Reading a book by lifestyle guru Rachel Hollis is like administering a massive shot of adrenaline, followed by another and another. The blonde, female version of Tony Robbins is a thirty-seven-year-old Christian mother of four with long blonde extensions, an energy level that’s off the scale and a message that is relevant not only to her demographic but to old boomer broads like me. I first saw her on CTV’s The Social when she was promoting her earlier book Girl, Wash Your Face. I read it last year and bought it for a granddaughter hoping she would find it as inspiring as I did. I rarely bookmark as many pages in a book as I did in Girl, Wash Your Face. While Hollis’s latest book Girl, Stop Apologizing is every bit as inspiring as her earlier book, I did find the earlier book more precise in laying out her message and a strategy for moving forward. She summed up each chapter with the points she wanted to make. Her new book, Girl, Stop Apologizing is a personal growth shot in the arm and chock full of rambling anecdotes that will rev you up and induce you to make notes as you’re reading.
Hollis is the daughter of a pastor and the product of an unhappy marriage. She couldn’t wait to finish high school and leave home. She shares very personal details of her journey and uses her past mistakes, lack of experience and lessons learned to formulate a solid go-forward plan for young women. She’s lived through being overweight, having health challenges, marriage bumps in the road and all the other obstacles that life throws in front of each of us at some time along the way.
It’s impossible to not be inspired by a young woman who successfully created and grew an event planning business, then a multi-media motivational business into a multi-million dollar enterprise. She accomplished this with no formal college or university degree and no family connections to move her to third base. But that doesn’t mean she’s not smart or educated. Hollis is constantly reading and developing her own skill set through seminars, business conventions and other personal growth endeavours.
When I went back to the book to reference some particularly good parts I’d bookmarked, I discovered dozens of pages and quotations, too many to begin to relate here, so I’m grabbing a few at random to share with you.
- On being too busy: You are in control of your schedule. In fact, there isn’t one thing in your life or your calendar right now that you didn’t allow to be there. That’s on you. How are you using the time you have? . . . The first step is to get over the excuse that you don’t have the time. The next step is to reconfigure the time you do have in order to achieve the goal you’re after.
- Dreams and ambitions: If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.
- Selflessness: Ladies, you get one chance at this . . and you have no idea when your chance might be over. You cannot waste it living only for everyone else. The problem is most women I know don’t struggle to show up for others; they struggle to show up for themselves. It’s not your job to make sure someone else is happy.
- Self-improvement: You should surround yourself with people who are better than you in the areas you want to improve in. You should hope that your good stuff rubs off on them and their good stuff rubs off on you. You are the combination of the five people you hang out with most. Choose wisely.
Hollis has written her own version of a mission statement with her priorities cleared spelled out:
- Myself, my personal growth and my faith.
- My husband and our commitment to an exceptional marriage.
- My children and my commitment to be an exceptional mother.
- My work and larger mission to give women the tools to change their lives.
She offers a simple hand-drawn road map with mile markers for setting our goals and achieving them, stressing that we owe no apologies to anyone for our choices. How we dress, how we spend our time, how we interact with family, friends and the greater world is entirely up to us and requires no explanations to anyone. Reading Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis is like having her take you by the shoulders and drum some common sense into you. Girl, Wash Your Face was more strategic; Girl, Stop Apologizing is more motivational. I preferred the first over the second and found Stop Apologizing to be riddled with cliché motivational messages but it did rev me up. I’d give it 7 out 10. Definitely give it a read.