How a Little Pink Book Changed my Outlook on Life

When I was in fifth grade I remember going to the school book fair with my family. A little pink book caught my eye. As you're guessing what this book might hold within its pages, I will caution you as I was not your typical “girly-girl”. This wasn’t an ordinary book, because when I brought it to my dad to buy it for me, his words were, "Really? You think you would like this kind of book?!"

It was How to Win Friends and Influence People for Teen Girls by Dale Carnegie & Associates. It was a self-help book, which is written with the intention to help the reader solve a problem or self-improve their life. So you can imagine my father’s curiosity as to why an 11-year-old would want to read such a book. Nevertheless, he bought it for me on one condition, that I would actually read it cover to cover. Challenge accepted!

Chapter one struck my heart like a lightning bolt. Don’t Criticize, Condemn, or Complain. These are dubbed as Dale Carnegie’s 3 C’s.

When we criticize someone we are pointing out a fault in someone else. Think about the last time someone else criticized something about YOU or something YOU did or said? Did it make you feel good? Even worse, It probably triggered negative feelings about the person who said it to you. Now think about the last time you criticized someone else? It could have been something as simple as commenting on their Instagram post, “Your Instagram caption is lame.” OUCH.

Next time you have a thought to criticize someone, ask yourself, is what I am about to say going to help this person? If not, let it wisp away from your mind, never to be uttered out loud.

It’s so easy to complain. We complain about the weather as a conversation starter. “It’s too rainy, too cold, too hot...” We complain about ourselves, “I feel like crap today, my hair looks bad, I’m so busy, exhausted, tired...” We complain about other people, “She’s so loud, annoying, weird...” When we make these comments it’s easy for people to jump on your pity party train. All aboard the hot mess express! When we tell ourselves negative thoughts, it will produce a negative feeling and follow you around day after day. Imagine what your day would look like if you flipped the narrative. “I feel great today!” Part of your mindset is what you tell yourself.

Next time you look in the mirror tell yourself “I’m going to make it a great day today, chances are, you will!” That’s the power of positive thinking! 

When we condemn someone we blame them, tell them they are wrong, or judge them. We punish people by “putting them in their place.” People don’t like to be put in a box and I’m guessing you don’t either. So why do we do it? When we only sit with certain people at lunch, or we only invite certain people over to watch a movie, we are telling those not invited that they are not welcome, they are not worthy of our time, love, or friendship.

Next time you plan to hang out with friends, make it a point to extend the invitation, what’s one more person?

So here is my challenge to you, are you ready? Try and keep track of the 3 C’s today. Catch yourself when you make a negative comment and FLIP IT. It will flip your world, I promise.

The acknowledgment at the front of my favorite pink book beautifully states, “to the wonderful young women who will turn these pages and influence the future.” Who would have known years later I would still cherish this book and its teachings. Now it is my mission, my calling, and my passion, to help other young women be the best versions of themselves now and for the future.

I welcome you to join the Fearless Fam and be a part of a movement. A way of thinking on and off the softball field. It all starts in your mind. You can be FEARLESS!

Cheering you on always,

Coach AB

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