Do No Harm, Take No Sh*t

Do no harm, take no shit. Six words that I guarantee will change your life. Seriously.

Seems a simple concept doesn’t it? And yet time and time again I find myself and people I love feeling disappointed for the way in which others treat them. Whilst I may not have a crystal ball and be able to foretell all the reasons this is happening to others, I can be pretty sure it’s for the same reason it happens to me. I take peoples shit and absorb it into my self, do nothing about it then seethe for days or weeks even about how they behaved.

So what you need to do, as I have done, is embrace the mantra “Do no harm, take no shit” and hold onto your hats, I’m about to tell you how, exactly how in fact I embraced it and have been entirely better off for it!

I wasn’t sure how to word it to be honest, I knew there was a method but it wasn’t until I saw this beautiful pendant by Zeal & Heart and realised those six words were exactly what I needed. Safe to say the pendant now hangs round my neck day and night! *read down to the bottom for your chance to win your own slogan pendant*

do no harm take no shit zeal and heart silver slogan pendant

Photo by Zeal & Heart

Photo by Zeal & Heart

Let’s start at the beginning; Don’t be mean. Don’t hurt people. Don’t cause destruction or pain.

However, whilst doing that, also; do put yourself first, do make yourself happy, do whatever it takes to make you feel the most alive, peaceful, and all around ‘you’.

The trick is finding that balance between being true to yourself and not allowing others to dim your light as it were, and remaining kind and considerate to others. Easier said then done, I know. But trust me, it works, you need to work at it, but it works.

Whilst musing over how someone like myself, who is strident in her opinions, managed to end up taking shit from others and feeling like shit because of it, I realised we’re all guilty of filtering the world based off our own perceptions of what we believe to be true, in fact more often than not we are likely to believe the views about us from others than the facts we know about ourselves.

do no harm take no shit zeal and heart silver slogan pendant

Take No Shit Lesson 1: Do Not Shrink

Do not dim your greatness to make others feel more comfortable. This is as important in work and life as it is in dating. Dimming our greatness so that other people don’t feel intimated is not our job, it is not our responsibility to make ourself appear smaller so others feel bigger and better about themselves. It isn’t a productive way to live, in fact it’s thoroughly non productive as not only does it make you feel shit about yourself, it continues to foster a world of others making themselves smaller, quieter, less.

My role is not to make sure everyone around me feels absolutely, 100% comfortable in my presence. I am, and you are, here to shine bright, to take up all the space we need both emotionally and physically.

Not only are you doing yourself a service by not shrinking, you are unconsciously giving others permission to do the same. Sadly this is an almost uniquely female thing, and so we have a responsibility to allow other women to be bright and take up space. Anything less is an injustice to ourselves, and everyone around us.

Take No Shit Lesson 2: Own Your Truth 

Whatever makes you happy, own it. You don’t have to fit into perceived boxes that others inflict upon you. I work in social media, I am extremely professional with my clients but I also love swearing, drinking and being disruptive, I can be both, and do both very well.

You can be a parent and love raving til the sun comes up. A personal trainer who loves junk food. You are not defined by the job you do. When it comes to doing no harm but taking no shit, this matters. If you know who you are, if you own your existence it is a lot easier to stand your ground and not allow others to try dim that.

do no harm take no shit zeal and heart silver slogan pendant

Take No Shit Lesson 3: Know The Difference 

Let me make something really clear. There is a difference to being criticised, critiqued and given feedback and taking shit.

If your boss is on your case because you could perform better, or develop further and they are supporting you with that, that’s very different to them ignoring your ideas, belittling you or making you feel shit about a job you do well.

Just as a friend who always cancels on you, but keeps plans with other people, that’s treating you like shit and needs addressing. It’s not the same as a friend who is in the midst of mayhem needing to rain check from time to time.

It’s a fine line, but there is a difference and you need to know that difference to be able to make a decision about when it really is time to take no shit, and when it’s time to see the bigger picture. The more you do it, the better you get at seeing a pattern.

