Get Out of Your Own Way Book Summary By Dave Hollis

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‘Get Out of Your Own Way’ is a book that explores the limiting thoughts we build up over time.

It helps you to overcome these mental blocks and be more present in your life - for both yourself and those you love.

This 2020 self-help book from the author offers candid, humorous insight on how he has been able to break away from his own internal struggles.

To get a better understanding of this book, it's important to recognize the importance of unleashing ourselves from restricting ideologies, which can often lead to feelings of unhappiness or frustration.

By breaking down barriers and understanding why you have become stuck in your own way, 'Get Out Of Your Own Way' encourages making positive changes so we can live with greater satisfaction.

Get Out of Your Own Way Book

Book Name: Get Out of Your Own Way (A Skeptic’s Guide to Growth and Fulfillment)

Author(s): Dave Hollis

Rating: 4.1/5

Reading Time: 23 Minutes

Categories: Personal Development

Author Bio

Dave Hollis is an insightful leader and successful author known for his book, Get Out of Your Own Way.

Dave is the former Disney executive and current CEO of The Hollis Company which encourages others to reach their full potential by embracing a growth mindset.

He's a loving husband and father of four as well as a former skeptic of self-help advice who has experienced success in his own life.

This New York Times best seller book is his debut into the publishing world, and it certainly lives up to its hype!

How Challenging Our Unhelpful Thoughts Can Lead To Personal Growth

Personal Growth

When you’re feeling stuck in a rut, it’s usually because you’re paying too much attention to the unhelpful voices in your head that tell you that you’re only lovable or important because of some external factor such as your job or how “together” people think you have your life.

That’s why Dave Hollis in his book Get Out of Your Own Way encourages us to challenge these assumptions and embark on a journey of personal growth.

By challenging our assumptions, we can learn to control and silence the unhelpful voices in our head.

We can also gain access to ideas and perspectives that help us reframe our situations.

Take, for instance, what Eminem teaches us about vulnerability: how by being more open to admitting our imperfections, we are able to find peace within ourselves and cultivate strong relationships with others.

Or the story of a well-meaning eavesdropper who singlehandedly changed multiple lives simply by expressing generosity and kindness towards a stranger – something we can all aspire to do in our own lives.

Finally, Hollis highlights the importance of learning another language when it comes to maintaining successful relationships – understanding someone else’s needs, wants and motivations from their perspective instead of ours is incredibly helpful for allowing us grow closer together without having any misunderstandings during difficult conversations.

In summary therefore, challenging assumptions is an important step towards achieving personal success.

By doing so, we become increasingly aware of what is truly important in life other than external factors – like meaningful relationships with those around us – and learn valuable techniques that will ultimately make us better equipped to tackle both adversity and joy.

The Value Of Life Lies Beyond Our Jobs: A Reflection On The Journey Of Dave Hollis

In Dave Hollis’ Get Out of Your Own Way: A Guide to Finding Clarity, Courage, and Accountability for Leaders in Any Role, he delivers an important message: Equating our personal value with our profession undermines our self-worth.

He learned this through his own experience rising through the ranks at The Walt Disney Company and then resigning from that secure and impressive position.

He soon discovered that though his job title gave him a sense of prestige and worth, it did nothing for his inner happiness or fulfillment.

His role had become his identity and stepping away from it felt like a huge risk because of how highly others regarded him due to his occupation.

But Dave was able to free himself from this false sense of security through resigning and becoming CEO at his wife’s business, The Hollis Company.

Here, he had the opportunity to prove that there was more to life than just a successful career, as well as learning that his true value came from being a kindhearted individual who cared about the world around them—not from what letters were found on their business cards.

How Dave Changed His Negotiating Style By Embracing His Weaknesses

Dave, a former employee of Disney, was used to hiding his weaknesses during negotiations in order to protect himself from exploitation.

However, he soon realized that constantly having to put up a strong front was making it difficult for him to connect with others and build meaningful relationships.

