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

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What is Girl, Stop Apologizing about?

To achieve the goals you need to let go of excuses and stop apologizing. We often walk away from challenges due to poor self-esteem, pressure from society or simply bad habits. When we learn to let go of excuses and we stop letting others dictate our lives we can reach our goals.
Men and women alike often lose their true identities as they take on the roles and responsibilities that are expected of them; leaving them feeling a lack of ownership over their own lives. By learning the skills to take ownership of your life you’ll find the confidence to follow your dreams and live life with no hesitation.
In Girl, Stop Apologizing, Rachel Hollis explains how to conquer shame and doubt to live an unapologetic excuse free life.

About the author

Rachel Hollis is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author, a top business podcaster, and one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the world. As a bestselling author and wildly successful lifestyle influencer, she has built a global social media fanbase in the millions. She’s a proud working mama of four and a big fan of the small town in Texas hill country that the Hollis family calls home.

Girl, Stop Apologizing summary

Summary of Girl, Stop Apologizing

Key idea #1: Other women don’t do this

Who do I think I am?

If we want to achieve our goals we need to ask ourselves “What if?” asking this question demonstrates self-respect and a willingness to push boundaries regardless of what others think. Some women have no problem questioning and planning but a lot of women feel guilty just for having dreams. There are prisoners of other people’s opinions and are pretending to be someone other than who they are. In a sense, they’re living a double life.

Before Rachel Hollis wrote this book, she was a blogger and had a very successful event planning firm. Her blog audience saw her as a typical stay-at-home mom but the truth was she had a thriving business and a nanny for her children. When her readers found out they felt betrayed. They had been relating to her as though she were just like them and Hollis felt intense guilt, but what she had to realize was that others put a value on you based on their idea of how you should be, not necessarily who you actually are. Her audience’s frustration was a reflection of how they felt about themselves, of their own self-esteem and their own self-judgment. Once this became clear to her she could stop apologizing for living her life the way she saw fit. Why should she feel guilty for success or for enjoying the life she had built?

We all have dreams and once we allow ourselves to really think about them. They can crystallize into actionable goals. That’s all. Goals are dreams that have become specific. But low self-esteem and distrust in yourself and your abilities can make it difficult to follow through.

Everybody experiences self-doubt; each of us has heard that little voice in our heads telling us that we’re not worth it or we don’t deserve what we want. This voice finds joy in pointing out all the ways we are inadequate, but if we stop listening we can start taking steps to accomplish these dreams or these goals.

Key idea #2: I don’t have time for myself or my dreams

You may feel that you are unable to find time to take the necessary steps to achieve your goal. The truth is we’re all under pressure and running on borrowed time. What you must realize is that you are worth carving out time for, but you won’t magically find the time, you have to make the time.

But how do you do that with your current priorities? You may have kids a spouse or work that requires travel, You’re being pulled in a million directions, You’re saying yes to things you’d rather not do just to keep everyone else happy. But once you stop and think about what you actually want and once you make yourself a priority, you can begin to simply say NO.

Saying no is hard and takes practice. You must learn persistence, leadership, and confidence, but once you start saying no and setting those boundaries you can begin to truly put yourself first. You may hear that and think I can’t put myself first I’ll be letting too many people down you think. You can’t be a good wife mother or employee if you focus on yourself; you have to choose between them.

You’re not alone, lots of women feel that way. They feel guilty about prioritizing their own wants and needs. It is also difficult however to take care of others and to be a good wife or mom or daughter or employee.

If we are happy by following through on our dreams and putting ourselves first we can actually strengthen our interpersonal bonds.

Key idea #3: I’m scared of failure and besides someone’s probably done it

To think that everyone is not scared of failure is silly. No one likes to fail. Anyone who has ever achieved a goal feared to fail at some point. You’re scared that’s no excuse to give up on your dream.
When you set out to achieve your goal you have to tell everyone what you’re planning to do you need to put that pressure on yourself. Having people outside yourself holding you accountable will help you perform better. Don’t be fearful of the extra pressure; the pressure is what will help keep your dream alive.
But what if someone’s already done the thing you want to do? Maybe you want to write a book, design an app or run a marathon. You think someone else has already done this so I shouldn’t bother. This is also just an excuse.
The idea that someone else has done something similar should not stop you. You haven’t even started working on your goal and you’re already opting out. If you opt-out of your dream, you are letting society dictate your life; when you should be prioritizing your own happiness. You need to stop minimizing your dream with excuses.
The fact that someone else has achieved a similar goal is a reason to move forward with a plan, not an excuse to stop.

