I originally posted this article on The Health Coach Collective on July 3rd this year. Whilst the audience on and context of that website is different, we are all guilty as individuals of letting our head get between our goals from time to time.
On both a personal and professional standpoint, Mark Mansons book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life has helped me kick some goals. This book remains the #1 recommendation for books that I make to my clients. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy today!
Health Coaches are a caring bunch but our intrinsic desire to help others can get in the way of our own health and wellbeing. I’ve experienced compassion fatigue on too many occasions, the work of Mark Manson however is helping me through that.
Last week one of my colleagues put her hand to my chest and said “You have such a big heart, you have so much kindness within you, doing this must bring you so much pain”. She was referring to nursing, we’d had a tough couple of weeks and had dealt with some pretty big things. Working with people in often highly emotive and challenging times is one of the occupational hazards that many health workers have to endure. As a nurse, and health coach I would often take the problems of others on board and this is a dangerous place to be. Many times, this habit would snowball and naturally would get me down. This is one of the reasons I stepped away from 1-1 Health Coaching (for now anyway).
After considering what she had asked me I responded “No, I am not in pain, I know how to let most of it go now”. I learned this not through adjusting my emotional radar or somehow learning to care less but by learning what to care most about. I learned this technique through reading the book by Mark Manson The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life.
Mark Manson changed my thinking
I purchased The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck late last year, and it totally changed my way of looking at things. Whilst once I used to be a chronic worrier about everything and everyone I now strategically pinpoint where I will allow my energies to be consumed. Despite the name of the book, Manson does not actually suggest that one should not care at all but advises that we all need to be a little more considered about what we focus our cares on.
For example, a few weeks ago I unintentionally upset a colleague. They let me know it loud and clear. In the past this would have really upset me, the incident would have consumed my energy for weeks. Since implementing some of the lessons from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck I was able to let go of the situation within a couple of days – which is a super fast turnaround for me compared to my past habits. Instead of actually making their problem mine and allowing it to bring me down, I looked at it for what it was – their problem. Identifying this allowed me to walk away from the situation realizing that their problem was theirs alone.
What this book has taught me
Reading this book, and implementing some of Mansons wisdom has allowed me to:
- let go of some personal relationships that have caused me much pain over many years
- understand where my priorities truly lie
- gain momentum with my business by aligning it with my personal priorities and
- help my patients, clients and other associates the importance of “letting stuff go” and identify which of their own priorities deserve their greatest energy outlays
I have recommended this book to many people, they have told me that it has helped them to:
- work out where their passions lie
- understand what has been draining them
- identify toxic habits and relationships
- finally be free from past events that have brought them down.
If you’ve read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life I’d love to know how it helped you – submit your experiences in the comment section below.