Dear Fellow Reader,
I don’t really like the term self-help books. There is something about that term that makes me want to steer clear of them. It isn’t fair. There are lots of good and helpful books that fall under the self-help category but I always start with a bit of wariness. So, had that doubt in my mind when I took Girl, Wash Your Face out of the library. I knew that it was on the best-seller lists, and I wanted to see what the brouhaha was about it.
I had no idea who Rachel Hollis is. I am not familiar with her blog/empire. She is the founder of TheChicSite.com and CEO of Chic Media. A quick look at her site shows that she is very much the center of her empire but there seem to be several interesting sounding blog posts to check out. She is the author of Girl, Wash Your Face. The subtitle of her book is “Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be”
In the introduction to the book, in fact on the first page of the book, she states the following:
“The truth? You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are. That’s the takeaway.”
Okay, she hooked me right there. And I think that sets the tone for the book. Each of the twenty chapters in the book deals with a lie that she told herself and how she turned that concept around. Then at the end of the chapter, she provides a section “Things That Helped Me” where she provides ideas of how to make changes. She is very open in sharing the “messiness” of her life. She talks about weight, adoption, sex, dating, motherhood, parenting, and work among other things. While she has done very well for herself, she has not had an easy life and has worked hard. Some of the stories about her life are incredibly sad or scary.
“I am successful because I refused to take no for an answer. I am successful because I have never once believed my dreams were someone else’s to manage. Thats the incredible part about your dreams: nobody gets to tell you how big they can be.
When it comes to your dreams, no is not an answer. The word “no” is not a reason to stop. Instead, think of it as a detour or a yield sign. No means merge with caution. No reminds you to slow down- to re-evaluate where you are and to judge how the new position you’re in can better prepare you for your destination.
“You don’t see things as they are; you see things through the lens of what you think and feel and believe. Perception is reality and I’m here to tell you that your reality is colored much more by your past experiences than by what is actually happening to you. If your past tells you that nothing ever works out, that life is against you, and that you’ll never succeed than how likely are you to keep fighting for something you want? “
In reflecting on the book, several things stand out. One of my favorites was about exercise. If you are constantly saying that you are going to start doing something, but you never do or you only start for a little while, then you are not being a very good friend to yourself. You would not put up with constant disappointment from a friend, so why are you doing it with yourself?
The book is very easy to read and is funny and sad and light and hard. If you are looking at your life and attitudes, I suggest that this book provides an interesting starting point. Not every bit of it might apply to your situation but I think that you will find words of wisdom in this book.
Thanks for reading.