The Only Self-Help Guide You’ll Ever Need


Being a ‘good girl’ can be draining at the best of times, and at its worst, it can lead to terrible anxiety and self-doubt, something I’ve got plenty experience of. For there are so many things to consider at all times:

–   Am I polite enough?

–   Do people like me? And if they don’t, what have I done wrong?

–   Am I making the right decisions?

–   Am I a good mother?

–   Am I a good wife?

–   Have I neglected my duties as a sister, daughter, granddaughter, friend, etc.?

–   Have I forgotten anyone’s birthday?

–   Is the house clean enough?

–   Are my children eating too much sugar?

–   Should I put some make-up on to look more pleasing?

–   Am I pretty enough?

–   Am I too fat? Do I need to lose weight?

–   Have I offended anyone?

–   Am I good enough?

–   Did I miss something out on this list?

And so the list goes on ad infinitum.

As if the stress of being a good girl wasn’t enough, I’ve got shelves-loads full of self-help books designed to help me improve myself. But guess what? I’m chucking them all out. Why? Because I’ve found the ultimate self-help book that beats them all.

It was quite by chance that I happened to set eyes on a slightly wine-stained copy (or was it blood?) in my local Daunt bookshop. The title says it all:

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, by Sarah KnightIMG_1808

Having secured a 10% discount on account of the stained cover, I rushed to the nearest coffee shop, ordered a cappuccino and a freshly baked scone with jam and clotted cream (because I didn’t give a fuck about the calories) and started reading. This is what I learned:

Instead of immediately shouting YES to every request that comes your way and which demands your time, energy and money, take a moment to ask yourself:

“Do I really give a fuck?”

There are of course times when you should give a fuck, such as when “something – be it human, inanimate, or conceptual – does not annoy and does bring your happiness.”

Beware: not giving a fuck doesn’t give you license to be an asshole; on the contrary, the author is very careful to point out that politeness matters a great deal.

Essentially, it’s all about allowing yourself to say no to people without feeling sorry, guilty, anxious or afraid and whilst still being thought of as a nice person.

The things we do and don’t give a fuck about will vary from one person to the next, and although I’ve not yet worked out what my ‘no fuck’ list is, there’s one item on that list I can’t do without (and neither can you): not giving a fuck about what other people think. This one is non-negotiable, the author points out. “All fucks stem from here.”

PS. If in doubt whether or not you should give a fuck about something, here’s an easy-to-follow guideline:


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