Breaking Free of the Rules

breaking the rules my life my way perfectionist podcast Mar 16, 2022
The Enneagram One Project

You are already magnificent.

 

You are already radiant.

 

You just don’t know it yet because you’ve been living inside a cage of golden rules.

 

Yes, even the rules you believe in can create a cage in which you have very little room to soar.

 

Yes, even the most well meaning rules are still part of that cage unless you decide you want them for yourself.

 

That part we don’t talk about with other people about being a perfectionist is the inner conflict and battle of wills that is a constant for us as we weigh all the rules of the good daughter, the good partner, the good worker, the good parent. 

 

We can’t possibly be all of those things all at once.

 

Who said that I can’t be on the one hand incredibly sensual and sexy and still be a fabulous mother or daughter. One does not negate the other.

 

Yet here we are trying so hard to be a good person out in the world that we don’t check in with ourselves. There’s a false sense of certainty when we follow the rules. It gives us a sense of being in control of what we can’t ever possibly control - other people, circumstances, events.

 

Here are some of the beliefs I worked through, some I’m still untangling because they can be so sneaky. 

 

  • Do not be a problem for other people
  • It’s not proper to show too much pride
  • Criticism coming from loved ones is their right to give and your duty to adjust to
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated
  • You can be sexy but not too sexy
  • Don’t be late because that’s a show of disrespect 

 

Can you relate to any of these?

 

We CAN explore and decide for ourselves:

 

  • How has this belief helped me in the past? Why was it useful for me?
  • When has this belief held me back or cause an internal conflict? Why was that?
  • Taking that particular situation, what did I long to express or do that I did not?
  • What is the value that resonates with me from this rule?

 

Your perfect, authentic self is what you lean into, embrace and embody when you break free of the rules.

 

Imagine being fully grounded in who you are in every singly room you enter.

 

Questioning and deciding again for yourself which are your values and how you want to act from them is uncomfortable but the relief of being able to be yourself in any room you enter is well worth it. 

 

Creating a life that is purpose filled because you stand grounded in your sovereignty, your dreams, and your desires. All of that is valid. You don’t have to keep compromising your true self, your authentic self, for the rules set by others.

 

Listen to the full episode HERE

 

Resources:

Work with me: HERE

Past embodiment episode: Why Embodiment for Ones

The Enneagram One Project Facebook group with free embodiment mini trainings: HERE

 

 


 

Transcript:

 

Welcome every One, you are listening to The Enneagram One Project Podcast, Ep 11 - Breaking Free of the Rules

 

We perfectionists are known for our high standards both for ourselves and others. I am no exception. Although if you were to ask me, I’d say they aren’t high standards, they’re actually the bare minimum of my expectations. So it’s a little funny when people say they’re high, unattainable even. I’ve use those terms to, when describing the enneagram type one, the perfectionist, but honestly, as a one myself, I really think my standards are the baseline of decent human behavior. They are the rules I hold myself accountable to and measure myself against. A moral compass if you will.

 

While we’ve all heard about impossible standards, there’s something always left out of that conversation, there’s something we enneagram ones, perfectionists, don’t really talk about with others. For as much as you might see our frustration when we finally let it out, you’ll never be a witness to the disharmony within and inner discord. The battle of wills that happens inside each of us as we debate being accepting of others and saying what’s eating us up inside.

 

I coach on every topic imaginable but my perfectionist clients all have this in common, I think it’s the root cause of their discontent, frustration and resentment.

 

Let’s use me as an example, for the longest time, I was absolutely certain that the rules I followed created certainty and safety in my life. I could predict the accomplishments and outcomes I’d create for myself, for the most part, I could predict how others would respond to me. It was a false sense of certainty and security. The human condition is uncertain but these rules made me feel like I had some sort of power over the uncertainty, like I could best it.

 

The truth is I could control everything so tightly that I left very little room for the unexpected. I was able to do that because I relied heavily on my ability to seem perfect. Be the good student, be the good mother, be the good wife, be the good coach, be the good employee, be the good daughter. Basically abiding to the moral compass set by others. In doing so I created a very tight space in which to live. The tiny space where my own needs met with what’s acceptable for the good human based on the rules.

 

This of course, created a lot of dissatisfaction with my life. It was impossible to abide by the rules of each of those roles and then, then there was me. Where do I fit into all of this? No one would ever know the internal discord and the constant inner conflict. Sharing the level of anxiety I felt inside with others would ruin everything wouldn’t?

 

You see, the perfectionist lives their life in a cage of rules. Some of those rules were offered as best practices by loved ones. Some of those rules were purposefully imposed to hold you back or scare you into a box. Some of those rules your younger self created because they saw the benefits from a safety perspective. 

