Why Being Careless It’s a Good Thing – How To Let Go Like a Pro
I also have a subtitle for this post which is a bit arrogant:
The Art of Letting Go: Become Unstoppable by Learning How to Not Give a Fuck
I’ve cared too much in past about what others think about me. Was I fat in these jeans? Too pushy when I talk to girls? Should I wear red sneakers with а pink blouse?1 Do I walk funny? Does my voice sound ridiculous? I was apologetic, shy, and constantly trying to make others like me. Now, I’m a careless prick who doesn’t give a fuck about what others think of me.
I didn’t do it on purpose – the above I mean where I mentioned that I’m dead inside and I don’t quite care about what others think about me – It just happened naturally.
One day I woke up and I was no longer obsessed with what others talk or think about me when my name appears inside their minds. I was no longer dreaming about fancy cars and big houses. Probably this happened when I figure out what I want to do with my life.2
To be honest, I love it. It’s like there is this new white space in my mind that was previously filled with thoughts about what should I do, say, and also wear so I can make others like me more.
Do you ask yourself this: “Gosh, I hope they like my outfit?” when you walk into a bar and everyone is looking at you? Do you fill your house with stuff which you don’t need but you still keep them anyway?
You do? It’s such a pressure, right?
Learning how to let go and not give a damn about the outside world is a privilege. It’s a skill that, unfortunately, only a few people possess.
But don’t get all sad though, it’s still something you can acquire. Like everything else in life, that can be learned and mastered.
In this post, I will show you a few ways to star being careless of what others think about you which will potentially make you happier and more fulfilled person. Yes, I know. It does sound strange but bear with me because at the end, you will feel relieved.
By saying letting go and being careless I don’t mean the following things:
Not considering the opinion of others;
Hurting others with your actions or inactions.
Understanding that holding on to a lot of things or carrying too much about what others think of you will slowly destroy you from the inside.
If we’re clear, let’s go with letting go:
Why you need to learn how to let go?
You have too much on your plate.
I don’t know you but I’m sure that’s the case with you.
You have a hobby. Probably a life partner. Friends. A job where you go to earn money which you need in order to survive in life. Probably even a dog, or a cat. Parents that are constantly calling you and asking you when you’ll visit them.
Essentially, you have 24 hours with each new day. Actually less if we deduct the time we need for sleeping, bathing, driving, and all other tiny little things that are necessary in order to survive.
So let me ask you the following questions:
How much time each day you’re spending worrying about what others think about you?
How much time you’re spending involved in a relationship that was doomed from the start?
How much time of your day you’re spending chatting with friends on Facebook about things that don’t matter?
How much time of your day you’re spending on pleasing others?
How much time on your day you’re spending on working on something that doesn’t make sense?
A lot, right?
We can actually categorize what we mentioned above into only three things. The average person worries about these three things for most of their day:
How to make your boss like you more: You do this so you can keep your job and potentially receive more money for doing the same work. Also, for reasons number two:
How to make others like your more: Subconsciously, we want others to like us and accept us. This is deeply rooted inside our DNA. Back in the days, I mean the prehistoric era, if you were alone your chances of survival were close to zero. But if you’re in a group, you all work together to stay alive. That’s the reason you’re saying lies an acting like you care about people you actually don’t, to save your ass from dying.
How to make sure you won’t die: Staying alive is an impulse that both your brain and your body is well aware of. They sync and work together to keep your ass away from danger and towards safety. That’s one of the reasons you accumulate more and you want more. More things usually means more ways to protect yourself from danger. More food in the fridge means that you will survive for a longer period of time without going to the store. Our subconscious is telling us “don’t throw away this old hanger, you might wanna need it if a bear attacks.”
Before you get married you’re also concerned about how to make your partner like you and love you more but after you exchange rings it’s no longer that exciting.3
Learning how to let go allows you to unload your mind from a lot of pressure that you’re daily experiencing. Let’s see some of the benefits of letting go:
Benefits of letting go
If you want to become more productive, to live a meaningful life, to feel good about yourself, you need to adapt the letting go skill. This will give you the following benefits:
Less worry: There is no point to hold a grudge when stuff go wrong or people act in a way that doesn’t inline with your own understandings of the world. Letting go will free you from these thoughts and help you understand that people are different and you can’t expect all of them to think like you do.
Less stuff: One of the reasons we accumulate a lot of stuff while we’re on this planet is inspired by our ambition to make others like us – except the fact that we also need more stuff for our survival. We buy a tons of stuff so we can impress others. In reality, no one cares about you and doesn’t give a damn. Once you understand this you will remove the things you don’t need. The things taking from your space.
More of yourself: How often you say stuff you don’t mean only to please others? Even though we all need to behave in the world, we often do stuff with the sole intention to make others like you. Once you master the craft of letting go you will be yourself and if people like you they will do it because of you, not because of someone you’re trying to be.
And these are only part of the benefits. Once you understand what is important you will also walk away from the things that aren’t important and don’t add any real value to your life.
How to do it
You can’t simply say “Fuck it” and stop thinking about the things that were troubling your mind yesterday. In order to become careless, let your frustrations, anger, envy, ego, suicidal thoughts go and not let it stress you out like it has been doing, even become more open-minded, you first need to train your brain.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Here are some steps and things to consider in order to free your mind from the burden:
Embarrassing yourself in front of others is considered social suicide but it can also be a way to become more open to the world.