This all changed when Dave watched the movie 8 Mile and saw how the main character, B-Rabbit, faced off against an opponent in an underground rap battle by owning his weaknesses instead of trying to conceal them.

This made Dave realize that being honest about his own weaknesses could actually give him an edge in the workplace.

By presenting his weaknesses in a positive light, such as seeing inexperience as offering a fresh perspective on the negotiation table, Dave found that he was able to get much better deals during negotiations than before.

He also discovered that this new level of vulnerability and honesty could be applied beyond the workplace – where it allowed him not only to better manage his relationships but also receive more love and empathy from those around him.

The moral of the story? Being honest about your weaknesses can actually be beneficial because it prevents others from exploiting them while giving you a chance to portray yourself in a more positive way.

Failing Doesn’t Have To Be A Taboo: Letting Go Of Perfection And Embracing Failure

Embracing Failure

If we’re looking to make progress in life, failure must become normalized.

That’s the message that Dave, Jackson’s father, ultimately taught him when Jackson ran for class president — and lost.

Though it was a disappointing result, Jackson learned an important lesson: sn’t the end of the world.

His family still loved and valued him regardless of what happened.

Failure doesn’t have to be a scary thing — it can provide us with valuable learning opportunities and help us grow as individuals.

This is something that Dave had to learn himself when he was feeling low and considering his next career move; rather than running away from failure, he chose to embrace it and believe in his ability to grow and develop his skillset beyond anything he could have imagined before.

This idea of normalizing failure is echoed in Dr.

Carol Dweck’s book Mindset.

According her work, some people possess a growth mindset — they feel empowered in the face of potential failure, confident that they’ll continue improving and discovering hidden talents along the way.

On the other hand there are those who have a fixed mindset; they see their skillset as predetermined or limited and avoid new experiences where uncertainty or disappointment could occur.

Ultimately, we get to choose our mindsets about failure — we don’t have to let it stop us from making progress towards our goals!

It might feel uncomfortable at first but by facing our fear of failure head on we can liberate ourselves from society‘s taboo against failing .

Doing so will give us permission to explore things outside our comfort zones with confidence knowing that no matter the results, the experience will bring growth in chance so many unexpected ways!

Courage, Faith, And Love Helps Us Survive Difficult Times

When Dave and Rachel Hollis decided to adopt a child, they knew that it could bring both joy and pain.

But when a call from the biological mother three years later changed everything, the couple had to face the difficult reality of having to let go of the little girls they had grown so attached to.

The experience was heartbreaking but Dave realized something profound: He needed to embrace the pain in order for his family to find the daughter they truly wanted.

It’s through facing our greatest fears head-on that we can begin to grow beyond our current limitations and reach our deepest goals.

Embracing pain pushes us towards understanding our greater purpose in life and helps us move forward with conviction despite adversity.

The Hollises faced emotional turmoil with courage and faith, which was fortified by a chance meeting with an adopted man at a restaurant that reminded them what they stood to gain by pushing through their struggles.

The result was finding Noah, their daughter, who allowed them complete their family narrative in an inspiring way.

The key message here is clear: When we stop avoiding pain, it becomes a mechanism for growth.

Discover Your Partner’S Love Language For A More Meaningful Relationship

It’s easy to assume that you know what your partner needs in a relationship, but it’s important to remember that we’re not static beings; our needs change over time.

What made someone feel connected and loved last year may be different this year.

That’s why Dave and Rachel used the Enneagram to learn more about themselves, their relationship and each other in the book “Get Out of Your Own Way”.

The Enneagram is a diagnostic test which classifies your primary and secondary personality types to help identify how you behave when things are good or under pressure.

This can be really helpful for seeing how two people interact together, as well as understanding what both partners need from each other.

For example, Dave’s “peacemaker” nature paired so well with Rachel’s “achiever” personality.

They also found great success with Dr.

Gary Chapman’s famous book The 5 Love Languages; Dave showed his love through acts of service while Rachel needed words of affirmation instead.

Once they worked out how their partner gave and received love, they could then communicate better – rather than assuming what their partner was looking for.

