Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis Book Summary

Welcome to the summary of ‘Girl, Wash Your Face,’ where author Rachel Hollis helps you realize the importance of keeping your promises, pursuing your dreams relentlessly, and embracing the chaos of life. 

In this enlightening guide, Hollis emphasizes the need for self-love, patience, and the value of a diverse community. 

Read on to learn how transforming your mindset and setting realistic, tangible goals can lead to positive changes in your life and help you become the person you were meant to be


“Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis is a motivational book that encourages readers to keep promises to themselves, relentlessly chase their dreams, and embrace the chaos of life. It emphasizes the importance of self-love, setting achievable goals, maintaining health and body confidence, and the enriching power of diverse friendships. The book suggests concrete goals for motivation and shares personal anecdotes to inspire readers to become the best versions of themselves.

Keeping Promises to Yourself 

We often have a habit of breaking promises made to ourselves, just like an unreliable friend. This frequent letdown damages our trust in ourselves.

By making realistic commitments and sticking to them, we can train our minds to achieve better self-expectations and, ultimately, a more rewarding life. 

Have you ever promised to go for a run, only to abandon the idea of a happy-hour cocktail instead? 

Or have you gotten excited about learning French but lost interest after a few classes?

We frequently break promises made to ourselves, and it’s important to realize the impact of such behaviour.

Imagine a hypothetical friend named Pam who constantly cancels plans at the last moment, using flimsy excuses like, “I can’t meet for tennis because I need to watch another episode of this Netflix show.”

Pam frequently says she’s starting a diet but is soon caught devouring a pepperoni pizza with a large Coke.

You would probably become frustrated by Pam’s unreliable behaviour.

But when we break our promises, like skipping that run or French class, we treat ourselves just like Pam.

Though it may not seem significant at the time, these broken promises undermine our own self-trust.

To counter this pattern, focus on forming a habit of keeping promises to yourself. Start by making them attainable.

For example, if you want to run a half-marathon, don’t immediately commit to signing up and completing one.

Instead, promise to run one mile daily, four times a week – a more achievable goal. Once you prove yourself capable, you can incrementally increase your commitment, like running two miles four times a week.

By consistently keeping promises to yourself, you’ll train your mind to meet higher expectations, enabling yourself to fulfil future commitments.

So, strive to keep those promises and avoid becoming a disappointing “friend” like Pam.

No Dream Denied

The secret to success lies in never accepting “no” as an answer while pursuing your dreams.

In a world where people often let fear or the opinions of others dictate their paths, it’s important to stay committed to your goals, even in the face of multiple rejections.

Success stories of acclaimed individuals such as Julia Child and James Cameron demonstrate the significance of patience and persistence in achieving greatness.

So, when chasing your dreams, do not be deterred by setbacks or negative feedback; keep believing, and never take “no” for an answer.

The key to the author’s success was her unwavering determination to achieve her dreams despite repeated rejections.

She fought against publisher demands to change the core of her work and found success by remaining true to her vision.

Like her novel, Party Girl, which has sold over a hundred thousand copies, great accomplishments are possible when you refuse to compromise on your dreams.

Many aspiring achievers falter due to impatience, abandoning their dreams when progress appears slow.

However, major accomplishments require time and resilience. Julia Child took ten years to write her iconic book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which remains a bestseller.

Similarly, James Cameron’s groundbreaking film Avatar was 15 years in the making, ultimately becoming the highest-grossing movie ever.

Both Child and Cameron faced their share of sceptics and setbacks, but they never gave up.

Instead, they persevered and achieved remarkable success because of their steadfast devotion to their dreams.

It’s essential to remember that the path to success is often long and arduous, demanding not only talent and hard work but also unwavering belief in oneself and one’s dreams.

As you embark on your own journey toward greatness, remember that every rejection or delay is a test of your resolve.

Taking “no” for an answer is easy, but true success belongs to those who refuse to give up on their dreams. Overcome obstacles, ignore naysayers, and embrace your ambition; you, too, can achieve the unthinkable.

Unlocking Exceptional Intimacy

An initially unsatisfying sex life can be transformed by embracing one’s body, focusing on female orgasms, and committing to having good sex.

These deliberate actions will lead to stronger connection, experimentation, and a more satisfying experience for both partners, making sex a vital and exciting part of their lives.

