Girl, Stop Apologizing Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Girl, Stop Apologizing is an inspirational book for women everywhere to start living up to their potential and stop apologizing for following their dreams.

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Girl, Stop Apologizing Summary

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Imagine I have a perfect product to sell to you. One that will solve all of your problems. It has the potential to improve your life and the lives of others. You’d be all for it, right?

What if I told you that product is you? All you need to do is invest, prioritize, and believe in yourself. 

Rachel Hollis has a plan on how to do exactly that. It’s specifically directed to women, though there are a lot of things men can learn too. If you’ve read her best-selling novel, Girl, Wash Your Face, you know Rachel Hollis is a motivational powerhouse for women.  

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals is a little more practical and even more insistent that women shouldn’t give up on self-improvement. Hollis wants women everywhere to know they don’t need to apologize or ask for approval if they don’t line up with traditional roles. 

Whether you have a dream of writing a book or starting your own business, Hollis will help you make it happen.

Here are 3 of the most motivational lessons this book teaches:

  1. Women shouldn’t apologize for their desire to be ambitious and do great things. 
  2. Stop making excuses for not starting on the path toward achieving your goals. 
  3. Intentionally build the habits, skills, and foundation for your success to see your dreams become reality. 

Grab your planner and get your goals ready, this one will have you wanting to press forward with achieving your dreams!

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Lesson 1: Having a lot of ambition to do great things shouldn’t be a reason women have to apologize.

Even in the age of female empowerment and #Metoo, many women continue to neglect what they really want. One reason for this is that people worry about what others think of them.

In toddlerhood, we all learned attention-seeking behaviors-the things we could do that get grownups to pay attention to us. Whether we like it or not, many of our actions are predicated upon how the people around us will respond. 

These factors, along with many girls still being raised to believe their value lies in how good of a wife and mother they’ll be, cause too many women to stop pursuing what they truly want. Or if they do, they feel like they have to apologize for putting themselves first. 

Hollis puts it this way: boys are brought up to follow their dreams while girls are brought up to follow what they think is expected of them. How can women get past this? It’s simple: stop worrying about other people’s expectations.

It’s okay if your dream doesn’t look like someone else’s or doesn’t align with what other women want. Tear down your self-limiting excuses, and start replacing them with empowering behaviors that will help you reach your goals. 

Lesson 2: Moving forward toward achieving your goals starts when you stop making excuses.

It’s a phrase all of us use far too often: “I don’t have time.” That’s why Hollis encourages you to banish the phrase from your mind. If you want to pursue your dreams, you need to make time for them.

Stop looking for free time to start working on your goals and start making time for them. You will have to make sacrifices, that’s for sure. But you’ll be reaping the rewards of your hard work in no time. 

Another common excuse can be that you don’t “have what it takes.” This is another way of saying you are insecure. These feelings usually come from past experiences such as being teased as a kid or failing a test in college.

But don’t let past experiences ruin the success waiting for you in the future. You have the ability to change and improve, all you need is to be willing and eager to learn.

“But what will they think?” is a phrase used to limit ourselves. There are two types of people in the world, those that are judgemental, and those who will encourage you.

The judgmental ones will find reasons to judge you no matter what you do, so you might as well stop worrying about what they think. Don’t be afraid of what people think of you, and most of all don’t be afraid to fail. After all, it is the quickest way to learn, and in the end, failures make your successes more beautiful.

Lesson 3: Learn how to make your dreams turn into a reality with the right habits, skills, and foundation for success.  

Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wrote, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” We can take this to heart today and realize it’s okay to break social norms and embrace your ambition. Hollis has some ways you can increase your chances of success in whatever you set your mind to. 

Her first piece of advice is to stop asking for permission. You are all the authority you need to start fighting for your dreams.

The second piece of advice she has is to focus on one goal at a time. Sometimes we feel like there is less risk when we have many goals and projects at the same time, in case one doesn’t work out.

But the more you spread your efforts and time thin with multiple projects, the less of a chance we have of anything significant coming of it. 

Hollis shares her 10-10-1 plan for goal-setting. Think about you ten years from right now. How do you want your life to look? Think of specifics and write down all the details.

Then think of ten dreams that could make this life possible. Out of those ten dreams, choose the goal most important to you, or the goal that best encompasses all of those dreams to focus on. Write it down in the present tense, as if it has already happened, to make it feel more real.

Make sure your goal is measurable, so instead of “I want to make more money” say something like “I want to have $25,000 in my bank account or more at all times.”

Girl, Stop Apologizing Review

Girl, Stop Apologizing is a really empowering read. Although for me some of the principles don’t ring true, overall this book comes highly recommended. I’m confident this will inspire anyone to stop making excuses, get up, and make their dreams reality!

Who would I recommend the Girl, Stop Apologizing summary to?

The 40-year-old mom with a good business idea who feels afraid to start, the 24-year-old college student who is filled with ambition to reach her goals, and anyone who’d like to be more motivated to succeed.

Last Updated on October 12, 2022

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Luke Rowley

With over 450 summaries that he contributed to Four Minute Books, first as a part-time writer, then as our full-time Managing Editor until late 2021, Luke is our second-most prolific writer. He's also a professional, licensed engineer, working in the solar industry. Next to his day job, he also runs Goal Engineering, a website dedicated to achieving your goals with a unique, 4-4-4 system. Luke is also a husband, father, 75 Hard finisher, and lover of the outdoors. He lives in Utah with his wife and 3 kids.