Let me be frank.
I don’t actually think it’s completely a good thing to give “zero fucks”. I mean to completely not care AT ALL what anyone thinks, what anyone’s opinion is, just goes against social norms altogether. There is a name for people who actually give “zero fucks”.
They’re called sociopaths.
I figure if you’re reading this, you aren’t one (because most sociopaths don’t care about self-help…they’re too busy being a-holes unknowingly) so let’s have a talk about this concept, especially since I've seen so many “give zero fucks” posts flying around.
First, I get where the notion comes from. What it’s saying is: Grab life with all your might and go for what you want and don’t let others hold you back. Don’t let fear of judgement, criticism, and other’s opinions keep you playing small. And I can get on board with that, fo sho! Fist pump, whoop! Heck, I even wrote a few chapters of my book based around this concept.
But here’s where I think it trips people up: I believe some people hear, “Don’t care what anyone thinks of you.” Or “Give zero fucks” and it’s this huge, monumentous goal. Many of us have spent most of our lives really caring what other people think. Basing our behaviors, decisions, thoughts, and most everything on what we make up other people think and worrying about what others will say if we do the things we really want that are outside of our comfort zone.
I made this cute little diagram to show you this concept. On the left are the crazy ones that really don’t care AT ALL about anything, anyone. The “zero fucks” people. Most of them are probably in jail. On the far right are most people that give lots-o-fucks (maybe that’s a clever name for an escort service, no?). And then in the middle is where I think we all should be. Medium fucks.
From personal experience, I care what my husband thinks about the way I parent. I care about what my close colleagues think about my new business endeavors. I care about what my audience thinks of my writing. Can you imagine if I actually gave ZERO fucks? I would end up isolating myself from people that I truly care about.
Here’s the difference and my point: What I actually give zero fucks about is the societal standard that I should “behave like a lady”. Or the statistical data that most businesses fail within the first 5 years. Or that my book might not sell. Or that some people will disagree with my coaching philosophy.
Those are big, broad notions. Most of them are made-up stuff in my head anyway. And all things I just mentioned—had I really cared about them—would have held me back from doing BIG, giant goals that I wanted to accomplish.
And about the people whom I do care about what they think like my husband, close friends, etc. I can take in what they think about my decisions and behaviors and only let it affect me if and only if I can get past my own fears and take it in. In other words, I can take it as feedback. Is this always easy? No! But, it’s learned and can be powerful for myself and in my relationships.
So, for you. I’d love for you to think about where you give lots-o-fucks about what other people think. Where are you making decisions about staying in a relationship you aren’t happy in, a job you hate, not speaking up where you want to, not setting boundaries, not having the hard conversations, etc., all because you’re afraid of what people will say or think? Other people’s opinions and judgements will not destroy you. Feedback, fine, but you’ll live to tell the story, I promise.