In short, it pays off massively if you take the time to understand your own needs as well as your partner’s; don’t just assume that you know what they need from you!

Embrace Change In Relationships And Listen To Your Partner’s Needs To Build A Stronger Bond


If you want to build a strong relationship, you need to be aware of changing roles.

Things in life are constantly shifting, and you need to be able to adjust accordingly: at one moment you might be offering compassion, while the next you might have to focus on giving practical help.

Understanding that the needs of your partner can change and being prepared to play different roles at different times shows a lot of maturity and will cement your bond.

This was highlighted beautifully in Get Out of Your Own Way when Rachel wanted her husband Dave’s support as she negotiated a TV appearance.

Unfortunately, Dave showed his faithlessness by highlighting the low odds of success: alluding that he’d resigned himself towards failure even before trying.

Rachel taught him an important lesson when after signing the deal 6 months later she presented him with a bracelet featuring ‘3%’ – the odds he gave her – which reminded her that she always needed to have faith in herself.

So if your partner is in need of something specific all they often ask is what is required, and then it’s up to us as partners to listen and gracefully accept the response- not blocking the process with assumptions or expectations.

By following through on these requests we can build stronger, closer relationships.

Stop Assuming You Understand Others: Learning The Impact Of Prejudice Through Listening And Empathy

In Get Out of Your Own Way, Dave illustrates the importance of not assuming you really understand other people’s experiences or perspectives.

Growing up in a cookie-cutter community, he assumed he had a reasonable idea of what it was like to live as an African American in America.

He watched documentaries and read books about the civil rights movement and felt he had enough knowledge to make this assessment.

However, after joining a multicultural church community and taking part in a workshop on racial reconciliation, he realised that there was so much more to learn about how individuals were affected by racism and prejudice.

He soon recognised that his own experience never remotely put him in a position where he could put himself in someone else’s shoes, nor did it equip him with enough knowledge to truly comprehend their experiences.

Dave advocates for listening deeply to others’ stories and not trying to impose judgement or assumptions.

Dave provides insights into how we can practice humility by listening when others talk about topics outside of our own lived experiences without passing judgement or making assumptions.

By doing this, Dave was able to raise awareness around issues such as unconscious bias against women, people of colour and those from different sexual backgrounds – something which would otherwise have gone unnoticed had he never opened his eyes wider and embraced what other people were saying instead of trying to impose his own ideas on them.

It’S Time To Challenge Our Limiting Beliefs And Unleash Our True Potential


As Dave learned, to truly grow in life, we have to challenge the limiting beliefs that are holding us back.

These are those negative thoughts that we think are true and thus draw neat boundaries around us.

We assume these thought to be true but they don’t have to be like that.

Dave’s journey showed him that his own self-limiting beliefs were just an illusion and he was able to run despite being tall.

The root cause of our limiting beliefs is fear – fear of rejection, of failure or of exposing oneself as imperfect.

No one likes feeling embarrassed or judged so naturally, it’s easy for us to believe in what we assume will protect us from any pain or discomfort.

Realizing these limitations and challenging ourselves is the first step in order to overcome them and start growing as a person.

We have to take uncomfortable steps outside our comfort zone, even though there may be failures along the way – but that’s just proof that we can do more than what we think initially.

That’s when we discover something new about ourselves – determination and commitment towards achieving something great regardless!

Wrap Up

At the heart of Get Out Of Your Own Way is the idea that in order to be fulfilled and content, we have to accept that personal growth is key.

We have to accept the challenge of life and become the best version of ourselves.

Yet often times, this process can feel daunting, like a mountain too tall to climb.

The actionable advice offered within this book is simple: create our own operating principles to act as a compass as we make our way up that mountain!

By creating goals such as act with integrity, embrace experiences outside our comfort zone or being truthful, we set ourselves up for success.

This helps us stay on track so that when we encounter roadblocks or confusion we are able to focus on staying true to who we want to be and how we want to live.

So let’s get out of our own way – start making goals and strive for personal growth no matter how daunting it can seem!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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