The subtle art of not giving a f*ck; it’s a book I started, it’s not a book I’m going to finish, but the thirty or so pages I read were top dollar in value. To summarise my learning: “don’t give a f*ck”….🙊
On a serious note: reflecting back I realise how during the earlier parts of my 20s, I’d spent a lot of my time focusing inward, trying to ‘clean up’ the parts of me that I wanted to improve either because I disliked them or I felt that they weren’t what was expected, whatever the reason, I was trying to mould myself into a version of me I thought was more socially acceptable. I read self help books, I took personality tests, I listened to self development materials. By the end of it all I was hyper-concious of my “wrong parts”. To a large extent, in the later part of my twenties I’d moved away from this and was more accepting of who I am and instead worked to become more self aware and started learning how to adapt my style to different situations (only when necessary) without trying to overhaul and change all of me. Otherwise, I’d always be flip-flopping between ‘versions of me’: #exhausting #inauthentic. (A recovering people pleaser’s confession!)
To reinforce this new found way of life, this book crossed my path (by way of recommendation from a colleague) and asked me why I cared so much about what was ‘not right’ or perfect about myself? A few pages into reading ‘the subtle art…’, the book highlighted the point that most of the ‘self help’ content and tools out there have gained popularity by focusing on aspects of the self that the consumer wanted to work on or improve, but in a weird way they also promoted tunnel vision for you to focus on your imperfections, and often, it’s one imperfection which in the context of who you are might be minuscule yet becomes exaggerated the more you focus on it. ‘The Subtle art of…’ prompted me to realise how this formed the start of a vicious cycle: the more I looked at what I considered ‘wrong’ the bigger of an issue it seemed and personally, whenever I failed to overcome whatever aspect of me I was trying to improve, I felt bad but vowed to try again, just with a little less self confidence, self-belief and grit than before.
Often, when we focus inward to what we think is wrong and attempt to fix it and perhaps fail, we feel worse about ourselves and the damaging vicious cycle starts… In the black hole of self improvement it can be easy sometimes to forget to exercise perspective and see the good that you already possess. To know that one mistake does not define your whole. To remember that all parts of you need not be perfect for your whole to be considered worthy or good. Give yourself grace.
Ever since I read this book, I started responding to life in this way: When (not if 😂) I f*ucked up, I would no longer give too much of a f**k… I’m not the sum of my mistakes (even though some have regrettable consequences). In the greater context of the awesomeness I am, an occasional f**k up does not dull my shine. Don’t let it dull yours . Embrace who your creator made you to be – your traits, personality and gifts won’t always be applicable in all situations with all people and that’s ok. You’re not everyone’s type. The people that love you will, in spite of what may be considered flaws.
All this to say basically, let’s be kinder to ourselves, whilst the quest for better is great, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good! So unless you’re a sociopath, megalomaniac, psychopath, or downright virulent vile vermin – cut yourself some slack. You’re doing good as a middle to top shelf individual.
Love and Light 💡