Why Mentally Strong Women Don’t Fear Breaking the Rules
Photo by wang shuhong on Unsplash
Maybe you were raised to be a “good girl.” Or maybe you just aren’t the type of person who likes to create waves. Being a rule-follower can serve you well in many ways. But there are times when breaking the rules might be the key to living a better life.
Bending—or breaking—a few rules might actually be good for your career. Take Lori Greiner, for example. Not only is she one of the cast members on Shark Tank, but she’s also known as “the Queen of QVC.” She’s an inventor and entrepreneur with an estimated net worth of $50 million.
But she certainly doesn’t follow all the rules. Take sleep, for example. You don’t have to look very hard to find books or articles that will tell you the secret to success is waking up early and getting a head start on the day. And you’ll likely hear Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45 a.m. and Richard Branson gets up at 5:00 a.m. because they both want to start the day before sunrise.
Not Lori, however. She told Parade magazine she usually goes to sleep at 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. And what does she do right before she goes to bed? She exercises. I doubt you’ll find too many health gurus or productivity specialists who will recommend a robust workout right before you hit the hay. But Lori says she’s a night owl and that schedule works for her.
There’s evidence that says breaking the rules can contribute to success—especially when those rule violations date back to childhood. A 40-year study published in Developmental Psychology found that kids who broke the rules were most likely to earn more money as adults. The study began examining 12-year-olds in 1968.
Researchers noted their characteristics, behavior, and intelligence, and their parents’ socioeconomic status. Then they followed them through adulthood. To their surprise, the “naughty kids” were the highest income earners. While they didn’t necessarily have the most prestigious job titles, they were making more money than the kids who had been labeled “studious.”
The authors of the study offered several possible reasons for this outcome. Perhaps the kids who broke the rules weren’t afraid to ask for raises more often. Or maybe they were more likely to become entrepreneurs and innovators who blazed their own trails.
Related: Mentally Strong Kids Have Parents Who Refuse to Do These 13 Things
So, despite the articles that will tell you what you should do to be most productive or successful, keep in mind that you need to do what works best for you. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn about people who are doing great things, but you don’t have to copy them. You might find breaking a few rules helps you create your own path to success.
Troubleshooting and Common Traps
There’s a difference between breaking the rules because you’re taking a stand and simply being disrespectful. I hear a lot of people say things like “Well, they’re just going to have to deal with it” when they’re violating policies because they’re lazy or disinterested, not because they’re actually taking a stand. So before you declare yourself a rebel, take a minute to think about your purpose.
When it comes to breaking the rules, it can be tempting to wait for other people to go first. It’s much easier to join a movement that someone else already started than to be the first person to step forward. If you’re thinking about doing something different, there’s a good chance other people are thinking about it too. You just might need to be the one to take the first step.
It’s easy to overlook the “rules” because we get used to them. Take time to consider the rules and procedures that you follow. Just because you’ve been doing something for a long time doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
Finally, you might be tempted to think past generations were too tolerant or that they should have created change. After all, it was only a few short decades ago that we thought women were too fragile to run marathons. But there’s a good chance future generations will raise an eyebrow about some of the things we do too. It seems logical now to divide sports teams up by sex, but is it really? Might kids a few generations from now ask, “What on earth made that OK?” At this point, it seems like that makes things fair, but perhaps we’ll think differently about things like that down the road.
From the book 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do: Own Your Power, Channel Your Confidence, and Find Your Authentic Voice for a Life of Meaning and Joy by Amy Morin. Copyright © 2019 by Amy Morin. On sale December 31 from William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.
Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, college psychology instructor, and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, a best-selling book that is being translated into more than 20 languages. In addition to private consultation, she provides mental strength training to individuals and groups through her Mental Strength eCourse, speaking engagements and workshops.
I love to hear successful stories of any kind of people, men, woman, children, any race and nationality. So, good for Lori Grainer, although, what it makes me sad is, that many people nowadays, only think about career successes as their only goal in life. Now more than ever, women in general are forgetting completely how to have a healthy family and even more, how to have a healthy relationship. Families are braking apart not only for divorces, but all the gender confusion and woman not wanting to have a family and just trying to avoid at all costs to have kids because that will ruin their careers. Again, I truly believe that it is very nice to hear stories of successful women, although, it will be nice to see happier woman, no so stressed with work, not so many women sad, lonely, and missing a big part of their lives that is having a stable and healthy family. They realize that when is too late and sometimes they can’t even have a family anymore.
Society and cultural ideas and philosophies of the current times dismissed completely how happy a woman could be just being a wife and a mother, and how they can improve the lives of many children to come, just being there for their husbands and children, and that, ”that”, is the job that will give the best and most grateful memories and satisfactions and the end of our lives.
Just a thought and I wish we could go back in history and have children playing on the streets, riding bicycles or skating, playing hide and seek, kids playing and making friends in person, building relationships. And mothers playing with their kids, checking their homework and helping them to be better, loving them, sharing times with them and paying attention to them, also helping them with questions, very personal questions, that nowadays schools want to educate. Families getting together on the weekends and not just the holidays, sharing stories and being together…. oh well, to much for dreaming that kind of lifestyle where women were more free and less stressed and worry of how to live the next year, the next day or even the next minute, if they don’t post a beautiful picture in social media, or if they don’t answer an email from work on time, or not able to have a real date with someone that might be able to be the love of their lives!!! Yep, very nostalgic about the old good times and again just my thoughts in this crazy world of these days…