In You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want, anti-guru and author of Get Your Sh*t Together, Sarah Knight shares strategies on how to stand up for who you are and what you really want, need, and deserve — showing when it’s okay to be selfish, why it’s pointless to be perfect, and how to be “difficult.
“Stand up for who you are and what you want.”
You DO You—is about accepting your strengths and your flaws, whether those flaws are self-identified or just things that you’re perfectly happy about but that other people seem to have a problem with.
The Tyranny of “Just Because.
The biggest obstacle to doing you is doing things just because that’s how everyone else does them, or because it’s the way those things have always been done. And when you deny your true nature just because you’re trying to fit in with the crowd—then you’re not doing you, YOU’RE SCREWING YOU.
Lowest Common Denominator Living
This condition is evinced by the urge to stifle any or all unconventional, unusual, uncommon, odd, novel, rebellious, or unpopular aspects of one’s personality, lifestyle, or value system—and results in “just getting by” as opposed to “getting on with your bad self.
What do you want, need, and deserve from life? – WNDs
These are your WNDs. Not to be confused with WMDs, WNDs do not endanger the lives of innocent villagers or provide governments with an excuse to engage in an eight-year, multitrillion-dollar war. But just like WMDs, if you can’t identify them… you’ve got a big problem.
Once you’ve clarified your half of the Golden Rule and shored up those WNDs, we can achieve all kinds of pickle-ticklin’ goodness by negotiating—with the rest of the world—the best terms the social contract has to offer.
The social contract
The minute we exit the birth canal, we enter into a set of guidelines for human behavior that we all agree to follow (more or less) so we can live our lives in peace. What’s known as the “social contract” is not a legal document, or even a tangible one, but just because its clauses haven’t been typed out and stored in a fireproof safe-deposit box with all of our important paperwork doesn’t mean we don’t know it’s there.
THE SOCIAL CONTRACT WITH AMENDMENTS
1) Don’t be selfish
It is absolutely okay—and healthy—to be concerned with your own self-interest, which you can do while also looking out for others. Being selfish and being selfless don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
2) Do your best
Ambition and integrity are great qualities, but it’s hard to accomplish anything when both hands are occupied by scratching your stress-induced hives.
3) Don’t be difficult
Stand up for yourself—and for other people. Having the courage of your convictions isn’t being “difficult.” It’s admirable, and it will also get you a better table.
4) Do be a team player
Go your own way, if that’s what sizzles your bacon. Who fucking cares how you do it, as long as it gets done? (Or doesn’t get done. See amendment to clause 2, above.)
5) Don’t quit your day job
Develop a healthy attitude toward risk and don’t let the doubters and haters stop you from taking one when the time is right. Also: fear is just another word for suffocating your dreams with a big blue tarp.
6) You will change your mind
Maybe, but if you do, no biggie. Don’t let other people’s opinions about your life choices—especially the “unconventional” ones—keep you from being true to yourself.
7) You won’t get anywhere with that attitude
Whatever fuels you, whatever keeps you feeling safe, and whatever helps you sleep tonight and enjoy your vacation tomorrow is the right attitude for you.
8) You will regret that
If at first people don’t succeed in changing your mind, they will try, try again by filling your head with tales of potential woe. Don’t listen to them.
9) You won’t get a good job if you don’t go to college
Success is yours to define. Nobody needs a diploma—literal or metaphorical—to tell them what feels good.
10) You will never live that down
If you’re freaky and you know it, clap your hands. And if not, some polite applause for the rest of us wouldn’t hurt.
11) You should always put family first
Please feel free to value all of the wonderful people in your life equally. There, was that so hard?
12) You shouldn’t act so crazy
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and if tending to yours means being open about its care and feeding, go nuts.
13) You should smile more
Kindly fuck off
14) You shouldn’t eat that
Accept your body for what it is rather than punishing it for what it isn’t. And save me some pizza.
15) You should check your ego at the door
If you don’t have confidence in yourself, who will? Own it, talk with it, walk with it, and don’t forget to congratulate yourself on a daily basis. You’ve earned it.
These are the doubters and the haters. Judgy McJudgersons of the world exist to throw you off course, and to combat Judgy’s bad juju, you’re going to need a little help.
Helpful guidelines for not being a psychopath
- Feel good about yourself, not good about fucking with other people just for the fun of it.
- Don’t equate “doing you” with “being irresponsible.”
- Recognize when doing you has consequences, and accept them.
- Have empathy for everyone else who’s out there trying to do them.
- Be comfortable in your own skin, not comfortable making a suit out of someone else’s.
5 reasons why it’s bad to be perfect
1. You’ll never get to live out your fantasy of staying late to get “tutoring help” from the hot professor.
2. Your friends will expect you to host ALL THE PARTIES and provide ALL THE SOUFFLÉS.
3. Your Uber rating has nowhere to go but down.
4. You won’t get picked for a one-on-one wardrobe consultation from a celebrity stylist on Ambush Makeover.
5. You are doomed to spend the majority of your day wanting to punch other people in the face
All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.