Do you worry about what other people might think? Do you spend way too much time people-pleasing? Do you not know how to say no? Well, I have the book for you – The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F**K by Sarah Knight. You know I’m on this reading drive this year as one of my goals, into my fourth month and already read five books, and this was number three and it’s still stuck with me that I thought I would share five things I took away after reading this book.
First off, this isn’t a stuffy self-help book, Sarah Knight’s humour makes this an easy, fun read, which just happens to have lots of tips, tricks, and advice to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like. You know the occasions, those family get-togethers that always end up in a disaster, or those dinner parties with your other halves work colleagues, or having to chaperone a toddler’s birthday party.
Liberate yourself by compiling a list of ten things you don’t give an F about
This sounds so simple but trust me is so liberating adding things like Kanye West, perfecting the perfect eyeliner, exfoliation, justifying why I need a Friday to just chill and relax, not stressing on where the lost socks go, and not being able to keep an orchid alive. Just adding these things to my list makes them less annoying, which in terms means they aren’t taking up any of my time that frankly could be better used. You know that feeling when you declutter your wardrobe? Well, this not giving an F list will give you the same feeling.
So what would make your list?
Embrace the NotSorry Method
This is at the heart of the book, Sarah Knight’s answer to Kondo’s KonMari Method, and will become easier to achieve when you decide what you don’t give an F about, and then actually not give an F about those things. Easier said than done.
Firstly, ask yourself: Does it annoy? Does it neither make you happy or improve your life? If yes, you are to stop giving an F about it. When you’ve found the things to not give an F about you should feel not sorry, remember, this isn’t a selfish act, it’s about stopping to worry about the things you have to do and focusing on the things you want to do. The whole point of this book is to give yourself more free time, energy, happiness and even money.
Learning to say no
This is my biggest challenge, learning to say no, without being worried about what people might think, worrying about whether they will offer me other opportunities in the future, not feeling guilty for saying no, and most importantly doing it without it being rude. This book makes a big point about the difference between being a dick and being enlightened, you can totally not give an F without being rude about it.
Instances recently where saying no has meant I haven’t wasted my time, energy or money has included not writing a blog in return for exposure from a brand with less Twitter and Instagram followers than me – no one can work for retweets. Saying no to enter a blog competition, which you guessed it was pitched as great exposure, just not really for me, I always wonder whether they ask magazine editors to do the same, so pointless. In both cases, it was seriously satisfying saying no, and those 10 minutes or so of worrying were better spent reading this month’s Vogue, something that actually makes me happy.
Setting yourself boundaries
So you have your list of things, events, instances where you aren’t giving an F, now you need to set yourself some boundaries so not the be annoyed by friends, work peeps, and even strangers. Think of these boundaries as easier ways to achieve your list. For instance, I find in the summer months everyone and their dog is participating in fun runs for charity. Don’t get me wrong I love that but I’m not sponsoring you for 5, 10 or even 15k, you want my sponsorship money then run a marathon. The only exception is if it is a charity that I regularly donate to, which I’ve created a list thanks to this book, so I can safely and without guilt say I don’t give an F about the others. Don’t worry about how you tell them, just honestly state your policy, if they don’t like it, that’s their problem, not yours, as you’ve not been rude, just honest.
Setting boundaries will really help manage those expectations so you can get on with the part of your life that’s fun.
Calculate your Not Giving A F**k with a F**K Budget
Stopping doing things you don’t want to do is hard. Yes, I’m happy you’re getting married, I love being your friend, but I really hate hen parties, by drafting a F**K Budget you can whittle down the friends, family members and colleagues that you value the most, if that friend is in the value list then you have to go on the hen-do and have fun, if not, you have to stop being worried about hurting someone else’s feelings by being honest and saying you don’t like hen parties but you hope she has a great time. Want to sweeten the deal – why not arrange for a bottle of champagne in her hotel room for her to enjoy on her hen-do. You’ve saved time and energy by not attending, you’ve not upset your friend, and you’ve saved money – all of which can lead to happiness and time for you to do something you give an F about.
I found it quite satisfying drafting my F**K Budget, prioritising what I give an F about, and realising what things I could be doing with the free time, money etc.
Seriously once you’ve read this book you will realise how incredibly liberating it is to stop apologising for things you’re not sorry about. Come on join the Not Giving A F**K club.