At its core, Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed is a how-to guide to learning to be brave — not just in the workplace but as a partner, parent, friend, and woman trying to navigate a world that doesn’t always welcome a female perspective.
Doyle’s best-selling book blends a myriad of her real life experiences and anecdotes with practical takeaways that women from all walks of life can apply to their own mindset and life path — from divorce to the workplace.
The well-loved piece of literature promises to help set you on the right path to making peace with your body, honouring anger and heartbreak, harnessing trust and, most importantly, to set the proper boundaries in every aspect of life in order to fully respect yourself and lean into your own personal desires and become the person you’ve always wanted to be — without dulling the shine that makes each one of us unique.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best anecdotes and takeaways that we particularly loved in Glennon Doyle’s Untamed. These little nuggets of wisdom will teach women exactly how to navigate their professional lives, while staying true to themselves and actually enjoying the process of working towards professional goals and accomplishments rather than just chasing the next thing.
Whether that means starting your own business or working your way to the C-suite, these thoughts and anecdotes will help just about any professional woman navigate her way to the top — whatever that means for her — while enjoying the view on the way up.
Here are the key takeaways from Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed that women need to know:
“When a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself.”
Think about it like this: women in particular have been conditioned to believe that they must say the right thing, do the right thing, even believe the right things in order to make her way through life and get what she wants… when in reality, independent thinking and choosing to seek out what actually makes you happy is a much more sustainable approach in life and in business. After all, if you’re not enjoying the ride, what’s the point?
“This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.”
Have you ever heard the saying that you shouldn’t take advice from people whose business or life you wouldn’t want? This is the same line of thinking — and it’s crucial to anyone who wants to blaze a new trail. Doyle’s life path was anything but ordinary and expecting good advice from those outside of her lane is about as useless as a back pocket on a tee shirt. These days, our career paths take many more turns than those of our parents or older colleagues, so expecting their advice to lead us in the right direction is pretty fruitless.
“I will not stay, not ever again – in a room or conversation or relationship or institution that requires me to abandon myself.”
Likewise, women have been conditioned to let go of their strong personality or tone down their sparkle, but Doyle thinks “being seen and not heard” is about the worst thing a woman can do in all aspects of life. Her philosophy is that bold women are the ones who forge forward and make history — and that any woman can be the best, bold version of herself if only she gives herself permission.
“Tish is sensitive, and that is her superpower. The opposite of sensitive is not brave. It’s not brave to refuse to pay attention, to refuse to notice, to refuse to feel and know and imagine. The opposite of sensitive is insensitive, and that’s no badge of honour.”
When writing about her daughter Tish, Doyle urges that just because she is sensitive and on the quiet/introverted side, does not mean she, or women like her daughter, do not have everything in them to forge ahead and get what they want. In fact, being sensitive to others is actually a superpower in Doyle’s books — something rather rare that allows people to relate to others in a way that not everybody can.
“The only thing that was wrong with me was my belief that there was something wrong with me.”
Another key takeaway from Glennon Doyle’s writing is centred on self-worth and unwavering confidence — something that not everyone is born with but everyone can cultivate, according to Doyle. She urges that the belief that something is wrong with you — whether that something is social anxiety, shyness, or being too outspoken — is untrue, because the only thing that could be considered “wrong” is the actual belief that you’re anything other than perfectly yourself.
“Hard work is important. So are play and non-productivity. My worth is tied not to my productivity but to my existence. I am worthy of rest.”
Have you ever had someone brag to you about how many overtime hours they put in? Maybe you have had moments when you’ve caught yourself rubbing in the 12-hour days you’ve been putting in at the office.
In Untamed, Doyle is all about striking the right balance between productivity, restfulness, and actually having fun. She urges that everyone is worthy of taking time off and without the right balance of the three, there’s really no point in working non-stop.
“The thing that gets me thinking and questioning most deeply is a leader who warns me not to think or question.”
Like self-worth and boldness, Doyle urges women to think for themselves, and to question anyone who doesn’t value free thinking or unique ideas. Whether it’s in their personal life or in the workplace, Doyle’s ethos is that everyone should be questioning and trying to improve the status quo – especially when free thinking isn’t exactly welcomed.
“It’s just that living with anxiety – living alarmed – makes it impossible to enter the moment, to land inside my body and be there. I cannot be in the moment because I am too afraid of what the next moment will bring. I have to be ready.”
This concept will really hit home for anyone who has suffered from social anxiety or general anxiety that has become heightened in the workplace. While it’s not exactly a how-to for overcoming anxiety per se, Doyle does make a case for learning coping methods and exactly how they can improve your day-to-day at work. Whether you’re working in a high-stress environment or not so much, being able to navigate your anxiety properly will take the weight of the workplace off your shoulders and help you prepare for the next moment, rather than fearing what could go wrong.
“Because once we feel, know, and dare to imagine more for ourselves, we cannot unfeel, unknow, or unimagine. There is no going back.”
Feeling stuck in a dead-end job or in an industry that doesn’t set your soul on fire is one of the easiest paths to burnout or worse, feeling as though you’ve settled for something that’s only so-so.
Doyle wants women to follow those blue-sky dreams rather than ignoring them or pushing them to the side, even if just a little bit. Her reasoning? Once you’ve had a taste of pursuing those big dreams, you’ll be more likely to actually go for it and push yourself closer to what you actually want out of life.
Purchase a copy of Untamed by Glennon Doyle here.
This article was originally published on The Ladders.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on March 14, 2021 and has since been updated to include new content.