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Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life Hardcover – August 1, 2017
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“UnFu*k Yourself ... will guide you in how to deal with divorce, loss, failure, health, work place woes, and will give you the power back in tackling life and teach you how to deal with your problems by taking responsibility.” (Reader’s Digest)
“If you like your self-help without any BS, look to Gary John Bishop’s Unfu*k Yourself, [which] aims to help readers who feel f*cked up work through their challenges. You’ll get advice and tools to combat negative self-talk and feel more empowered.” (Bustle)
“Meet Gary John Bishop, the straight-talking Glaswegian taking the self-help world by storm.” (Sunday Herald)
“Packed with valuable words that encourage you to abandon self-doubt and fear so you can finally live your best life.” (Buzzfeed)
From the Back Cover
Wake up. You’re a fu*king miracle of being.
What’s standing in the way of you living your best life? Most people would reference things like relationships with other people, money, their job, or unfortunate circumstances. None of these explanations make any difference. Through decades of working with people as a personal development coach, Gary John Bishop has discovered that the barrier is one thing only: you. If you’re easily offended, stop reading now. This isn’t the book for you.
But if you’re looking for a book that gives you the power to find everything you ever wanted residing within you like a well of potential, waiting to be expressed, you’re in luck. Unfu*k Yourself is the handbook for the resigned and defeated, a manifesto for real life change and unleashing your own greatness.
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One of my biggest gripes with this text is that Gary seems to contradict himself throughout it and complicates his overall message. He is adamant that this is not another self-help book that focuses on positive thinking; however, it is one of the first concepts he introduces. In sum, he teaches that assertive language affects emotions, feelings, and ultimately decision making and that one should engage in healthy inner dialogue. He also later bashes the quote, "Change your thoughts, change your life," calling it bullsh*t. Where he is attempting to go with this is to say that actions speak louder than words and no matter what you think, unless you take action, your life will not change.
Okay, this is fine but he took a six-word quote and said it was invalid over the course of ~200 pages. The problem is that he views ideas singularly and criticizes them in isolation; however, if you took any one of his chapters singularly, it would contradict his overall philosophy. For instance, positive self-talk is useless without his later instructions on asserting and acting on them. Overall, I think the overt criticism of other ideas throughout the text followed up with very similar approaches hurt the message Gary was trying to send to his readers. You may find yourself confused or frustrated without having a deeper understanding of some of the philosophies on which Gary touches. In the end, Gary pulls it together but it may take a while to see the differences he is attempting to portray--the book could have been more concise and focused.
Another gripe would be that on page 21 he tells you that if you are easily offended not to read his book and to give it away immediately. The very next page he claims, "I have designed this book to be as accessible and useful to as many people as possible." Really, is anyone proof-reading this thing? Look, if you're going to be a self-help coach how can you tell the people who may need to hear your words the most, to shove off? This move was very Nietzsche-esque in that he believed he was a writer for everyone and yet no one at the same time. But Nietzsche was writing critical philosophy and engaging his own ideas--he wasn't writing it for them and that's why he didn't care if anyone read what he wrote. Gary, is writing for the people who he believes need help--that is his profession. So why scare away people who need the help?
TLDR: This book is a bit all over the place but does come together in a way that you will be able to understand by the end. If you are not well versed in philosophy and psychology, give it a go as it won't cost you an arm and a leg or too much of your time. Gary, I think you're doing good work but would encourage you to collaborate with some colleagues on condensing your thesis. I would also advise you to encourage your readers/clients while staying true to your no-bullsh*t approach as these do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Each chapter is based on a self affirmation that you are supposed to believe and repeat to yourself just like every other self help book ever written. Except this one is written kinda edgy with curse words scattered throughout to make it seem cool.
Also, the paperback version is "214" pages long. I use that number in quote because the book uses a large font and there huge spaces between paragraphs and between each chapter there is like 4 or 5 empty pages with some huge quote on them. If this book was formatted like a normal book. It would be about 80 pages long.
Chapter 5 ends on page 120. Chapter 6 starts on page 127
Chapter 6 ends on page 144. Chapter 7 starts on page 151