I admit it, back in the 1990s I read a lot of self help books. I had decided therapy was not getting me anywhere yet I had many things I wanted to change so naturally I looked to books for the answers. And even though I read quite a few none of the titles come to mind, so you know just how helpful they were. For a long time I shied away from any book that was labeled “self help” thinking the author was just out to make a fast buck, but in the last year I have come across a couple that caught my eye so I read them. I found today’s self help books are different from what was being put out when I was seeking answers. Gone are the tag lines and double speak. I have found many of today’s book to be easy to follow and offer good advice without asking the reader to make drastic life changes.
As a vine member I was given the chance to review Mel Robbins’ Stop Saying You’re Fine, Discovering A More Powerful You.
The first part of the title put me off a little, as I do not think I am fine, but I do know I have no idea how to discover the more powerful me. I tend to get in my own way and be my own worst enemy. I thought I would give the book a try in the hopes that I would learn why I get in my way and possibly start living the life I really want. From the book:
If you feel bored or dissatisfied with your life, you aren’t alone. Happiness is declining. Job security is gone. We’re working harder than ever, growing fatter every year and getting less sleep night-after-night. The pace and uncertainty of modern life has left us all spinning. How do you change your life, when you can barely survive your day? Simple, let Mel Robbins teach you to be powerful, even when you don’t feel like it:
- You are meant to do more with your life and you know it. You live in a world with all the tools, information and contacts you need to achieve your dreams.
- Stop hitting your inner snooze button and wake up. You are your own worst enemy when it comes to making changes. No one is coming to save you. Your dreams are up to you.
Now I know some of this has been said before and is the rally cry for most life coaches, believe me I had reservations at the start, but I stuck with it and found it to be a different way of looking at the same old problems. She breaks down people who cannot change into two groups; the chicken and the jerk. I am a chicken that is I am afraid of what may happen, the jerk wants to blame others for what does. Robbins explains that chickens will form mental roadblocks to hinder getting what they want. Chickens do not trust change even though they say they do. She gives advice on how to break the cycle of negative mind chatter and how to take action when opportunity arises. This really spoke to me. The day before I read this I received a phone call from a potential employer, but instead of answering the phone, I stood there coming up with reasons why I did not want to pick the phone up. It was snowing and I did not want to be asked to go out in it. I had a fight with my boyfriend and did not want to make any life changing decisions. I was afraid the company would ask too much of me as it was a job that may have entailed a lot of learning as it something I have never done. I did not pick up the phone, instead I put up mental roadblocks. By the time I talked myself into calling the recruiter it was too late, she had already set appointments up with other people. Robbins advice for that situation is to give yourself a five second rule. If you see opportunity or have an idea, do it within five seconds, don’t wait for your mind to talk you out of it or the idea may melt away. Had I followed her advice I would have picked up the phone and ignored my negative thoughts. It may not have worked out for me, but at least I could have said I tried.
My only problem with the book is that Robbins’ lack of cites or footnotes. She talks about brain studies and what they tell science about our decision making process but never gives links or tells us what studies these are. I would like to see her offer proof of her claims. Without sources we only have her word about these studies.
This book may not be for everyone, but if you wonder why you can’t seem to take chances or if you wonder why you cannot make a decision I recommend buying this book. If you think it may be something that may help, don’t wait to long, give yourself only five seconds before you click the buy button.
I'm a writer, lifelong bibliophile ,and researcher. I hold a Bachelors in Humanities & History and a Master's in Humanities. When I'm not reading or talking about Shakespeare or history, you can usually find me in the garden discussing science or politics with my cat.
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