Book Review: My Own Worst Enemy: how to stop holding yourself back – by Janet Davis

Book: My Own Worst Enemy: how to stop holding
yourself back
Author: Janet Davis
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Date: March 15, 2012
Genre: Christian living
Pages: 172
Price: $14.99; less for e-book
My rating: An inspiring, encouraging read, especially for women who self-sabotage and want to break that cycle.

I received an ARC (advanced reading copy) through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

First I must say that even though I stated the genre as “Christian living”, this book can be helpful to anyone seeking a way to break free of the nagging voice in her head …

“Just who do you think you are?”

Have you ever heard that in your own thinking? Have you held back because of what others will say or what they would think of you being so bold as to share your thoughts or talents? Why, you could look proud or cause someone to be jealous!  Pish tosh!  (By the way, pish tosh means rubbish, bunk, a ridiculous proposition.)

In her book, Janet Davis addresses the many ways women sabotage themselves and hold themselves back from being all they are made to be. To quote: “Women often find that the biggest obstacle to being all they were created to be is themselves. Though they long to succeed, they can’t silence the voice inside whispering, “Just who do you think you are?”

In three sections and thirteen chapters, the author addresses various situations while using her own life as an example along with those of other women. She also parallels those stories with women in the Bible. (I did question a few of her suggestions regarding Biblical situations, but that did not overshadow the overall ministry to women through this book.)

Section One Chapters are: The Unimagined Life; The Unworthy Life; The Unlived Life

Section Two Chapters are: Identity: Pretense vs Presence; Creativity: Conformity vs Uniqueness; Shining: Recoiling vs. Radiance

Section Three Chapters are: Choosing Vulnerability; Choosing to Say No; Choosing to Tell Your Story; Choosing to Re-Create in the Midst of Loss; Choosing to Persevere in the Midst of Injustice; Choosing to Grow Up; Choosing to Say Yes to God

At the beginning of each chapter, Janet poses something to consider, then at the end she revisits that thought and adds a list of questions for the reader to answer. Those questions can go as deep as you allow them to, depending on how much time you want to take, how serious you are about dealing with the problem, and how much you are willing to face.

My Own Worst Enemy: how to stop holding yourself back is a great read-alone book, but it also can be used in a small group of women who get together to work through the questions and help one another address the problem of self-sabotage.

If you have not been aware of how adept woman are at undermining themselves, you may be surprised as to how subtle is that inner voice. My Own Worst Enemy – by Janet Davis – may be just the book you didn’t know you needed.

You can find My Own Worst Enemy: how to stop holding yourself back listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading … and, Creative Musings!  🙂


10 responses to “Book Review: My Own Worst Enemy: how to stop holding yourself back – by Janet Davis

  1. This sounds like a great book for everyone. I could possibly use some of the ideas when assisting women looking for work as well. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


  2. Great review! Sounds like a nice message for all kinds of people 🙂


    • Thanks, Erik. 🙂 Women tend to self-sabotage more than men do, but, you’re right, the messages in this book could apply to all kinds of people. 🙂


  3. When I come across a book like this, one of the best parts of the experience is realizing that, although I recognize nearly all of the situations, I’ve put many of them behind me. That’s the way it’s supposed to work, I suppose. After all, some of the worst (and unhappiest) people in the world are 60 year-olds who still act like they’re twelve!

    And I liked her use of the phrase “choosing to grow up”, rather than just “growing up”. Of course, that entire section highlights something we often prefer to ignore – we have more power over our own lives than we sometimes like to admit!


    • I so agree with you. It is much easier to not be the adult. “just who do you think you are?” is the negative message. Too commonly we fall into victim mode, not living in the full capacity of who we really are and allowing others to make the hard decisions for us. We do have more power over our own lives than we admit or even believe.
      Thank you for your comment. 🙂


  4. This sounds like an amazing book. Thanks so much for the review. I used to self sabotage a lot. I’ve learned to recognize it and try not to let those patterns of thought take hold. The book sounds like a great tool. I’m adding it to my list.

    (I gave you an award on my blog, today, Lynn.)


    • Wow, thank you for the blog award, Ruth! I’ll have to think awhile before completing the requirements.

      As for the book, I think you will enjoy it. 🙂


  5. Sounds like a book I’d enjoy. 🙂


I look forward to reading your greatly appreciated comments. Thanks for making my day! :)

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