First off let me clarify something. An IDGAF attitude isn’t a nonchalant attitude towards anybody or anything.
In fact it’s the opposite.
An IDGAF attitude is self-expression to the fullest, where you don’t feel restricted by societal rules or the judgement of others. It is going after what you want and being who want, even if you might fail or if you might be ridiculed.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Teddy Roosevelt
Artists, musicians, entrepreneurs. They’re fearless, pioneers, and trendsetters because they have a strong sense of IDGAF.
A lot of times we see things we want, but don’t go for them out of fear. Fear of failure, fear of judgement, whatever it may be.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Once you develop a IDGAF attitude, you’ll make decisions and be 100% confident in it. Your clothes, what you say, what you do, whether you’re right or wrong. (better to jump 100% into a mediocre decision than to go 50% on a great one)
It doesn’t mean you think you’re better than other people, it just means you’re extremely comfortable in your own skin.
For those of you that know me, I have a IDGAF attitude towards most things, but it doesn’t come because I’m special. Actually, I’m horribly average. I’m not the best with girls. Average basketball player. Mediocre writer. I can’t sing. I can’t dance. Here’s how I developed a IDGAF attitude and do these things confidently anyways.
Let People Be
The chains you place on other people are really just chains you place on yourself. Some of these restrictions are necessary. We all have our own idea of what a respectable person should look like and what type of people we should avoid.
And that’s cool.
Problem is when judgments are placed on things that don’t really matter ie. clothes, looks, how people talk, what they like, their opinions, “weird” behavior etc.
Once I became more open-minded, conversation flowed much better and I was able to enjoy myself without fear of judgment. What was even more interesting was the more I pushed my comfort zone, the more I came to respect eccentricities and the people who weren’t afraid to express them. What used to be weird just became “interesting” or in some cases incredibly normal.
It’s only weird if you think it’s weird.
For example, men regularly hold hands in China, but you’ll feel weird if you do it in America because people will think you’re gay.
Holding hands with another guy doesn’t make you gay.
Other people might think so, but let them think what they want to.
Ultimately it’s up to you to choose what is acceptable and what isn’t.
Step 1: Kill Your Ego
Once you destroy your ego and accept your flaws, it’s much easier to accept other people for theirs. It might be a different experience for somebody else, but I realized that my inclination to negatively judge others came from my desire to feel superior to others or to pretend that I know something when I really don’t.
What I mean by that is, you might think the guy who cut you off is an asshole, but what if he’s rushing his wife to the hospital because she’s about to give birth? A lot of times, snap judgments are made without getting the full picture.
Step 2: Don’t Box People in With Labels
This next one sounds really obvious. People are multi-dimensional and labels at best stereotypes them. But we do a lot of this to ourselves.
By living by some label, we put ourselves in a box.
For example, I used to label myself as a “hip-hop head” and that meant I couldn’t listen to anything else. Think of some labels you live by and some restrictions that come with that.
Step 3: Be Self-Centered
I can do whatever I want because:
a) I know I’m not hurting anybody or doing something wildly inappropriate
b) I know what my priorities are
c) I don’t care what other people do as long as it doesn’t bother me or go against my values
By not caring about what other people do, I feel like other people don’t care what I do. It means I can be little more eccentric and little more “out there.”
If you dare to be different, you can’t judge others for doing the same…even if you don’t share their definition of different.
Live in the Moment
What are your goals right now?
If you’re working, figure out how to get rid of that problem.
If you’re out having fun, focus on doing things you’ll enjoy. Don’t worry about what could happen, just worry about having fun.
Just let go of the outcome and worry about how to best achieve your goal, whatever it is. Worrying about that deadline doesn’t help you finish that paper and worrying about what others may think of you doesn’t help you enjoy yourself so get out of your head and just do it.
These steps are the similar, but there are different applications so read along.
Step 1: Kill Your Ego
We’re one out of seven billion people living on one planet in a galaxy with trillions of stars and other planets which exists in a universe that holds trillions of other galaxies.
I don’t mean to completely crap on your existence, but look at it from a different perspective.
All your failures, all your troubles and problems will eventually fall to the wayside.
So put your positive feelings above everything. Chase your dreams.
Step 2: Be Self-Centered
IDGAF isn’t about attention-seeking. Your goals and your actions stem from your priorities and not from a desire to fit in or to impress.
I used to look for approval from others, but as a result I wasn’t expressing who I was. I was expressing who they wanted me to be. Furthermore, I was less inclined to take risks because I didn’t want to be ostracized.
Then I became self-centered.
By being self-centered, I became too focused to pay attention the irrelevant things people are saying or thinking. You’re focused on what you’re trying to accomplish. You’re too busy being yourself.
Step 3: Always Be Providing Value
If you can confidently believe you’re providing value in your actions, you will move with no fear.
But how do you confidently believe you’re providing value?
Change your perspective.
Everything can be twisted to your advantage. Look at Fox News.
My perspective is whatever action I take is a gift.
If I walk into an interview, it’s going to help them select a proper candidate.
If I’m talking to a girl, it’s going to brighten up her day.
If I’m the only one dancing at a party, it’s going to liven up the atmosphere.
If I’m going to start blogging, it’s going to help people be the best versions of themselves.
And if they don’t like my gift, that’s fine. It doesn’t mean they’re dumb. Somebody else will like it.
This is how I get myself to do things that take a little bit of courage. You might have your own way and it’s up to you what you take out of this.
Just to recap
I let people be who they are around me and the more eccentric the better because the less I judge others, the more room I give myself to explore my personality.
I live in the moment because it’s more exciting and fulfilling to jump into things 100% than with one foot in the water.