You have to know something though, and it will change everything…

People treat you the way you ALLOW them to treat you.

If they are treating you unfairly or badly, time and time again, you are allowing them to do that. If you don’t stand your ground and take no shit, you are teaching them that their behaviour is not only acceptable it’s actively allowed.

In the same way there seems to be a vast misunderstanding out there about what ‘being kind’ means. It dictionary definition says this “kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate”

It does not mean that to be kind means you must be a doormat. It does not meant that to be kind you must be all “a spoon full of sugar” kind of person. It does not mean that to be kind you must smile and be polite and take anything that comes at you regardless.

Listen, change makes people uncomfortable. It really does. If you are used to taking shit and feeling shit about it, then it’s going to be a big shift for you to learn to continue to do no harm, whilst taking no shit.

But let me tell you, the way you feel when you allow people to make you feel like shit about yourself, your life, your achievements, is infinitely worse than the feelings of discomfort you may have by breaking the mold and standing up for yourself.

So here are three steps to help you effectively stop taking shit;

  1. Say something. If you feel that someone is being a twat and treating you unfairly, talk to them about it. Don’t accuse them, don’t go in on the defence, instead ask them to talk privately. Explain to them that whilst you value them, appreciate feedback, love them etc, you do not appreciate the way in which they have approached the situation and ask them to work with you to find a different way of working.
  2. Accept defeat. This is a tough one, but very important one. There will be people who do not want to hear you stick up for yourself, they like you in your box, quiet and small. These people won’t be changed, but you do not have to change either. You need to find a way out of the situation, in the best way for you. Allow the friendship to drift apart, find another job that fits with you as a person more, leave the relationship that is making you feel less than you deserve.
  3. Be patient. In all aspects of life, a little patience goes a hell of a long way. So before you write someone off for not learning from mistakes, allow them some time. Remember you know what you’re doing, that you are teaching them and yourself not to dish out or take shit, but they may take a little time to get used to it. Allow them that time, you might be surprised at the outcome.

Phew! That’s a long ass post, but it so needed to be said!

zeal and heart slogan pendant

Photo by Zeal & Heart

zeal and heart slogan pendant

Photo by Zeal & Heartzeal and heart slogan pendant

Photo by Zeal & Heart

So now you have embraced all my advice, how about I reward you with a Zeal & Heart pendant of your own! Yes you read right, I’m so proud of you for making a change I’m treating you!

Zeal & Heart have so many beautiful hand crafted pendants, which heaps of awesome slogans to choose from, you can wear your feelings round your neck just like me! And I am going to be giving one lucky reader the pendant of their choosing!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Sarah S
    26th September 2017 / 7:08 pm

    Really great article!! Do no harm and take no shit. EPIC!

  2. 26th September 2017 / 10:18 pm

    This reminds me so much of the Sarah Knight books. Seriously life changing stuff if you can do it! I think the most pertinent one is the Don’t Stop Until Your Proud, a lesson I’ve been learning the hard way recently. B x

  3. 29th September 2017 / 12:09 am

    Absolutely love every word!!

  4. Amy Stanhope
    30th September 2017 / 1:05 am

    Brilliant piece Emma! Don’t stop until you are proud is a fantastic bit of advice.

  5. Amy Lee
    3rd October 2017 / 10:07 pm

    Do no harm but take no shit is the way i want to live now after too many years of taking all the shit that was thrown my way…after a life changing illness i’m working toward a more positive life and example xx

  6. 12th October 2017 / 9:05 pm

    I love “Wake Up. Kick Ass. Be Kind. Repeat.” I don’t think anyone has an excuse to not be kind. It infuriates me when people aren’t. These are such cool necklaces and hopefully I can get one for myself in the near future!

  7. Rachel
    17th October 2017 / 9:10 am

    This is something that I have been working towards, finding that balance between being used and being thoughtful of others. I always try to help others but sometimes others find that it’s something that they can take advantage of, and ‘do no harm but take no shit’ is definitely that goal that i am trying to find. Good piece of advice Emma! Thanks.

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