Amy Ahlers helps women talk back to the nonstop chorus of criticism in their heads — voices not unlike those of the mean girls lurking in the hallways and locker rooms of junior high schools everywhere. Ahlers doesn't offer long-winded self-therapy or simplistic happy talk; she serves up straight talk that helps women know, feel, and tell themselves the truths that can transform their deepest inner thoughts — and their lives.
According to life coach Ahlers, women are constantly beating themselves up, even for the tiniest imperfections, but this intense self-criticism doesn't lead to success or fulfillment. She directs readers to disarm their "Inner Critic" or "Mean Girl" by learning to identify instances when woman are commonly hard on themselves. She refutes these "lies" using real-life inspirational stories, practical coaching exercises, mantras, and inspirational quotations. For the lie "I sacrifice and sacrifice, and no one cares," Ahlers encourages readers to imagine that life is a big closet of different outfits that represent different attitudes and to slip on the martyr outfit and assess what the costs and payoffs are of wearing it all the time. For the lie "I need another to complete me," she suggests a marriage ritual in which a reader marries herself, like Ahlers and two friends did on a Malibu beach, wearing beautiful dresses, reading vows, and celebrating their wholeness. While Ahlers's positivity is welcome and she voices many truths about female insecurities, particularly how women feel more comfortable "playing small" and holding their own power hostage, her writing is often sloppy, platitude-laden, and glib. The book falters as a stand-alone without her workshops.