I haven’t reviewed a book on here in a long time so that is well overdue! I’ve been reading a lot lately, mostly blogs, but that’s a whole separate post. I’ve also read a few books too. And let me start off by saying I LOVE self-help books! I always have.
One self-help book that I’ve read before but read again recently is 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin. Once upon a time when I was a Library Director, we had a patron that donated ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) or Uncorrected Proofs of books that she got to review. This book was one of them. Side note: if you know how I can break into that scene let me know. That sounds like a LOT of fun! At the time that I first read this book, I realized my current job was going downhill fast. And even though I read this book and made LOTS of notes in it, I just felt powerless to make any corrections (and when I did try to correct things, things really went south). But fast forward to this summer and it’s a whole different ballgame. As you can see by the pic below, it’s even Bobby Jack Approved!
Onward with the review. As far as self-help books go, this one is pretty straight forward. Well, really, any self-help book is straightforward if you think about it. I haven’t ever been astonished by anything that has been said, or written, when it comes to self-help. I just think we are open and receptive to things at different times in our lives. There are 13 things that the author states that people who are mentally strong do not do:
- They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves
- They don’t give away their power
- They don’t shy away from change
- They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control
- They don’t worry about pleasing everyone
- They don’t fear taking calculated risks
- They don’t dwell on the past
- They don’t make the same mistakes over and over
- They don’t resent other people’s success
- They don’t give up after the first failure
- They don’t fear alone time
- They don’t feel like the world owes them anything
- They don’t expect immediate results
Now let me tell you, most of these apply to me (as in these are the things that I do!) but after the life altering even that happened to me last year, I’ve been more than willing to take a look at my life and behaviors and start to change things and lighten up a little. So the rereading of this book was timely. I will admit that after a few chapters it all seemed to repeat for me but I felt like I had gotten out of the book what I needed to. I’ve always let fear hold me back and get frustrated when I don’t get something right the first time. But I think the most important thing that I that I took away from this book: learn to set boundaries. I look back over my life and I realize that most of my unhappy experiences stem from me not being able to set boundaries. I see it in jobs. I see it with friendships. I’ve always felt that having good manners meant that you don’t ‘talk back’. And also I think sometimes I defer and don’t set boundaries because of the situation. But both of these things are not entirely true. Having good manners means that you learn how to approach a situation and set those boundaries. Politely. It can be done. I’m just not very good at it. And through the years, mostly because of the Mister’s job, I haven’t set boundaries when needed. I always felt like I had to put up with things that I don’t agree with, or with people that I wouldn’t normally be around, because it was the polite thing to do (don’t get me wrong, for the most part the people are fabulous, but you do run in to one or two bad eggs that you’d rather not be around, but have to for the sake of the job. But in fact I have met some of my best people through his job!). And I think this has also affected and effected my performance on the job. I think once you learn to set boundaries, you automatically start saying no and you stop giving away your power.
I also started thinking more about what will make me happy and what I want to get out of life. Once I started this thinking it lead me here. It’s easier to see how being unhappy or not setting boundaries can lead you down a path of spending too much, stuck in relationships that aren’t healthy, being hard on yourself, etc. So I thank this book for helping me to clear all that muck out and start looking at things differently. I do wish I was bold enough to hand this book to some people who I think really need it. Maybe they’ll pick it up after reading this. And start really making changes.
I would share a favorite quote, but I pretty much highlighted the whole book! There are lots of good quotes throughout that you could use as a daily affirmation. The author also relates a lot of things to her own life. Her life has certainly has had it’s own tragedies in it and she has learned from doing, and not exclusively from being a psychotherapist. I like that. I like when people, especially authors, share their own experience and not just throw case examples at us. The author does use case examples as well, and they are well thought out examples. Sometimes I wish I could have a direct line to her though so I could ask about my specific example(s).
So my bottom line is that I liked this book and thought the timing for rereading it was just right. I know it will take some practice for me to incorporate some changes into my daily life, but I already see that happening. Even if I fail to make the change, I’m seeing how I could have done something different and I’m giving myself a pep talk about how to handle things differently and not giving myself a hard time. If you know me, you’ll understand this. I give myself a really. hard. time. But I’m learning to make those changes.
I think this quote that I saw on the author’s instagram pretty much sums up what this book was all about for me:
Decide what kind of life you want to live. Write it down. Behave like the person you want to become. Make it happen.
Do you read self-help? What has been your favorite book so far?
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