There was a time in my life – before my business, before my book, before my speaking career – when I was in a job that I hated, drowning in student loan debt, and living in a basement apartment with my cat. I felt utterly trapped, and I absolutely WISHED things were different but I was struggling to see my way out.
While desperately wanting something different, it felt like salt on my wounds when others (smart, caring, well-meaning people) thought my circumstances were NORMAL.
It’s considered surprisingly normal to have student loan debt that’ll take decades to pay off. It is considered entirely normal to work at a job you tolerate, to live for weekends and dread Mondays. It’s considered normal to be tired, frazzled, and feel like there’s never enough hours in the day.
And, sadly, it’s considered normal for the dreams you have for your life to gather dust.
It’s normal, sometimes, for us to be doing all the “right” things – to be suffering and dreaming while we’re there – and, through all of that, have people telling us “this is just the way it is.” Pursuing a story-worthy life without regrets is not only generally considered odd, but ridiculous and irresponsible.
While I didn’t know what to call it at the time, I eventually grew to understand that all of this is the result of a society steeped in “brules” (a.k.a. BS rules).
I discovered how “brules” were fueling unhelpful narratives, narratives that often keep people from believing in and pursuing their dreams and goals.
“Working in a strong career track is responsible, so you should stay no matter how much you hate it.”
“It’s better to be safe than risk it all and be sorry.”
“Given your student loan debt, embrace basement dwelling because it’s affordable.”
I discovered how these so-called “facts of life” and “this is the way it is” beliefs were bullshit limits. I discovered how brules – social constructs and commonly held beliefs that are so baked-in to our cultural understanding and worldview that they generally go unnoticed and unquestioned – were ruling not only my life, but the lives of ALL of us.
Yes, I was doing the “responsible thing.” But I felt trapped and miserable.
It was keeping me away from my dreams.
So, I set out to learn how to break them.
And it changed everything.
From there, I redesigned my whole life, blazed the trail of my own business, and even wrote books on the topic.
And now, I’ve created The Brule Breakers Club so that YOU can break brules and live differently too. The Brule Breakers Club is a space that supports and encourages you to realize that change is possible, that what you WANT is possible.
That ALL that you want is possible.
Your dream life, and dream career. Your dream finances, dream relationships and dream living situation. And your dream travels…
Whatever your dreams are, they are POSSIBLE, if you break the “brules” that tell you you can’t.
I invite you to take the leap and become a Brule Breaker.
A brule breaker is a person who doesn’t settle for status quo “it’s just the way it is” existence.
Rather than default to “norms,” they question convention, they challenge unhelpful narratives that keep most people in a box. They go beyond where most stop, where most people are kept from pursuing their dreams and goals. They break the brules.
Brule breaking isn’t easy.
Since brules are so baked-in to our cultural understanding and worldview, they generally go unnoticed and unquestioned.
Brule breakers do the work of deconstructing brules. They identify default patterns and they challenge psychological and behavioral blind spots so that they can live their best life without false limitations.
This is best done in a supportive space that encourages you to realize that change IS possible, that what you WANT is possible.
That’s why I created The Brule Breakers Club. Brule breakers are dreamers and doers, trail blazers that help one another make the changes needed to live their dreams and become self-actualized. Brule breaking changes everything. Breaking the brules of life is what helps you create a new kind of freedom.
>>> Visit bookofbrules.com for details & join now!
Wanna know the key to preventing burnout? …asks the gal who’s built her biz from the ground up and has been enthusiastically living this work and serving my clients, with delight, for nearly two decades.
In other words, listen up because I know what I’m talking about!
Service. Service is the key to preventing burnout.
Stay with me on this, because I know what you’re probably thinking … that service is what’s CAUSING the burnout to begin with … and, hell, more of it will only create MORE burnout!
But here’s the plot twist:
When I talk about Service, I’m talking about a new standard.
I’m talking about Service that includes YOU. As in, it actually nourishes you! And if it doesn’t refuel and sustain you, then it’s not Service.
This is such a critical distinction.
