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How we create our own obstacles and how to leap over them…

Article by Georgia Varjas

how we can break our own rules image

“It is your right to question everything.”

We are all born with a talent and/or creative genius. It may be a gift you have tingling in your soul to sing, paint or write. Perhaps, you’re desire is to communicate and lead, or it could be to mend, fix or repair, even care, love and give. I believe we all have natural abilities. And, I am also aware of how we down-grade ourselves and often conceal our natural gifts and talents.

From an early age, codes, regulations and laws hold us back and keep us trapped in low-esteem jobs and painful relationships, while filling our heads with complexes and inhibitions. We end up hiding our natural talents, playing small and denying our skills.

I know I have played small at times in my life when, in reality, I had enough competence and experience to complete the task. But I held my self back because I was concerned about what others would think, or say, and all that absolute made-up nonsense. I was basically creating my own diversions and obstacles.

Overcoming a negative mindset

The worst part about it all was that I had created such a negative mindset I couldn’t perform to my best ability. I couldn’t show up as a talented person. I actually lowered my standards as a result of my thought patterns.

Remember a parent or teacher telling you not to sing because your voice sounded terrible? Or the teacher who dampened your imagination to write stories, play sports or take up a musical instrument? Or that boss or person in authority who dismissed you because you didn’t “fit in” according to their rules of race, creed or gender?

These discouragements, these put downs, these subversive rules can stop us from developing and achieving what we want for our life. But we have choices and opportunities – and we can create them.

Make a note of the rules that aren’t serving you any more

We need to stop in our tracks and make note of all those rules that are not serving us any more. We need to know when it’s the right time to step up, stand out and become a rule breaker. Life is about making smart decisions but also acting on them.

Ask yourself; how many times have you made a decision but not acted on it? It often happens – followed by an amazing array of reasons and excuses! We have to learn to prioritise all those things we would love to have a go at. Make a list of what you want to try, do, learn, experience… then work on your courage, lean on your confidence, bring out your competency, and make them happen!

Use your natural skills to overcome those road blocks, brick walls or glass ceilings and, honestly, just love yourself a bit more! Don’t use your smartness or experience to increase the barriers you live behind or the protective bubbles you sit in.

Ask yourself daily:

  • How am I doing with my list of dreams and goals?
  • What do I want to achieve today / this week / this year?
  • What do I need to do to make things happen?

It is up to you to pay attention and then act upon those obstacles you have prolonged in your system for too long. Take responsibility and own the fact that sometimes, it’s not external obstacles, but internal blocks that are holding you back.

Life may not be easy for you right now – remember life is beautiful. Yes, it takes confidence and courage to Step Up & Stand Out. Make decisions and act upon them. Turn to your voice and your pen; they are your most powerful weapons of construction!

Don’t hold back – release that genius energy.”


Georgia Varjas, is the  author of The Rule Breaker’s Guide to Step Up & Stand Out: A Manifesto For Rebels (Filament, £11.99, July 2019)

Georgia  was born in North London, now lives in Spain, with her partner, where she runs retreats for writers and writes her own books. Georgia spent decades travelling the world as a musician. She loves life, travel and Italian food, dances salsa and grows gigantic Agapanthus! She believes everyone needs to break the rules sometimes…


Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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