If I had to pick one word to describe this conversation, it would have to be the ‘F’ word… I mean FUN. Sarah Knight is the New York Times bestselling author known for being the “anti-guru”. Through her swear-y series of books and journals about the Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*%k she helps people say NO, reserve their energy and attention for the things that deserve it the most, and approach each new endeavor with a “Not Sorry” attitude.
I’m chatting with Sarah about her tried-and-true methods for setting boundaries and pursuing a life you actually want to live. She’s also completely hilarious, so I’m excited for a life-changing conversation with plenty of laughs along the way.
Where Her Story Begins
Sarah Knight followed her boyfriend to New York City (they’re married now!) and began to claw her way up the publishing ladder. She saw considerable success in an industry that’s famously challenging. The same year she reached senior editor was the same year she decided to “blow it all up” and go freelance.
Sarah explained that, “Just because you’re operating at a very high level doesn’t mean you’re doing everything right or what’s best for you.” Her career milestone, while impressive, was coupled with debilitating anxiety, panic, and depression. “Being happy is an important component of being successful,” Sarah stated. And that’s why she needed to take another path.
Around the time that her freelancing career began was the same time that she came up with the idea for her first book. “Maybe it was all that creative energy unlocked by no longer having to spend so much of it conforming to a particular corporate model,” Sarah reflected.
Freeing Her Brainspace
This is something I talk about a lot — the idea of giving yourself the time and space to allow new ideas and curiosities to reach you. Everytime I give myself space, my next idea comes, and it turns into the next big move in my business or life. I asked Sarah about quitting her job and what that freed up for her.
“When I freed up that brainspace… when I freed up my time and energy I was able to channel that into writing for myself and that took off. It was something that was unlocked because I made a big, scary, complicated, difficult life change,” Sarah explained.
You don’t have to make a change that’s big and bold to improve your life. Sarah teaches that you can make small life changes every day that improve your day, week, or year.
The ‘F’ Word
Sarah Knight’s brand is known as “sweary”. Her book titles boast the F-word unapologetically and part of that is Sarah wanting to show up as her true, unfiltered self. She’s the daughter of two elementary teachers, she has an ivy league education, she’s incredibly articulate, and she said, “Frankly it tickles me to be this famous for giving salty advice…”
Using that word and that language shocks people out of their comfort zone. “They think it’s fun and funny and a little bit naughty,” but Sarah continued, “I think it’s great that I can be this well-educated, driven, successful woman and also use that language.”
Non-Negotiables for Not Giving an ‘F’
In her series of books that started with “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a ‘F’”, Sarah spells out the tenants of her system that unlock happiness and success when you stop giving an ‘F’.
“The first step is you have to stop giving an ‘F’ about what other people think. You can’t control what other people think. All you can control is your behavior,” Sarah began.
“My whole ethos is focusing on what you can control and letting go of what you can’t. Giving an F is analogous to caring about something and it also means literally giving the time, energy and money to that thing,” Sarah said.
More from Sarah Knight
Sarah talks about money and time as currency, she gives advice for quitting your job (and why being unhappy might be reason enough), and shares the key principles of her #NotSorry method and the other things she teaches to help people change their lives.