Take Control of Your Life: How To Silence Fear and Win The Mental Game
By Mel Robbins

I was interested in this book, only available as an audio book, because Mel Robbins is a name in the self-development industry, and one that many people revere. And I can see why. Apart from being full of wisdom and eye-opening moments, this book is genuinely entertaining. Mel is what you might call a straight-talker. With a career as a TV host, CNN commentator and motivational speaker, her TEDx talks get zillions of views. She is used to being heard and she’s definitely worth hearing.

This book is all about what we internalise during childhood from even the most minor negative incidents and how these affect our identity as adults. We believe we are bad at exams/sport/relationships because that’s what our childhood experiences told us. This can turn us into people-pleasers or chameleons trying to fit in, or just paralyse us with fear of failure. Ever tried desperately to impress the wrong people? You’ll love this book.

Thankfully we change the narrative now we are older and wiser, by adopting a ‘growth mindset’ rather than a fixed one and getting good at things (even those things we think we’re rubbish at) by putting in time and effort. In this way we relearn what we believe about ourselves and open ourselves up to leaving fearlessly.

The case studies are both moving and enlightening because you really get to understand what fear does to people and how a change of mindset can be transformational. These stories also help to break up the book and give you a breather from Mel and her huge personality and the relentless calling out of unhelpful thinking. It has to be said though that there’s so much wisdom in what she says that it’s really worth hearing. A month later and I’m still catching myself instantly reframing negative thoughts more positively. The message seems to have got through.

Marina Gask