It is excessively easy to care about what everyone around you thinks of you, but it is infinitely harder to stop giving a shit what anyone thinks, other than yourself.
I am on the journey of not giving a shit.
Not in a toxic, ‘I don’t care that you are going through a tough time because my life is about me, myself and I now’, but more in a, ‘I am not going to make your life a priority over my own.’
It is all about priorities people.
I am starting to practice saying, ‘I’m sorry, but that is not a priority for me at this time.’
No need to justify why you cannot help edit someone’s resume or meet them for dinner; simply say, ‘I have other priorities I need to focus on at this time, so, unfortunately, I will not be able to help/attend/support.’
The creepy thing is that this will piss a lot of people off…a lot.
Not just one or two, like your partner or your mom, but neighbours, in-laws, friends; you will see people’s true colours start to creep into the conversation when boundaries are brought up.
A typical response you will have to deal with is: ‘It’ll only take you five minutes…’ Ummm…it probably won’t and even if it did, those are still my five minutes to spend as I choose.
Or another retaliation to your boundaries is: ‘I’m always there for you…’ So much guilt! Do not let someone guilt you into ruining your Saturday afternoon helping them move if you really can’t or don’t want to.
Get ready to board a lot of guilt trains too: ‘I guess I won’t get this project done now, thanks.’ This one is the worst! When another blames your lack of support to the unraveling of some magnanimous thing, which was just about to change the entire world, but then you asserted your boundaries and ruined it.
Do not worry, if they were meant to be the next Steve Jobs, you will definitely not stand in their way.
I have stopped giving a shit if my floors are clean. I have a puppy, the next six to twelve months are going to be living in a world filled with paw prints on the floor, most of the time, and that’s okay.
I have stopped giving a shit if I look busy all of the time at work. As long as I am getting my job done, meeting my deadlines and checking in with my supervisor, I am going to stop thinking about how hard working I appear to be because that’s just silly.
If everyone loves you, ask yourself if you love yourself.
I have stopped giving a shit if people like me. Not everyone is going to like me and there are a lot of people who I prefer disliking me because then they leave me alone. I am not everyone’s cup of tea because I have an opinion and boundaries, which are both good things. If everyone loves you, ask yourself if you love yourself because you can’t have both. If you love yourself, others will be bound to be disappointed.
I am no longer a slave to the scale. I have stopped giving a shit about my weight. I weigh what I weigh. I practice healthy eating, try to go to yoga regularly, aim to walk 10,000 steps daily, but I no longer am a slave to the scale. I am not an unhealthy weight, so this ‘last ten pounds’ bullshit is unnecessary stress to my psyche.
It is not an easy process, to stop giving a shit. You cannot wake up one day and just flip a switch and become a boundary-bound bodacious queen, without a single blip, but you can make small steps each day. This process takes a lot of practice, reflection, tools, and guts.
I struggle with it because I want certain things from people in my life, so I feel that by doing actions, which they approve of, I will gain the relationship I am looking for. Well, not so much anymore. If any of your relationships are contingent on you performing or providing something, it is a thin foundation to build off of. A relationship like that is always about what you are willing to bring to the table. You are what you should be bringing to the table, everything else is beautiful, extra, unbelievable stuff, but you are the prize, not the producer of prizes.
Learning to stop fretting and start living can be hard. Setting up boundaries, with people who abuse or maximize on your time and energy is even harder, but doable. Start taking small steps each day and you will be amazed at where you are in a week, month and season.
Nobody is an overnight success at anything, but we can start being better to ourselves starting today. We can be better to ourselves by giving a shit about our own needs first, before trying to appease the masses.