept
When we have a rule that has been formed by constant repetition, we tend to “validate it” to significantly embed that rule into our mindset. The New Insights Life Coaching Programme gives a good example as to how we do this.
See how you tend to validate your belief by external experiences?
There is a positive here so don’t be discouraged. Just as easily as beliefs are constructed into solidly held, seemingly unshakeable convictions, they can be broken down. Remember beliefs can become self-fulfilling prophecies and unfortunately negativity breeds negativity, but the wonderful thing is that positivity breeds positivity! The aim is to create a belief system that serves YOU.
Think about it, and what might be holding you back. Find ways to debunk that rule by asking yourself why you think it’s ‘fact’ and where there are other scenarios in your life which that rule didn’t apply.
The biggest point is to question your beliefs, and whether they are serving you or holding you back. You’ll see a profound change when you debunk disempowering beliefs through a very simple process. As you form beliefs by validating them through the “legs of the table”, you can also collapse beliefs by undermining the reference legs that support that belief. For example;
You have the belief that you aren’t good enough. Why? Your previous partner left you, you didn’t make the netball team in school, and you didn’t get that job you really wanted.
Let’s flip that coin. Think of the times that you WERE good enough such as you got a promotion at your current job, your best friend calls you for a coffee because they are going through a tough time and you have a new partner that adores you! Do you see how easily you can turn a disempowering belief around?
Find those empowering validations and replace them with your limiting ones. You’ll soon realise that your belief is indeed not a hard ‘truth’.
Back to YOU
Now that we’ve covered how validation works, let’s revisit the list of beliefs you wrote down earlier, followed by how they are holding you back from living your best life. Have you broken these validations down and really questioned them? Do you see how they aren’t in fact a ‘hard truth’ to live by? Once you’ve done this exercise, start to focus on empowering beliefs that will serve you.
I am happy and successful
I CAN have it all – a career, a social life, kids
I can be independent without a man
I have the willpower, time, and mindset to be healthy
This process takes practice, and reading this article is a start. Just start somewhere, big, or small, productivity is better than consumption. So don’t just read this article and leave it…make time today to actively debunk your false beliefs and be conscious of this moving forward. You’ll see how much more you can achieve by letting go of them.
As you gain a new sense of freedom from brules that will no longer hold you back, your growth and happiness will start to accelerate.
Invest in yourself. You’re worth it!