Didn't See That Coming Book Summary - Didn't See That Coming Book explained in key points
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Didn't See That Coming summary

Rachel Hollis

Putting Life Back Together When Your World Falls Apart

4.6 (98 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

Didn't See That Coming by Rachel Hollis is a self-help book that empowers readers to overcome adversity and grow through life's unexpected challenges. Hollis offers practical tools and personal anecdotes to help readers navigate difficult times, cultivate resilience, and find growth and purpose in the midst of struggle.

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    Didn't See That Coming
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    Claiming your authentic identity can help you endure crises.

    Experiencing a crisis is like finding yourself on another planet after traveling through space at the speed of light. Your body is on the new planet, but your brain hasn’t caught up yet. You’re still acting and thinking like on Earth. 

    In the wake of a crisis, you notice some changes immediately. When a loved one dies, you notice she’s gone. When your marriage breaks up, you notice that you’re sleeping alone. But these traumatic events also challenge your identity – and, often, you won’t notice or come to terms with that right away.

    The key message here is: Claiming your authentic identity can help you endure crises.

    Life can sometimes leave you reeling, with your sense of self shaken to its core. Let’s take a look at three ways a crisis can shift your identity, and how to deal with each.

    The first kind of identity crisis is the feeling that your identity has been taken from you. If you’ve been widowed, for example, you may feel that you’ve lost your identity as a spouse. You wonder, Who am I now? But the reality is that you’re still an amazing spouse. You earned that identity, and no crisis can take that away. 

    The second identity crisis is the one in which the identity you long for is denied to you. You might desperately want to be a mother, but infertility cruelly prevents you from being one. In this instance, you might need to ask yourself, Am I overly attached to how I’m going to achieve this identity? There are many ways to become a mother – or an entrepreneur, or whatever else you’d like to be. You don’t need to let go of the identity you dream of; rather, you need to be flexible about how you’re going to achieve it. 

    A third identity crisis occurs when you cling to an identity you thought you wanted, but which no longer serves you. You might have built your life around being a high-flying lawyer, but when you make partner, you feel empty. This is when it’s time to reassess your priorities. If you’re truthful with yourself about your real identity, you might find you want something else, like a more creative job, or a flexible role that lets you spend time with family.

    Most importantly, you – and only you – are in charge of defining your own identity. And honest self-reflection will be key to your success.

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    What is Didn't See That Coming about?

    Didn’t See That Coming (2020) is a handbook filled with real-world strategies for coping with pain, tragedy, loss, and betrayal, based on author Rachel Hollis’s own experiences. Without ever sugarcoating the devastating effects of grief and trauma, it offers a blueprint for living with pain without letting it define you, and reaching for your best life even after the worst has happened.

    Who should read Didn't See That Coming?

    • Anyone whose life has been shaken by a crisis
    • Friends or family trying to support a loved one through trauma
    • Everyone trying to come to terms with a difficult past

    About the Author

    Rachel Hollis is an entrepreneur, speaker, best-selling author, and mother of four. From humble beginnings as a blogger she has grown a media empire. She helms a popular YouTube channel, hosts the RISE podcast, and is the author of three phenomenally successful books, including Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing.

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