Key idea #4: I’m worried about what other people think

Societal pressure is strong, especially on women and how they should behave and what they should do with their lives. We often put so much stock in what others think that other people’s opinions of us stop us from achieving our goals.
What happens if you stop thinking about other people’s opinions of you? What happens if you take steps to achieve your goals? What if you make yourself a priority and you tell others what you’re doing? What happens if you fail?
The truth is that we are not actually scared of failure, we’re scared of what others think about us if we fail. We’re scared of other people’s opinions. You may be subjected to mean comments in-person or online from many people you know or don’t know, but it’s imperative to remember that another person’s opinion of you is their business and not yours.

Key idea #5: I’m not really a hustler

Some women were not meant to hustle, you know exactly the type of woman you are. Everyone is different and that’s okay. If you are more traditional, you need to be true to yourself; the choice is yours. However because you have the choice to be who you are and not what society expects you to be, perhaps you are ready to go after your dreams. You do not have to do what society dictates. You are ready to make a plan and to set a routine. You can go after what you want.
Stop asking permission to go after what you want. A grown woman does not need permission; it’s not difficult to prioritize your responsibilities, you being one of them. Enjoy the challenge and the responsibility of making yourself a priority.

Key idea #6: Put all your eggs in one basket

Nowadays it’s common to be criticized for being too ambitious especially for women. Women are subjects of criticism for having a need to succeed. Women want to make more money and they’re looked down upon for it.

Ambition is a wonderfully positive thing, but you must focus your ambition on one goal at a time. You have to pick one thing you want and go for it full steam ahead. Once you’ve picked a goal and outlined the steps you need to take to accomplish it, you may find it’s too much for one person. There is no shame in asking for help; asking for help will not only allow you to manage your time but will allow you to get training or become more experienced in the areas that are necessary for reaching your goal.

There’s no such thing as being self-made, all successful people have relied on others to help accomplish their goals.

Key idea #7: Build a strong foundation

No matter how much knowledge drive and passion you have to conquer your fear of failure, forget about what people think and go after your dream. If you have not created a strong physical and emotional foundation within yourself, your chances of success are still shaky.

As you know you need to make yourself a priority in order to show up for others. This includes being emotionally and physically healthy so that you can show up for yourself. Drinking more water, getting enough sleep, cutting out a food that does not make you feel your best, taking time to get some exercise every day; these will all do wonders for your health. Get up an hour early each day to make a plan and take time for yourself.

If you’re not feeling your best there is no way you will be able to show up for your life in the people in it. Without physical and emotional health, you simply cannot show up to be as creative as you want to be and need to be.

Key idea #8: People will try to talk you out of your dream and into things you hate

People around you may try to stop you from achieving your dream. Not everybody wants you to succeed and it may be the people in your closest group of family or friends who are the most unsupportive. Why is this? It’s natural to want others to be the same as you; it said that we are most like the five people we’re closest to. You may be making this group uncomfortable by making new choices and they may try to drag you back down the mediocrity or laziness. This is where learning to say NO really comes in handy. Hall is found on her journey towards living a shame-free life that she had been programmed to pretend to love things she actually truly disliked, but now she finds that brutal honesty is better for everyone involved, she just says NO.

Key idea #9: Just go for it girl

Excuses are holding you back from achieving your goals, these excuses could be fear of failure, fear of what others think or just your own self-confidence. You are good enough to make yourself a priority and work on your dream. If the people around you are not supportive, it does not matter. They’re trying to make you more like them, comfortable with the way things are. Do not let them do this; you are allowed to say NO!

Take time for yourself so that you can be the best version of yourself to show up for the people around you. Taking time for yourself means taking charge of your physical and mental health, setting clear goals and making an actionable plan. When you can do this when you are the best version of yourself, you will be able to achieve your dreams.


What did you learn from the summary of Girl, Stop Apologizing? What was your favorite takeaway? Is there an important insight that we missed? Comment below or tweet to us @storyshots.

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