‘You do you’ is an expression I’ve heard a lot lately, mainly from a sassy AF colleague, and I’ve longed to have that kind of attitude. Now, thanks to everyone’s favourite potty-mouthed anti-guru, it’s something I’ve started to adopt in my day-to-day life.
Sarah Knight, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck (check out my review here) and Get your Shit Together (review pending – if Santa gets his ass in gear), is back with the ultimate Christmas gift/motivational tool for 2018. If you know someone who seriously needs to embrace who they are without giving a fuck what anyone else thinks, you might want to slip this into their stocking. Or go ahead and treat yo’self.
You do you
What I particularly love about Sarah’s books is that, although you could loosely describe them as ‘self-help books’, this isn’t about changing who you are at your core – rather, it’s about owning what makes you you. ‘This book isn’t called You IMPROVE You. No, this book – You DO You – is about accepting your strengths and your flaws…’
You Do You was briefly touched on at the end of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck but it deserves its own stand-alone book. It’s not just about not giving a fuck what people think; it’s about living life on your own terms. Of course, as always, it’s about making yourself happier but not at the expense of someone else’s happiness. Don’t be a dick. Or a psychopath.
I’m the first to admit that I’m very self-critical and find it hard to accept compliments, so when Sarah presents a brief exercise, where you note your own strengths and weaknesses, I’ll admit I struggled. But a large part of this book is about ‘mental decorating’ (a term I love!) and turning your flaws into strengths. So, take a look inside my weird little mind.
Strengths: passionate, determined, loyal
Weaknesses: adverse to change, short-tempered, socially awkward
The trick is to redecorate your weaknesses into strengths. So:
Adverse to change – Consistent
Short-tempered – what you see is what you get
Socially awkward – ??? OK, I’ve got no strength for that one. Anyone?
She also asks ‘what’s your ideal world?’ For me it’s to be happy by the sea. It’s very basic (and not in the ‘I’m such a basic bitch’ sense). I don’t really mind what I’m doing, as long as I’m content, my loved ones are happy and healthy and I’m not living in a city.
What do you want, need and deserve?
Sarah also encourages you to think about what you want, need and deserve – your WNDs. If we’re expected to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, we need to consider how we want to be treated. So here are my WNDs:
I WANT to be happy
I NEED regular time for myself
I DESERVE to be valued (and respected)
(Note: That’s actually kinda depressing to read back and makes it look like I’m unhappy. I’m not, I could just do with a break sometimes. I’m sure a lot of working mums feel the same.)
So, if that’s how I want to treated, it’s how I should treat others. I do value others’ time – colleagues’ help at work, my mum helping with Jenson… I insist that other people practice self-care and take time for themselves (my mum friends, bloggers friends who both work and blog full-time), but for some reason I don’t make enough of an effort with myself to have that break. I should treat myself better.
What stops a lot of people ‘doing themselves’ and not giving a fuck is the fear of being perceived as selfish. But if you look back at my need to have time to myself, then it becomes self-care rather than selfish. ‘Knowing, asking for, pursuing, and preserving what makes you happy may be selfish. But it’s also smart… the good kind of selfish is simply self-care.’
Ignore the haters
I love that in this book Sarah takes a lot of commonplace responses to someone wanting to try something new and completely turns them around, including expressions such as don’t quit your day job (everyone loves a side hustle) and you will never live that down (there’s a whole chapter devoted to the art of being weird!).
The point is, life is short. Shouldn’t we be living our best lives?
I love the honesty of the book too, with Sarah discussing her own personal experiences with eating disorders and anxiety, and how that led to her giving less fucks and doing her. She says: ‘you need to accept yourself before you wreck yourself’. Self-care and putting yourself first is key.
I’m surprised to say that reading The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck and You Do You has genuinely inspired me to get my shit together (I really need that book!) and I’m going to pursue the side hustle I’ve been thinking about for the last year.
If you’re in need of some motivation, I really can’t recommend Sarah’s books highly enough. Rather than slugging through psycho-babble self-help, these are engaging and hilarious reads that encourage you to make instant changes to your life. And these changes are so easy to implement. Once you get started you won’t want to look back.
*I was sent a copy of You Do You for review purposes and all thoughts are my own