This is a comprehensive summary of the book Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop. Covering the key ideas and proposing practical ways for achieving what’s mentioned in the text. Written by book fanatic and online librarian Ivaylo Durmonski. Supporting Members get full access to an actionable worksheet.
Self-motivating mumbo-jumbo you’ve probably heard before. Gary John Bishop argues that we should act, even if we don’t feel like doing anything. That we’re what we do, not what we think. That we can escape the hamster wheel lifestyle if we’re willing to do the work. Unfortunately, the book doesn’t offer any real advice on how to do the things mentioned inside. It’s a very general read.
The Core Idea:
With his book, Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life, Gary John Bishop, wants to help us accept reality as it is. To slap us in the face with his edgy language so we can wake up to our true potential and make a difference in our lives. It’s a book about doing. Understanding that the only thing standing between you and your dreams is your willingness to act.
- Practice positive self-talk. Don’t think about why you can’t do something, think about how you can make it work.
- Stop blaming others and take responsability over your life. No one is here to pamper your ass.
- Life doesn’t care if you’re sick, tired, broke, or that your toe hurts. Do what needs to be done despite the hurdles along the way.
5 Key Lessons from Unfu*k Yourself:
Lesson #1: Change Your Emotional State by Creating Your Own Reality
Creating your own reality sounds like something you’ll hear when attending a spiritual meeting where the teacher is explaining how to open your spiritual chakras. Or in other words, a total BS.
“How we talk, think about, and therefore, perceive our surroundings is the very foundation for our reality,” says Gary John Bishop. Even though this is true, I’d like to add something extra that will further clarify his point:
Every time you tell yourself that you can’t do something or that you don’t have the needed skills to do it, you’re convincing yourself that this is not possible. That you’re still not ready for this, whatever it is you’re doing.
For example, even if you don’t know how to paint a picture, or how to change a tire, the least you can do is try. Try regardless of your lack of skills. A lot of times we persuade our minds that we can’t do something only because we haven’t done it before. But usually, things are no so hard to be executed. Especially nowadays where you can play a YouTube video and become a master painter.
If you hear yourself talking about how you can’t do something or that you don’t know something, stop. Stop and think for a moment. Say something like, “I’ve never done this before, but I can at least try…” Then go ahead and try.
Our emotional ecosystem is often attacked by our negative self-talk. When we think and say that we can’t do something, we surely can’t. But this often leads to emotional torment and we might feel like a total failure. In contrast, if we open our minds to the possibility that things are possible regardless of our past experiences and our initial conclusion, we will add hope. And hope is a powerful drive that can help us transform can’t into can.
Lesson #2: Stop Blaming Others
The main reason people love to complain and put all the blame on other people is twofold. Firstly, people generally don’t like taking responsibility. Secondly, their level of self-love is abnormally high and they can’t accept the fact that they’ve done something wrong.
Refusing to admit that you’ve done something wrong and start blaming outside factors for your failures is a serious felony. Not only you’re pointing the finger to someone else, but you’re missing the greater evil here. By refusing to admit
The above is also the reason so many people remain addicted to things like alcohol and narcotics. Since they don’t think they have a problem, they don’t do anything about their problem – since they don’t think there’s something wrong with sniffing cocaine from the bathroom floor.
It’s also the reason people don’t achieve anything meaningful in their lives. When people say stuff like: “My spouse is not supporting me in my ventures”; “My parents didn’t leave me anything to start a business”; “My last project failed because of the current market conditions,” they excuse themselves by playing the victim so they can keep their positive self-image.
But good things happen only to those of us who are willing to do the work and take responsibility for their actions. If what you were doing failed initially, don’t blame the people who didn’t buy from you, analyze why they didn’t. Probably your product sucks. But once you know why it sucks, you can then improve and lunch version 2.0.
Lesson #3: Replace Envy, Lust, And Desire With A Willingness To Change Your Life For The Better
You might think that we’re rational and everything we do is backed by science, data, and logic but this statement easily loses ground when you overeat with chocolate despite your desire to lose weight – again.
We’re emotional creatures. Our desires and actions are highly influenced by the way we feel. And, Oh boy! Do we have a lot of feelings in our pockets? We have an arsenal of feelings at our disposal and everything around us can trigger an emotional bomb that can either sabotage all of our progress or help us move forward. Unfortunately, in most cases, it’s usually the former.
