Everything Is Figureoutable review: 10 powerful lessons
A few months ago I listened to an interview with Marie Forleo on The Goal Digger Podcast, and she was promoting her book called Everything Is Figureoutable.
Just the title alone made me want to read it! So I immediately placed a hold on the book at my local library, and I was finally able to check it out about a week ago (it was a long line to wait in).
The title is self-explanatory: Marie writes about how anything we want in life is “figureoutable.”
Whatever you want to happen, to achieve, to solve, to learn – there’s always a way to figure it out. You just need to fully accept this belief as your own, and adopt this philosophy in any challenge you encounter.
In the book, she gives you her advice and practical steps to do that.
It took me 2 days to get through it (way faster than I usually read through a book). She shared some really great applications for achieving your goals, so I wanted to condense them into a “Top Ten Takeaways” list for you.
The result is this Everything Is Figureoutable review.
These are just summaries of her ideas, without all the great stories she used to tie them together. At the end of every chapter, she included an “Insight to Action Challenge”. This was mainly a series of questions to reflect on and work through, so you could get the most out of the book.
Here are the top 10 takeaways I took from Everything Is Figureoutable.
1. Set Yourself Up For Success
Before you dive into learning about the philosophy that Marie uses in her personal and professional life, she tells us to take a little time for preparation.
If we approach a new mindset without setting ourselves up for success, it’s likely we won’t fully absorb all the benefits.
We’ll look through an old filter that prevents us from being open to learning, receiving and applying.
First, you need to prepare yourself to go after your dreams.
Here are Marie’s steps to prepare for success:
>Train your brain for growth. If you’ve read a lot of personal development books in the past, you may be tempted to blow past certain concepts.
Instead of thinking I know this already, ask yourself: what can I learn from this?
This engages a growth mindset and opens up your mind to learning.
Also, don’t dismiss ideas and think this won’t work for me. There is always something new to learn. Ask yourself, HOW can this work for me?
>Try it before you deny it. You might be thinking, not EVERYTHING is figureoutable! And you’d be right.
But you’re not concerned with changing the laws of nature, or altering what is factual. You want to be focused on the problems or situations in your life where you desire change.
And you might be surprised how much you actually have control over.
>Do the work. Marie strongly encourages you to answer all of the questions at the end of each chapter, and work through the exercises provided. Having a figureoutable mindset requires more than reading about it – you have to apply it to your life.
>Connect with community. Collaborating with others will supercharge your efforts. Read the book with a group of like-minded goal-getters. Find others who will support and encourage you.
2. Focus On Your Beliefs
There is a psychological tool known as TFAR, which is used to foster mindfulness around your thoughts and feelings and how they affect your behavior.
Basically, the acronym symbolizes the progression of Thoughts leading to Feelings, which lead to Actions, that create Results.
Marie goes one step further (actually, I should say prior) with this popular model.
Before we can work on our thoughts, she claims we first need to challenge our beliefs.
Our beliefs are like scripts in our minds, telling us how to interpret the world around us.
They tell us what to focus on, and how to respond. And they influence every thought we have.
Your thoughts will always align with your beliefs and create feelings that drive behavior – and subsequently, results.
So, your beliefs have major consequences.
The good news is, you have total control over what you believe. Our beliefs are formed through various experiences in life, and they can run deep and strong, but we ultimately have control over what we choose to believe.
You don’t have to change every unhelpful belief you have, just the “core” beliefs that act like master keys to all of your other beliefs. These are the ones you need to focus on and challenge.
Once you push down those big dominoes, many smaller ones will fall down, too.
Developing the belief that everything is figureoutable may require some deconstruction in your thinking. If you struggle with limiting beliefs, it’s important to replace them with ones that will support your new mindset.
3. Eliminate Excuses
If you want to implement the figureoutable philosophy into your life, you have to give up excuses. There’s just no room.
But first, it’s helpful to know what goals you have that are worth fighting for.
If you make excuses for not trying, this may be a good sign that the goal is just not meaningful enough for you.
When you hear yourself say I can’t do what’s necessary to reach that goal, you might really mean I won’t.