When the author began her journey of marital intimacy, she had virtually zero experience with sex. With no real education on the subject and out of touch with her sexuality, she reluctantly agreed to sex but never truly embraced it.

Her lack of enthusiasm affected her and her husband, who found their intimacy lacklustre. Today, however, their sex life is nothing short of extraordinary, and they enjoy more physical intimacy than one might expect from a busy mother of four.

So, how did they manage this transformation?

First, the author learned to accept and love her body. Feeling insecure in one’s naked form can ruin the ability to enjoy sex.

It’s important to understand that your partner is excited by your intimacy and isn’t focused on your perceived imperfections.

To overcome insecurities, practice positive self-talk, affirming your attractiveness and sexiness. Eventually, you’ll start to believe it.

Next, the author prioritized orgasms – specifically, her own. Female orgasms are not mere “cherries on top” of sex.

They are the main course! By committing to have sex that always includes her orgasms, the author and her husband became more focused on mutual pleasure.

This led to a much more fulfilling and enjoyable experience for both. Lastly, the author committed to having sex every day for a month, with no excuses.

This challenge allowed her and her husband to experiment and try new things in their intimate life.

Surprisingly, they also discovered that the more sex they had, the more they desired each other’s company.

So, whether it’s a “sexy September” or a “naughty November,” committing to a month of daily intimacy can help create lasting habits that reinvigorate and strengthen your relationship.

Embrace the Chaos

Life is full of chaos, especially for busy moms, and it’s important to know how to navigate it effectively.

Instead of trying to control the chaos, embrace it. Laugh at absurd situations and accept help when it’s offered.

Remember, it’s easier to swim with instead of against the tide. As a mom, you’ve likely experienced the chaotic twists and turns life can throw your way.

Sometimes, it’s difficult not to feel overwhelmed. Despite the urge to fight against it or see chaos as a symbol of personal failure, the truth is that you can’t control everything, only yourself.

To better manage life’s unpredictable moments, embrace the chaos instead. Start by looking for humour in those chaotic situations.

There was a time when the author and her husband were going through the certification process to become foster parents.

A social worker was interviewing their children when their son shared a story that threatened to not only derail their chances of fostering but also potentially have their existing children taken away.

Luckily, the story was merely a misunderstanding, but the moment taught them the power of laughter in an otherwise tense situation.

So, when chaos arises, remember that the more ridiculous the circumstances, the more humour you can find.

Another crucial step in embracing chaos is accepting help from others. Think about the anecdote of the man who refused help from three different people while drowning.

He claimed that God would save him, and he ended up dying. In heaven, God told him, “I sent you three life rafts!” Keep this message in mind when help is offered to you, whether it’s your mother-in-law providing childcare or your spouse assisting with laundry.

Saying yes to these “life rafts” will make navigating the chaotic waters of life much smoother.

Don’t let pride or perfectionism prevent you from accepting help. Embrace the chaos, and you’ll find yourself more resilient and better equipped to handle whatever life has in store.

Embrace Healthy Body Confidence

Despite societal pressures, self-acceptance and self-love are vital; however, it is equally important to cherish your body and maintain good health.

Adjusting to your surroundings, particularly social media, and preparing a supportive environment can make it easier to work towards becoming healthier and happier with your body.

Lucky are those who have no concerns regarding their body, weight, or relationship with food.

In today’s aspirational, social-media-driven society, most struggle with health and body image to some extent.

According to the author, the answer is not simply to accept and love yourself as you are if your weight is unhealthy.

Undoubtedly, you are an incredible individual, and your Creator loves you in your current state.

However, your body, with all its strength and abilities, is a gift, and treating it poorly would be an injustice.

If this seems harsh, remember that perfection is not the ultimate goal. You don’t need to be thin or look stunning in a bikini, but being healthy enough to jog or climb stairs without gasping for air is essential.

Ultimately, the formula is simple: consume fewer calories each day than you burn, and you’ll lose weight.

Transitioning to a healthier lifestyle can be challenging, but here are two useful tips:

First, be mindful of your social media consumption.

Seeing size-zero models with glamorous hair and impossibly thin waistlines every time you log into Instagram can lead to depression, anxiety, or both.

Focus on improving yourself instead of adhering to unrealistic beauty standards.

