Video and transcribe available below

What rules are controlling you?

Dr Ro here and I am going to talk about rules, rules, rules. 

I’m smiling but actually it’s not such a smiley subject, mainly because I have concerns that I want to express. If you feel the last 12 months with lockdown, government restrictions on what we can and can’t do. Are we allowed out to eat, visit people, et cetera? All these things happening at the moment as a result of the situation with Covid and the uncertainty around it. 

The point I want to make here is that over this last year, we’ve seen an increase in mental health, emotional instability, increase in self-harm, in particular in teenagers, couples getting into distressed relationships starting to break up, et cetera. I believe a lot of this is linked to the fact that unconsciously there are mental shackles being wrapped around us to make people feel as though they don’t have control and what lack of control tends to lead to is an increased heightened stress and confusion. 

Most people want to break out, take back control, so I want to give you some things to consider. 

The first thing to be aware of is when someone is putting rules upon you it’s human nature and we have six basic human needs and one is a need for security. We can do that by controlling our world by making decisions about how we show up what rules we operate our lives by and if we feel that we’re in control of those rules to some extent we feel like we’ve got a sense of freedom and that’s the dilemma or double bind which it’s called in human psychology, which is on one side, I want to be in control. If I’m in too much control I don’t have a sense of freedom and the other side to control is the sense of freedom.

So if you have no rules and you’ve got complete freedom and that’s one area of life where some people are really high in variety they seek whereas others say no, I want to control everything and then they get to a point being bored of being in control they feel like they need to break out and go and seek adventure and seek freedom. I’ve worked with people and when they talk they seem stressed and when they’re describing their world to me I’ll immediately start to formulate a picture of the model of their world and in neuro-linguistic programming it’s referred to as getting an understanding of the person’s model of the world. 

Well right now the model of the world for everybody has been knocked around and reshaped, et cetera and turned upside down in many cases, so these rules, restrictions however you phrase them that have been put upon people. Here’s what I believe is happening: there is now a heightened sense of stress in households, stress because of the uncertainty that people have around their financial future. Also stress around the fact that they want to make plans for the future but can’t specifically make those plans because all of a sudden you can’t travel. If you do you have to have a vaccination passport. What if you don’t want to have a vaccination because of your principles or for other reasons you can’t have a vaccination, does that mean I can’t travel? What if they introduce that into café’s? 

All these things people start to get confused and upset and stressed about that. This sense of heightened stress comes in when we feel like we are lacking control, so the challenge with that is people then start introducing on a personal level more rules into their own world, so they start to put more protection around things like my kids, do I take the kids out?

People who have had newborn children in the last 16 to 18 months may be asking the question should I take my child out and in some cases people haven’t been taking the kids out, haven’t been giving them exposure to the outside world and what my experience is that when children don’t get that social interactivity, literally exposure to other kids and other families then they become more withdraw. They don’t socially interact well with other kids when they do get brought out they get emotional. Even with my own kids I noticed that at an early age. If there was a period where they hadn’t been out for three, four, five days and they went out it was a surprise. 

So that’s what’s been happening as some parents say no can’t let the kids out and there are others that say we’re going to go out, walking, go on an experience, take them for a drive, get them used to going out in a car and travelling to somewhere. But even on a microscopic level it’s how we manage our interaction with family and meeting up or no let’s stay in. so people may be creating rules that are holding them in the space now that lack of uncertainty means at least I can create macro rules in my life inside my house in my world that gives me some level of control, but even within that that can create stress. 

I have a suspicion that in the next couple years in the personal development world you’ll see a lot of results issues, a lot of emotional elements bubble up in people as a result Covid, I think we’ll have to deal with that, personal development intervention. It’s already happened, coaches are already doing this on an ongoing basis. Anxiety, of course, then kicks in and people are feeling anxious about so much more because of that information that has been bombarded with them. When you open up the news it’s not positive a lot of it is like you have to do this and people don’t know what’s the right thing to do and that’s where the anxiety comes in here. 

It conflicts, the polarity that exists in the media about those that want to be vaccinated versus those that don’t. Those that believe in the extent of Covid and should lockdown have happened. It creates this confusion and anxiety, so people again want to try to control their lives start to wrap themselves in a set of rules that unfortunately if you have rules on a national level and then you create so many rules on a personal level, it’s like binding and binding and then you can’t escape. 

That comes to my last point: what if you relax the rules? 

When I’m working with somebody on stage, it’s interesting to see something like I have a value. For example, I value health, relationships, love, connection, I value time with my partner. Whatever that value is and they say I don’t feel a great sense of connection with my partner. Why? Because the only way I really feel connected is when they call me, text me, tell me they love me, call me every hour, message me when they get back from work, fully understand everything I’m thinking of course that becomes a set of rules. 

Essentially, more rules you wrap around something you want to experience the harder it becomes to experience that thing. It’s like a computer program if this is met then can do this. It’s like taking a driving test only if this, this, this, happens, you pass the test, or we create rules around how you experience the world. 

Ask yourself a simple question, what have you been feeling frustrated about in your life that you wanted to experience but not been able to experience it? 

Why haven’t you been able to experience it and the answer then comes because… Whatever comes next, are basically the rules that you’ve created in your mind for why you have to have this happen in order to experience that. What if you removed some of those rules or relaxed them in such a way that it becomes easier to experience that. It is a whole different game altogether. 

Dr Ro signing out.

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