So, I don’t typically go for self-help kinds of books, but I love funny nonfiction books by strong, successful women, and Rachel Hollis’s new work of non-fiction totally fit that bill. This book also spoke directly to a challenge I’ve been working so hard to overcome. The full title is Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be, and I gotta tell you, that hits the nail on the head for me.
See, I might seem like a super motivated and confident person on here. (Or not. I have no idea.) But confidence in other parts of my life has been a real challenge. I’m constantly wrestling with the idea that I could be more, but I’m too far behind, or that I’m too damaged to do this or achieve that. I think most women have these hang-ups, but the common-ness doesn’t make them any less crippling!
Rachel Hollis, whose blog I’ve stumbled upon a few times over the years, calls these hang-ups what they are: LIES. One by one, she takes down common lies women tell themselves, using examples from her own life to illustrate. Now, I was admittedly hesitant to pick up a self-help book written by a west coast, Christian mom-blogger since I am a Bostonian, cafeteria-Catholic (at best), single teacher. But I read a few great reviews of this book on other blogs and on Amazon, and decided to give it a try.
And I am so glad I did.
There were so many parts of this book that I found myself hi-lighting to go back to later. And so many of the lies that the book confronts are ones that I have personally told myself. The very first chapter knocked it out of the park for me: “The Lie: Something Else Will Make Me Happy.” In rough moments, it’s easy to feel like outside influences are the reason for your happiness/unhappiness. However, as Rachel Hollis says “if you’re unhappy, that’s on you.” She follows up by saying that although this might seem a bit harsh, it’s actually pretty wonderful that we are in control over our happiness. By starting the book off with this message, the reader is instantly empowered and implored to listen up and make changes where changes need to be made.
A few other chapters that resonated with me…
- The Lie: No Is The Final Answer: I don’t know about you, but when I am told no, I never, ever persist. And I often take it as an insult and get really, really down when I am rejected. This is not constructive, and this book has me thinking I need to lean in to break that habit/thought cycle.
- The Lie: I’m Not Good Enough: PREACH sister.
- The Lie: I’m Better Than You: This is HUGE for me, because I love a good gossip session. But I sometimes allow myself to feel uplifted by other people’s failures or struggles and that just ain’t right. Women must support one another!
The author shares all kinds of stories; personal stories of her traumatic childhood and challenges to adopt a child. Funny stories about her teenage self and her kids. Examples of how to keep it together though chaos. Every story and example is communicated in a super humble, friend-to-friend sort of style that felt really comforting to read.
I whipped through this book in less than a week. It wasn’t too long, but I also kind of glazed over the mom-centric sections of the book and stuck with the sections that applied to my life. There was a ton of great advice to be found in this book, no matter who you are or what you believe. And the pace and voice made it feel less like a self-help book and more like one of my beloved lady-comedian books, like Bossy Pants by Tina Fey or Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling.
So if you’re in the market for an empowering, female-centric read, that will leave you feeling ready to take on the world I totally recommend this one!