We can’t completely block our emotions, nor we should try to do it. But you’ll become better, more productive, and more successful only when you learn to control your emotions and act despite how you feel at the moment.
So, start exercising, today. Start your business today. Go outside and talk with people about your idea. If someone said that your new product is no good, don’t start crying and abandoned your idea altogether. Ask him for feedback and see what can be improved.
Or, if you just saw an Instagram profile with better photos than yours, don’t burst in envy frenzy and desire to rip someone’s head off. Just acknowledge what you can “steal” from your competitors so you can apply it on your own photos.
Lesson #4: Life Won’t Pause And Wait For You
No matter how you feel or where you are at the moment, life won’t just pause and wait for you. Life doesn’t care if you’re sick, tired, broke, alone, lazy, depressed, or everything else you could think of as an excuse for not doing the work you should be doing. Life moves forward, whether you like it or not. The sooner you realize this the better.
If you want to do something, you have a meaningful goal, for example, the setbacks you face are your problem. There rarely is someone who shares the same views and interests as yours. Meaning, it’s your job to figure out a way through the muddy and uncertain path lies ahead.
If you put things off or you avoid them completely because you think that life will be lenient and patient with you, you’re just fooling yourself.
Lesson #5: There Are Two Steps To Freedom
At the end of the book, Gary John Bishop shares his two-step process of achieving freedom – financial, emotional, freedom in general.
Here’s the simple formula:
- Stop doing what you’re currently doing: There are certainly a lot of unuseful tasks that only waste your time: social media, watching stupid things online, shopping, gossip, lying around on your couch and playing video games. As mentioned, your goals don’t care if you’re tired after work. That’s just another excuse. If you really want to move forward and complete a dream project of yours, stop and take a look at your life. Identify the behaviors that are holding you back and do your best to stop doing them.
- Start taking actions to propel you forward: It’s quite simple, right? You simply define the actions that will make you better in the desired area and you just execute. There’s nothing special about this step. It’s simply work. No one says that it’s going to be easy though. A lot of times reaching a goal, landing a new job, finding the right partner takes a lot of time. That’s why a lot of people quit along the way. But there isn’t an easier way.
- Progress: For this action, I’ll quote a sentence from the book: “Become someone who progresses even when all seems lost.” Regardless of how you feel, keep going towards your goals.
- Doing: Doing should be your action word. Because only doing can move you closer to where you want to be.
- Stop with the excuses: Yes, you’re probably tired, overworked, sick. You may even have grown in the ghetto but no one gives a damn about these things. You can spend all day complaining or all day doing what you know you should be doing. It’s up to you.
- Stop doing things that are not beneficial: List all of the things that are not helping you progress in your life. Things like spending time on social, eating junk food, talking with stupid people. Track down when and why you’re doing them and do your best to stop.
- Start doing the things that are helping you: Once the above is done, list all of the things you know you should be doing. Things like eating healthy, exercising, working on your side hustle. Think about how you can add them in your life and make sure you follow your schedule.
Commentary And My Personal Takeaway
I usually don’t say this but you don’t need to read this book. Everything you need to know it’s above – in the summary you’ve just read.
Despite the loud title and the promise for groundbreaking life advice, there’s nothing you haven’t heard before. Recycled ideas we’ve all heard before. To be honest, I find Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop bloated and a bit repetitive. Actually, quite repetitive. The author keeps on saying the same thing, over and over again in the book, like an old broken record, – “keep doing, be willing, be relentless.” Yeah, like we don’t know. But how to be all of those things? We should figure it out on our own because the author doesn’t give us anything close to practical advice.
I’m surprised how this copy was published with so many sentences saying the same thing. But hey, at least the title is cool, right?
“Many found themselves on the verge of giving up at numerous occasions along the way. They didn’t succeed because they were certain they were going to succeed; They succeeded because they didn’t let uncertainty stop them. They did it anyway. They ignored their doubts and kept pushing forward.” Gary John Bishop
“As you’ve probably noticed, when you do try to stay in your comfort zone, you never truly feel comfortable. There’s always that nagging feeling that you could be doing more. There’s always that desire for a life that’s better than the one you have now. The more we try to stay comfortable today, the more uncomfortable we’ll be tomorrow. There really is no destination, there is only exploring, exploring and exploring.” Gary John Bishop
“Stop doing all that shit you know you shouldn’t be doing and start doing all the shit you know you should be doing.” Gary John Bishop