 

What these rules have in common is that they are optional. Every last one of them. It’s scary to think that we are just fed rules and codes of conduct that aren’t based on anything other than what might work for the culture you are in and to support the biases of those imposing the rules. It especially gets all muddled because we attribute the idea of morality to these rules. They are the moral compass we use to help us make decisions. We use this compass for our day to day decisions, as well as the bigger decisions, it’s exhausting and it creates so much internal tension.

 

Even the well meaning rules you’ve heard like “you can be and do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t bother other people” or “you have to be respect your elders because they are to be honored for their sacrifices for your benefit”.

 

None of that is factually true. You can choose them for yourself but that’s key isn’t it? How many of the rules have you actually explored and asked do I want to follow this rules? Does this rule make sense for my values? What comes of my deepest truth and what comes from others?

 

It’s easier in the short term to follow the rules but in the long term, the cost is horrendous. You turn around one day and realize you’ve been kept small because of this cage. Other people decided for you. And you probably thought you were acting of your own choice but even that’s been handed to you by others. 

 

Some of their choices will and do align with your values but a lot just creates inner conflict for the perfectionist. How can you be perfect if you step out of the cage? What will you use as the measuring stick of your goodness?

 

The only way that you get to live YOUR life on YOUR terms is by breaking free the shackles of the rules that you were forced to and conditioned to adopt.

 

The first step is to look at how you live your life, what are the beliefs that fuel your behavior and is that what you want driving it? If you could have it your way, and you really can, would you keep those same beliefs?

 

Here are some of the beliefs I worked through, some I’m still untangling because they can be so sneaky. 

 

  • Do not be a problem for other peopleI
  • It’s not proper to show too much pride
  • Don’t give others a reason to criticize you
  • Criticism coming from loved ones is their right to give and your duty to adjust to
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated
  • A professional looks a certain way; makeup, hair done up and all the tings
  • You can be sexy but not too sexy
  • Don’t be late because that’s a show of disrespect 

 

Can you relate to any of these?

 

We don’t often see these as rules but that’s the true name of something used to keep someone in line. The beauty is that they are all optional. Every last one of them. We have a hard time even being curious because the brain right away screams danger danger you will be cut from your people and you will die. 

 

If you remember, I’ve talked about this before. Your brain left on its own will always look for the danger to keep you alive.

 

Well done brain, thank you for keeping me safe and maybe you’re misguided in what is safety and what isn’t. 

 

Questioning and deciding again for yourself which are your values and how you want to act from them is uncomfortable but the relief of being able to be yourself in any room you enter is well worth it. Creating a life that is purpose filled because you stand grounded in your sovereignty, your dreams, and your desires. All of that is valid. You don’t have to keep compromising your true self, your authentic self, for the rules set by others.

 

Let me share with you how you can approach this work from both the mind and the body. I invite you to question with the mind and answer with the body. That may be a little confusing, stay with me.

 

I’ll offer a few questions here for your inquiry. I like to ask these questions with space and time in between them, so not in one sitting. I ask the question with the mind and then I see what bubbles up from the deepest part of me. I am able to do that because I use embodiment techniques that bring me back to center, where the unconditioned wisdom can be felt.

 

That said, you can absolutely answer these from your mind if that’s what feels safe to you and going deep within seems out of reach. 

 

If you’re anything like me, I used to think that my rational mind was my most advanced discernment tool. If that’s how you want to answer the following questions just be on to yourself, look at each with genuine curiosity. If you could answer your deepest wishes, how would you really answer these questions.

 

From the mind, I want you to pick 1 rule to investigate. If you’re not sure where to start, I offer you this very common, well-meaning rule “you can do whatever you want in life so long as it doesn’t bother anyone”.

 

Some of the questions you could ask are:

 

How has this belief helped me in the past? Why was it useful for me?

When has this belief held me back or cause an internal conflict? Why was that?

Taking that particular situation, what did I long to express or do that I did not?

What is the value that resonates with me from this rule?

 

There are no right or wrong answers here. I know that my answers have been a true liberation from the cage of rules. I am still a perfectionist, that is still my personality but I know my personality is the way the ego protects itself. I don’t want to get rid of any of it, personality has purpose, ego has purpose but I also plan on soaring well beyond the rules of my perfectionist cage. 

 

I have learned to live my life from my truth, be my authentic self in the rooms I enter and create a harmony within myself that I thought was impossible for most of my life. It’s not impossible, even for us perfectionists and I so want this for you too. If you’re feeling that pull, that desire for yourself as well then I invite you to visit the work with me tab over on my website.

 

Until next time, Love to each and every One!

 

 

Thank you so much for listening to The Enneagram One Project podcast, your go-to podcast for all things One.

 

If you’re wanting to integrate what you’re learning here and be supported by your very own personal Enneagram One life coach then I invite you to head over to my website dominiquevandal.com look at the top of the page for the work with me tab. Let’s make your Oneness your greatest gift! Can’t wait to meet you!

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