Author: Emma Gannon
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date of publication: September 2020
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Bought it myself
Number of pages: 128
We all have a relationship with self-sabotage, a tendency to put barriers in the way of our progression and our happiness – at home and at work, both on and offline.
Sabotage is a book about challenging these behaviours, digging a little deeper into why that unhelpful voice can creep up on us. Procrastination, jealousy, inner critic: how can we overcome these obstacles? How do we stop getting in our own way?
Exploring real-life stories of success and setbacks from leading cultural voices, Emma Gannon searches for experiences, solutions and ways to look differently at what’s really holding us back.
This is the handbook you need to slay your own sabotage.
Thanks to Instagram and a few excellent recommendations, I promised myself I would read more non-fiction. In December, I picked up Sabotage by Emma Gannon. It fits in your pocket, it is hope-green, and it goes straight to the point. Also, I love that the word is the same in English and in French (with a nicer sound in English!)
‘How to Silence Your Inner Critic and Get Out of Your Own Way’
I don’t know about you, but I am my worst enemy. It has been this way for as long as I can remember. I have dreams and hopes and goals, but standing between them and me, is ME (yes, I can duplicate myself). It took me a long time to recognize my behavior, even more to realize I could do something about it, and it took this book to give me the tools to better fight my inner voice.
The best example of my self-sabotage is how I confronted my school days. I was absolutely terrified to fail, but more than that, I was terrified to do my best and fail anyway. So I would lose all energy or will to study, and give up before even trying. It was easier to accept the bad results if I could blame it on the fact I hadn’t worked for it. I could not bear the thought of giving a test all I had and not getting the right result. How crazy is that? I settled for nothing instead of giving myself a chance to fly… and yes, maybe crash straight on the ground, but also maybe win. The worst is it didn’t make me feel better. Just guilty and lost!
Sabotage really talked to me. The author’s words hit right where it used to hurt, but also where it still hurt! It’s one thing to be vaguely aware of your behavior, it’s another to read about it and acknowledge that you are self-sabotaging!
What I liked best with this wee book is that Emma Gannon doesn’t lecture the reader or make you feel inferior because she does better. Instead, she shares her ups and downs, which made me feel really close to her. It it somehow reassuring to know you are not alone having those feelings, doubting your worth, keeping yourself away from what you really want. It somehow validated my feelings, but most importantly, it helped me want to help me! Yes, you read that right. At the end of each chapter, Emma gives a few ideas and tools to help reframe our mindset, get rid of our bad habits, and remind us of what we are capable of. This is no magic book, you have to do your part, but there are so many stories, so much information, than even weeks after having read the book, you still think about it, remember what it whispers in your ear, and you push your feet in the right direction.
Each chapter tells a story, and Emma shares her own, accompanied by scientific research or more information from specialists. It felt like having a conversation with friends. The down-to-earth, light and humorous tone of the book all make sure you never feel you are reading one of those books who claim to have all the answers and judge you. Sabotage is a real friend against the mean voice in your head. I am slaying my self-sabotage everyday thanks to Emma and her little green book, and for this, I am grateful. In fact, I learned so much that I highlighted half the book and use all quotes and advice.
Here are a couple of examples to show you exactly what I mean and why I think this book is vital.
Having feelings is an essential part of being human, but actually feeling our feelings can be difficult.
My favorite: There is one thing we can control and that is our relationship with ourselves.
I could add dozens of quotes, but I sincerely believe you need this book. Yes, you, whoever you are.
An absolute must-read
Thank you to Ain Chiara for recommending this book on Instagram.
I can’t wait for Emma’s next book, (Dis)Connected!