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Strip Off Your Fear: The Good Girl's Guide to Saying What You Want [Kindle Edition]

Betsy Talbot
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Author Betsy Talbot's message is simple:

"Speak up. Be proud of who you are, what you know, and what you do. Help other women do the same. When you change your world for the better, you make it better for the rest of us."

Talbot wrote this book for the "Good Girls" – women who go along to get along, never rock the boat, and put their own desires last.

Sound familiar?

In this book, Talbot leads readers through a striptease of the emotional layers that can suffocate our innate confidence, preventing women from reaching their personal, professional, and societal goals.

In her signature style, she marries learning with action, using deeply personal stories to illustrate breakthroughs and then guiding the reader through exercises to reveal their own flawed and fabulous selves.

It is a bold book for women who want to live a life bigger than the one they have right now. And it is definitely a conversation starter at a book club!

Editorial Reviews


"This was some of the deepest thinking and soul searching I've ever done." - Debbie Whitlock, host of Femmenation (TM) Radio

From the Author

An Interview with the Author

Q: Why did you write Strip Off Your Fear?

A: It was last year and I was writing a book about overcoming fear, and it was not going well. The words were not flowing, and the few that did make it through were - to put it bluntly - shit. After 30,000 nuggets of shit, I decided to call a halt to this project. I wasn't fully into it, and the results showed. I just couldn't get worked up about fear. Things were not happy at the House of Talbot because writing a book is why we settled down in Thailand in the first place.

Then things got real: my friend Donna was murdered by her ex-husband. And the political climate in the US became overtly anti-woman as the political races heated up. Some of my closest friends and family members were undergoing significant personal issues because of their inability to speak honestly and clearly in their relationships, businesses, and communities.

It finally dawned on me that fear wasn't the problem because fear never leaves us. Conquer one fear and you'll quickly find another - we all know that. The problem is really a lack of confidence, the inner fire that comes from living your authentic self, speaking your truth, and demanding respect from others, including yourself. Especially yourself. When you have this, you can face fear on a regular basis with a pretty good result.
Q: You write about the Voices of Fear in our heads and even outline some of those personalities. Which one do you identify with most?

A: The Voices of Fear were really fun to write. It was the first time my inner Drama Queen has had full reign over my mind in many years, and she did not disappoint. Everyone has at least a few of these voices, though we tend to rely on a dominant one to rule our fears. 

I'm definitely the Drama Queen, dreaming up scenarios worthy of an Oscar for every little thing. I've learned to temper it over time, even using it for entertainment now, but for many years it really ruled my life. Every headache was cancer, a missed call was the sign of trouble in a relationship, and an unreturned email meant I was going to be fired. 

It's a tough way to live, and there is no booting those guys out of your head. But once you recognize them for what they are instead of what they want you to think they are, you can simply be a bystander to their activity and not a victim to their torment.
Q: Why the stripping metaphor in a book about confidence and speaking up?

A: Getting dressed and undressed is universal, and we all know how uncomfortable it is like to wear ill-fitting clothes. I couldn't think of a more perfect description of how our inner confidence gets covered up by all the layers society demands we wear. It's like that pushy sales clerk at the department store handing you item after item of clothes you hate because she simply doesn't know anything about you and wants to sell you what she has, not necessarily what you want or need.

The trick is learning to dress yourself, say no to the identities, goals, and dreams that don't fit you like a glove. It takes some practice to get to this point, and we arrive at different ages and stages.
Q: One of the lessons you teach in learning to speak up is saying where you want to go for lunch. Why is this important?

A: Almost every woman I know answers the "where do you want to go for lunch?" question with "I don't know; where do you want to go?"

This automatic defaulting to the desires of another person is the perfect example of our conditioning to please others. Many times we may like where the other person chooses anyway, but that's not the point. We default to other people in the most basic of decisions, robbing ourselves of what we really want and putting the burden on everyone else in our life to make decisions. This is the perfect example of a man complaining he has to guess what a woman is thinking.

When you use this question as practice in speaking up, you will see it pay off in other areas of your life. The next time someone asks you where you want to eat lunch, answer. Don't push off the responsibility or try to come to a consensus. For extra points, you can practice suggesting alternatives when someone else suggests a location.