Giving and giving and never being supported yourself = servitude.
In contrast, with Service … when you give, you receive! As in, you are instantly and sustainably replenished.
Unlike servitude, acts of Service leave no room for resentment, depletion, or self-sacrifice.
Things that help others and that you could do all day and never feel tired = Service.
When you are fueled by your giving, it’s self-sustaining. An exchange that doesn’t leave you depleted.
When you are serving from your heart, you’re nourished because your purpose and love and creativity are renewing. Which naturally inspires and has you feeling enthusiastic about giving, and serving, more.
From THIS space, burnout isn’t even a concern … let alone a reality!
In my programs, you will discover new ways to deepen your satisfaction in every area of your life. Together, we amp up your personal clarity – to include the unique impact and contributions you are here to make, and the self-sustaining Service you are here to provide.
Ready to make your dreams and goals not just POSSIBLE, but REALITY?
I’m happy to Serve you!
Let’s do a Session with Tara, a free 1:1 assessment call where we will talk about your goals and your dreams and all of the things that haven’t felt possible before, and we will FIND the possibilities together. Discover your unique No-Vacation-Needed life and start to see how what wasn’t possible before, absolutely can be now. You’ll walk away not only with more confidence in your dreams, but also with a roadmap to understanding exactly how to make those dreams and goals REAL.
On a good day, I felt restless. On a bad day, I felt like a caged animal.
Exasperated, I came home from work to my dark, musty, basement apartment – a glaring reminder that I was not just figuratively, but literally, underground. Drowning in student loan debt, I rarely answered my phone because collection agencies were calling me daily. Trying to find my way in the world wasn’t easy. Emotional and practical baggage of difficult family dynamics and estrangement seemed to be hitting me all at once. I felt like a victim of circumstances, dealt an unfortunate hand, profoundly alone in my struggles.
The job I begrudgingly got at an Ivy League university to establish some stability, looked good on paper, but my soul was dying, a little more every day. The last hour or so of each day was especially hard. Often finishing my work early, I’d sit at my desk waiting for the clock on the wall to say 5:00 so I could leave. I absolutely hated that.
Things were done in inefficient ways for no reason other than it’s the way they’d always done it. This felt archaic to me, but rethinking conventions wasn’t welcomed or encouraged. And the starched button-down shirt I wore, because I thought I should, felt like a straight-jacket, a costume that belonged to someone else – but not me. It all felt like an insult to my personal integrity, pride, and instinct for innovation.
I knew I couldn’t stay.
While going through the motions on all the things I thought I was supposed to do, I was losing myself. On autopilot, I’d drive to work, or the grocery store, or the gym (when I could get myself to go) feeling more and more disconnected from who I was. I wasn’t challenged, or inspired. I felt contained, micro-managed, and caught in status quo games that I didn’t want to play.
Truly, I felt like I was drowning, and I knew no one was coming to save me.
Underneath my restlessness and frustration, was a growing sense that I was meant for MORE, that this couldn’t possibly be all I was meant to do, be, or have.
I knew I needed to take the reins and reshape my life, to reshape my reality, to figure out how to not live in a basement apartment forever, to create a life that was my own, that reflected the truth of who I was.
It was from that dark, musty basement apartment that I gazed out that teeny-tiny window with a view of the sidewalk and the tires of cars passing by … and I’d dream.
I dreamed of having the freedom to travel when and where I please. Longing to work from anywhere, I dreamed of having my own location-independent company. I dreamed of a home with lots of natural light. Knowing I had books within me, I dreamed of becoming a bestselling author. I dreamed of wealth on my own terms. I dreamed of finding love. And I dreamed of having time and energy for creativity and play. I dreamed of making a positive impact, serving others in meaningful ways that made their life better. I dreamed of being myself without boundaries.
The voice of my soul, and seeds of my own self-actualization, were surfacing.
There was a huge difference between the caged, soul-crushing, autopilot life I felt constrained and uninspired by, and my dreams.
The problem was I couldn’t figure out HOW and where to find a bridge between the two.
