Stuck Book Review

Life is full of pitfalls. We have all lost something or someone. It’s how we deal with those pitfalls and losses that defines us and allows us to grow.

But what if we are stuck, and still mired in those pitfalls and losses?

Anneli Rufus 2008 book, Stuck: Why We Can’t Or Won’t Move Forward talks about the many reason that some of us are stuck. We may have developed bad habits over a lifetime. We know we want to move forward in lives and in our jobs, but something keeps us from moving forward. Or we may have experienced a traumatic event that shook up our world and scared the sh*t out of us.

Exploring the vast number of reasons that we get stuck, Ms. Rufus breaks these reasons down in a way that is both articulate and down to earth. Our reasons for remaining stuck may be fear, denial or even an ingrained idea that our culture has taught us that doesn’t somehow feel right. One of the things that caught me off guard was that most of the interviewees were raised in families who ranked in the higher levels of socio-economic rank in America.  Ms. Rufus herself admitted that she was raised in a middle class home with two educated, intelligent, loving parents.

If it is true that the interviewees represent those of us who are fortunate to be raised in a good home with good parents, then why are we stuck? Is it the culture that emphasizes material wealth over everything else? Are we so bored with our middle class lives that we have to create emotional trauma to feel anything? Or are we just ungrateful for what we have?

I don’t have the answers to those questions, but I do know that this book is good and I recommend it.


Unworthy Book Review

On the surface, many of us may seem to have it all. A thriving career, loving family, healthy children, supportive spouse or romantic partner, etc.  But underneath all of that, many of us have a secret darkness. This darkness call us names. Tell us that we are stupid, ugly, unworthy, unloved, etc. It keeps us from living our lives to the fullest and fulfilling our dreams.

Anneli Rufus’s non fiction book, Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself is not the average self help book on low self esteem. Unlike many self help books on the subject that from from psychiatrists and doctors that come off as snooty and know it all, this book comes from one of us. Ms. Rufus writes in great detail the reasons for her lack of self esteem. She interviews a variety of people and borrows snippets of press interviews from some well known celebrities who suffered in secret from internal self hatred.

I enjoyed this book. Ms. Rufus writes from a place of understanding. She is one of us, looking in the mirror and see what is wrong with her instead of what is right with her. What I enjoyed about the book was the honest telling of her own fight with low self esteem. She encourages her readers to fight the negative thoughts and anxiety that are so pervasive and persuasive in our lives.

This fight is not easy, but it is worth it.

I recommend this book.

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