Katherine Wintsch, the author of Slay Like a Mother, and owner of the Mom Complex, was an overachiever. She consistently won awards, trophies, ribbons, praise, top grades and accolades. Every time she felt inferior, she strived for more. Her self worth was defined by what others thought of her and she strived for perfection. Because anything less meant she was not enough.
She had to be the perfect employee, wife, daughter, and mother. Anything less was failure. She kept up the charade for decades hiding what she was sure were her glaring insecurities and imperfections.
Katherine was a person who had SPS or Sensory Processing Sensitivity which meant she felt things deeper and was more sensitive to environmental stimuli. There was a suicide attempt as a teen followed by partying too much, and then the never ending achievement cycle.
The year 2010 was her crash-and-burn-year and it was then she decided to make a change. What’s wrapped up in this life changing, self help book is as series of stories and steps to take to find self love. Her subtitle says it more succinctly, “How to destroy what’s holding you back so you can live the life you want.”
She talks about her “dragon”–a beast that sucked away all her self worth and made her hyper-seek outside approval because she was sure her life depended on it. The dragon metaphor plays out throughout the book and what unfolds is a neatly packaged journey to slaying it by learning how to stop feeding it with overblown future projections or exaggerated past failures. She advocates living in the present more to stay grounded in what’s really happening.
In one single book, she gives her readers what took her decades to learn and in turn inspires women to change their lives for the better.
I confess I’m not usually one to read self help books nor am I in the category of women that this book is focused on. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn something or benefit from having read it. And of course, I’ve had self doubt and thought I wasn’t enough. But I’ve always had an inner voice that won’t allow me to tear myself down. I figure there are enough out there who will, why should I be one of them? This book inspired a great deal of self reflection which is why I didn’t read it fast. I wanted to let certain chapters marinate.
For the most part, I was shocked that so many women struggle with their self worth and why.
I know Katherine. And it’s hard for me to picture the person I know as someone who suffered with so much self doubt.
It is superbly written, well organized, truthful, and vulnerable. And if you have struggled with thinking you are not enough, then this is the book for you.