Author: Rachel Hollis
Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals Rachel Hollis 2019
What if… (Girl, Stop Apologizing)
Girl, Stop Apologizing: Any dream begins with the words “What if …”: “What if I move to another city?”, “What if I quit a boring job?”, “What if I write a book?”. However, a few people dare to go further, because from childhood we are taught not to realize our potential to the maximum, but to be worthy (convenient for others) members of society. Women have a harder time than men because gender stereotypes are still strong. And we care about what people say.
Rachel Hollis grew up in a small town where everyone got married early. Graduating from high school with a baby in your arms was okay, but being single at 25 was awful. Being a good wife, mother, and daughter is everything Rachel’s classmates dreamed of. Their happiness depended entirely on other people. Nobody cared about their real dreams, ambitions, and intellectual abilities.
Many young women are confused. They do not live their lives, trying to meet the standards, but do not feel happy and successful. They forget about their dreams because no one will say: “Anna is such a good wife! She trains for a half marathon every day! or “Elena is the mother of the year! She defended her dissertation and is successful in business.” If they choose to make time for themselves and their goals, they do so cautiously and experience guilt, fear, and shame. And they often give up.
To achieve the goal, a woman needs the following skills:
However, it is very difficult to acquire and keep them, because many dreams not only begin but also end with the words “What if …”: “What if this is a mistake?”, “What if they laugh at me?”, “ What if I’m wasting my time?”
So instead of countless “What if…”, ask yourself the question: “Do I really want this badly?” If the answer is yes, don’t give up on your dream, and don’t put it off until Monday, next year, or retirement. It is not so difficult to become freer, to realize your dreams, to overcome fear and dependence on someone else’s opinion. You need to do the following:
• Drop all excuses and excuses for your fear and inaction.
• Learn the behaviors needed to be successful.
Start following this plan right now, and step by step you will get closer to your goals, become more successful and happier.
Excuses and excuses
It’s easy to believe in excuses. Decided that you don’t have the time or ability to take risks, not to try, not to oppose others. Excuses are the enemy of motivation. Let’s analyze the most common ones.
“Other Women Don’t Do It”
Stereotypes about the role of women are incredibly strong. And many of us come up with excuses to match them. Do you have a cozy home, do you cook well, and do your children attend numerous clubs? So you are a good wife and mother. Do you have a business? Are you successful in your profession? This is not appropriate. To earn a lot is a bad form. A good hostess does everything herself: she bakes pies, keeps the house clean, and takes the children to classes. You can work too, but you don’t need to talk about it.
Rachel ran a profitable event management company, blogged with millions of followers, and worked over 60 hours a week. But this was her second life – for those around her, she was the mother of two children (now there are already four children) and a jack of all trades.
It was worth mentioning work, even close relatives began to advise me to devote more time to my family. When Rachel posted on her family and kids blog that she had a business, employees, a nanny, and a housekeeper, followers (complete strangers) began to “pelt her with rocks.” She realized that being successful is a shame. Rachel went on business trips and felt guilty. She tried to behave in such a way that no one would think that she was behaving incorrectly.
In 2015, Rachel got to a conference that turned her attitude to life 180 degrees. She realized that all her fears and prejudices come from childhood. Their family was supported by their father, and their mother took care of the house. She grew up with the belief that a woman should take care of her family, and it is a shame to build a career and realize her own dreams.Girl, Stop Apologizing
What’s wrong with this answer? No one is obliged to live like parents, neighbors, or anyone else. Your life is your rules, dreams, and goals. You are entitled to them. And they don’t have to make excuses.
“I’m not ambitious”
Each of us has goals and ambitions – you just have to dig deeper. Remember what ambitions you had as a child, in high school, in your student years. It is unlikely that you dreamed of standing at the stove every day, ironing shirts, vacuuming, and dusting. But in the end, many of us forget about real dreams.
What’s wrong with this answer? “I’m not ambitious” is a convenient excuse to justify your dreary existence, which is convenient for others, but not for you. Are you not dreaming? That doesn’t happen.
