The Brule Breakers Spotlight
I’ve heard some really cool stories this week and I want to share a couple of them with you.
After I put out a call asking for stories about a time when you broke a “brule,” where you didn’t settle for status quo, or do what others expected, or where you blazed your own trail, colored outside the lines, challenged conventions… several people responded.
I want to highlight a few, because what these stories demonstrate so well are some of the primary categories and areas of influence that “brules” tend to find their way into.
From self-care to systemic, and from business to culture.
Brules are insidious and they find their way into so many areas of our lives.
Here’s a quick example of each:
I received this story from a dancer: When she was pregnant, she was dancing with the community college ballet company. Others told her to stop dancing, even suggesting that a previous miscarriage she’d had was caused by her dancing, that she’d have to stop dancing after the baby was born anyway because being a mom would take up all her time, so she might as well stop now. She said no. She said, “I am bringing him into my world, not him bringing me into his.” And that’s exactly what she did. She danced until the end of the first week of her ninth month, and brought her son with her everywhere, including the dance studio. Now, decades later, she is still dancing.
Breaking self-care brules takes a strong sense of self and an unwillingness to abandon your own clarity, even when others don’t condone it.
I heard from a woman who shared stories of struggle, battling against systemic brules and the patriarchy. Everything from fighting injustice caused by a big corporate company, to navigating the court system to get child support. She also shared experiences she’s had when bucking social norms about what a woman should and shouldn’t do or be.
Breaking systemic brules is not easy. A ton of endurance and perseverance is required – even for small wins.
Another story I received was from a business owner who shared having made a pivotal decision to change the entire structure of her business, despite the business’ success. She was making good money. It was steady and predictable and paid her bills, but she was frustrated by the work, daily. She’d achieved “success” on paper, but at what cost? It was weighing heavy on her and she made the brave and hard decision to let those clients go and restructure how she worked and who she worked with. She broke the often unspoken “brule” that when you build something, you have to stick with it. That if you build a sound business, you should continue it. That it is not only not financially wise, but utterly irresponsible to make sweeping changes or to quit on what’s working. But, that’s exactly what she did. She created a totally new business, blazing a brand new trail to do the work she loves and continues to do to this day.
Entrepreneurship is the epitome of brule breaking because there’s no map when you’re blazing your own trail. It takes enormous commitment, a deep belief in your vision, and a strong sense of service to create success that is not only financially viable and sustaining, but also fulfilling. (Ask me how I know.)
Here, I’m going to get on my soap box for a moment and share an example of my own. As an author, this is an issue that hits home for me. I personally think the book bans that are happening in our world are a modern-day form of prohibition. (prohibooktion? 😜) And, like prohibition, it won’t work. To help join the cause to ensure this, I stand in solidarity with writers and readers everywhere. As an expression of this commitment, for every new member who joins The Brule Breakers Club, I’ve decided that my company will donate 3% of every registration to PEN America, a non-profit working to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, convey information and ideas, express their view, and access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. I am proud to support the PEN America mission while also supporting my beloved clients to thrive, break the brules, and realize your grandest visions for your next chapter.
Movements are born through subversive acts of breaking cultural brules. In this realm, there is power in numbers.
In closing, brule breaking is about doing the things that you really want, and stepping up to the plate to claim and create what is yours, standing up for the things you believe in, without playing into the limits of society, or what someone else says you “should” do.
It’s about trusting the inner knowing that there’s something more for you, and then finding a way to make that happen.
It has been so inspiring hearing these stories all week.
Now, as we head into the holidaze, er, I mean, the holidays… from my heart to yours, I hope yours is full of love and joy and light.
I hope you savor and enjoy all the wonderful traditions that feel great to you and that you do not hesitate to make new traditions where old ones don’t fit the bill anymore. (Holiday brules can be just as sneaky as the rest!)
If you are someone who is ready to break some brules, see your blind spots, and create the life you dream of, and you know you’re ready for something more, and you don’t want to feel limited and you don’t want to feel obligated… then stay tuned and be on the lookout for invitations from me in your inbox in the coming weeks.
I am so excited about all I’ll be sharing about The Brule Breakers Club and how you can join me in the new year.
With so much love,
How to quit on never quitting
This is as much a love letter to myself as it is to you.
“Never quit” was instilled in me pretty hard.
And, to its credit, it’s probably why my business survived the 2008 recession and the 2020 pandemic and why, despite the ups and downs, my relationship with my significant other is still intact. 🙂
I am no quitter!
If you are someone who tends to quit easily and you want to increase your resourcefulness and determination, here’s a quote you might want to write on a sticky-note and tape to your bathroom mirror:
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.” (attributed to Thomas Edison)
If you’re anything like me, we sometimes need reminders that IT IS OK TO QUIT. In a culture of go-go-go, do-do-do, this may be the most subversive act there is.