Thus, stop following such models on Instagram, as it is not the right time to keep up with them.

Second, prioritize preparation.

Want to reach for a healthy snack instead of a cookie? Allocate time at the beginning of the week to prepare wholesome snacks and store them in the fridge.

Plan to work out in the morning? Lay out your exercise clothes before going to bed, making it as easy as possible to wake up at 6 a.m. and hit the gym rather than hitting snooze.

By making these adjustments, you can not only work towards a healthier lifestyle but also foster an improved relationship with your body, fostering a happier and more confident you.

Embracing Diversity for Personal Growth

Growing up in a sheltered, conservative town, the author’s life changed dramatically after encountering various cultures and backgrounds.

Stepping out of her comfort zone has allowed her to forge valuable friendships and recognize biases in her mindset.

By seeking experiences with diverse individuals, she encourages readers to enrich their lives and become better versions of themselves.

Once upon a time, a young girl raised in a predominantly white, conservative, and religious town in Southern California discovered a world beyond her bubble on a trip to Disneyland with her symphonic band.

This eye-opening encounter overflowed with cultural diversity as she saw men holding hands, friends of various racial backgrounds, goths, and people adorned with fascinating tattoos.

This whirlwind experience was the awakening she needed. As she grew up and evolved, the author realized the significance of being part of a community that didn’t mirror the norms she was accustomed to.

Embracing individuals who looked, believed, and loved differently allowed her to stretch her character and work towards becoming her best self.

One poignant example is the author’s friendship with an African-American and Mexican-American gay woman.

Their bond allowed the author to learn from her friend’s experiences, confront her unconscious biases, and understand the impact of certain words and actions.

Amidst the growth, their shared laughter, deep conversations, and memorable adventures solidified the value of stepping outside her comfort zone.

So, it begs the question: How comfortable are you within your present circle? Can embracing diversity enhance your life experiences?

Fortunately, there are simple ways to diversify your surroundings. For the author, this meant a change in churches that led her and her husband to a vibrant, multicultural congregation, providing them with genuine camaraderie.

The take-home message is clear – steer clear of a life filled with sameness. Welcome diversity and allow it to add layers to your life’s story. After all, who wants to read a book where all the characters are identical?

Tangible Goals Drive Success

The author showcases the power of having clear, tangible goals to keep oneself motivated.

By fantasizing about purchasing a Louis Vuitton purse when billing $10,000 in consulting fees, the author turned her dream into a realistic, achievable target.

Emphasizing the importance of visualizing and focusing on specific goals, she advises readers to make their aspirations as palpable as possible to stay driven and overcome challenges.

Despite teenage fantasies of marrying Matt Damon, the author learned that having a vivid, tangible goal is the key to staying motivated and on track.

When starting her business, she desired a Louis Vuitton Speedy purse, which symbolized glamour, style, and success to her.

Although it seemed unattainable due to its high price and her financial situation, she committed to buying the purse when she received $10,000 for her consulting services.

Over the years, her journey of working with clients, increasing her fees, and enduring tough events was fueled by the desire for that purse.

Each step of the way, its image kept her determined and driven. Eventually, after receiving her first $10,000 check, she triumphantly purchased the bag.

Focusing on a specific, attainable goal helped the author stay motivated and driven instead of being overwhelmed by the vague notion of wealth and success.

By connecting the purse to a tangible metric – a $10,000 fee – this ambition genuinely propelled her forward.

Thus, the author emphasizes making goals as vivid and concrete as possible.

Write them down, visualize them, and focus on the details. Envision the feeling of achieving that goal, such as fitting into a favorite dress again or starting the dream job.

By maintaining focus on these tangible objectives during challenging times, one is reminded to persist and continue striving for success.

Final Recap

In this compelling journey through self-discovery and self-improvement, Rachel Hollis has highlighted the power of keeping promises to oneself, relentlessly pursuing one’s dreams, and appreciating life’s inevitable chaos.

Remember, the key to success lies in understanding and acknowledging your imperfections, focusing on your goals with clarity and persistence, learning from those around you, and stepping out of your comfort zone to experience the world in a new light.

So, embrace the lessons shared in ‘Girl, Wash Your Face,’ and stride forward in your quest to become the best version of yourself. 

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