A few things were missing, and when I finally figured those out, everything changed. Quickly.
What was MISSING was…
- Belief that my dreams were possible – that dreams were not just for other people, but for me
- A way to see and transform my blind spots and expand my thinking
I needed to step up for myself, rather than waiting around for things to change, or others to approve. I needed to go from complaining about what my life currently was, to becoming the person that COULD and WOULD move out of it.
What I needed to LEARN was …
- How to manage my energy
- What to do with fear
- How to navigate naysayers
I needed the skills and support to take the REINS on my life, to listen to my heart, and really take ownership of the life I dreamed and envisioned for myself. I needed to get out of my head, stop fear from running the show, and shift my focus from all the seeming limits of my current circumstances to finding strategies and ways forward that I couldn’t yet see but chose to believe were there to be found.
What I needed to DO was …
- Get the right support
- Take brave consistent action
- Show up fully for what I was saying I wanted
I needed support from someone who’d been there. I needed perspective OUTSIDE what I’d already tried, a shift out of what had created the life I had, and into creating the totally different life I wanted.
So, I got support. And I changed my thinking. And I became a different version of me.
Spoiler alert: It worked.
Not only have I achieved my “impossible” dreams and the freedom I so craved, I have built a business and a profoundly fulfilling, decades-long career around helping others rethink conventions, chart their own course, live their dreams, rediscover themselves, and realize what’s possible.
I help you create the life you think you cannot have.
Your dreams, like mine, are fuel on your path to self-actualization.
The first step along the way to THAT life? Want the key to reclaiming what’s missing, to create everything you want for yourself, to finally make that change? >> The Only Skill You Ever Need
PS – You know what doesn’t suck? I’m in San Francisco this week to attend a women’s leadership conference where my company is a sponsor and where my book is featured in the swag bag given to every attendee. 😊 Proof that dreams come true.
Ready for that dream life of yours? Grab my totally free and totally updated Only Skill You Ever Need guide and bonus chapter. It goes through exactly how to KNOW what you want, GET what you want, where to start, and how to face the uncertainty along that climb from where you are now to the life of your dreams.
In my book, The Brules of Life, I share that prior to starting my business, I was in a 9-5 job, drowning in student loan debt, and living in a basement apartment with my cat. I felt quite trapped.
I had the job – and stayed for as long as I did – not only so I could pay my bills, but also because I was determined to figure out how to NOT live in a basement forever. (A steady paycheck was one piece needed to solve that puzzle.)
When I tell you I was uninspired by my job, what I really mean is that I was bored out of my mind! When I tell you that I was frustrated by hour-long meetings that could easily have been replaced by a 5-minute email, what I really mean is I had to muzzle what I really wanted to say, week after week, because uncensored-Tara would have surely gotten me fired.
I stayed, but I was miserable. And I realized that being miserable, complaining, and feeling frustrated at least helped me see what I DIDN’T want. This fueled me to constantly be looking for a way out.
Alternative acts of personal salvation got me through – to include, taking the envy I felt for a spider I saw “escape” through a crack in the plaster wall of my office, and turning it into inspiration for my Halloween costume. Like that little spider, I too was going to find my escape route.
Again, with no shortage of complaints about these circumstances, I was determined for them to be temporary. I mined each complaint and frustration for the wealth of information and inspiration that each disguntled piece gave me about the direction of what I WANTED instead.
This is available for you too.
Your complaints and frustrations are a nudge from you inner wisdom about what’s not fully aligned for you.
This is GOLD!
Discontent is fuel for transformation. Sometimes tolerating too many “nos” in your life clutters up your mental bandwidth, making it difficult to be able to envision what you want with any degree of clarity of focus.
The good news is, when you hear those complaints and frustrations as a “no, this isn’t fully aligned for me” nudge … and you let that “NO” go, you’ll have SPACE and will be that much more able to tune in and acknowledge the juicy awareness of the dreams and desires that are letting you know they are there.