This simple exercise will give you a huge head start in speaking up in other areas of your life.
Q: You included a book club party guide, a soundtrack and a signature cocktail. This isn't what you normally find in a book. Why?

A: It is an important message, and one that gains more power with community. I want readers to eat, drink, and groove to this message and take it into every pore of their bodies. Then I want them to talk about it with friends so they will all go out and talk about it with other people. I want confidence and speaking up to be on the minds of every single woman in the world. We are half the population and the primary caretakers for the next generation. Imagine what this world is losing when we don't make our ideas, thoughts and needs known?

It is all about you, but it is also all about our society as a whole.

I love gatherings of women, especially when important discussions can be had in a fun and supportive environment. My own book club back in Seattle was a huge part of my life and helped me work through problems and grow as a person, and I want other women to know that feeling of community and safety in speaking their minds as the wine flows and the night grows.
Q: The book is about self-confidence, but you also write about relationships. How are our relationships related to self-confidence?

A: Other people can't give you self-confidence, that's for sure, but the wrong people can certainly drain you of any you have. Humans are highly adaptive creatures, and we are shaped by our environments. Hang out with naysayers, critics and whiners and you won't keep your confident outlook for long. 

Any job, mate, friend, organization, or government worth having in your life is one that treats you as an equal human being, supports your dreams, lovingly calls you on your bullshit, and works to make your union more productive than your individual contributions would be. They demand as much of themselves as they do of you, and being around them feels like a natural high.

I like to invoke the "best friend" test to figure out if a situation is where it should be.

Ask yourself if you would you allow your best friend to be treated the way you are being treated. If the answer is no, it is time to something about it. If you don't, that incredible human adaptability will work it's magic on covering up your confidence and morphing you into someone you don't want to be.

We should all be our own best friends, don't you think?

Product Details

  • File Size: 1683 KB
  • Print Length: 220 pages
  • Publisher: ES Scott Publishing (March 13, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007JBFUL2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,717 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Become the Woman You've always Dreamed of Being March 17, 2012
By Alison
Format:Kindle Edition
You know that woman you totally envy? The one that always seems to be doing cool things and hanging out with interesting people. You could be that woman and this book will show you how. Moreover, Betsy will convince you that not only can you be that woman, you deserve to be that woman.

Reading Betsy's work makes you feel like you're chatting with a great friend; a friend who inspires you with her wisdom and grace and kicks you in the behind when you try to make excuses for not being all you deserve to be.

While reading Strip Off Your Fear, I felt Betsy was talking right to me and that she understood exactly how I was feeling and what excuses I was making to hold myself back. Her anecdotes of her own Good Girl tendencies had me chuckling out loud and there were more than a few 'amen sister' moments.

I only wish this book existed when I was younger. Every woman needs to read this book - the sooner, the better.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
What's great about reading books by Betsy Talbot is that you feel like you are sitting with her over coffee and she's giving you her best advice, friend-to-friend. And because her voice is so authentic and clear, you feel like you're getting the straight scoop - no holds barred. If you're genuinely interested in living your life to fullest, I *highly* recommend reading this book.

As women we're trained to stay small, concede to others, and fit in at all costs. This book is about getting past all that.

My biggest issue prior to reading this book was that I apologized for *everything*. I apologized when someone else bumped into me at the mall, when a situation wasn't my fault, even when I knew deep down that there was nothing to apologize for. A friend told me one time that I apologize for my existence. And that's exactly how I felt.

After reading Besty's book, I started to catch myself apologizing, hedging, and hiding. And then I found myself saying "I'm sorry" a lot less. And it's incredible what a difference it has made in my life. That's the power of this book - it's a totally accessible (even FUN!) read because of Betsy's great style, but then her voice gets into your head and you find yourself changing your behavior in small, subtle ways without even realizing you're doing it.

I think this is a must-read for any woman who finds herself apologizing too much and choking on unspoken dreams. Get it today and start making changes by tomorrow - that's how powerful this book is.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book That Will Change Your Life March 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sounds like a lot of 'hype' with a title like that for this review.....right? Wrong!

Reading Strip Off Your Fear is like having the deepest conversation with your best gal pal. Betsy Talbot carefully encourages you to begin to let go of all the crap that has been holding you back, walks you through exercises where you really get to find your voice, and has you laughing with yourself and crying with relief - finally able to "let it go" - all at the same time. She's included a "play list" to get us in the mood (it's like having your best friend make you the best "mix-tape" ever!