During the day, everyone dreams: “I wish I could lose 10 kilograms”, “What a beautiful dress the TV presenter has!”, “When will we stop living from paycheck to paycheck”, “I haven’t traveled for 10 years.”Girl, Stop Apologizing
But many believe that a dream is not a goal. Right. A goal is a dream that you have determined to make a reality.
“I have no time”
No one has time: neither a single parent with many children working in several places to make ends meet nor a wealthy bachelor. Do not try to wait for the future – there will be no time either in a year or in five when the children grow up or you retire, because new important things and goals will appear – not yours, but someone else’s.
What’s wrong with this answer? You and only you are responsible for your schedule and employment. Even if you are the head of the company, his personal assistant or you have four children. Don’t ask yourself, “Do I have enough time for my goals?” The right question is: “How do I manage the time I have?”.
You can graduate from university while on parental leave—thousands of women do. You can build your business at night and work for your uncle during the day, as Rachel Hollis did. And you can watch TV every evening or scroll through Instagram for hours. This is your choice.Girl, Stop Apologizing
“I’m not good enough”
Women often think that they lack something – beauty, intelligence, education, charm, youth. And this prevents them from being successful and happy. And the older they get, the more often they repeat this excuse.
I’m too fat to be noticed by men. I’m not as pretty as Susie, I’m not likely to get married. I am no longer at the age to start life from scratch. What career? I studied in threes.Girl, Stop Apologizing
What’s wrong with this answer? There are no people who get everything right the first time. The child begins to walk and constantly falls. He does not learn to read right away – first, he learns letters, then he adds up syllables, stutters, and confuses words. The Nobel laureate once couldn’t count to ten, and the successful public speaker was an insecure teenager who stuttered. Any new business can be mastered, appearance improved, and education can be obtained online. But do not chase after some standards or try to catch up with other people.
Rachel has built a successful company even though she doesn’t have a university degree. She never liked mathematics and tried to look less often at accounting reports. But the business grew. And at some point she decided: she needs an education. No sooner said than done. Rachel enrolled in a business course at Harvard. I paid a tidy sum, killed a lot of time for lectures and tests, received a diploma. And … I realized that I did not understand business better.Girl, Stop Apologizing
Each person has his own way, different needs, and individual understanding of beauty and happiness.
Did your sister lose weight doing Pilates with a miracle trainer? However, if you hate group activities, and the sports center is an hour away from your home, you will have a nervous breakdown, which will start to get stuck, and only put on extra weight. Maybe it’s better to enjoy walking in the morning and swimming in the pool near the house?Girl, Stop Apologizing
“I can’t fulfill my dream and be a good mother/daughter/employee” (add your own option)
This is an excuse for a person who lives someone else’s life, trying to please everyone.
You want to go to the gym, but you can’t leave the children with your husband – he gets tired. You dream of moving to another city, but do not dare to go far from your relatives.Girl, Stop Apologizing
What’s wrong with this answer? You think that the happiness, peace, dreams, and goals of other people are more important than yours. And they are better than you. But you only have one life, and no one knows when it will end. Is it really necessary to spend it not on yourself, but on others? This does not mean that you have to become selfish. Social and family life are important, but they shouldn’t take up 100% of your time, if only because you can’t fully care for others if you don’t take care of yourself.
There is no balance between life and work. It is a myth.
A working mother cannot pay much attention to her children, but she can delegate part of the household chores to her husband, nanny, housekeeper. And it’s not a shame.Girl, Stop Apologizing
“I’m afraid of failure”
As soon as we have time to think “What if I …”, various negative scenarios arise in our heads that deprive us of motivation and prevent us from moving on.
“What if I quit my job and become a freelancer?” – “Your children will starve, you will not have holidays and there will be nothing to pay for housing.” “What if I divorce a husband who has not loved me for a long time?” “You will be left alone, your friends will turn away from you, you will not be able to educate your children.”Girl, Stop Apologizing
We don’t take risks, we don’t change anything and we try to dream.
