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Last week I finished “You Do You: How to Be Who You Are And Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want” by Sarah Knight. It’s the third book I’ve listened to on Audible by the author of “Get Your Sh*t Together” and “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck.” The author refers to herself in all three as an “anti-guru” and uses humor, lists and swear words (obviously) to help make her point.
Thoughts on “You Do You” by Sarah Knight:
First I want to share points that stood out to me and some that I relate to in “You Do You” before addressing a criticism I have with this book. She wrote this book to speak to anyone who has been made to feel like there is something wrong with him/her. She wants to give people the tools to confidently make any “unconventional” choices they want in life without fearing judgment or holding back.
In one chapter, she addresses the concept of personal bests (something runners like myself often pursue). “If your best is never good enough, what good is it?” This has stood out to me in the last year. I used to want to aim for a better time every race, but now I’d be happy to finish a race! She herself admits to previously wanting to be a perfectionist, something I have struggled with throughout my life. I have given up thinking that I need to take a certain career path in order to be successful, for example. I do think it’s important to work on yourself if that’s something you truly want, but I think we need to be aware of our why.
She also shares steps to “silence haters.” One idea is to fly under the radar, which has definitely been my style in the past. The idea is that you don’t have to hear any negativity regarding a decision you’ve already made and hear the sh*t talk, as she calls it. However, it kinda seems to me like you’re not fully owning your choices if you do that.
She explains why being selfish isn’t always a terrible thing and lists examples of when it is. Knight also addresses being told to smile. I’ve been complaining about this for years. It’s not exactly the most original part of the book, but it’s relatable nonetheless, and might open some eyes about why someone might not be smiling, and why we shouldn’t concern ourselves with others’ facial expressions.
She talks about mental health and the importance of getting the help you need and doing what you need to do (for her, one example was putting a cat litter box with art sand in her office so she could pretend it was beach sand) to get you through.
Knight’s examples throughout the book of how to respond when people question your life choices are humorous, but not exactly realistic for me all the time. Someone who has had difficulty standing up for himself or herself might benefit from that advice, though. The biggest lesson of “You Do You”: We don’t need saving; we just need permission to be ourselves.
My complaint: Knight’s biggest example of being unconventional, besides quitting her job to move to the Dominican, is choosing to not have kids. She feels so strongly about not liking children that she mentions it in all three of her books. By the end of “You Do You” I found myself longing for another example of being unconventional. (She lists more, but she harps on this one.) We get it, Knight, you aren’t having kids and you aren’t changing your mind. You do you!
Overall I enjoyed her three books, even if some points are repeated. I think it’s just a different, more anti-guru approach to advice you may find in other self-development books for those who hate flowery language.
Have you read “You Do You”? What’s on your reading list?
Read the book**: