Originally posted at Body Love Wellness, and cross posted here with their permission.
Over the years, I’ve written many articles on things like dealing with negative comments about your body, letting go of comparing yourself to others, handling haters, and so forth. These are some of my most popular articles. And I know why that is.
You’ve been taught, over and over again, that people’s opinions of you matter. You’ve been taught that if someone thinks you’re too fat, or too loud, or too smart, or too dumb, or too whatever, or not enough whatever, that they get to have a say in how you feel about yourself.
So I’d like to introduce you to the deep spiritual practice of not giving a shit.
Not Giving A Shit
You may be thinking I’m joking when I say not giving a shit is one of my main spiritual practices, but I’m not.
I got an email a few days ago from a fat massage therapist who wanted to get into health coaching but was worried that people wouldn’t take her seriously as a health coach because she was fat. I introduced her to my deep, spiritual practice.
I had the same concerns when I started coaching. In reality, I’m sure there are people who don’t want to work with me because I’m fat. But there are also tons of people who want to work with me because I’m fat, or my fat is a non-issue.
Learning to not give a shit about the people who don’t want to work with me because I’m fat was key. And if other practitioners see my fat as an issue, I truly, on a deep level, do not give a shit.
If you notice that you’re holding yourself back from doing something you want to do because of other people’s opinions, it’s time to get on board with this spiritual practice.
8,000 Years, At Least, Of Not Giving A Shit
Of course, the deep spiritual practice of not giving a shit has some serious, ancient origins. As Lao Tzu said in the Tao Te Ching approximately 8,000 years ago — “care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.”
In other words, if you give too much of a shit, other people get to control your choices. I may not always use the words “not giving a shit,” and maybe growing up in New York has made me more comfortable and happy with curse words than most people.
But to me, there’s a power in saying, “I don’t give a shit” that I don’t feel when I say, “I don’t care” or “I’m releasing all attachment to so-and-so’s opinion of me.” When I say I don’t give a shit, there’s a power, a forcefulness, and a rebellious quality that I love.
Want to start giving less of a shit? Read on.
Starting Your Own Not Giving A Shit Practice
1) Just Say It
Literally say, “I don’t give a shit” more often. Someone thinks you’re too fat to do XYZ? Say, “I don’t give a shit.” Someone won’t acknowledge your feelings about something. Say, “I don’t give a shit.” Someone doesn’t like that you’re saying you don’t give a shit? You can guess what I think.
2) The Energy Bounce
When someone confronts you with a negative judgment or opinion about you, take a moment to picture, imagine, or feel that energy just bouncing right off of you.
If it’s an internal judgment that you’re having about yourself, imagine that judgment flowing right out of your body.
3) Feel Love And Gratitude For Those That Support You
Put attention on the people in your life who do support, love, and approve of you. Feel daily gratitude that those people are in your life. As you start to feel more loving and positive about yourself, even just a little bit, give yourself some gratitude for that change.
One Last Note
This spiritual practice isn’t about not loving other people or not caring about their thoughts and feelings. It’s simply about letting go of their judgments and opinions of you.
The question always comes down to, “How much am I going to let someone else’s opinion of me control how I feel about myself and what I do?”
If you want their opinions to have less power over you, you must start to give less of a shit.
Golda Poretsky is a Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism. She’s a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. To learn more about Golda and her work, go to www.bodylovewellness.com. Follow her on Twitter at @bodylovewellnes.