Girl, Stop Apologizing Summary

One Paragraph Summary Do you feel trapped in all your duties as the head of a family? Do you struggle to make room for your own needs and wants? Rachel Hollis presents some practical advice in her empowering guide on how to break free. And yes, there is still room to be a great wife and mom.

Girl, Stop Apologizing Summary

Girl, Stop Apologizing—A Shame-Free Plan For Embracing and Achieving Your Goals
A book by Rachel Hollis

  By writing this book summary, I learned the following three things:

  • It is harder for women to chase their dreams than for men
  • People close to you might be the biggest hurdle you need to take when you want to be successful
  • Most advice Hollis gives to women apply to men as well

Key Ideas

A goal is a dream with its work boots on.―Rachel Hollis

Break free from concerns what others are thinking

As a woman, you may have many desires that do not align well with being a good mom and wife. These wished are reasonable, and you should not apologize for having such aspirations. Chase your dreams instead.

There are ways you can have both a family and your own life.

Do not neglect your dreams

Imagine you could pursue your dreams without getting judged and without self-doubts.

It is a fact that most women do not go after their dreams. There are different reasons for this.

According to Hollis, most women are raised to become a good wife and mom. Therefore they develop behaviors that comfort other people. Society often expects that woman neglect their desires.

There are many excuses women use not to follow their desires.

Stop making excuses

When women have their first child, they are reducing work hours, because this is what is expected by the people around them. Most women give way because they fear that someone will judge them as being poor moms. Although this is commonly the case, this fact is used as an excuse by women not to pursue their individual goals.

Another excuse might be telling oneself not to be a goal-oriented person.

Take ownership of your life and stop making excuses

We all have heard someone say Sounds great, but I don't have time.. Often we rightly conceive this answer as being an excuse. But did you catch yourself giving the same response? Did you had no time, or did you use the lack of time as a convenient excuse? We all have a busy schedule, so we think it is a credible excuse. But still, most often it is an excuse.

Don't look for free time in your schedule; start making time for your most important goals!

Marie Forleo stresses the importance of this point in her book Everything is Figureoutable as well.

The first step in making free time is to become aware of how you spend your time. Try this experiment: for one week, write down how you spend each hour that week. It will make it visible where you can get those five hours needed to work on your goal.

Besides the time excuse, often, we use the lack of knowledge as an excuse. Accept that this is an excuse as well. Nowadays, there are so many ways to learn new skills. Online learning platform Khan Academy is only one of them.

Learn to be selfish

Imagine you have to study for your Ph.D. You will have to spend so much time on your studies that you only have one chance to achieve the massive work ahead. You have to make time for your learning endeavor. Being selfish in this period of your life is critical for your success. You need to do your job. A natural consequence is that there will be less time for friends and family.

But real friends will understand why you have less time. And if not, stop wasting time worrying about what they think.

Only you know how important your dreams are for you. Don't allow judgmental jerks to get in your way.

When everything is important, nothing is important

As a woman, you do not have to be demure and see what life has to provide. Instead, you should embrace your dreams and make them a reality.

But don't chase all of your dreams in one big project. It is better to find an essential goal first. If you do not know where to focus on, try a technique the author describes in her book.

Envision how your life looks like in 10 years from now. Be very specific and think of all the details. What are you wearing, where do you live, how do you work, how do you spend your free time.

Now think of ten dreams that support your one big vision. Again with great detail. When you have written down your ten ideas, pick the one that seems most important to you.

Now that you know what your first big project is, you should make that goal specific and measurable. I want to live a good life, is not accurate and not measurable.

Do not ask anybody for permission; ask for help instead.

Your lifestyle needs to be aligned with your goals

It will be nearly impossible to successfully pursue your dreams if you do not live a supportive lifestyle.

Living a supportive lifestyle means that you should ensure that you get enough sleep, that you stay healthy, and get enough exercise. Those are the apparent lifestyle elements.

