When I say “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis changed my life, I can tell you I’m not being dramatic. This is a book that came into my life at a very important moment. I’m 27 years old, I’ve been running my own business for almost 2 years and it’s HARD! There have definitely been brief moments where I considered giving up. I think deep down I knew I wouldn’t but when you’re broke, sleep deprived and emotional sometimes even your most precious dreams don’t seem worth it in those painful moments. I spent some of that time feeling sorry for myself but I spent more of that time feeling down on myself. I was overwhelmed and I was doubting myself. I had an inner dialogue trying to convince me that I wasn’t capable and there were new reasons why almost every single day.
I started seeing some people I know posting about “Girl, Wash Your Face” on Facebook and I had no idea what it was about. I had never heard of Rachel Hollis and due to the demographic, who I saw posting about it, and the title, I assumed it was some kind of beauty book! You see, I work in the beauty industry and the peers who happened to be raving about it do too so that’s how the dots were connecting in my head. Since I sometimes get caught up in FOMO (fear of missing out) I felt like I had to read this book so that I would know what everyone was talking about.
I downloaded the book on Audible. Audible has been such a game changer for me because I love to read! I’ve always loved reading ever since I learned how but one of the challenges I started facing when I opened my business was time management and I was struggling to find time to the things I love to do for myself. Audible was a solution to that problem for me because now I can LISTEN to books which allows me to multitask. I’m able to listen to my books when I’m driving, at the gym, doing dishes or cleaning. This app has helped me to get that missing piece (reading) back. Using the link above, you actually can sign up for Audible and get your first TWO books free. I highly suggest you try it out because with a deal like that, what do you have to lose?
I was immediately pleasantly surprised to find out Rachel Hollis read the audio book HERSELF! This was amazing because it felt like she was speaking directly to me and I could definitely recognize moments throughout the book where she would read certain parts with emphasis where she intended it. I don’t know if an outside reader could’ve possibly gotten Rachel’s points across the way she was able to herself.
The title of this book comes from the idea that times are going to be hard, and it’s okay to cry. It’s even okay to ugly cry! Get at all out but then, you need to wash your face and keep going. This isn’t being said to minimize what you’re going through, it’s being said in the context of not giving up. Giving up is the most detrimental thing to our success because it makes it impossible. However, it’s important to keep this idea in perspective. As the author clearly states, this isn’t directed at someone struggling with depression. Clinical depression is something that is in the chemistry of your brain and your genetic makeup. This is directed at the person who just happens to be going through a tough season or moment in their life. This has nothing to do with lacking compassion and everything to do with encouraging you to keep going.
Each chapter of “Girl, Wash Your Face” begins with a lie we tell ourselves with a title to match. Each chapter also ends with ways the author herself overcome the issues surrounding those lies and offers relatable suggestions for you to do the same. In other words, she is identifying problems in your life that you may or may not know you even have and then she’s offering viable solutions. As Hollis explains perfectly, sometimes these lies have been playing so loud in our heads for so long that we don’t even hear them anymore. So, we may no longer even be aware that we are telling ourselves these things. A few of the lies that are addressed are: “Something Else Will Make Me Happy”, “I’ll Start Tomorrow”, “I’m Not Good Enough” and “I’m Better Than You”. As you can imagine, these topics are a wake-up call for sure. I learned more about myself from a complete stranger than I’ve learned from some of the people who have known me my entire life. I honestly feel like this book not only showed me some of my flaws that I wasn’t aware of (in the most loving, encouraging and gentle ways possible) but also gave me the tools I need to address them. This book lead me to a lot of self-discovery and helped me realize things some people have only unlocked about themselves after years of therapy.
As anything else that reaches the popularity of this book does, I have seen the author receive some criticism. I don’t believe the criticism has been warranted. I actually find it highly unlikely that most of these criticizers have actually read the book because if they had, they would see the inaccuracies in the things that they’re saying. Rachel Hollis’s opponents refer to her as a privileged, affluent, Christian, white woman who is unrelatable due to the fact that they don’t feel that she’s been through legitimate struggle. First of all, who are we to determine the degree to which another person has struggled? Second of all, if a borderline abusive and traumatic childhood that came to an abrupt end after discovering your sibling’s dead body due to suicide isn’t enough of a hardship for you then maybe infertility, failed adoption attempts or facial paralysis might be. No? Would you feel better if Rachel Hollis wallowed in her sorrows? Would her struggles be valid for you then? I believe the only reason people are so upset with this author is because she has learned to be successful despite her setbacks. A lot of us haven’t and I hadn’t either… until now. No one can force you to reach your full potential, but I know I’m going to everything in my power to reach mine.