Strip Naked and Re-dress with Happiness: How to survive and thrive through personal challenge by Maria Hocking is the latest in my self-help readings. Although, I wouldn’t necessarily define it as a self-help book. The Goodreads blurb describes it as a handbook, but I would consider it more of a memoir.
The theme of the book is “getting naked” and it stems from the author’s personal experiences, starting from a diagnosis of alopecia and how she “redressed” herself and changed her life. Each chapter is based almost like a chapter of Hocking’s life where she describes what has happened her, how she felt and how she dealt with it. The personal side of the chapter is followed by what she calls “Changing Room Tips”, which are tools and techniques for the reader to better understand themselves and make changes.
Upon starting this book, I was rather excited. I felt that the advice was coming from a different point of view and I immediately got a sense of confidence in the way that Hocking writes. However, I was not a major fan of the “Changing Room Tips” and these let the book down for me. Maybe it is because I have read too many similar books in the past, but I felt that they had nothing new to offer. In fact, some I have heard repeated so often by others they felt a bit cheesy for me. On the other hand, I really enjoyed Hocking’s personal story. It did for me what the tips couldn’t: made me want to be as strong as this woman.
There were two aspects of this book which reached out to me and which I feel will stick around for a while. One is the statement “what you believe about yourself may not be true.” This is something I am guilty of but hadn’t realised before. Since reading that one sentence, I haven’t changed my entire mindset (yet), but I feel I am approaching things with more of a ‘can-do’ attitude. However, the biggest turning point in the book for me was when Hocking stopped trying to fit in. While I did agree with her advice until this point, it was only when she fully accepted herself that I thought, “now you have it, girl”. This was my biggest inspiration and what I will concentrate on most.
Not saying that I wouldn’t recommend this book, it just wouldn’t be my first choice in terms of self-help. I truly think I would have enjoyed it more if Hocking simply told her story. Saying that, there are still some good points to be taken from it so pick up a copy if you think this is your kind of thing.
I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review.