In recent years, ‘not giving a fuck’ has become an empowering strategy for a lot of people. There’s a lot of talk, a lot of books and videos about it and why you should do it.
The saying at face value is very aggressive, dominant and masculine, which raises questions about how people are going to utilise its power. My main concern is that its use will manifest itself in an unhealthy manner.
Sometimes when things get too hard to handle, we get defensive. And in that state of fear, the easiest way out is denial and aggression. But this won’t fix anything; you’re still affected by the issue, and now you’re just pretending that you’re a tough guy or gal.
You can’t just decide not to give a fuck. Just deciding leads to denial, and you’re simply allowing existing wounds to fester rather than building character that can withstand most challenges in life. This is why I invite you to understand the saying’s true meaning and form, and implement it in a way that is healthy and actually balanced with reality.
So, what should ‘not giving a fuck’ really mean?
It consists of two things:
At the heart of it is the ability to recognise what’s truly important to you; knowing your truth and values, your constitution, and being able to shift your perspective to a broader one; seeing things for what they’re actually worth in the grand scheme of things.
If you’re eyes are fixed on the prize, there’s no reason for you to lose control over minor inconveniences or challenges, because you can always revert back to the bigger picture and focus on what needs doing. You liberate yourself from the confining context that your Ego is latching on to.
You will have an Iron Will, one that is always fixed on the main goal. It’s not interrupted by anything, always seeing what needs to be done and what the challenge at hand is actually about. It separates you from the Ego which is always trying to be awesome and untouchable. It doesn’t want to let go. It wants to straighten things out with everyone in such a way that leaves it standing at the top victorious.
You want to detach yourself from the Ego; be the bigger man to yourself.
2) Letting Go
If your focus is on-point, you can let go of the things that you can’t change or aren’t worth changing. It’s impossible to let go if you’re focusing on the wrong things.
Human lives are complicated. We can get caught up in the most minute, mundane, and unimportant things when our focus is off, usually fixed on the small picture. If you focus on the process, on the fact that everything you do is in the service of the bigger picture (which you by now are focused on AF), it’s easy to let go of the things that really can’t even leave a dent on it.
Most people won’t be able to let go because they aren’t executing on the change they want to see. They stay there, lying in the mud and their own blood instead of standing up, observing, orienting, deciding, and then acting on it. Those wounds will fester unless you move on and see that it really doesn’t mean that much in the end, that it’s only another stepping stone for you to become a stronger version of yourself.
Just think about some of the things in your past that really got to you, that seemed like huge issues, but today you can see that they really weren’t that big of a deal after all, and the fact that you moved on and took them as an opportunity to grow lead to you becoming a better, stronger person. That’s what’s at the heart of not giving a fuck; you understand how life works. You get punched, some bones are going to break. But the bone grows back stronger than before right where it broke.
Can you change it?
- Yes: Why worry? Just act on it and make that change happen.
- No: Why worry? You can do nothing about it. It’s just a part of reality.
People can’t let go when they insist that reality isn’t as it is. But it is. You romanticise and simulate, insisting that what transpired isn’t really what happened, that things should’ve or could’ve gone differently.
Acceptance is the most important part of an individual’s ability to let go.
So truly not giving a fuck is about focus and the ability to let go. It should be an authentic mindset. It can’t be faked. You will not be able to lie to yourself. Those dark thoughts, insecurity, resentment, and bitterness will always linger their way back into your mind during the dark lonely hours.
So don’t make it about the ego, because the ego will never be able to handle it. It wants to be amazing. And you can’t be amazing in the eyes of everyone. A lot of people will dislike you. And in that setting the only way to truly not care, to not give a fuck, is to know yourself, to know what truly matters to you, and focus on that while letting go of the things you can’t change.