Follow Here To Purchase Opting In: An inspirational self-help story for women who are misunderstood, isolated or living in fear to find empowerment, courage, confidence and self love.

Author: Molly Fiore

Publisher: Peaks of Excellence, 2012

ISBN-10: 0578095866 : ISBN-13: 978-0578095868

The word “honest” in the blurb on the cover is the tip-off: This is not another “10 steps to” kind of book like those from motivational speakers in the 1990s, who professed to have simple solutions for unhappiness in the corporate workplace. Molly Fiore is one of the new breed that has emerged to address deeper personal issues, a “life coach.”

Not long ago, Molly was a model of confusion and despair. She judged herself too ordinary to be of use in this world. After several false starts in diverse careers, she was able, with help, to reach back to her childhood to confront the worst things that had happened to her. She tells of her discoveries, including the sort of thing troubled souls used to confess only to their psychotherapists. Today’s psychotherapists prescribe pills. Life coaching has stepped in to allow us to do what we all must do, make sense of our lives by telling our stories. In doing so, we find out who we are in the larger picture. We may discover our purpose.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal notes that when young adults are unable to get a solid footing these days, we can’t blame it solely on the economy. Your 25-year-old “kid” living in the spare room may in fact not know what to do; no one has demonstrated work, as in the past when children learned from watching their parents. After reading OPTING IN, I would add that today’s parents with middle-age children likely were too preoccupied with our own adjustments to a changing society, and too tired, to recognize our children’s worst emotional times. We never knew (because the kids were loathe to tell us) about their feelings of inadequacy, failure and guilt.

Molly’s mother, seeing her adult child floundering, had the good sense to send her to a friend who would be her mentor (a “coach”). Molly also had a husband who really cared about her, though their marriage was far from ideal. She had a job, and a trusting, if complicated, relationship with her boss. Even with these props, Molly wrestled with a sense of inferiority and weakness. She moved forward and then in circles. She kept “falling down the rabbit hole.” Her doctor thought she might be bipolar, but that turned out not to be the case. She was on a uniquely-Molly journey.

It was a bumpy road. Molly made herself listen to feedback and examine patterns in her behavior. She enrolled in personal development courses that required her to give talks, because keeping commitments and reporting back kept her honest. That gave her momentum. She also had the great advantage of being athletic, so set physical challenges for herself, and achieving those made her feel good. Note well: She learned to focus on the process, not the end result.

Each reader will find his or her own nuggets of wisdom on these pages. One stuck out for me: Molly’s recognition that she always “took herself out of games” that she might lose. I see in this a cautionary tale for families who dole out praise mainly for gold stars, trophies, and blue ribbons. Kids should be encouraged to try a lot of things without expectations of excelling. Human beings are not meant to always shine; most of us are geodes: plain surfaces, amazing crystals inside.

Molly Fiore had to crack herself open to see that she was and is lovable and therefore can and does make a difference in other people’s lives. Telling her story had to be painful, but she fulfilled her intent, to be inspiring. She also does a great job of illustrating the work of life coaching, a movement that, I admit, I didn’t take seriously until I read this paperback.

Follow Here To Purchase Opting In: An inspirational self-help story for women who are misunderstood, isolated or living in fear to find empowerment, courage, confidence and self love.