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I’m a natural cynic. The false allure of celebrities does not dazzle me. I’m always aware that what we see is not who these people really are. We see what their publicists want us to see and not the real person at all. Despite all that, I love Rachel Hollis. I want to be her friend. I love her passion for books, her self-deprecating sense of humor, and the fact that she’s not afraid to profess her love for her hole-y sweatpants. She presents the image of a cool, real working wife and mother. Just like me, she struggles with all of the same guilt, stress, and self-consciousness that everyday working mothers struggle, except, of course, with a much larger bank account. And I wouldn’t even dream of grudging her that bank account, because she worked from the ground up to achieve it. She is my hero.
Girl, Wash Your Face wasn’t Rachel Hollis’ first book, but it was the one that earned her a coveted spot on the New York Time’s Best Seller list
“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.”
Just like I am not easily taken in by celebrities, I’m also not usually a fan of self-help type books. Sure I am an avid reader, but I don’t need someone that can’t relate to my situation and doesn’t know me giving me advice. Give me a work of fiction any day! So when I first picked up Hollis’ Girl, Wash Your Face, I was reluctant. It didn’t take me long, however, to get drawn in to her conversational tone and personable voice. The tag line of the book is “Stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you are meant to be.” In it she bases each chapter on a different lie that we are often fed, and then she debunks it, giving the reader the strength to rise above it.
Now with Girl, Stop Apologizing, she continues to inspire
Girl, Stop Apologizing is no different. You find yourself listening to her advice with rapt attention, because you honestly feel like she cares. She reveals personal stories about her own struggles and insecurities as she fought to achieve success. By entrusting us with the intimate details of her life, we trust her in return. And her message is one that nearly all of us can relate to: we are hard on ourselves, and it keeps us from reaching our full potential. Much of the pressure we experience is put on us by society, but there are plenty of burdens that come from our own uncertainties and anxieties as well.
What you’ll find inside
The book is divided into three parts: Excuses, Behaviors, and Skills. In the first part she outlines excuses that we use to prevent us from achieving are goals. When they are pointed out so bluntly, it makes it easier to accept that we’ve been using those excuses to hold us back. She defines the difference between a dream and goal, so we can stop dreaming and work to actually achieve the life that we want. She encourages us to stop being afraid of failure, and instead see it as validation of success when you actually achieve your goals. And she forbids us from letting the opinion of others to cause us to falter from our course.
“A goal is a dream with its work boots on. A goal is a dream you’ve decided to make real. A goal is a destination you are working toward, instead of an idea you’re only considering and hoping for.”
“Behaviors” gives us habits that successful people implement in their everyday lives. Rachel reminds us that our behaviors are a choice. Perhaps they’ve become a habit that may be hard to break, but we can choose to change them. Success happens when we choose a set of behaviors that will lead us to our goal.
The final section of the book focuses on skills, and it just may be my favorite. Perhaps because I am a teacher, I love that she prefaces by explaining that ANYONE can acquire a skill. It just takes hard work and dedication. Too many of us define ourselves through the response we see from those around us, rather than really learning and loving our true selves. We need to learn to accept ourselves, flaws and all, and see our dreams as worthy pursuits. It’s then that we will find ourselves on the path to achieving our goals. You have to be able to work through hardships and be persistent. Rachel isn’t reinventing the wheel, here. Most of what she says is common sense. But sometimes we need to hear it, loudly, bluntly, and in Rachel’s pragmatic but reassuring voice.
“Battling through hardship to get here means I have absolute certainty in this truth: I can achieve anything if I’m willing to work for it. Not because I’m especially gifted, but because I’m especially dedicated to improving along the way.”
It’s why we all love Rachel Hollis
It is Rachel Hollis’ authentic voice that makes her so successful. We hear it in her books and we hear it on her social media accounts (you can follow her on Instagram @msrachelhollis). She is relatable. She entrusts us with intimate and candid details about her life making us more than happy to jump on to her bandwagon. Successful and pretty and popular and all the things we aspire to be, she is also flawed, just like us. When we are able to see that her imperfections actually make her even more endearing, it helps us to accept our own. This not only makes us buy her books; it gives us hope. Hollis says frequently that she is impassioned to inspire women to achieve great things. I don’t think that there is any doubt that she is doing just that.