top of page

letters from katherine


The Rules Need Not Apply

Have you seen the movie The Croods? It's an animated movie that highlights a family in Prehistoric times with a rule following father and a slightly rebellious teenage daughter (featuring Nicholas Cage, Emma Stone and other fun voices). The rule following father, Grug, is staunch about "the rules" he created in order to keep his family alive and safe. His teenage daughter, Eep (these are really their names!) naturally wants to live and explore life and finds the rules utterly confining.

Throughout the movie, with nature playing a part, the family finds itself on uncharted territory and the playing field in which the rules were created starts to change. Both the father and daughter have to shift their mindset in order to survive and thrive. And the family follows along with them. (Honestly, if I wasn't a mother I'm pretty sure I would never have watched this movie, or it's recent sequel, but here we are. I am waxing life lessons from it.)

I had an epiphany of sorts the other day, and realized that the rules (whatever rules we've decided to subscribe to) can keep us safe, but they can also keep us stuck.

We design the rules for order, safety and peace.

We look to others to create rules for us.

And then we live and die by them.

I know I have benefited from the rules in lots of ways. As a mother, I certainly consciously benefit from "the rules" of our household. No video games during school time (in online schooling, COVID times at least). Veggies before sweets. Bedtime is 8:30pm. These rules are all designed to keep my house in working order, healthy and slightly peaceful. I'm not knocking those currently.

I am definitely knocking the rules our world has set up in regards to race, privilege and the patriarchy. I have benefited from those as well. We definitely need to keep talking about those kinds of unspoken rules.

What I am also knocking is the need to stay married to the rules that no longer serve us. When we become so stuck on the rules that we can't see other beautiful options, we end up keeping ourselves small and limited. We end up putting ourselves in a box that is confining and suffocating. Or, we miss out on some pretty fabulous opportunities because our minds aren't open to them.

Rules don't necessarily have to apply when it comes to running an online business, or particular ways of leading, or even how you live your life.

Sometimes we subscribe to cultural rules that just don't benefit us.

Take the mommy drinking culture, for example. If you have been on this ride with me for any particular amount of time you'll know how much I have worked to understand my relationship with wine. Like with coffee for me, my relationship with wine is tumultuous and full of nuances. But, the rules of the mommy drinking culture would say that in order for me to be a part of the crowd, I better be able to imbibe. Or I don't fit in. That's the rules.

F*ck that nonsense. I don't subscribe. If I based my life on the rules set up to not serve me, I would stay stuck and unhealthy- two things I have no desire to be a part of.

I also don't subscribe to the rule that I can't flourish uniquely or in a different way the people around me. The rule would be "don't rise much further or farther than those who are in your life". Don't make more money than them, don't move faster than them. Don't be small, but don't be bigger either. Stay in a state of equilibrium that doesn't teeter the community around you.

Nope. Not a rule I believe I will be subscribing to, either. It need not apply.

What I do subscribe to is an inner circle of friends and community who aren't concerned with rules like who's drinking wine or who's "succeeding" faster. I subscribe to a community who doesn't flipping care if I have a glass of wine when I hang out with them or not, and celebrates my wins just as much as their own.

My inner circle wants to see me rise to my greatest potential because that is what serves me. They want that for me, just as much as I want them to rise to their greatest potential because it serves them. It isn't a competition. They aren't measuring their ability to follow the rules on me, and I certainly don't care if they are following the rules or not. I subscribe to an inner circle full of people with integrity, love and honor. I welcome people into my life that are so grounded in who they are that when they witness me thriving in my life, it isn't a threat or commentary on their's..

I subscribe to living my life, leading my work and being fully in this world in a way that works for me. That means not getting caught up in what everyone else is doing, or feeling like I just don't fit in because I don't follow their rules.

So how about you? What rules are you saying "thanks, but no thanks."

What rules need not apply in your life?

Which ones serve you and which ones are keeping you small?

Here's to breaking the rules that no longer need apply.

With love,

Katherine xx

PS. Have you heard of my new 1:1 private coaching program, Flourish with Katherine? Its a four month private coaching container designed for you to break the rules that don't apply, flourish in your life and your work and do #allthethings your own damn way. You can read more about it HERE.


Katherine Phifer









bottom of page