Girl, Stop Apologizing | Rachel Hollis

Summary of: Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals
By: Rachel Hollis


In ‘Girl, Stop Apologizing,’ bestselling author Rachel Hollis illuminates the internal and external obstacles women face in pursuing their dreams. This book summary explores the challenges women encounter, such as widespread societal expectations, seeking approval from others, and juggling multiple roles in their day-to-day lives. With candid insight and practical advice, Hollis helps readers overcome the common excuses that hold them back and encourages them to embrace their unique goals fearlessly.

Unleashing Women’s True Potential

Envision a world where women relentlessly chase their deepest desires, untroubled by external judgments or self-doubt. If merely 5 percent of women did so, our world would transform for the better. Unfortunately, countless women currently abandon their aspirations, and several factors contribute to this predicament. Craving attention and valuing others’ opinions is a fundamental human trait. This behavior originates in childhood and persists into adulthood, manifesting in various ways, such as hypochondria or workaholism. Additionally, societal expectations often impose girls to prioritize their roles as wives and mothers, which inhibits their personal goal achievement. Contrarily, boys are encouraged to pursue their dreams. To overcome these deeply ingrained barriers and be true to oneself, focusing on individual aspirations rather than others’ expectations is vital. Acknowledge that women’s dreams can differ significantly and resist the urge to make excuses for not pursuing them. Moving forward, the common barriers holding women back will be dismantled, replaced with empowering mindsets and skills that help fearless pursuit of goals.

Unleash Your Authentic Self

Embrace your individuality and pursue the life that makes you feel fulfilled, without being influenced by societal expectations and norms. Regardless of the path you take, it’s never too late to develop new skills and attain your goals.

For years, the author juggled a dual existence – a loving wife and mother, who also happened to be a successful entrepreneur and blogger. Unbeknownst to many, she worked grueling 60-hour weeks managing a team and running her own business. The decision to maintain such a demanding career after having her first child was met with skepticism, as it went against the popular belief that to be a good mother, a woman should scale back her professional life.

Societal pressure to conform is ever-present, beginning during adolescence when most people want nothing more than to fit in. While some embrace their individuality during their teenage years, others seek solace in being indistinguishable from their peers. As time goes on, this deeply ingrained need for conformity leads to overlooked aspirationsand the nagging question: does conforming to expectations truly lead to happiness and fulfillment?

When considering the pursuit of personal dreams and goals, people often feel guilty, believing their desires are in contradiction with the expectations for others in their position. The author emphasizes that it’s important not to let these expectations dictate your self-worth or shape your life choices. Instead, focus on what genuinely makes you content.

Another common deterrent to following your dreams is the perception of not being a goal-oriented person. However, the author urges that planning and organization are learnable skills that can be developed throughout life. So, refuse to give up on your goals before even trying; you possess the power to learn, improve, and ultimately achieve your aspirations. Use this understanding to propel yourself towards the life you genuinely desire, free from external pressures and constraints.

Banish Excuses, Make Time

Silencing the excuse “I don’t have time” requires consciously making time for activities that help achieve goals. Accept ownership of your life, create a schedule to bridge the gap between aspirations and reality, and commit to personal growth by navigating insecurities deriving from past experiences.

Acknowledging that there is no “free time” is pivotal for realizing dreams and aspirations. Instead of waiting for leisure hours to magically appear, one must consciously allocate time for activities that contribute to achieving goals, even if it means making hard choices or sacrifices.

The primary step in carving out time is taking complete ownership of one’s life. Regardless of one’s occupation, whether a CEO or a stay-at-home parent, it’s crucial to embrace responsibility and control over personal schedules, including leisure activities such as watching TV. Many busy professionals and parents manage to make time for marathon training, so finding time to pursue your passion should be possible as well.

To allocate time for personal goals, create an hourly schedule outlining a week’s complete activities. Next, identify at least five hours (non-consecutive, if necessary) that can be devoted to actively work towards achieving goals. Choose times when peak performance is most likely, either in the mornings or at night for early birds and night owls, respectively. Implement this new schedule for the upcoming week and contemplate any adjustments that might improve the plan for subsequent weeks.

A pervasive hindrance to success is the feeling that one lacks the necessary skills or abilities, typically stemming from insecurities rooted in past experiences. This could result from bullies, discouraging teachers, or other negative occurrences.

However, such past setbacks should not dictate future successes. Everyone experiences personal growth differently, finding success in varied learning environments. Some excel in classrooms, while others thrive through online tutorials. The crucial aspect is maintaining a willingness to learn, leading to discovering which methods work best individually. By overcoming insecurities and believing in the ability to achieve personal growth, taking control of one’s schedule becomes truly empowering.

Ditching Guilt and Embracing Success

Self-improvement goals should never be associated with guilt or fear of judgment. People often give up on their aspirations due to ‘mommy guilt’ or worrying about the opinions of others. It’s essential to prioritize personal ambitions and have the courage to risk failures, as they pave the way for ultimate success. Taking back control of your life means not letting others dictate your choices and realizing that only you know what’s best for you.

Mommy guilt, or the pressure to prioritize family and caregiving, holds many women back from pursuing personal dreams and goals. The nagging question, “What will they think?” infiltrates their thoughts, causing many to abandon higher education or career plans. However, it’s important to recognize that sometimes, being selfish is necessary to accomplish what you want in life.

A prime example comes from the author’s father, who was pursuing his PhD. One of his professors told the class that they needed to be selfish to complete the demanding coursework and thesis writing. If they weren’t, family and friends could easily deter them from their efforts. This message holds true for anyone pursuing a goal that requires intense dedication and sacrifice.

When contemplating a decision, try not to let fear of judgment dictate your choices. People can generally be categorized into judgmental individuals and those who are supportive and understanding. Judgmental people will criticize no matter what you do, so it’s wise to follow your heart without worrying about their opinions.

Fear of failure is another hurdle in the pursuit of success. It’s not so much the fear of making mistakes, but the concern of how people will perceive those failures. The author has experienced public disappointments, such as a failed attempt to get one of her books onto the New York Times bestseller list. However, these setbacks provide valuable lessons that help build resilience and determination.

Life’s successes are often accompanied by previous failures, making each triumph all the more gratifying. Your power lies in choosing not to let others’ opinions dictate your actions. After all, only you can determine what’s best for you, and it’s important to remember that most people spend less time thinking about your choices than you might imagine. So, say goodbye to guilt and unwarranted fears and embrace the path to personal success.

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