“Nos” can serve as a powerful detour and avenue to an incredible amount of “yes”-filled clarity about your deepest dreams and desires.
In my 6-week No-Vacation-Needed Blueprint training, I help you amp up this clarity, deepen your awareness, and activate your confidence and commitment to create what you want and live into YOUR “Zone of Yes” life.
Learn more here and claim your seat today – just $197 for 6-weeks of support.
Let’s do this thing.
Last week, I wrote about a tough pill to swallow: that to whatever degree self-actualization is lacking in your life, is the same degree that self-abandonment is happening in your life. [If you missed it, click here.]
As I re-read what I wrote, I dropped into a deeply reflective state.
Sitting in one place, I stared into the distance for I-don’t-know-how-long while silently reflecting on thoughts, questions, and emotions about some of the circumstances that have happened in my life that have shown me where self-actualization is lacking and – with that – where self-abandonment is/was happening.
I always gain immense clarity from this confronting-but-productive self-inventory … inevitably noticing ways that I am acting in cahoots with patterns of self-abandonment.
Areas of dissatisfaction come to light.
I notice areas where some of my needs have gone unmet.
I notice where, not only aren’t I getting what I want, but where who I know myself to be is feeling stifled or being dishonored in some way.
From such awareness comes the recognition that IF I DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING to make improvements to these areas … I am essentially denying myself these things.
Settling for less than you desire is a form of self-denial.
Such evidence-based self-inventory isn’t for the faint of heart because there’s no room for pretending in the relationship between you-and-you.
It boils down to this:
Either you decide to consent to self-denial, self-abandonment, and self-neglect that impedes your own self-actualization, OR … you do something about it.
We impact our circumstances with our choices. There’s a point at which we can no longer hold others responsible for our own experience or blame circumstances for what we aren’t experiencing.
Doing something about it can take many forms. Giving thoughtful attention to the circumstances, doing what you know how to do to remedy the situation is generally best, followed by patience and time to see the impact of your actions, hopefully for the better.
BUT – what happens when actions fail?
It’s not always true that when we ask for what we need, or set a boundary in a relationship, or express ourselves fully, or take time to heal and be self-responsible … that this is the ultimate answer or remedy.
In the midst of even the most complex circumstances or the most challenging relationships, we each get to choose how – and for how long – we invest our energy into finding the right solution.
But, when all of your best efforts don’t work and something carries on for too long or in a way that still isn’t satisfying or supportive, what then do you DO?!?
When noticing such a pattern in your life and in yourself – assuming you are committed to making the necessary changes to remedy it – you can interrupt the pattern in one of two ways:
(1) By doing new things, initiating NEW action
(2) By deciding what you will STOP doing
NOT DOING can be a powerful pattern interruption.
Not everything requires more effort.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is STOP participating in a conversation, a situation, a relationship, or a space – creating a disruption in the already established dynamic.
And unlike the time and energy that efforts behind new habits or new actions need to “kick in”… while making the initial choice can be laborious, once made, NOT doing can often bring instant relief.
Do not underestimate the power of reclaiming your energy, calling yourself back to yourself, by doing less of what isn’t aligned.
I need these reminders from time to time, and perhaps you do too:
⭐ Abandoning yourself in order to tolerate circumstances that aren’t a match for you is an expense of precious life force. If maintaining the status quo requires that you abandon yourself to perpetuate it, and you STOP doing this, your circumstances will inevitably change.
⭐ Abandoning yourself in order to maintain connection with others isn’t healthy. If what is holding a relationship together is you abandoning yourself, and you STOP doing this, that relationship will either change or fall away.
⭐ Last but not least, abandoning yourself in order to do things you find utterly draining and misaligned is an affront to your soul. If continuing to do these things requires you to keep selling a piece of your soul, and you STOP doing these things, your stand for who you know yourself to be will give your highest sense of Self the opportunity to surface and take the lead.
Taking an honest look at areas where change is calling and where you’re being asked to step up, is both empowering and daunting.
Making intentional changes in the direction of self-actualization is what I’m here for and what I’m committed to.