But you can make more lifestyle choices to align your life with your goals.

For example, you shouldn't be the smartest person in the circle of your friends. Surround yourself with people who can give you the supportive feedback and constructive criticism needed to be successful.

A solid morning routine can also enhance the chances for your endeavors to be successful.

Planning is an essential skill you can learn

Most of us are terrible at planning because we never learned how to do it properly. It is nothing we learn in school.

Here is a small exercise that gets you going.

Imagine you have completed your goal. How does it look like? Now think of all the steps necessary that would be needed to reach this end goal. What are the three most crucial mile markers which let to the imagined outcome? Write all the required steps down and make them sub-goals to achieve. That means make them specific and measurable.

First Insight: It is harder for women to chase their dreams than for men

By embracing your calling and refusing to hide your glow, you wouldn't just make your world brighter, you'd light the way for the women who come behind you.―Rachel Hollis

It is hard for all of us to identify the things that we want to achieve in life. Then when you know what it is you want to do with your life, it is even harder to go down that road.

With all the expectations that society is putting on women, it is even harder to pursue a goal. But Hollis has done it, and she shares her tips on how other women can do it as well.

Second Insight: People close to you might be the biggest hurdle you need to take when you want to be successful

Embracing the idea that you can want things for yourself even if nobody else understands the whys behind them is the most freeing and powerful feeling in the world.―Rachel Hollis

We all think that our friends and families are the greatest supporters of our lives. But if you look closely, you might discover that this is not the truth. They sure will say the opposite, but many impediments I got were from people close to me.

But Hollis has a realistic view of it: There are judgmental jerks and friendly non-judgmental people.

And it doesn't matter if they belong to your family or not, you need to learn to ignore them if they are not supportive. Don't let them take away the chance to live a fulfilled life.

Third Insight: Most advice Hollis gives to women apply to men as well

You've got to plan for your success. You've got to be intentional, and you've got to decide right now that you can be whoever you want to be and achieve whatever you want to achieve. You've got to believe it.―Rachel Hollis

Most of the tips Hollis provides in her book for successfully working toward your goals apply to women and men equally.

First, you need to accept the idea that you are the owner of your life. Only then can you overcome your fear of failure, identify your goals in life, and work toward them by embracing your ambitions.


Pursuing one's dreams in life is hard. For women, it is often harder than for men, because society expects that women become good wives and moms. For men, it is often more natural because they are raised to make a career and to follow their calling.

Hollis being a mom herself, has great tips to make it possible to reach your life goals. It is not only an excellent read for women but men alike.

Stop making excuses, learning to trust yourself, and building skills necessary to chase your dreams is something precious for everybody.


  • Allow yourself to do things differently than your peers
  • Do not apologize for having unique desires
  • Do not ask for approval
  • Be true to yourself
  • Stop focusing on someone else's expectations
  • Stop making excuses
  • Be goal-oriented
  • Make time for your goals
  • Focus on one goal at a time
  • Make your goal specific and measurable
  • Build-up your confidence
  • Do not allow other people to determine your self-worth
  • Overcome insecurities through personal growth
  • Accept ownership of your life
  • Overcome fear of failure
  • Learn to ignore what other people are saying about you
  • Adopt useful behavior
  • Ask for help
  • Embrace your ambition
  • Stop asking for permission
  • Build the foundation for success
  • Live a healthy lifestyle
  • Surround yourself with people smarter than you
  • Build a good morning routine
  • Learn the skill of planning
  • Learn to break down your big goal into small steps
  • Learn to say no
  • Do not compare your beginning with someone else's career in progress

Girl, Stop Apologizing Summary—related resources

  Read more about Rachel Hollis on her website. Rachel Hollis has written one other book: Girl, Wash Your Face

Get FREE access to all of my book summary PDFs.

If you liked reading the Girl, Stop Apologizing Summary, you should also read The Art Of Non-Conformity Book Summary.

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