Rachel Hollis has a huge list of failures. She prefers to dream, to try, to fall, but to get up and try again. From the age of 11, she had a dream – to write a bestseller. Rachel released five books, but they were not very popular. Then she decided that the next book “Wake up, baby! Stop believing the lies about who you are to become who you are meant to be” is sure to make the NY Times bestseller list. To motivate herself, she spoke about her goal to subscribers on social networks. The book came out, but sales were low. The dream crumbled. Rachel embarrassed herself in front of her audience – at that time she had 850 thousand subscribers.
She was very worried, but did not regret that she tried, and planned to go to the goal. It’s been 10 weeks. Rachel got a call from the editor. Sales skyrocketed, and Wake Up Baby! topped the NY Times rankings. It was amazing! Rachel’s legs buckled in excitement. Recovering herself, she called her husband at work and forced the secretary to call him from the meeting. And in the evening they drank a bottle of Dom Pérignon, which was labeled “NY Times Bestseller”. She was kept for more than 10 years in anticipation of a happy moment, while Rachel went to the goal through difficulties, failures and disappointments.Girl, Stop Apologizing
What’s wrong with this answer? It is mistakes and failures that help us move forward, change our lives and achieve success. They should not be afraid. They need to be thanked.
Think back to the trials, mistakes, and failures that have happened in your life. What happened next? As a rule, this is a step towards something good, interesting and new.Girl, Stop Apologizing
“I won’t do anything new”
What’s the point of writing a book, starting a business, or running an Instagram? This has already been done before me. Why reinvent the wheel?
What’s wrong with this answer? There is nothing new in the world for a long time. Millions of times people got married, kissed, and launched projects. And it was great! Why don’t you try it too? Goals don’t have to be big.
“What will people think of me?”
Are you doing something that brings you pleasure, what do you see as the meaning? Do you allow children to do the same? Keep it up! Maybe people just don’t understand how great it is. We are all different.
Rachel is a fragile woman, but she goes to the gym to box. It is good for the heart and helps to let off steam. There are many professional boxers around, who at first laughed at her. But she has her own goals, her own results, which do not depend on the results and opinions of heavyweights.Girl, Stop Apologizing
What’s wrong with this answer? There are two categories of people – those who never judge others, and those who do it all the time. The latter will always be found in your environment and will condemn everything that you will do. Therefore, they should not be afraid. They just don’t need to be listened to. If you are in doubt about whether to do something or not, there is a temptation to ask the opinion of a loved one (husband, mother, girlfriend). But try not to do this if the goal is important to you. You can be dissuaded out of good intentions because for them your needs, dreams, and goals do not seem significant.
“Good girls don’t push their elbows, are content with little, and devote themselves to the family”
All the achievements of feminism fade when the mother sighs: “All your friends are already married”, the aunt asks: “Well, when will you go for the second one?”, and the neighbor shakes her head disapprovingly when you return from work after dark.
When Rachel started the business, everyone thought it was not serious. Get married – calm down. A child was born, others began to wonder when she would “stop doing this” and start living like normal people. Aggression reached a peak when Rachel’s husband began to earn good money. Now you can sit at home, like all normal women. And no one cared what she herself thought about it.Girl, Stop Apologizing
What’s wrong with this answer? Thousands of women have already built multi-million dollar companies and achieved success in professions that are considered masculine. You have a right to your dreams and goals, even if they don’t look like the goals of “normal” women. You can compete, earn more than your husband, and hire a staff of servants.
Changes in behavior
Behavior is our habits in action. They are manifested in the way of life, activities, and words that we pronounce. We perceive our behavior as an integral part of ourselves. Actually, it’s our choice.
Be honest or deceive; be rude in return or be polite no matter what; be late or arrive on time; eat a moderate amount of food or overeat. All these are questions of choice.Girl, Stop Apologizing
Our behavior can do us good or harm and determine whether we will go with the flow or succeed. To achieve your goals and get rid of excuses, you need to acquire some good habits.
