Three game-changers from Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Wash Your Face

Do you need a kick-start for making a change in your life? How about a leg-up toward reaching a goal? Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be, by the aspirational Rachel Hollis, is the book for you. This 2018 best-seller is described as a mix of “memoir, motivational tips, Bible quotations and common-sense girl talk.”

Before diving into this blog post, in case you haven’t heard of her, Rachel Hollis is an inspiring woman who makes a living by helping others become their best selves. She’s a blogger, motivational speaker, social media influencer, has a clothing line, and she’s the author of several books. On top of all that, she’s a mother of four. She’s accomplished lofty goals and achieved great success, and learned a lot on the way.

In the book, Hollis takes a deep-dive into her former limiting beliefs, which she calls the lies that she told herself. These habitual ways of thinking hindered her personal and professional growth and success until she became aware of them. She describes how she figured out why each of them stood in her way, broke them down, and then moved on to bigger and better things. She also explains how readers can tackle similar limiting beliefs for themselves.

Three of the lies that Hollis described really resonated with me. I’ve told myself each of them more than once, so it was helpful to understand how Hollis got past them. This changed the game in terms of my mindset. Below, I’ve outlined Hollis’ perspectives on these three lies in case they also impact you (but you’d rather they didn’t).

Lie 1: I’ll start tomorrow

This lie addresses the things we’d like to accomplish, but never actually get done. In fairness, the reader’s reminded that life happens and sometimes the plans we make fall through. But when bailing becomes such a regular occurrence that the promises we make hold very little power in our lives, we need to check ourselves.

Hollis thinks that society enables this pattern of behaviour. For example, self-help books, magazines and television shows often focus on what to do when we fall off the wagon, rather than motivating people to stay on it the first place.

Hollis highlights the power of holding yourself to account when you make a promise to do something, even if you don’t tell anyone else that you’re going to do it. I think this is important because many of us are in the habit of always keeping our word to others, but not to ourselves.

Following through on the promises we make to ourselves is a skill that we can practice every day. Even doing the little things we tell ourselves we’ll do matters, like drinking that extra litre of water, running that extra kilometre, or starting that tough project at work. And once following through is a habit, then in theory, we can will any idea or dream into existence by simply telling ourselves we’ll do it.

Lie 2: No is the final answer

Hollis reports that the one thing she considers herself to be an expert on is being told “no,” and then bouncing back to fight her way towards a goal. She says that “no is only an answer if you accept it.”

Whenever she’s asked about what has led to her success, Hollis concluded that persevering when hearing the word “no” was critical. Her success isn’t about talent, skill, money or connections, but the fact that she believes her dreams aren’t someone else’s to manage. (As a side note, she says hustling, hard work and brilliant thinking also played a role!)

She shared that “hearing the word ‘no’ is a reminder to slow down, reevaluate where you are, and decide how to get to your destination. It doesn’t mean that you stop, but that you change course to make it there.”

Think about hearing “no” as a door closing. You can still get in, but through the window or down the chimney. In other words, creativity or a new course of action might be required.

Lie 3: I should be further along by now

Hollis starts off discussing this lie by reflecting on chats she’s had with her female friends and peers about why they dislike growing older. Although many of them had already accomplished a lot in life, many said they were upset by birthdays because they were reminders that a personal, professional or financial goal that they thought they’d have achieved by the age they were turning hadn’t yet come to fruition.

Hollis reiterates that this behaviour doesn’t do us any good because it focuses attention on the absence of something.

She also thinks this habit is dangerous. She explains: “Our own negative self-talk can be more damaging than the emotional abuse heaped on us by a hateful parent. It’s also far more insidious because there’s nobody there to stop it, since we rarely even realize it’s happening. Beating ourseves up about all the things we think we’re doing wrong becomes a litany of white noise; eventually, we don’t even hear it anymore.”

The things that we thought we’d have by a certain age – like being married, having a certain amount of money in the bank, or being in a leadership role at work – can still come. Every moment now is preparing you for the next, and leading up to a future that you can’t even imagine.

Woman listening to headphones

Overall, I’d recommend Girl, Wash Your Face, especially to women, because it allows the reader to get into the mind of a woman who’s on the path to achieving Oprah-level success. Readers can understand what makes Hollis tick and incorporate parts of her fierce-yet-refreshing mindset into their own lives.

The busy gal that I am, I listened to the audiobook version so that I could get through it hands-free. Hollis narrates the audiobook and her passion and sincerity come through vividly (bonus!).

One thing to be aware of is that Girl, Wash Your Face is marketed as a Christian book. However, there are valuable take-aways even if you, like me, have a more secular perspective. Despite the religious portions, I was motivated by the book’s overall message of picking yourself up by the bootstraps and overcoming challenges and setbacks using your own hard work, resourcefulness and resilience.

Have you read Girl, Wash Your Face? If so, which lie resonates with you the most? Share in the comments.

The next audiobook I’ll be listening to is Hollis’ 2019 book called Girl, Stop Apologizing. I can’t wait to share my thoughts once I’m done!

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Image credits:; Rachel Hollis / Thomas Nelson;

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