BY: Angie Haddock
Your negative inner voice is a total assh*le. Tell it to f*ck off with this irreverent, laugh-out-loud guide!
Self-help books are so subjective – I feel like a good book in this genre is any one that you find at the time that you need it. The same book may even hit you differently at different times in your life! That being said, I read this one all the way through in order to review it.
What drew me in first was the title. I assumed it was your average self-help book that had a sassy title to get your attention. (And I’m ok with that – I’ve read Jen Sincero’s “You’re a Badass” series!) But, in the foreword and introductions, we learn that cussing is actually part of the point. There’s a newer concept in psychology that says swearing is good for you – it can help relieve stress, and it can be fun!
All the real concepts you need to understand the MOMF (Move On Motherf*cker) methodology are in the first chapter. The key one is the idea of the second arrow. For the sake of clarity, I’m going to quote the author’s explanation:
If you are struck with an arrow, it hurts like hell. You can’t change that the arrow struck you. That part is done… When you bitch and moan about the tragedy of the arrow striking you, you create your own suffering – in addition to the original wound. In other words, you are striking yourself with a second arrow.
The opening chapters also talk about mindfulness and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) – which seem like big, fancy terms. But it really comes down to noticing when you’re shooting yourself with that second arrow (through moping, dwelling, and negative self-talk), and jarring yourself out of that mental state (by getting up, moving, breathing, replacing negative talk with positive affirmations, etc.). This second part is where MOMF comes in – it’s a statement you say to yourself to jar yourself out of your moping/dwelling thoughts.
The author is also quick to point out several caveats to this method. Firstly, it’s meant to be a funny little jab at yourself, not abusive. If swearing isn’t your bag, make up another statement instead. Also, it’s not meant to be used in cases of severe trauma or grief. You wouldn’t tell a friend to just “get over” losing a loved one, would you? So, don’t treat yourself that way, either. It’s literally for moving your mental state away from dwelling on things – or blaming yourself for things – that are out of your control.
Once you get the concept down, the rest of the chapters are about applying it to different situations. There are stories gleaned from the author’s experiences as a therapist, and journal prompts. The chapters include ones on: sticking up for yourself, being a control freak, your love life, parenting, work, illness/injury, bad habits, and having a rough past. Obviously, not every single chapter will apply to every individual – so, you could easily pick and choose, and not tackle every scenario in the book.