Stop asking for permission
Do not look back at those who are older, higher in rank, and … at men. Take responsibility. Become a real boss – first of all for yourself. Decided? Do it. Never ask permission to be yourself.
• Strive to be the best version of yourself.
• Live so that you can be proud of yourself.
• Love yourself so much that you don’t depend on other people’s love.
• Do what interests you and don’t care if others are interested in you.
• Laugh often and loudly.
• Be generous. It doesn’t matter how much money is in your account. You can always help.
• Keep learning. Knowledge is our main wealth.
• Live so that you can be proud of yourself at 11 and at 80 years old.
• Realize that you deserve more and can do more.
• Don’t be afraid to dream and make your dreams come true.
Choose one dream and make it come true
Wanting too much is okay. However, it is impossible to implement everything at once. You need to choose the most important dream and focus on it. Rachel Hollis offers the 10, 10, 1 technique – 10 years, 10 dreams, 1 goal.
Close your eyes and imagine your ideal future in 10 years. What have you achieved? How do you look? What do you do? Who do you live with? Who are you friends with? How do you spend your free time? What car do you drive? Where do you rest? How do you behave with your family and at work? Are you happy? The more detailed you present the picture, the better.
Now answer the question in detail: “What does the best version of me look like?” Write down the answers. Be specific. For example, “I have $10 million in my account” (not “I am rich”), “I weigh 55 kg” (not “I am slim”). Choose the most important 10 points.
Now set a priority goal. Is it difficult to make a choice? Think about what dream makes your heart beat faster. Which one do you think about every day? So she’s in charge now.
Now we begin to implement it (turn it into a goal):
• We formulate the goal as accurately as possible. With figures and facts.
Not to lose weight, but to lose 10 kg in five months. Do not start traveling, but apply for a Schengen visa and save up such and such amount for a trip to Paris by such and such a date.Girl, Stop Apologizing
• Thinking through the system of intermediate actions. We weigh ourselves once a week and adjust our diet, put aside a certain amount twice a month to a special account, make an appointment at the visa center and prepare the documents for the right day.
Love your ambition
Ambition is not a dirty word. However, even the most progressive society does not encourage women’s ambitions. If a man studies a lot, makes a career, and goes in for sports, this is good from the point of view of public opinion. Such people should manage business, church, and state. But only if these people are not women – other people decided so. Ambition stimulates us to become better, smarter, healthier, and stronger. Analyze your ambitions. If they bring you joy and benefit and do not harm others, they need to be accepted and loved.
Ask for help
Asking for help is normal: colleagues, husbands, friends. You do not hesitate to come to their aid in difficult times.
You have returned from work. There is a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink. Refrigerator is empty. There is no supper. The children quarreled. Nobody walked the dog. And you planned to rest, put the children to bed and work a little more. Household worries are not a reason to give up ambitions. For dinner you can order pizza. Postpone non-urgent tasks until the weekend. Ask family members to help with things that can’t be moved to tomorrow. Even a three-year-old can put away her toys and clothes.Girl, Stop Apologizing
If blockages happen regularly, it may be time to change jobs and/or find an au pair.
Lay the foundation for success
Ambition and motivation alone are not the keys to success. You can strive for wealth, fame, and scientific discoveries as much as you like, but nothing will work without preparation. Here are the basic elements of the foundation of success.
• Maintaining health – sufficient fluids (at least 2 liters per day), early rises, daily movement (sports, walks), daily gratitude (every night make a list of 10 items), avoiding junk food. Getting started right away is not easy. Try to give up one type of food for 30 days (sweets, sodas, pastries), after a month you will form a habit of not eating this food, and you can move on to the next one.
• Order in personal space – you can control it, and it’s quite normal if you delegate part of the care to your husband, grown-up children, or an au pair.
• Inspiring environment. We are the average of five of our closest people. Want to be successful? Connect with successful people.
• Good habits, including morning rituals.