Because when you believe everything is figureoutable, then the word “can’t” becomes invalid, right?
Exchanging “can’t” for “won’t” changes the whole meaning of your statement.
When you say I can’t, you’re saying you are powerless over the situation; you’re a victim of circumstances.
But when you say I won’t, you’re taking responsibility for your inaction and admitting your lack of willingness.
So, when you can’t get past an excuse, ask yourself if that goal is really worth keeping. And when you can’t bring yourself to let it go, it’s time to start challenging your excuses.
Most excuses are connected to schedule, finances or knowledge. You might think you don’t have the time, the money or the skill to get something done.
But if your goal is important enough to you, you’ll find a way.
This is the figureoutable philosophy!
Here are some action steps to get past the excuses:
- Find 2 hours a day to work on your goals. Turn off the phone and the TV. Get up earlier. Go to bed later. It’s not about finding the time – it’s about making the time.
- The internet provides a plethora of free resources to support your efforts. Do some research, ask questions, and take advantage of what’s available. If you *have* to invest money in your dream, you can get a side job, sell some stuff around the house, or try crowdfunding.
- Saying “I don’t know how” doesn’t hold up in this day and age. Just ask Google.
4. Reframe Fear
When you’re chasing a big dream, fear will likely be a constant, nagging party-pooper that’s always trying to hold you back. Just expect it.
This is why it’s important to have a strategic plan for dealing with fear.
If you don’t figure out how to overcome it, you’ll have a tough time getting past it.
Instead of trying to muster up all of your courage, Marie suggests a different approach. Because the word “fear” is attached to such negative connotations, you might find it helpful to develop a different perspective.
For example, define the feelings that you normally connect with fear differently. Instead of labeling your emotions as “afraid” or “fearful” or “scared”, consider that you might just be feeling anticipation, excitement, or expectation.
Interpret those nervous sensations in your body as something else. You don’t have to label them as fear.
You could tell yourself that those emotions mean I’m ready! I’m pumped! I’m excited!
You could even come up with your own vocabulary to describe what you’re feeling – the sillier the better. (I like Marie’s use of “shooshie,” as in I’m feeling so shooshie right now!)
The way to tame your fear is to get acquainted with it.
Figure out the specifics of what you’re afraid of. Think about the worst possible outcome that you fear, and ask yourself how likely that could happen.
Then, think about the best possible outcome.
Is the risk worth it? If so, take action. Because action is the antidote to fear.
Don’t let fear hold you back. Acknowledge that it’s there, but don’t take it seriously.
Like Marie says, the fastest way out of your fear is through it.
5. Get Specific
The figureoutable mentality requires that you get real specific with what you want. This way, your brain knows what to focus on.
Being indecisive or uncertain will keep you stuck in a never-ending loop of inaction. The longer you spend thinking about what you’ll do, the more room you leave for doubt.
So stop thinking and start doing.
When you engage by taking action, you’ll experience clarity faster.
By being committed to a specific goal, you know where you want to end up. The best way to figure out the path is to keep moving forward.
Progress is not linear, so let go of that expectation. The mistakes and setbacks contribute just as much as the successes.
Research has shown that putting your goals in writing actually increases your chances of achieving them by 42%!
This is because your brain interprets what you’ve written down as something that is important – much more so than when you just “think” it is.
Writing and reading your goals on a regular basis programs your brain to focus on those things in your environment that will help you accomplish them.
It’s like if you consider buying an orange Subaru, and suddenly you see them everywhere. Your brain will literally focus on what you want, and filter out everything that’s irrelevant. Pretty cool!
The important thing to remember when clarifying your goals is to focus on what you can control. If you write down specifics that depend on the actions of other people, you’re giving control to someone else.
If you’re having trouble getting specific, Marie gives a 5-step “Action Challenge” exercise to help you determine and clarify your goals.
6. Start Before You’re Ready
This is one I really wrestle with. I always feel like I have to attain some great level of confidence before I take a step.
But really, it all comes down to fear of the unknown.
I understand now that this tricksy & false belief has held me back from so much progress in my life.
