BROWSE BOOK REVIEWS:

"Secrets To Being Amazing: What Confident People Don't Do" by Denise Wijayaratne

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Saturday, July 27, 2019 Under: Book Reviews


This short book is a self-help guide which could and probably should be designed to easily fit into a pocket or handbag, or downloaded onto a phone for easy access.  Rather than a pioneering psychology manual, it is rather a series of affirmations intended to help the insecure and those lacking in self-esteem to feel better about themselves at a moment’s notice.  Denise admits, right from the foreword, that she is one of those people, her confidence having been undermined by her mother at an early age.  As somebody with a working knowledge of young people with self-esteem issues, I can vouch that parenting is almost always the fundamental starting point, and Denise is right to highlight this credential in herself right from the start.

Whilst her confidence checklist – which is what this book essentially is – doesn’t really reveal anything novel or unique I feel it might be invaluable for, and definitely should be targeted at teenagers, particularly those in social media culture, which Denise refers to a lot in this book.  I think that anyone much older than this will have already tried and tested all of the affirmations she has included.  Don’t get me wrong – none of the affirmations are wrong, and there is a lot of useful advice in this book which any age of reader can take away.  It is just sad that the millennial generations are so damaged by the self-esteem deficiencies associated with mass media and social media that compilation of such a book is still necessary – but, shamefully, it is.  In it, the interactions with others are described as brief and judgmental, with many taking place in a non-existent virtual world, and I am not surprised that this plays such a significant role in a book about self-esteem and confidence.  Personally, my own advice would be to scrap your social media reliance altogether and interact face to face – nothing develops a young person’s character more than participating in a wide range of social situations with a wide range of people, rather than digitally selected peers; there is little social about the toxic social media environment.  In chapter 18, Denise mentions that losing one’s geo map signal gives them the opportunity to explore and enjoy their surroundings organically – I would apply the exact same metaphor to breaking away from the digital social environment.

Denise uses some great metaphors and analogies throughout - like comparing unique people to valuable works of art - then goes on to explain them articulately and convincingly.  She is a wonderful, warm and endearing writer, and although Malaysian, whilst I think the layout may need a touch of work, and perhaps a little of the punctuation, the English is to an extremely high standard; I enjoyed the Tempus style of font that she used.  The book looks nice and Denise has put a lot of heart and work into it, which always shows and is a pleasure to read.  Perhaps, after the final chapter, it would have been nice to read an afterword – and maybe even more about Denise herself – to bring it to a more natural conclusion.  It would have also, I think, been nice to include some good mood stock images in the book, just to break up the narrative and remind the reader at a glance of the chapter’s context, as much of the affirmation does start to roll into one long pep talk.

Whilst the “confidence” aspect of the book is necessary, inspiring and motivational, I did – and always do! - have a big issue with the “amazing” part.  I am not a fan of misused superlatives anyway, but this particular one has long since become tedious, and overused to the extent that its meaning has become worthless.  Furthermore, I can’t help thinking that the continual aspiration to feel amazing and to be amazing is a huge part of society’s confidence issue in the first place – telling somebody they are amazing rarely makes them feel it, and for many this is somewhat disappointing.  But, of course, the terminology is synonymous these days with feeling good about oneself in the face of adversity, so I guess the language is appropriate in terms of its most suited audience.

Overall, this is a nice book, and I think with a slight polish and aesthetic makeover it could be a real pocket essential for its audience.  I do genuinely hope that Denise has absorbed and truly feels the advice she gives, and has overcome her own insecurities, because, of course, a teacher has to believe in her lesson thoroughly to project its message.  And, of course, this author has a good heart, which she wears on her sleeve, and deserves to be happy.


In : Book Reviews 


Tags: denise-wijayaratne  self-confidence  self-esteem  self-help  psychology 
No Quarter: Dominium
***
Adventure

A Trinity of Wicked Tales
****
Horror


****
Short Stories

The Day I Made Good
****
Crime Drama

Complete Poetry of Norman AJ Berisford
*****
Poetry

Chuck the Rooster Loses His Voice
*****
Children's

Living Blind Without the Internet
****
Documentary

Devil in the Countryside
****
Historical Thriller

Monoland: Into the Gray Horizon
****
Fantasy

Corrosive
****
Horror

Woodiss is Willing
***
Comedy

The Fear
***
Horror

Superi: Reborn
*****
Fantasy

Murder in the Medical Center
***
Drama

The Eye of Nefertiti
****
Children's

Not Exactly Shakespeare
****
Comedy

Finding the Narrow Path
****
Biography

The Wyndham Werewolf
****
Short Stories

Only Human
***
Supernatural

What is Justice
**
Documentary

The Rat Tunnels of Isfahan
****
Historical Fantasy

I Once Was Lost But Now I'm Found
*****
Documentary

Never Too Late To Die
***½
Thriller

Understanding the Patterns of Your Life
***
Non-Fiction

Happiness is Just a Pill Away
*****
Comedy-Drama

The Lucky Winner
***
Crime Thriller

Endohuman
***
Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Tummy Rumble Quake
****
Children's

