So lately Rachel Hollis’ books have been popping up onto my radar, and I have had to ask myself why I’ve never given her work a read?
For whatever reason “Girl, Wash Your Face” never spoke to me, to this day I still haven’t read it! Crazy given that it’s a New York Times Bestseller!
However, I have recently purchased & read “Girl, Stop Apologizing” and I feel compelled to start writing more reviews, especially when I have LOVED a book.
The book is nicely structured into three main areas:
- Excuses to let go of
- Behaviours to adopt
- Skills to acquire
This formula has made the book SO easy to digest and kind of made me feel thrilled I had done something similar (albeit nowhere near as well) in my own book.
Part 1 – Excuses to let go of
I wasn’t sure how much I would relate to this opening as I wouldn’t say I make many excuses, I was wrong. There is still so much self-sabotaging within my work life, and the areas that tackled how to think about the opinions of others were just gold.
On reading this section, I saw so much of myself in Rachel, we definitely share the same tenacity, although she clearly has a much better work ethic, her commitment is next level. I’ve only ever seen 5am when I have an early flight.
She talks openly about the stigma of being an empire-building momma; I couldn’t help but relate to the judgement I have also received for making similar decisions with regards to not just embracing being mum at home. I share the same view that there is no harder or rewarding work than being a stay at home momma, but some of us are just wired a little differently and have dreams and goals that we simply cannot ignore. Our children bring us joy, of course! Our work does too!
“You are allowed to want more for yourself for no other reason than because it makes your heart happy. You don’t need anyone’s permission, and you certainly shouldn’t have to rely on anyone’s support as the catalyst to get you there.”
Rachels advice around ‘not having enough time’ was practical and something I will put into place (Five to Strive), I’m not sure my own commitment levels stretch as far diarising my every move to see where I am wasting time, I think in truth I already know, and scrolling Facebook can play a big part in that.
“If I want to achieve any new thing in my life, the questions are never, Can I do it? The question is always, What am I willing to give up in order to get it?”
As Rachel discusses not feeling good enough, this hit several nerves. I have done so much work on myself this year (having actual therapy) to release some of my beliefs going right back to experiences at school in my childhood. A quick shout out to Natasha Bray who has worked with me to release some of this excess baggage I’ve been carrying with me for too many years! Rachel most definitely addresses that some of these issues are from years gone by, but in my own experience just accepting that isn’t enough, and actually addressing it professionally is needed.
“For many women, the weight of other people’s opinions will be too big a burden to carry; they won’t be able to step outside the safety net because they’re too scared. But that’s not us. We’re willing to go after it, we’re willing to be audacious, and we’re willing to take it on because the chance to live into our full potential is worth any backlash that comes our way.
Some say good girls don’t hustle. Well, I’m okay with that. I care more about changing the world than I do about its opinion of me.”
There is a whole section on work/life balance being a myth, and there Is definitely some truth in what she describes. That it’s a game of back and forth between all the things that matter, I feel like I spent years on a quest of self-employed balance and it didn’t happen for a LONG time, but I can hand on heart say that in the last two years I have come to what is the happiest medium possible for us. I have had to really address my own OCD of not wanting to delegate any work to others, and also learn new ways of working to take my 1:1 work to 1:Many. Another thank you to Lisa Johnson, my mentor, who has supported this transition with a clear strategy.
“It’s been done before” was a part of the book which gave me a lot of insight of how I can better support my own clients, It isn’t fluffy and is direct, but sometimes that’s exactly what people need to hear in order to take action. I loved the line, “Your potential for improvement is exponential” – sometimes we are so obsessed with perfection that we give ZERO credit to our progression.
“Talents and skills are like any other living thing—they can’t grow in the dark.”
Part 2 – Behaviours to adopt
In reaching this section of the book, my mind was now fully open to the behaviours I needed to bring into my working life as advised by Rachel. She built up that trust beautifully in the first section, meaning I was now ready to be moulded!
Reading about ‘asking permission’ was interesting. I have always been fascinated that other women feel the need to do this with their partners etc. I’ve been brought up no differently, my whole life I have witnessed women in my family seek permission from their husbands, but It’s a cycle that broke with me. I love and respect my husband, but he is my equal, not my boss.
Speaking of the term “boss” Rachel explodes with frustration at the whole Girl Boss/Boss Babe movement, and It read like a breath of fresh air. I cringe every time someone refers to me as a girl boss, what has my gender got to do with it? My husband isn’t a boy boss – he’s just a boss!
I loved her a little bit more after that rant for sure.
“Choose one goal, and go all in.”
This was a great part of the book highlighting not just what I would call shiny object syndrome, but also a tangible way of goal setting to get focused on the you that you want to become ten years from now. The process is called 10,10, 1 and is broken down in a way that the reader can implement immediately. I read it at JUST the right moment, my husband had just turned to me and asked, “What are you working towards right now?” The truth is, I don’t know, I have ticked off so many of my goals that it is most definitely time to set new ones and I’m excited to use this technique.
As Rachel goes onto talk about asking for help, her total honesty just shines through; it’s so refreshing to know that women like Rachel don’t do it all, in fact, they have quite a lot of help! She openly discusses what support she does have, and leaves us with a very poignant quote:
“There are a hundred ways to learn to swim and one very easy way to drown, and that is by being unwilling to admit you’re drowning in the first place.”
‘Build Foundations For Success’ – this has to be one of my favourite parts of the book. From the Vase analogy to Five to Thrive and looking more closely at Rachels morning routine… I finished these sections wanting to set a new and higher standard for myself and my life.
The way Rachel goes on to talk about ‘Learning to say no” brought more than one smile to my face. There is so much both as a woman and as a mother I could relate to. I found this to be really uplifting, and I hope you enjoy this section as much as I did.
Part 3 – Skills to acquire
This final section truly locks you in with short and punchy chapters to give you a lot to think about. ‘Planning’ & ‘Persistence’ were my favourites as you come to understand that absolutely none of Rachels success has come by chance, but all with strategic planning and a “never give up” attitude.
On a personal note, a lovely thread I picked up all the way through the book was Rachels dedication to an exceptional marriage as well as well as a successful career. One of my clients Dimple Thakrar has made it her life long mission to empower couples to achieve an outstanding relationship along side their success and both ladies have really resonated with me. Why should we only set goals for our work?
“Because we’re both so supportive of each other’s careers, it can be really easy to start neglecting our relationship, which has happened numerous times over the years. So rather than risk our marriage slipping into an unhealthy place, we’ve agreed to make each other a priority. We don’t want to have a good marriage or even a great one. We want to have an exceptional marriage, and exceptional requires intentionality”
All in all, it’s safe to say I loved this book. Do I think every single page has spoken directly to me and changed my life? Of course not. We are all in different places in our lives and have different things to learn and take action on. But so much of Girl, Stop Apologizing helped me see where I need to start. It was something I was ready to hear, and I cannot wait to move forwards.