I am a little late with February’s book, but you didn’t expect me to be on time, did you?! If you’re being honest, you’re kind of impressed that I came back to this series at all, aren’t you? And yet, here I am, selflessly reading another self help book so you don’t have to*. You’re welcome.
This month I’m “reviewing,” and I use that term very loosely, Unfu*k Yourself: Get out of your Head and into Your Life by Gary John Bishop. I finished this book at the beginning of the year, which means that I can confidently say, without having to do a follow-up post, that these are the two things I took away (and kept!) from this read:
Re-evaluating my goals by what I am willing to pursue
You have the life you’re willing to put up with. – Bishop (page 29)
When you start to view the world through the lens of what you’re wiling and unwilling to pursue, rather than what it seems you want and don’t want, things start to become a lot clearer. – Bishop (page 45).
Basically, what Bishop says is this: everything you want in life comes with a set of shitty stuff you have to do to get there. If you want a “beach body”, you have to sweat through some painful exercises. If you want to be a CEO, you have to work 80 hours a week. If you want a university degree, you have to go to class (or at least stress cram really well until you think you’re going to die of a heart attack. I think I’m living proof that you don’t actually have to go to class if you want a degree. Good grades, yes; a degree, not necessarily).
The point is, you have to decide what work you’re willing to put in to get the things in life that you want, and if you’re not willing to put in the work, you might as well delete those goals from your bucket list and stop wasting your brain power on them.
For example, I’ve shelved (at least, until the kids are older and don’t require me to be at home when they are sick, which feels like all the time), the idea of getting a better paying job in an industry I’m interested in because I’m not willing to give up the job stability and flexibility that I have now. However, I am willing to pursue a side hustle on the Internet, and I am willing to write, film, edit, and make a complete ass of myself in front of the entire world to do it, so that’s still on my goal list.
I am my actions
You are not your thoughts. You are your actions. You are what you do. And your actions are the only thing separating you from where you are and where you want to be. – Bishop (page 206)
More than anything else in Unfu*k Yourself, or even in You are a Badass, this spoke to me the most. It felt like an “ah ha” moment. Like, there’s hope! I don’t have to believe I can do something (which is a thing I struggle with a lot), I just have to do the actions to get me there. I don’t have to believe I can lose weight (a not-so-small part of me thinks I’m destined to be fat forever), I just have to exercise and stop eating ALL OF THE JUNK FOOD. And by working out, eating right, and losing weight as a result, I’m proving my inner critic wrong, and showing her (myself!) that reaching my goal weight is possible.
It’s hard to focus on your internal worrying and nay-saying when you’re busying getting things done – Bishop (page 131)
This focus on action over thought also lines up with my New Years resolution of focusing on tangible results, and doing something even if it yields spectacularly bad results (my YouTube channel, for example). It’s really a good reminder to take action every day that takes you closer to your goals. Another good reminder: my new theme song, Work Bitch.
*About this Series:
I’ve decided to read 12 self-help books in 2018, and I’m taking y’all along for the ride by way of a blog series I’m calling “Reading Self Help Books So You Don’t Have To”. I have to admit, the title is a little misleading; I would encourage you to pick up a copy of any book I write about because I’m going to a) talk only about the stuff I personally found helpful and implemented in my own life, and b) bastardize the shit out of it.
I’ll check back at the end of every month to tell you what habits from the last books I’ve stuck with and why, and which ones fell by the wayside.