This was some of the deepest thinking and soul searching I've ever done - Betsy honors the reader in such a playful way - you can't help but want to go deeper.

Her book came at a critical time in my life and I felt like she wrote it just for me.

Strip Off Your Fear will become the rally cry of women everywhere!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Where the heck was this book when I was an insecure teenager or full of self doubt (but no shorage of bravado) in my 20's?!? This book is an anthem for all women who are tired of hiding their light behind the expectations, opinions and stereotypes of others. Betsy Talbot is fierce but loving, raw but honest, impatient yet compassionate. Her first person stories and proven advice could help so many women who lost sight of the audacious little girl they once were. And I can even think of a few men I know who could use this advice as well! I would love to be able to buy copies of this book and hand them out to women on college campuses. A fun read full of practical and loving wisdom for modern women.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Working Through Your Fear March 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book for many reasons. I'll list a few here:

1) The author does a great job of naming so many of the fears women encounter in relating to the world.
2) She acknowledges these fears, both by naming and relating to them, and then she
3) Gives you the tools you need to work through them. (Yep, you gotta go through. Can't go around 'em. Sorry.)

Parts of this book stuck with me for several days after I read it. It's full of lots of useful tidbits. Many of them spoke straight to my heart.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth-Telling with Courage and Grace March 16, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
In Chapter One, these words: "It never occurred to me I could disagree, modify, go another way, or be different. It simply wasn't done." And with these words, I knew that Betsy Talbot was telling her story...and mine...and that of many, if not most women.

Read this book. Strip off your fear. And slip into who you already know you are. I'll go first.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, couldn't put it down! March 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Talbots have such a clear, intimate way of writing that makes you feel as if you're listening to advice from a lifelong friend. I've been a follower of Married w/Baggage for a mere week but am 6 months into a plan to live out my dream with my husband in 2013.

This book by Betsy really resonated with me. I've struggled with finding my voice and being true to my authentic self. Luckily, about 5 years ago I got brave enough to restart my life. This bolsters my courage for doing it again soon.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Different
This is a different perspective of how women have avoided getting or doing what they want. The idea is that women are introspective and try not to stand out or for what they really... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Donna L. Sako
2.0 out of 5 stars Empowering
This book didn't take long to read. It was a good read about self acceptance and realizing personal power. Read more
Published 5 months ago by shari craig
4.0 out of 5 stars I will read all Betsy's books
I liked the raw examination of self she exposed me to and the confidence she exudes when writing. I would recommend this book to my friend ML, we would enjoy discussing.
Published 6 months ago by Shelia Abbott
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for all girls & women
Every girl needs this book, we are always expected to be polite & undemanding concerning wants & needs
Published 6 months ago by kathy benedict
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
Thoughtful, insightful, interesting, and highly motivating. Well worth your time.
Published 6 months ago by AEK
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!! so inspirational, it fit me to a tee.
She described my life almost perfectly. Finding myself suddenly at 36 and being on my own with no responsibilities really made me have to stop and figure out what I wanted for me. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Celisa Frei
5.0 out of 5 stars GET NAKED AND GET REAL
The best book I've read about getting rid of your hang-ups. Betsy Talbot uses your body parts and GETTING NAKED to get the point across and it comes through very well. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mary L Whitling
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good book! Well worth reading.
Published 7 months ago by Wendy Zerla
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice insights
Great topic for me and many women I know. The first read-through I let the words flow over me. This next time, I will move more deliberately through the book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Angela Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars It's an easy, conversational tone
What an inspiring read. And so well written! It's an easy, conversational tone, but not written in a way that is dumbed-down at all. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mom with Ants in Her Pants
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More About the Author

Betsy Talbot is a 40-something traveler and author. When she's not traveling or penning books about love, adventure, and self-discovery, she is hiking, learning flamenco dancing, and drinking wine in a tiny whitewashed village in Spain.

Betsy is the coauthor of four books with her husband Warren Talbot, and they also co-hosts of the popular weekly podcast, Married with Luggage.

Her latest project is The LateBloomers Series, a 5-book romance series about women in their 40s. Because women with experience make the best life and on the page.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#69 Overall (See top 100 authors)


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