But I digress.
My point is: “I am not a quitter” is an ingrained part of my self-concept.
Which is particularly NOT helpful when it comes to bad habits.
I bite my nails.
It’s something I’ve done since I was 10-years-old.
I’m 48. And though I’ve had stretches where I stop, a month or so later, this habit (at least so far) has consistently sneaked its way back in. I have yet to eliminate it for good.
And I’ve done allllll the things – from peppery polish that’s designed to deter the habit, to having fancy fake nails glued on. These are temporary fixes. My engrained default pattern is to return to this unconscious childhood behavior.
And that’s typically how it goes.
While nail biting may seem like an innocuous example, the behavioral psychology expert in me knows that ALL seemingly dysfunctional behaviors (be it nail biting, alcohol abuse, over-committing, over-giving, overeating…) are all an adaptive strategy to create safety and comfort (a.k.a. coping mechanisms).
It can be incredibly powerful to explore one of your own “dysfunctional behaviors” and get real about your answers to, “how does this SERVE me?”
Bottom line is: Something about it is working for you. Usually it’s that something about it is self-protective. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be doing it.
Even blatant self-sabotage provides some degree of survival mode protection – protecting you now, even if it hurts Future You later.
When you come to realize that “dysfunctional behavior” isn’t an enemy working against you but rather an adaptive strategy that – at least on some level – SERVES you, you can then begin to appreciate such protective instincts and lessen any shame you may have about the behavior.
Shifting the perception of the behavior, from an enemy that sabotages you to a savvy survivor-in-action, diminishes shame.
From there, you can then begin to step OUT from the shame shadows and INTO an empowered new perspective where you get to choose behaviors that serve not only survival, but what I like to refer to as “thrival.”
If, for example, overeating, or drinking, or people pleasing – or nail biting – is the best and only available source of soothing and comfort for you, then good for you for doing it! BUT, when these cease to be the best and only available way for you to get the comfort you need, you now have options. A new choice can be made.
I know what it’s going to take for me to stop biting my nails.
The solution is actually pretty simple:
Behave in alignment with the fully-actualized version of me, who I lovingly refer to as… “Tara.” lol. Stay with me here for a moment.
When I refer to “Tara,” I am talking about my Future Self.
“Tara doesn’t bite her nails.” – me
“But I do.” – also me
Try it! It’s a self-talk trick that helps me make a clear distinction between who I am and who I’m becoming, and this helps me see clearly which decisions best align with who I aspire to be.
Ultimately, the act of building supportive habits that stick requires not just a shift in behavior, but a shift in your sense of identity. Who you ARE in your relationship to your habits is what establishes them, and what transforms them.
One way or another, you’ve got to build and strengthen the connection between You Now, and Future You.
And, sometimes, quitting is course-correcting.
Sometimes, quitting is self-liberation from decades of thought patterns and behavior patterns that don’t serve the biggest, most self-actualized version of you.
Sometimes, quitting is getting on board with the deep and timeless wisdom of your inner compass, no longer playing games you no longer want to play.
From nail care, to relationships, to how you create your own success… the same principles apply.
It’s about bridging the divide between what [Your name] does and what you do. 😊
It’ is normal to wonder if you have what it takes. It is normal to feel discomfort, even embarrassment, about aspects of you that are a work in progress.
We are in this being-human thing, together.
Doing new things, or old things in new ways, takes courage. But when we show up together and normalize being human while ALSO growing into the best versions of ourselves … This is where the magic happens.
I have come to adore being actively in the process of creating that which I know is an even more aligned expression of who I am. And I love doing this alongside others who enjoy – or at least want to enjoy – the process too.
It’s why I created The Brule Breakers Club.
Because, while it’s scary to do the work that makes all the difference…
And it’s challenging to learn new skills and let go of old habits…
And it can be hard to take responsibility for mistakes, and even harder to course-correct…
The right support makes it so much easier, so much more rewarding, and so worth the effort. It’s the one clear way to ensure your results – your joy, your happiness, your dreams, your needs, your desires, your THRIVAL.
I want to hear from you! Tell me, what’s something that Future You does or doesn’t do, that you do now?
With so much love,
Applied Psychology Coach & Author of The Brules of Life
P.S. #BruleBreakerSpotlight Contest winner to be announced on December 18. There’s still time to post your nomination! Go HERE for contest details!
I used to have a lot of head-trash about being seen, about being “big,” as in … “don’t get too big for your britches” … “you’re too loud/proud/bold” … “Who do you think you ARE?”
I wasn’t sure what “being famous” meant exactly, let alone if I wanted it. But if I did want it … was that BAD? Was I bad? Too showy? Who was I to think I could be famous for my work?
