"I read a book that told me I wasn't that great... It was right."

Do you lay awake at night regretting every single mistake you’ve ever made? I do.

Do you hate your boss/your colleagues/and even the guy who makes your morning coffee? Sometimes.

Do you scroll through Instagram filled with rage and jealously because other people are in bloody Europe (AGAIN) and you’re barely scraping together enough change for your sad lil’ desk lunch each day? All the bloody time.

And do you ever actually take any steps to address all of this? Um… no.

If your answers are anything like mine… I’ve got the perfect book for you.

It’s called You’re Not That Great (but neither is anyone else) and it’ll take all your preconceived notions of “positive thinking” and “positive affirmations” and “everything happens for a reason” and flip them on their motherflippin’ heads.

You see, all those regrets, all that rage and jealously and anger are actually good for you… if you use them to get what you want.

I'm... not that great. Image supplied.

The book's author Elan Gale (who also happens to be a producer on the US version of The Bachelor, but we won't hold that against him) believes you can channel the "power of negative thinking" to motivate yourself to get off your lazy arse and actually go out there and chase your goddamn dreams.

Yep, the power of negative thinking, not positive thinking.

Mind blown.

Gale starts the book by explaining why we're actually not that great... like... none of us are that great. We're all pretty damn average.

But we all believe we're bloody amazing, one-of-kind, special, multi-talented snowflakes. And that belief is actually holding us back.


We've all been brought up and conditioned to believe we can achieve whatever we set our minds to. The thing is, we can't and probably won't - especially if we just sit around giving ourselves a pat on the back for every little bit of success we experience.

It's not our fault - we were conditioned that way. We started to form this view of ourselves as soon as our parents hung our crappy kindergarten artworks on the fridge and called us their "future little Picasso".

We kept up this way of thinking every time we received a bit of praise for ~ quite frankly ~ putting in minimal effort.

And we reinforced this worldview every time we chose to ignore any kind of criticism that came our way.

So when we don't actually achieve what we want, we're stumped. We wonder how the bloody hell that happened.

This is why the auditions for shows like Australian Idol and Australia's Got Talent are full of completely tone-deaf god-awful singers who think they're the next Beyonce.

They've been brought up to believe they can be anything they want and noone's ever had the heart to tell them otherwise.

So when we do eventually fail at things, when we really hit rock bottom, we're not comfortable sitting with that failure. We don't want to explore the feelings of anxiety, depression, sadness and desperation that come from hitting rock bottom.

And we love it when our friends and family come to the rescue and say that company/ex/reality TV show just don't know what they're missing out on.


But do we ever really learn anything from this experience? Do we use it to better ourselves?

Nope. We push it to the back of our minds and only think about it when we're lying awake at night, running through a slideshow of all our past failings.

Listen to the latest episode of Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues after audio...

Gale says in order to be really successful - or a little less not great - we need to embrace those feelings of failure. We need to really immerse ourselves in our feelings of regret, shame, anger, sadness and anxiety, and then we need to use them to work harder, to improve ourselves, and to go out and kick our goddamn competition's arse.

Because nothing will make you work harder than thought of beating your biggest nemesis at their own game.

When Michael Jordan didn't make it onto his high school basketball team he was deeply ashamed. Then he used that shame to work harder, and train more than anyone else until he became, well, Michael Jordan.

So next time you feel jealous, angry, ashamed, and full of regrets - maybe don't ignore it - maybe channel it into working towards your motherflippin' goals. And harness the power of negative thinking.

But always remember, you're not that great (but neither is anyone else... especially me).

You can buy You're Not That Great (but neither is anyone else) at all good book stores.

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