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Book Review How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t

This book is written by Andrea Owen, a podcaster, international motivational speaker, retreat leader, and author of 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life. This 2019 book contains things that become your habits and keep you from feeling happy.

I first discovered this book a year after it was published. At that time I had to recover from various feelings after resigning and losing my parents.

I hope that I can quickly rise from the sadness and depression that is currently being experienced. However, there were many things that I expected from reading this book.

This book seems to tell me that sadness, adversity, including finally deciding to resign have something to do with my habits of behavior and feelings that I have unknowingly had for a long time. In short, this book was able to tell me how my past habits made me disrespect myself and finally allowed negative feelings to enter.

Andrea Owen, the author of this book, has succeeded in providing stories that relate to our daily lives as well as the feelings that accompany them. She shared that there are 14 things that actually prevent us from being happy. What are they? Read it to the end!


14 Habits That Prevent You From Being Happy

I will give a little review on every thing that is discussed by Andrea Owen.

1. Inner Criticism

Without realizing it, each of us has his own inner criticism. It is up to us whether we listen more to our inner criticism or turn it into something more positive. The inner criticism is in the form of self-criticism and unfounded judgments, such as "can you really do it?", "no one has ever liked your writing", "many are better than you", ....

How have you started to discover what your inner critic is all this time?

This inner criticism can exist in every part of life that ultimately influences your actions. For example, you may start to feel insecure about your appearance because your inner criticism says so.

I learned a lot from this book how I began to trace one by one the events where this inner criticism was very influential, such as in the past, appearance, work, relationships, and future.

In terms of how this inner condemnation affects our view of the future is when it tries to convince us that our future will be as bad as our past. Even though the fact is that the past has happened and the good or bad is only a lesson, the future has not yet happened and we can still change it for the better.

2. Self-isolating

The second thing that keeps you from being happy is always allowing yourself to isolate yourself. You often use the excuse that you are introverted and prefer to be alone. Maybe in some circumstances you like it, but you start to feel alone and lonely but force yourself to withdraw from society and try to look okay.

3. Numb

When things don't go the way you want or when you're faced with a problem, you're more likely to find your escape in other things. You can run to listen to music, withdraw from society, get drunk, even use drugs. Yes, here you are trying to numb yourself by escaping from reality.

Yet if you are willing to face it, the image of discomfort and difficulty may not be as severe as you think. It's just our fear.

4. Comparing yourself

The presence of social media today makes it very easy for you to start comparing your life with others. Whereas social media is a place where all good things exist.

5. Self-sabotage

Many of us are still stuck in other people's standards of living. You've been living the way other people want you all this time.

By having a lot of money, then you feel accepted, praised, considered positive, and loved. But when there is no money you will be scolded, thrown away, vilified, and considered arrogant. Therefore, you are desperately working to earn more money from time to time.

You want to have a nice car? What for? To be accepted, so as not to be considered poor? You don't think about whether you really need the car. Because you buy a car it is still based on the standards of a good car according to others.

6. Fraud complex

Often we don't appreciate self-achievement by saying things like just, just, only. For example, when you help other people, you will say "it's just a small gift, it's not much". The intention of the heart wants to be humble but over time you get caught up in negative things that make you feel worthless.

7. Likes to please others and ask for the blessing of others

I'm one of those who do this often. This part is indeed a little complicated with self-sabotage, because I want to please everyone so that they are accepted and considered good. I started to get stressed and depressed when I faced criticism from people and knew I wasn't good enough for them.

The thing to remember from Andrea Owen's message is that other people's happiness is not your responsibility. We need to avoid taking things personally (no need to assume/guess other people's feelings, whether he is angry, disliked, let it be their own feelings).

8. The prison of perfectionism

Not infrequently also act perfectionists in their daily lives. At first glance it looks good but doesn't this show you are afraid of making mistakes and afraid of failure?

Throwing away perfectionism doesn't mean being lazy. You can still achieve what you want by aiming for yourself (glory) not for others (looking perfect).

In the end, perfectionism exists because of fear. Fear of being considered stupid, fear of not being accepted and fear of not being judged well.

9. Be strong

"Be strong, stay strong". It turns out that this sentence is toxic positivity. Because being strong takes a process and it means holding back feelings, ignoring them and pretending to be fine in front of other people. It's okay to show yourself that you're vulnerable, it's part of accepting it and being strong with a new perspective.

Don't be hyper independent who thinks you can do everything yourself because it will only destroy you. Other people's compliments that you're strong are temporary, but you don't really win until the end of your life.

10. Controlling others

It's pointless and only hurts yourself. Because it's too much control over everything. Try to let go to be more calm and happy, believe in yourself and others.

11. Disaster thinker

If you feel anxious more often, it means that you are not able to enjoy happiness because you are too prepared for a disaster that may occur.

Although being prepared is good, it can be addictive and difficult to feel happy. Because it will be very difficult to feel grateful.

12. Blaming others

It's often easier to blame someone else for a problem. So that they can escape responsibility and run away.

Try to fix it. Our often disconnected relationships can be because we like to blame others for our own shortcomings. Face it and if you have to leave then leave don't hold on just to wait for him to realize his mistake.

13. Cynicism doesn't care

When you get hurt because of someone's attitude, you will say "I don't care about him anymore". When you say you don't care, you are ignoring who you really are. Because no one can be completely indifferent to anyone or anything. Even when we are abused and have inner criticisms, we can't really be indifferent.

How to handle it? You can find out from this Andrea Owen book, or leave a comment below for us to discuss.

14. Excessive achievements

You are not defined by your achievements. You are just you, without all your victories, still amazing. You are great as you are. Not what you managed to achieve.


At the end of each discussion Andrea Owen asks questions that help us discover that trash feeling, where it comes from, and how to deal with it.

The key to happiness that Andrea Owen wants to convey by mentioning the things that become our habits is change. Because only change can make us a different and happier person.

Change does not happen in a short time. It takes a process even up to years, everyone has their own ability to change because they need self-awareness and self-acceptance.

Many variables affect the change itself, including self-awareness and environmental factors. It takes a strong and persistent will to change. In addition, if the environment does not support or even makes it difficult for us to get out of these habits, then the process will take longer.

I am an introvert, I don't like it, and I often try to please many people. I learned from this book that there are also many people who, like me, are bound by habits and thoughts that have been ingrained since childhood. With them share life stories from different cases.

In addition, I also learned that no matter how bad it is if we want to change then nothing is impossible. Keep going and don't want to be like trash all the time.

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