A simple technique I learned from Neil Strauss from one of his books, The Game, will help you become more socially active, apart from helping you care less about what others think about you.
So what he mentions in the book is something like this: “Dress like a beggar for a day and wander around the streets. Talk to people. Interact with them. This will help you gain more confidence and help you let go of what others think of you.4
Embarrassing yourself in front of others will help you overcome the fear of speaking in front of groups, social anxiety, social phobia in general.5
Don’t take the idea about dressing like a beggar so literally. You can try something else, like speaking at a local event in front of other people. If you haven’t done this before you will probably start sweating only when you think about it.
Exposing yourself in front of others will help you understand that there is nothing to be afraid of. And overcoming fear is the first step to calm your worried mind.
Do something different
If you hang around with the same people, you do the same things, you will surely think the same things, have the same fears.
A lot of times we’re not doing, or doing, specific things we don’t quite like only to please our friends, which is OK. Afterall they are our friends. Still, this act shouldn’t interfere with what we really want from life.
When was the last time you asked yourself what is what you want?
Long time ago, right?
You can’t let go of what is troubling you if you keep your body, your physical existence, surrounded by the same people and the same things.
Do something different for a change. Go climb a mountain; Go jump with a parachute; Go watch a scary movie; Work for no money but for a good cause; Go to a foreign country; Read books different from the ones you’ve been reading; Read if you haven’t done this for a while.
Everything that will be different from your current activities.
The idea here is to see that there are others things, different things from your know activities. This will change your perspective for the world and help you see that there are much more important things than owning 20 pairs of jeans.
Say NO more often
How often you’re saying “Yes” to things?
Yes, mom, I will help you understand what the internet is.
Yes, John, I’ll help you clean up your terrace.
Yes, Sindy, I’ll go with you to the mall even though I have work to do.
Yes, Charles, I will smoke weed with you even though I don’t really want to.
Yes, Claudia, I will go out with you so I can help you overcome your 3rd relationship for this month.
Two words: Too often.
You’re saying “Yes” more often than you’re supposed to.
It’s natural to have brain flooded with different thoughts, worries, fears when you’re saying “Yes” to everything and to everybody asking for a favor. It’s also quite normal to have 30,000 items piled up inside your home, crawling on top of your head. If you’re saying “Yes” to all the sales in the malls, if you’re collecting magazines and cards from different places because everybody else is doing this, you will be flooded with stuff you don’t need.
Say “No” for a change. Don’t go out today. Don’t do something only because others are doing it. Ask yourself what you want and focus on that for a change. You might be living someone else’s life for years only to please others.
Yes, I know. It sounds too spiritual and it often ends up in the graph “this is bullshit and I ain’t doing it.”
I hated when people mention meditation in their blog posts and books. It always seemed like they are trying to sound fancy. Yet, here I am mentioning meditation as a way to learn to let go.
As I previously mentioned, you need to do something different to learn to let go. So, start saying “Ommm.”
Meditation for me means standing still, alone, with your legs crossed and doing nothing. In reality, meditation is just what I described. I never truly understood what meditations mean until I’ve read the book The Monk That Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma.
In the book, Mr. Sharma shares one simple technique that will help you gain control over your thoughts and understand what meditation actually means. The technique is called “Heart of the Rose.”
What he mentions is the following:
“All that you need to perform this exercise is a fresh rose and a silent place. Natural surroundings are best, but a quiet room will also do nicely. Start to stare at the center of the rose, its heart. Yogi Raman told me that a rose is very much like life. Notice its color, texture and design. Savor its fragrance and think only about this wonderful object in front of you. At first, other thoughts will start entering your mind, distracting you from the heart of the rose…But you need not worry, improvement will come quickly. Simply return your attention to the object of your focus…”6
It sounds super easy at first. But try doing it for even 20 seconds. You don’t even need a rose. Simply close your eyes and try to imagine a rose. Now, once the rose is in front of your eyes try to keep your focus only on the rose. It’s hard, right? There aregazillion of other thoughts pulling you in a different direction. It’s like your whole Facebook scroll is going through your eyes in lightspeed.
After a while, you will become better at this. You will endure for a few more seconds staring at the rose till you can control your mind in fullest.
That’s what meditation is. It’s focusing your attention towards only one thing so you can become calm and relaxed.
So that’s why so many people mention meditation in their post!
Be savage when it comes down to things that are trying to rob your focus or interfere with your freedom.
Say “No” to the things you don’t want to do. Say “No” to the things collecting dust inside your apartment. Say “Yes” to your desires and the things that interest you. This kind of mindset will set the foundations for a brighter future and more smiles on your face.
Even though we can’t survive alone in this world, we also need to understand where are the boundaries. Not everyone will like you, there will surely be people who won’t be able to stand your existence, but that’s OK. If you’re an authentic person and if you’re following your path, you shouldn’t care that there will be a few haters talking shit about you. It’s their problem, not yours.
You shouldn’t by the way. At least that what I was told by girls.
I’m still not 100% sure but the things I really enjoy doing are the following: Authentically expressing myself; Making complicated things sound and look simple; Helping others understand that more stuff doesn’t mean more happiness and that in order to get what you want in life you need to work more.
Before you get married you’re also worried about finding a partner, but that’s another topic.
Social phobia would be the fear of speaking in front of groups, whereas generalized social anxiety indicates that the person is anxious, nervous, and uncomfortable in almost all (or the majority of) social situations. Link to the resource.
This is an excerpt of the book The Monk That Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma. You can find more about the book here.