Are you PRO Self Help?
You guys, this was actually one of the hardest blogs that I have ever written. I read this book by Rachel Hollis and was torn if I should even review it or not. Why? Because, I honestly don’t think many people understand self help and self love. In my experience you either get it or you don’t and it can easily be misconstrued. And I have been on both sides.
I used to think that self help was selfish and believe me, if you are on this side of the band wagon, I totally get it, but there is another angle! When I was able to open my eyes even just a little and see “worth”, my anxiety started to fade away and I could finally get out of my own head! I could focus on conversations and other people INSTEAD of myself. That’s ultimately (to me) what the end game is all about: helping others! And that’s why I love books like “Girl, Wash Your Face“! Self help doesn’t mean you take God out of the equation or that your problems just disappear but it gives people (especially anxious people) a way to cope AND a reason to get up in the morning. As a anxious gal myself, I need goals and dreams, it gives me hope, opens me up to so much more and puts me in a place where I can genuinely interact with people -not just my close, loved ones.
I see the holes and I see how the christian community especially, can attack books like this. But, you have to understand that for some people, especially people with extreme anxiety, self help and self growth IS one of the best things that could ever come into their lives. Personally, I believe God used self help and self growth as the door to revealing my worth and value in Him. He also showed me how to NOT allow anxiety, insecurity, and fear (all the words used in this generation to give us an excuse to take the backseat in our own life by the way) to control my life! Keep in mind, this is a daily progress and battle.
So, while we could pick apart this book and attack Rachel (you should have seen some of the articles I came across) I choose to applaud her bravery in sharing her personal story with us and putting some fire under our butts to grow! Grow in Christ, into the person He wants you to become. Because boy oh boy I know I have areas that need some desperate attention.
Finally, my REVIEW:
“The truth? You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are. That’s the takeaway.”
Reading those words in Rachel Hollis‘ introduction gave me a fairly good indication whether or not I was going to enjoy her book. I started the path of personal development 3 years ago so while nothing that Rachel said was a big revelation to me at this time, I imagine my past self and this book would have CHANGED my life. Guaranteed.
So, what is up with this whole “we are responsible for our own happiness” deal? It’s pretty easy to play the self pity and victim card (guilty as charged, I’ve done it) but this really is truth! We cannot always control what happens to us but we can always control how we react. God gave us the freedom to make choices. Are you making wise ones? One of my absolute favorite things to do is think about my future self. Are the decisions I am making today benefiting her? This helps me with small daily choices like what I am eating, exercise, what I am spending my money on, time management, etc. The choices we make on the daily don’t seem to matter in the moment, but they are what make all the difference.
I think the saddest thought for me is that some people in their entire lifetime never understand this concept. Look at me, I’m a late bloomer (took me 27 years) but once I realized that I am in charge of my happiness, it changed everything! And it can do the same for you!
“Nobody-not a voice of authority, not your mama, not the foremost expert in your arena-gets to tell you how big your dreams can be. They can talk all they want…but you get to decide if you’re willing to listen.”
If only I had a penny for every time I allowed myself, society, etc to squash my dreams! The thing about dreams is we’re all expert day dreamers, that’s the easy and enjoyable part, but few of us make the required steps. It’s takes bravery to set the goals, to grow, to fail, and most importantly to keep going. The hardest part…what will people think??? The only way I can describe it is how vulnerable you will feel, putting yourself out there. You open yourself up to more but also feel more lonely than you’ve ever felt before because no one understands what you are doing. That’s why it’s so important to know your “why”. For me, it’s not about self promotion, it’s about reach. It’s about helping more people and it’s about living with passion and authenticity.
“Goals and dreams are hard. I get it. Actually accomplishing them is so much harder than you think it will be. Maybe you’re making progress, but it’s only an inch at a time-meanwhile your friend Tammy has been promoted twice, your sister is married with two kids, and you feel as though you’re still way back there at the start where everyone is passing you by. Some days you feel so discouraged you want to cry.“
“Go ahead and cry”.
“Render your garments and wail to the heavens like some biblical mourner. Get it all out. Then dry your eyes, wash your face and keep going. You think this is hard? That’s because it is. So what? Nobody said it would be easy.”
