Having Your ‘Shit Together’ Is Not The Answer

Having Your ‘Shit Together’ Is Not The Answer

If I had a dollar for every meme I’ve seen about getting our shit together (often accompanied by an image of a woman drinking wine from the bottle, like, what’s up with that?) then I would be dictating this post to a well-paid assistant from a heated indoor pool at my own sprawling country house rather than typing with frozen fingers from the cheapest airbnb I could find.

What the monkeys does ‘getting our shit together’ even mean?

We are told it means having a life which is ‘sorted’ and ‘running smoothly’. It means we are paying off debt while saving for property and buying the most ethical brands.

We are eating ‘clean’ and exercising and raising kids and dogs and houseplants. We are ‘killing it’ at work while nurturing friendships, connections and hobbies. We are active in our communities and for our heartfelt causes. 

We do the things we say we will do and we do them ‘like a boss’. We have a five year plan and a retirement fund and we back up our laptops whenever we get the notification rather than snoozing it for 218 days. 

We compost, we meditate, we upskill, we floss. 

And we always, always, always, wring out the dishcloth properly so it doesn’t sit in a damp puddle in the sink.

We mistakenly believe that if we have/do these things, that if we do in fact ‘have our shit together’, that we will feel better. We’ll feel proud, accomplished, organised, motivated, well-rested, peaceful, happy, yada yada.

What if we are wrong about needing to have our shit together?

Feeling good doesn’t come from accomplishments, possessions, routines and well-behaved offspring.

Our wellbeing – those totally scrummy feelings of peace, clarity and contentment – is already within. But we don’t feel them as much as we could because we think over them with our made-up expectations of what we think we need to be happy. 

I bet you know – even anecdotally but probably IRL –  someone who looks like they have ‘their shit together’. You may wistfully covet their life or stalk them on IG. Been there. 

But guess what? I can guarantee you that they still feel like shit A LOT. They will have days where everything seems bleak and hopeless, days where their possessions and achievements feel meaningless and empty.

They will also have days where the world looks glorious, their future is bright, and they are thankful for all they have.

Huh. That sounds a bit like my experience of life. And my clients. And – I’m guessing – you. Up and down. 

You’ll feel good and bad no matter where your shit is at

Sometimes we’re hot. Sometimes we’re not. Deeply and truly understanding that our moods go up and down and back up and back down from birth until death, can be extraordinarily liberating. Because you don’t need to have ‘your shit together’ to feel good.

The THOUGHT that you need to have your shit together and then ‘things will be better’ is what’s making you feel bad, not the actual lack-of-shit-being-together. Are you with me?

The THOUGHT that something is lacking, that you are ‘underperforming’, that you should have more of [whatever thing you think you need] is causing the icky feeling.

You don’t need to have your shit together

So what if you didn’t think that way? What if you could see that having your shit together is just an arbitrary slogan that ends up on a lot of coffee mugs, and that’s literally it. 

It’s not a place to get to, where happiness will reign supreme. It’s just a made-up idea. A thought. Just words on a mug.

If you want a life full to the brim of work, kids, a pet goat, caring for a parent, writing a book, maintaining a skincare routine, cooking every meal from scratch with locally-sourced ingredients while learning Swedish and keeping up your spin classes, then go for it. 

But – think about this – if balancing all those things won’t secure your happiness, do you still want to do them? 

Of all the things you think you SHOULD be doing to have your ‘shit together’  – which ones do you actually, truly want?

P.S. if you are like “Uh, NO. I need to have my shit together to succeed in life, like WTF are you even on about?” then contact me here and let’s have a little chat.