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This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: Girl, Wash Your Face – Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be
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Also available in audiobook
To say that the world of today is not a very friendly place is an understatement.
A woman is bound to be judged by those around her, whether for being a single mom, a mother of two or even an unmarried successful woman in her forties.
Ever felt like your subconscious self is constantly struggling against a vision of who you ought to be?
You don’t need anyone telling you that this is not the way to go! Well, Rachel Hollis says: it’s time to get that dirt of other people’s lies off of you! With this in mind, it’s time for a total makeover!
Why? Merely because no one lives up to the standards of what being a happy woman means for the world. The only conclusion you can deduce from that: it’s not you, but the standards which don’t work. And this is the main message Girl, Wash Your Face is trying to communicate.
That’s why we reckon it is a must-read for all the women out there who feel as if they crashed into the unrealistic expectations circling around in society and media.
“Man is the measure of all things,” uttered Protagoras about two and a half millennia ago. In its bare essence, Girl, Wash Your Face is a tell-it-all mediation upon this famous saying. Or, in other words, it is a book about one great truth.
You are in control of your own life. You get one and only one chance to live, and life is passing you by. Stop beating yourself up, and dang it, stop letting others do it too.
Stop accepting less than you deserve. Stop buying things you can’t afford to impress people you don’t even really like. Stop eating your feelings instead of working through them. Stop buying your kids’ love with food, or toys, or friendship just because it’s easier than parenting. Stop abusing your body and your mind. Stop! Just get off the never-ending track!
Of course, it’s easy to see why you should be in control of your life. The harder part is actually to take things in your own hands.
And here’s how you can do it!
You need to start treating yourself like someone you are responsible for helping. “Let’s try that out here,” suggests Rachel.
Say you have a friend who you like very much and would love to see her succeed. Let’s call her Pam. Now, Pam has a very unusual habit: she often makes arrangements with you only to back out of them at the last minute. And her excuses aren’t that great either.
For example, even though a week ago you two had agreed to go to Paris for the weekend and experience French cuisine at its best, she canceled out on you because she felt that eating ice cream and streaming Netflix shows was much more fun. The excuse sounds even feebler when you realize that Pam promised to go on a diet just a month ago. When did she give up on that diet?
If you don’t have that high of opinion for Pam – join the club: we’re not that impressed with her either. The twist: you are Pam.
Because you do to yourself what Pam is doing to you in this hypothetical example on a daily basis. You often promise yourself things and make commitments you are unable to keep. “Our words have power,” notes down Rachel, “but our actions shape our lives.”
So, lesson one: keep your promises to yourself the same way you’d keep them if you gave them to someone you really love. Bonus lesson: split them into smaller, more manageable chunks so that the rewarding feeling of accomplishment can encourage you to go onward.
Now, moving on is both lonely and tiring if there isn’t a final destination to your journey, an objective you believe is important enough to reach. And having an objective, on the other hand, is so essential that sometimes it can spell the difference between life and death.
However, “I want to be the next Oprah” or “I want to marry Matt Damon” are not very good goals. Take it from Rachel.
It was her fantasy to marry Damon ever since Good Will Hunting. She spent hours and hours dreaming about it, picturing their wedding and their beautiful little kids.
Years later in Los Angeles, she happened to bump into Matt Damon while working as an event manager at some Miramax event. He was standing across the room and started approaching her the minute their eyes met.
However, since this is not a romantic comedy, but real life, he didn’t tell her that he has never seen a more beautiful woman in his life. No.
The only thing he said to her was the rather anticlimactic question: “Can you tell me where I’m sitting, please?” In other words, no matter how much of your time you spend visualizing some things, they will never come true if they are unreal to start with.
You need something much more tangible. If you’re Jim Carrey, it can be a $10 million check; in Rachel Hollis’ case, it was a $10 thousand Louis Vuitton Speedy purse.
The thought of owning it was what kept her going: she promised herself that she was going to buy it the first time she charged a client $10 thousand in consulting fees.
It took her many years and many checks of $1 thousand and $2,500 to get there, but one day she achieved it. And the first thing she did afterward: went straight to the store and bought the purse. She claims to have never felt prouder. Two lessons to take from here.
