There’s this recurring situation when I am not my usual calm, balanced self.
I think it’s normal in a way. Nobody is perfect. And even if you have practiced deep meditation half of your life and are a pro in taking a meta-perspective on your life — you likely have something that triggers you. Just like me.
My “I find it hard to not give a fuck moment”: Driving
It happens while I drive the car. I get irritated fast.
My cursing is on a high when someone drives too fast, too slow, is not careful, doesn’t leave enough safety space, walks across the street without looking properly. The list is endless. Everything that gets in the way of a smooth, efficient driving experience will be cursed. Sometimes, when the offence is too big I even honk, God forbid.
Starting with the Basics: It’s Impossible to Not Give a Fuck Ever
There’s endless information on how to become more zen: books, audiobooks, podcasts, articles, videos. But in the heat of the moment, we tend to forget and default to our typical response.
Let me get this straight: It’s impossible to not give a fuck ever. Make sure to create a space for all of your feelings and be empathetic with yourself. That space might just better be created outside of a car or generally not in the heat of the moment. Journaling can help to work through your feelings.
What you can work toward is a point at which, even if you feel irritated, it will only last for a few seconds. You’ll be able to make it fade into oblivion and continue to live life the way you’d like to.
We can learn to understand the cues and counteract them. That way we will be more in control and feel less stressed.
So, how do we get there?
We focus on what we can control: our actions, our behaviors, our feelings.
That also means to NOT let things outside of our control impact our mood, namely the actions, behaviors, and feelings of others.
- Acknowledge what you cannot and can control: It drives me crazy when someone drives badly. I don’t have control over how a person drives, and I don’t like my reaction in that situation. But I can choose how to respond to a situation like this.
- Make a decision to react differently: Think about that moment that likely gets you triggered in advance and make a plan on what exactly you’re going to do instead.
- Do a dry run: Play your new reaction through in your head. Write it down.
- Implement your plan: Put yourself in the situation. Realize what you have control over. Do what you had planned out earlier.
- Review and repeat: If you manage to react as planned be prepared to feel great. I remember that fantastic feeling of being in control when I first got over my cursing and honking habit by playing my favorite music and singing along loudly. Celebrate yourself and your achievement. Then go at it again and repeat your success.
You Got It. You’re Not Giving a Fuck!
Yes, I am still not perfect. It happens that I get angry and curse a little. But after following these steps I catch myself earlier and stop immediately. And on my best days, I am a super happy driver, singing and dancing in the car, probably annoying other drivers who get irritated easily.
Changing our behaviors is hard work and requires constant repetition. So, go for it and begin to refuse to get upset and mad about things you can’t control.
That’s what “not giving a fuck.” is all about. You actually do give a fuck. But you also have the maturity to understand what things are within your control, and what things are not.
People are responsible for their own feelings and behaviors, and you’re only here to work on yours.
What are the things that drive you crazy? How do you react? Did you ever try to change how you react to them? Let me know in the comments.