On the day my book came out, and quickly hit bestsellers lists, I cried – big, heaving, happy horse-tears. Having my labor of love, The Brules of Life books, PRINTED and in the hands of people across the country and around the world … was a big effing deal! It marked the culmination of an EXTRAORDINARY amount of work, focus, determination, heart, and grit.
From head-trash to brule breaker…
From largely unknown, to my name on a bestselling book…
And from being able to serve a small number of clients, to having a product that can reach – and teach – through a global marketplace…
It was a milestone indeed!
This week, my definition of “brule” (listed on Urban Dictionary) has more than 1,000 likes, and counting, and is listed first in “brule” definitions.
AND – even more exciting – my article, “Brules Are Made to Be Broken”, has been featured in the Dec/Jan issue of Aspire Magazine.
Every PR mention of “brules” and me, reaching many thousands of people, is cause for celebration. 😊
That said, it can also be kind of strange to have people I don’t know, who know me. Since some of the stories I share in my book are rather personal, they legitimately know quite a bit about me, so it makes sense that they feel that.
Like, last weekend, I attended a funeral with Carl, a celebration of life for the passing of his 105-year-old great-aunt. When we arrived, I was greeted by one of his cousins who I was meeting for the first time. She hugged me and told me she has my book.
It’s interesting to have my book precede me.
A few months ago, a friend and I went to see a band. While we were there, my friend ran into someone she knew. They were chatting away when the woman she was speaking to stopped, looked at me, and said, “Are you Tara Sage?” She knew my work.
It’s fun to learn that my work is reaching people that I don’t know or haven’t met.
Something you may not know about me is that I am child-free by choice. The older I get, this fact only further reinforces the depth with which my books and the ripple-effect of my work is, in large part, my legacy.
My books are a true extension of my heart. They are roaming the world, meeting people I’ve never met, and creating their own ripple-effect in the world-at-large. I’m proud of them. And I have more books to write. And MANY more people I aspire to serve with this work.
I want to leave this world feeling EMPTIED, having poured myself into what will outlive me.
My writing, my coaching, my message, my methods, my brule breaking no-BS teachings and how-tos are what really make this work come alive, in your LIFE.
I no longer shy away from the fact that, yes, I am KNOWN (which is essentially what I think “famous” means). And I want it for one simple reason: because this is HOW I am able to serve and teach and touch the lives of more people.
My books, my coaching, my thought leadership … These are the vehicles for how I empower and impact the lives of others and successfully realize the legacy of what I want to leave behind. (At 48-years-young, I’m just getting started!)
A FUN CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT!
I want to make YOU (or someone you know) “famous” too!
I want to share and broaden the brule breaker spotlight. 😊 #BruleBreakerSpotlight
Who do you know that deserves a #brulebreaker nomination?
Who do you know who is a Brule Breaker? Consider, who do you know that does it their way, who questions the “this is just the way it is” or “this is just how I am” brules that they were given and creates their dream life, success, and more?
To nominate a brule breaker… (and, YES, in true #brulebreaker fashion, you can totally nominate yourself, and YES, you can totally nominate more than one person!) – create a social media post with the hashtag #BruleBreakerSpotlight
In your post, tell me a bit about what makes them (or you) a trail-blazing brule-breaking march-to-the-beat-of-their-own-drummer standout! Make sure your post is set to PUBLIC (commenting under a post doesn’t count as a nomination, and posts that only your friends can see won’t qualify). Post it with the hashtag #BruleBreakerSpotlight so that I can find it.
On December 18th, I will select and announce one (maybe two) #BruleBreakerSpotlight winners!
Want to break the “don’t get too big for your britches” brule, and have your extraordinary BS-busting #brulebreaker self shared over the Interwebs for all to see and celebrate? Want a #BruleBreakerSpotlight profile on my blog and in my newsletter with links for where people can connect with you for more of your greatness? The #BruleBreakerSpotlight winner will ALSO receive a surprise “brules merch” gift-in-the-mail, and coupon good for 20% savings on one Brule Breakers Club annual membership for you or someone you know.
Every brule broken deserves to be celebrated. And we all want to celebrate and see YOU, Brule Breaker!
Get ready to be #BruleBreakerSpotlight famous:
- Post a picture of The Brules of Life – it could be a picture you take, or you can reshare the “Nominate a Brule Breaker!” #bookpic that I am sharing with you here. (Bonus points if you add a video featuring your copy of The Brules of Life.)
- Set your post to PUBLIC.
- Tag me @tarasagecoaching along with the hashtag #BruleBreakerSpotlight with your nomination or story as to why you, or someone you know, is a #brulebreaker. Extra points for creativity, humor, boldness, and stories that warm the heart.
Here’s to unapologetically big britches,