Monoland: The Shimmering Mist
****
Fantasy

Goodbye Butterfiles
*****
Psychology

Treading the Uneven Road
****
Short Stories

The Cuckoo Colloquium
****
Comedy

When I Turned Nineteen
*****
War Memoir

Fortuna and the Scapegrace
****
Comedy

Gnosis
***
Young Adult

Buy or Die
***
Satire

Faithful Servants
****
Drama

Ghost Dog
***
Crime Adventure

Looper
****
Drama

The Sinister Urge
**
Drama

Read to Succeed
*****
Self Improvement

Gone to the Dogs
*****
Comedy-Drama

Die Back
****
Fantasy

Finding My Platoon Brothers
*****
War Memoir

Delivering Virtue
****
Comedy

The Room Above
***
Fantasy

Written By Blood: Conviction
****
Action

The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder
****
Poetry

I Have Demons
****
Short Stories

Victoria's Voice
****
Real Life

The Revolutionary Youth
*****
Drama

The Dog Thief
*****
Short Stories

Appointment With Fear
*****
Children's

Mermaids Are Real
***
Fantasy

Legends of Persia
***
Historical Fiction

My Groans Pour Out Like Water
*****
Poetry

47 Hours
*****
Political Thriller

The Road to Alexander
***
Historical Fiction

Father Divine's Bikes
****
Drama

Winning With Data
*****
Business

Aquila
****
Historical Fiction

Lions, Leopards and Storms, oh my!
***
Children's

Sparrowhawk on the Horizon
***
Historical Fiction

The Warehouse Tour
***
Short Stories

Feast of Sapphires
****
Poetry

The Night Alphabet
*****
Short Stories

Just Another Girl's Story
***
Autobiography

No-one Listens
***
Poetry

The Roving Mind
*****
Science

Malthus Revisited
***
Suspense/Thriller

My Weight Loss Journey
****
Self-Help

Change of Chaos
****
YA / Fantasy

Fish Farm
****
Thriller

Songs to New York
****
Short Stories

I Claudia
*****
Historical Fiction

God: Challenges From Philosphy and Science
****
Philosophy

The Friar's Lantern
*****
Role Play

Crazy About Kurt
****
Comedy

Dark Cure
****
Action

Translucent Boy
***
Sci-Fi Fantasy

Dart by Dale Renton
****
Sci-fi Fantasy

Monoland: Beyond the Monochrome
*****
Fantasy

Rocky Mountain Noir
***
Comedy

Rocky Mountain Noir
***
Science Fiction

Foster Care To Millionaire
****
Memoir

Flow Like A River
*****
Thriller

Secrets To Being Amazing
****
Self-Help

13 Dark Tales: Collection Two
****
Short Stories

Myth Agent
****
Fantasy

Tags

1990s a-scholte abortion abuse action addiction afterlife age ajay-shankar alcoholism alejandro-de-gutierre alexander-the-great alphabet american-comedy american-graffiti american-history ancient ancient-history animal-abuse animal-rescue animal-welfare anthology anthony-michaelides anthony-simola anti-hero anxiety arabian artificial-intelligence atlantis australia autobiography bereavement biography bittersweet bizarre blind bo-wu boats books borneo brian-kindall british business cameron-k-moore catholic cats chad-lee-erway challenge childhood childhood-trauma childrens-books christ christian christianity christina-williams christopher-adam clinchandhill clint-thurmon cody-mclain coffee-break cognitive collection colonialism comedy coming corporate-crime cory-barclay coup creatures crime criminal-justice crm cruelty cynical dale-renton dark data data-analytics david-donachie david-grad david-lee-fish demons denise-wijayaratne detective diary dictatorship diet disability dog-rescue dogs drama drugs dwayne-gill dystopian ea-minin earthquake ecological educational egyptian emergency emmanuella-hristova emotional empire environmental erotic espionage faith fallacious-rose family fantasy felicia-watson fiction fiona-green flash-fiction foster-care frances-bloom frances-newton friendship frontier funny futuristic gangster george-dalrymple george-koloukis glyn-haynie gm-o'connor god gods golf gory greg-hickey health health-and-fitness heartbreaking heather-beal henry-woodiss high-school historical historical-fiction history holistic horror illustrated immigrants incest international internet ira irish j-kariuki jacinta-jade jennifer-macaire jesus jill-kearney john-simpson journal jungle justice ka-cummins kurt-cobain kyla-ross l-a-macfadden lady-byrd laura-eckert laura-hergane laura-koerber legendary leigh-holland life lin-wilder lindsay-mccall lindsey-mccall lorna-brown loss lynne-renoir marc-curtis-little maria-luisa-lang marine-life mark-guillerman martin-freznell mathematics matt-nagin medical medical-drama medieval melodrama memoir mermaids michael-a.-greco michael-conlon michael-irwin michael-r-martin military mind mjl-evans monoland monologue motivational myrtle-brooks mystery mythical native-american natural-disaster navy new-jersey new-york nick-dream nirvana non-fiction norman-aj-berisford northern-ireland novella nutrition observations of oppression otherworld outback pablo-palazuelo persia personal-development peter-learm pharaoh philosophy pirates platoon poetry political political-thriller pop-culture prison pro-life psychology pulp-fiction purgatory puzzle race racial rae-louise rainforest reading real-life redemption reference regime relationship religion religious remorse revolutionary richard-bunning richard-hacker rick-hall robert-kingett role-play roman romania rural sailing sailors satire sci-fi science scientist seafaring self-confidence self-esteem self-help series sexual sexual-harassment short-stories sigal-haber sitcom slavery slice-of-life society sociopath soldier special-forces sports spy-thriller stage-fright stan-skrabut steve-bassett study superhero supernatural superstition surreal suspense swashbuckling teamwork technology teen teenager the-troubles theodor theological thriller tim time-travel tom-hoffman tomi-farrell torture tough-guy tragedy trilogy true-story tv-shows undersea vampire venezuela ventskevitch veteran vietnam vietnam-war vigilante vince-rockston violent walt-sautter war war-memoir weight-loss well-being werewolf western white wildlife will-link yorkshire young-adult
Author Matt McAvoy
Website designed and created by MJV SERVICES, UNITED KINGDOM 2016 - all rights reserved.
*The author has established copyright for all work featured on this website.