What I used to think was a keen skill for thorough research and preparation is really a clever tactic to stay in my comfort zone.
So, I strongly encourage you to take Marie’s advice:
You’ll never be ready to start, so stop waiting until you are.
You must be willing to do it scared and step out in faith. You have to start before you’re ready.
It’s the only way you’ll build momentum toward your goals, and conquer the feeling that you’re not ready. It’s how progress is made.
The good news is, you only have to know the next step to move forward. It’s so much easier to just focus on one step than try to figure out all of them at once!
As you step out in faith, maintaining the everything is figureoutable mentality, you will learn to get comfortable with uncertainty and inevitably expand your comfort zone.
Plus, the progress you’ll make by just figuring out one step at a time will give you the motivation to keep moving forward.
7. Choose Progress, Reject Perfection
Perfectionism is another clever disguise for fear. Don’t fall for it. It’s destructive and limiting and unattainable.
Striving for perfection will cause you to compare yourself to others, and will ultimately keep you in a fixed mindset.
Instead, let progress be your measuring stick. Open yourself up to learning and growth and mistakes and imperfect results.
Look at every failed try as one step closer to success. Choose learning, not quitting.
A good way to get perspective is to read the stories of other people who overcame many challenges to fulfill their dreams. Be inspired by those you admire who demonstrated great patience and persistence.
There is no shortcut to success, and progress isn’t a straight path. Expect that you’ll fall down many times before you start running.
Just get up and ask yourself what’s the next right move?
This will keep you focused and moving forward.
And take heart in knowing that progress is riddled with self-doubt along the way. It’s just part of the journey, so don’t let it hold you back.
Take a deep breath, think of how far you’ve come, and move forward.
8. Decline Defeat
When you’re committed to your dream and the belief that everything is figureoutable, you will inevitably face challenges.
These roadblocks will come in all shapes and sizes, and you’ll be tempted to give up or compromise your expectations along the way.
Sometimes there’ll be no other option but to accept the circumstances and take a detour. But there may be other times when rejecting resistance will be what it takes to push through.
So, make it a habit to challenge the status quo, question the rules, and give rejection a face palm.
This is your dream, and it’s worth standing up for.
Besides, what’s the worst thing that could happen? It doesn’t work out and you have to try something different? That’s what figuring it out is all about!
We can often feel defeated with just words. There will always be critics and people that think their opinion is truth. If you feel knocked down from harsh judgment, keep things in perspective. People who criticize are trying to make themselves feel better because they’re miserable in life.
So, always consider the source, and then just walk on by.
9. Don’t Steal From Others
This was my favorite part of the book.
At one point I felt like Marie was talking straight to me and I reread the same paragraph 5 times.
I think we all need to be reminded how incredibly special each of us are. I mean, just take a moment and think about it.
You are the only you that has ever been or ever will be, in the history of the universe.
Nobody – *no body* – can ever offer the precious and unique gifts that are inside of you.
And there is someone out there who needs them.
So, when you keep your ideas and perspectives and stories to yourself, you’re stealing from someone who needs them the most.
You serve nobody by holding back and playing small.
You were created to share what’s been given to you, because nobody else has it!
So, the next time you feel paralyzed by impostor syndrome, remember that you’re the real deal. There’s nobody else like you, and there never will be.
Focus on how you can help others instead of how you compare to others. It’s what you were created to do.
10. Everything Is Figureoutable!
The whole book is about achieving this mentality, so if I didn’t put this down as a takeaway then I missed the whole point!
It wasn’t difficult for me to buy in to Marie’s philosophy that everything is figureoutable.
I’ve always had a natural inclination to believe that if you can believe it, you can achieve it.
Nothing is impossible if you just set your mind to it.
But it was refreshing and helpful to learn how you can develop and maintain this belief, even when things are difficult.
I appreciated the practical steps she gives and the challenges she presented to move the reader in the right direction.
If you struggle with making progress with your goals, or often find yourself stuck in a negative loop of self-doubt and fear, I encourage you to read this book.
I think you’ll be inspired and motivated to push forward toward your goals with the confidence in knowing you have everything you need to figure it out.