This is the part of the book where I wanted to jump up and down because somebody GETS it! I wanted to wave my hands up in the air and proclaim that’s ME! Going after your dreams is bawling your eyes out kind of hard. And believe me it happens. Every inch that I gain, it feels like I am pushed back three. But when’s it all said and done, my failure doesn’t matter to me because behind every success story is a million and one fails.
And if that isn’t hard enough…in walks comparison. The KILLER of all joy! So why do we do it? Even in moments of victory, why do we let that voice creep in and ask “why haven’t you made it as far as “___”? *Who has been working on it for less time, I should point out too 😉 . This is where it is crucial to trust your journey! Trust that God is in control! And trust that He is using your gifts, the ones He gave you to begin with, in the way that He desires.
“This is the hard part because I will tell you right now: nobody will ever care about your dreams as much as you do. Ever.”
Talk about a life lesson. I am so blessed to have a couple people in my corner who have been my constant cheerleaders and there are days I don’t know what I would do without them. But the truth of the matter is, no one cares as much as I do. When this fully sunk in, it made me realize what I really wanted. What goals was I going to pursue even if no one had my back? This truth actually helped align my desires and passion. So, while the initial reaction stings, just remember that YOU are all that you need and you CAN DO IT ♥
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Remember?
And one more thought to add in here, who do you think gives us our dreams to begin with anyway? Don’t you think we should at least give it our BEST shot!!! I am sure all of you have a dream that you just can’t shake, start with that one!
“You have the ability to change your life. You’ve always had the power, Dorothy. You just have to stop waiting for someone else to do it for you. There is no easy way out of this; there is no life hack. Just you and your God-given strength and how much you desire change.”
Another truth bomb! You, yourself and I is all you have. My past self blamed the world and others for everything. Don’t get me wrong, I had so many wonderful people and things in my life but everything that was hard and painful, everything I didn’t have and wished that I did…I placed blame. Even if I didn’t place blame on people, I blamed God or myself. I believed the cards I had been given were dealt and that was all there was to it. I didn’t believe in myself OR my ability to change.
Looking back at it, one of the reasons I married my husband, Benjamin was because I recognized something special in him. He’s always been the picture of confidence, in fact he was the first person who taught/showed me that confidence and cockiness don’t have to go hand in hand. Even at the ripe age of 16 years old Ben was undoubtedly a natural born leader. And while I didn’t recognise this at the time, I chose him because he was everything I wished I could be and I wanted that in my life. I knew we were going to have a beautiful life together because of him! In many ways, I believed I would be the loving and supportive wife and get to ride on his coattails, if you will.
I never dared to dream that I was capable of my own success. Now, don’t get me wrong, Ben and I are a team and we truly view each other’s success as shared but, my 18 to 27 year old self, truly only saw HIS- completely blind to what could be my own. The wondrous thing is, Ben loved me enough to show me (it took him years and a butt load of patience, just ask him) that I have value too and that my unique giftings are worthy. Sometimes I think he might regret it because underneath this quiet facade is a firecracker, haha, but the point is he believed in me. But like Rachel says, no one is going to do it for you. Benjamin couldn’t do it for me and no one can do it for you. YOU have to open your eyes and make the changes yourself. Period.
“I hope, pray, wish, cross my fingers and my toes that you will look around and find an opportunity to be your own hero. Every woman should feel that kind of pride, but if you’re seeking change you shouldn’t just want that for yourself, you should need it. You need to set a goal for yourself and then work your butt off to get there. I don’t care if that goal is to pay off your credit card or lose ten pounds or run an Iron Man. You need to make a move right now while you’re still on fire from this book about what goal you’re setting for yourself. Then you need to go do it. You need to prove to yourself that you can do it. You need to prove to yourself that you are capable of anything you set your mind to.”
Most importantly, you should NEED it. I emphasize this word because a desire for a change isn’t enough, it has to be a need. You guys, I am still working on this part but I can see how integral this step is to truly move forward and to break through that last chunk of dirt before you find the diamond (I personally love this analogy).
The worst thing you could ever do is be that person who stops digging just before you find the jewel!
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