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DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING: Putting Life Back Together When Your World Falls Apart

Book summary.

DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING: is a small book about big feelings.

Andrea Seydel Book Doula, Writing Coach and Founder of LLH Publishing

Whether past or present, Rachel’s book functions as a compass, guiding readers as we traverse our way through the traumas and trouble life heaves our way. Hollis, a feisty go-getter and a powerhouse of a woman, uses optimism as a superpower to combat life’s ills. She uses compassion, humour and admonishes readers in a sisterly way, not with harsh criticism but genuine love, tough love, to help us take ownership of the areas we are able, whether mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, or spiritually. Rachel is that cheerleader who implores us to face our deepest hurts, helps us wrestle with our vulnerabilities and insecurities, and shows us how we can utilize our struggles as stepping stones to step into our truths and authentic selves. Her validation means the world to many— that our journeys are purposeful and not in vain.

Identify the New You

Speak your truth every day

Have the courage to admit who you are, even if it’s only to yourself first. When you claim a new identity of yourself, you’ll always wear something daily as a reminder of your truth.

Create boundaries for yourself

Every time someone in your life does something to upset you, it’s because you’re being selfish to admit it’s hurting you. It is when you need a boundary. Remember, you are who you want to be. You’re n charge. It means you’re free to say ‘no’ to things that you do not feel. Be willing to draw those lines for your good.

Acknowledge that identities evolve

People can and do change. Evolution is uncomfortable, but that’s normal. Frame ‘change’ as a positive attribute to move forward with your life.

Stop Questioning Your Suffering

Set your intentions for your journey

The older you become, the more you understand that you get to choose how you do anything. Identify how you want to show up to yourself, your friends, family, coworkers.

Get yourself a judgement-free zone

Accountability? Yes. Judgement? Never. Although we’re all on an individual journey, it’s essential to have someone to process with: judgement-free.

Go first

Start opening up to the people around you. See if some people in your life are just as willing to be as authentic as you are.

Try on Another Perspective

Ask yourself if this is real.

Our minds are incredible, and if you’re not careful, just thinking about the possibility of something terrible happening can make us feel as if something terrible has happened.

Step outside of your perspective

Once you know the reality, it’s time to separate yourself from your emotions. Even a momentary pause can give you space to make the shift you need.

See if you can make the opposite true.

See if you can find a way for the opposite of what you’re thinking to be true. Once you have the newfound perspective, you’ll start challenging the beliefs you’re clinging to and forces you to see the obstacle differently.

Aim yourself with examples of the perspective you want

You are an average of the people you surround yourself with regularly. If you’re going to be great, surround yourself with people who think and act the same way. Look for people who fill your awareness with positivity and light.

Change Your Mind About Getting Better

Research specific problems

Instead of googling ‘best books for personal development, focus on the areas you’re struggling with the most. There’re countless approaches to learn about things you’re going through, and that abundance of choice can feel overwhelming at times. So, dig into the topic you need, not just the category.

Learn in the way that works best for you

If you try to absorb in a way that works for others but feels hard for you, it’s a waste of time.

Try a different approach.

One of the telltale signs of a fixed mindset is thinking that things won’t work out after trying one time. Keep trying different approaches until you stumble one that helps.

Hack Your Courage

Know that you can figure it out

If you do something wrong (which you inevitably will), learn how to do it right. You’ll become less afraid over time. Always remember that you can try again in a different way until you figure it out.

Study the courageous

Until you can do it yourself, read about others who have done it before you. Learn to be a better parent. Learn to be a better entrepreneur. Learn to be a better person. There are so many examples of leaders and warriors fighting valiantly for the things they believed in their lives.

Face your fear already!

The longer you hesitate, the bigger the fear becomes. Fill in the blank: “the thing I’m afraid of most right now is…” Follow up with this: “If that happens, I’ll…”. After that, answer: “And once that happens, I’ll…”. Keep asking yourself and try to come up with answers. So much of your fear is unknown because you haven’t given yourself a road map for your hypothetical scenario.

Show Up

Get the kind of help that you need.

You have to figure out what works best for you and what help you need most, even if it doesn’t make sense to others. Every single one of us responds to stress in different ways based on a ton of various factors.

Be fanatical about managing your stress.

Take care of yourself first to show up well to your family, business, community. You can’t pour from an empty cup, especially in times of crisis. The kind of self-care you need every day is staying hydrated, eating healthy foods, taking your supplements, staying away from social media and most importantly, getting enough sleep.

Get Real About Your Finances

Finances can be learned

Nobody, including Warren Buffet and Janet Yellen, ever came into this world with financial wisdom. They have learned thousands of things throughout their lives, and you know what it means. You can do that too.

Understand your financial perspective

If you have bad feelings about money, is it about the past that has made you feel this way? Were you raised to hold a particular belief about money? Answering this is powerful to shape your perspective about money.

Get guidance

If you weren’t raised to have a healthy relationship with money, then it’ll likely be helpful for you to have some guidance. There are countless advisors and so many ways people you can contact for support.

From her trove of grief, Hollis unearths some of her most sacred and sorrowful stories that expose her humanity in its rawest form—ones that include relationship struggles, people-pleasing, negativity, character attack and assumption, divorce, business floundering, and death. One of her most potent renderings is when she recounts her brother’s suicide at a young age. Hollis says, “I know you didn’t plan to walk down this path, but you’re on it. I know if you’ve made it this far, you are strong enough to see it through. You will get through this. You will. Humans can endure anything so long as they cling to hope for what tomorrow will bring.”

The main takeaway is the message that we always have a choice.

The Unconventional Book Club

Andrea Seydel


‎Live Life Happy- Andrea Seydel on Apple Podcasts (link)


MindMeister: Online Mind Mapping and Brainstorming (link)

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