Don't change who you are. Be more of who you are - Sally Hogshead
Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life
Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life

Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life

Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life

by Gary John Bishop

When looking for something new to read, I often start with the recommendations of online book platforms. These programs compare what I’ve read with the readings of others in similar patterns and make recommendations. These recommendations have provided a treasure trove of entertainment, learning, and personal growth. Some books are quite obvious, while others have titles or descriptions that raise the eyebrows and inspire me to at least take a look.

One such book is Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop. Admit it. The title can’t be ignored. You may be interested enough to read the description, or you may be appalled and want to contact the publisher. In either case, you don’t just scroll by it without at least taking a second look. Me neither.

So, when I saw this book I figured there was little possible harm beyond losing a few dollars and possibly being offended…and let’s be honest for a moment and admit that we should all accept a little more offense if it means exposing our minds to thoughts we might not otherwise consider! The author, Gary John Bishop, is described as one of the leading personal development experts. Not a psychologist. Not a psychiatrist. Not even a motivational speaker. Of course, that well may be the value. As you read, you’ll quickly see that he doesn’t offer advice about your past and he doesn’t delve into psychological disorders. He also doesn’t ask the reader to learn mantras or chants. He writes for people that can reasonably be expected to make personal choices. He asks the reader to make decisions and to act on them.

Very early on, Bishop quotes Albert Ellis: “if human emotions largely result from thinking, then one may appreciably control one’s feelings by controlling one’s thoughts – or by changing the internalized sentences, with which one largely created the feeling in the first place.” Bishop will spend the next several chapters sharing his ideas that largely center on this concept – on changing the way we speak to ourselves and then the actions we take…or do not.

Chapters two through four focus on topics related to this self-talk by walking the reader through the evidence that they can make the decisions necessary to change the dialogue in their heads. The reader is encouraged to think assertively instead of passively. They should consider that more often than not, they have achieved the results they expected or that their behaviors are in-line with those results. This is not meant to be some sort of masochistic punishment but rather an encouragement that the reader can achieve that which they work towards.

The next several chapters turn the readers focus onto what they do – their actions. Bishop challenges the reader to embrace uncertainty and acknowledge that what’s worse than doing the right thing is doing nothing. In his words, “I am not my thoughts; I am what I do.” Or, similarly, “you are not defined by what’s inside your head. You are what you do. Your actions.”  

I already know that many will not care for this book. Bishop uses caustic language. He is unapologetic. He doesn’t seem to be concerned at all with the injustices and injuries that some have faced. He doesn’t talk about medical intervention or counseling. Well, from my vantage point it’s because this book isn’t aimed at those that might need those interventions. Rather, it is aimed at anyone who is able to recognize that their behavior can change. That the decisions they have made in the past may not be getting the results that would lead to a happier life. A recent video post of Bishop gets at that when he says that anytime our feelings are at odds with your best interest – act towards your best interest. Feelings ebb and flow with a wide variety of inner and outer causes. Change the talk in your head and take the actions that align with your goals. For some of us, this is an entertaining reminder…for some, it may be just what was needed.

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