Rachel gets up at 5am, drinks a glass of water, works on her current project (45 minutes), meditates (15 minutes), writes her daily plans, thanks and affirmations (to remind herself of her goal), then drinks coffee. At 6.45 the children wake up, Rachel feeds them breakfast and sends them to kindergarten and school. Then he drinks a green smoothie and writes a list: one main goal for the day and the rest of the tasks.Girl, Stop Apologizing
Don’t let anyone talk you out
Everyone knows the situation when you really want something (get a second education, learn Chinese, learn to ski), are ready to move mountains, but then someone says a couple of phrases – and you don’t want anything anymore.
Learning to ignore talkers is a difficult task, but one of the most important on the road to success.
Here are three tips that will help you gain perseverance in achieving your goal.
• Ask yourself if you need a person in your life who doesn’t trust you, makes you anxious, and doesn’t let you move forward.
Rachel as a child was forced to endure attacks and humiliation, but as an adult, she prefers not to let passive-aggressive people into her home and her life and protect her children from them.Girl, Stop Apologizing
• Prepare ahead of time for a meeting if it cannot be avoided.
When Rachel became a vegetarian, she sat at family dinners with an empty plate. Relatives made fun of her or directly asked why she did not eat anything. As a result, she either ate something that she did not want to eat, or began to argue and prove that she had the right not to eat. But then she managed to find a reliable way to avoid conflict. She began to come to visit with a large bowl of salad. She eats and treats others.Girl, Stop Apologizing
• Make a plan with your loved ones. As you work towards a goal, you spend time on it, and your habits and values change. If relationships with loved ones are suffering, tell them about your priorities and try to find an alternative.
You go to classes in the evenings and can’t put the kids to bed. You feel guilty that you spend little time with your family. Perhaps you should come up with new family traditions, such as picnics on weekends in the warm season and pajama parties with board games in the cold.Girl, Stop Apologizing
Learn to say “no”
Without it, you won’t get what you want. First of all, determine your life priorities. To anyone who encroaches on them, firmly say no.
Rachel has four life priorities:Girl, Stop Apologizing
– Herself, her personal growth and faith.
– Marital relations and the needs of the husband.
– Children and their needs.
– The work and mission is to give women the tools to change lives.
How to say “no”:
• Refuse immediately. Don’t say that you need to think, don’t wait for everything to resolve itself, don’t hide.
• Be honest but polite. Avoid emotions, do not invent anything, and do not make excuses. Tell it like it is.
• Be firm. No means no. Do not respond to tears, persuasion, and threats.
Top 10 Thoughts
1. Any dream begins with the words “What if …”, but often ends with them.
2. Everyone has dreams, just not everyone has the courage to talk about them out loud and bring them to life.
3. Society does not welcome women’s ambitions, career growth, and striving for success. And we use the excuses “other women don’t do this”, “I’m not ambitious”, and “what people think of me” so as not to oppose society.
4. The “I don’t have time” excuse doesn’t hold water. Only we ourselves can manage our time and choose how to spend it.
5. “I’m not good enough” and “I’m afraid of failure” are not excuses. None of us can do everything from birth. To succeed, you need to study and practice a lot, make mistakes and fail.
6. It’s hard to come up with something radically new in the world. But this is not a reason to give up what inspires you.
7. The excuse “if I go to the goal, I will become a bad wife (mother, daughter, girlfriend …)” shows that you put the interests and goals of other people above your own.
8. Our behavior is not static. It consists of many habits that can and should be changed if you want to achieve your goal.
9. Habits are very important that allows you not to dissolve in the lives of other people, but to take responsibility for your dreams, goals, and life: do not allow yourself to be dissuaded, say a firm and quick “no” and love your ambitions.
10. Persistently going to the goal is not the same as being selfish. On the contrary, purposeful people interact better with others: help and ask for help, and plan effective and pleasant times together with loved ones. However, they do not waste their lives – they do not sit all evening watching TV or on Instagram, they refuse to communicate with toxic people, and they set their priorities correctly.