First, instead of setting yourself an unrealistic objective, set yourself a SMART goal. That acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
Secondly... Well, scratch the part about time-bound. Be patient with your dreams. Sometimes it may take a week to turn them into reality, sometimes more than a decade. Don’t forget that that’s how long it took Julia Child or James Cameron to come up with Mastering the Art of French Cooking or Avatar.
Rachel Hollis is a mother of four. And she is also a of her own company, a bestselling author, a blogger, and a motivational speaker. So how does she do it? “When it comes to women,” she says on her website, “there always seems to be a question about how we can balance everything. Girl, I don’t even try!
Put simply: forget everything movies ever taught you. Not only there are no happy endings, but also, there are no happy middle parts as well. At least not happy in the way they tell you are going to be.
Balancing between life and work is a myth, it’s something nobody can do it (not even Shonda Rhimes). So, embrace the chaos and try to find yourself around day by day.
Also, don’t even dare to say “no” when someone is offering a helping hand. The Beatles said this better than anyone else: you’ll get by with a little help from your friends.
Based on the tone of Rachel Hollis’ self-appreciation so far, you can probably guess what her advice is going to be here, right?
Just embrace who you are and stop punishing yourself by following Instagram profiles of supermodels and actresses. Well, not exactly: really stop doing the last one, but don’t leave the former quite yet! Because your body is a divine gift and you need to keep it in the best form possible. And it’s not exactly a question of beauty – it’s a matter of health.
So, you don’t need to care about how you’d look like in a bikini on the beaches of Ibiza. But you do need to take your lifestyle seriously, especially if you had trouble going up the stairs on that Friday in which the elevator was out of order! That’s not a way to live your life. Throw out most of your snacks. Start eating some healthy food. Exercise. Your body will be grateful.
Another topic, your sex life as well!
If it is boring in any way then you’re certainly doing something wrong.
Sex should be about pleasure and, when it is not, there’s no reason for it happening at all. And that’s exactly what Rachel convinced herself at a certain point in her marriage. This turned her sex life around.
Namely, firmly believing that the goal of sex is to experience an orgasm, she told her husband that she would never have sex again without achieving this goal. And since her husband was a thinking man, he agreed.
Start enjoying your nakedness, encourage yourself to be free in mind, and just get over it. Even if that means committing yourself to have sex every day for, say, a month. Because let’s face it, that’s one commitment you should be able to carry through easily.
If you need to take only one lesson from this book, take this one:you – and only you – are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are.
That’s both a burden and a blessing. Because, on one hand, it leaves you no room for excuses. But, on the other and more important one, it makes your life a joy and an experiment. Your own personal customizable journey.
We live in a social-media-obsessed world, and everybody has something to say about someone.
Most of the time, these are not good things. However, more often than not, it is just because of these things that our lives seem so empty and meaningless. Why should we?
If something makes us happy, what difference does it make if it doesn’t fit in the conventional narrative of happiness?
Think about it this way: if Picasso or Beethoven did what their surroundings told them to, they wouldn’t have become Picasso and Beethoven.
“Comparison is the death of joy,” notes Rachel Hollis, “and the only person you need to be better than is the one you were yesterday.”
Of course, you’re not going to be better than Oprah or Sandra Bullock in a few months’ time. Comparisons such as these can only make you feel unhappy and worthless.
But you can be better than yourself from yesterday – and achieving that will make you feel good and content.
Do that long enough and... Who knows? Maybe you can become the next Oprah or Sandra Bullock!
Chances are you are not going to find anything new inside Girl, Wash Your Face. But, somehow, Rachel Hollis has a way of communicating the clichés in a manner that has already reached the hearts and brains of many girls and women worldwide.
So, why shouldn’t it do the same for you as well? Start building that character, which will serve as a backbone of the life of your dreams.
Even if you are too scatterbrained to make a move and get out of your comfort zone, Rachel does point out why you need to crank up your efforts and rise to the occasion.
Rachel Hollis is a motivational speaker, author, blogger, podcast host, and entrepreneur. Hollis, her life coaching company, offers workshops and seminars, which have an attendance of thousands of people. She... (Read more)
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