“This book will meet you right where you are with a giant hug while also giving you a little kick in the pants.”—Audrey Roloff, New York Times bestselling coauthor of A Love Letter Life, founder of Always More, cofounder of Beating50Percent
Does it ever seem like you still have to find your purpose or that you’re stuck with “unfigured-out dreams”? Do you feel the pressure to prove yourself or worry about what others will think?
You are not the only one.
From accidentally starting a small business instead of using her college degree, to embarrassing herself onstage in front of thousands, to wasting time worrying about what others think or say, Jordan Lee Dooley knows exactly how that feels—and she’s learned some important lessons about living a purposeful life along the way.
An influential millennial widely recognized for her tagline turned international movement, “Your Brokenness is Welcome Here,” Jordan has become a go-to source that women around the world look to for inspiration in their faith, work, relationships, and everyday life.
Now, in this approachable but actionable read that’s jam-packed with practical tools, Jordan equips you to
• tackle obstacles such as disappointment, perfectionism, comparison, and distraction
• remove labels and break out of the box of expectations
• identify and eliminate excuses and unnecessary stress about an unknown future
• overcome the lie that you can’t live your God-given purpose until you reach a certain goal or milestone
If you ever feel you need to shift your mindset but don’t know how, this book will help you overcome shame, practice gratitude, and redefine success.
Praise for Own Your Everyday
“In a world where we often feel pressured to move forward as quickly as possible, the words that fill these pages shine light on this beautiful truth: there is a fulfilling life to be lived right here, where we are.”—Morgan Harper Nichols, artist and poet
“Authentic, intuitive, and compassionate, Jordan clears the clutter from our minds and hearts while enthusiastically guiding us to discover our own authentic purpose.”—Jessica Honegger, author, founder and co-CEO of Noonday Collection
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Sold by:||Random House|
|File size:||1 MB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1: You Can’t Walk Through Walls
Here are a few things you should know about me: I don’t have a master’s degree in anything. I haven’t saved someone from a burning building recently (or ever). I had a chicken named Pickle (I say had because she was recently escorted to chicken heaven, thanks to the not-so-friendly neighborhood owl). My favorite talent is that I can clap with one hand (which makes me look a little ridiculous flapping my hand around). Quite honestly, I’m a pretty average human being.
I just want to make sure we’re on the same page, because there have been far too many times I’ve opened a book thinking the author puts her pants on differently than I do—as if she’s a fancy-pants lady instead of an ordinary, imperfect human like me. Why do we do that? Why do we see people’s names on book covers or their faces on TV or become followers of their social media and then get some weird idea in our heads that they’re better than we are?
I’ve done it, and I’m sure you have too. So let me just set your expectations here. I’m not trying to be your pastor or your professor or your counselor. I’m your pal. We put our pants on the same way. And I hope you feel as though you’re sitting on the floor eating pizza with me in our pajamas and not as though I’m talking at you from a pulpit.
Just to paint the scene, I’m currently sitting at my kitchen table wearing mismatched socks and an oversize T-shirt, and I could really use a shower. (Sometimes when you get on a writing roll, you just accept the troll look for the day and go into your cave.) It’s not exactly glamorous over here.
That’s my whole point, though. Who says we have to be glamorous to show up and do what we’re made to do? Who says we’ve got to have a cool story to step into something bigger than ourselves? That narrative stops right here. Maybe if we quit assuming our talents are lame or our stories are boring or we have to be impressive to be impactful and instead just look a little deeper, we’ll find something more powerful than what meets the eye.
That said, even if you are cooler than I am and you have saved somebody from a burning building or won a Nobel Peace Prize, I still think we’ll be friends. I believe we can have different experiences and still ultimately struggle with the same core issues: insecurities, unmet expectations, and the pressure to prove ourselves. I’ve been so wrapped up in labels and perceived expectations that I nearly lost myself. If any of this resonates with you, pop a squat and let’s have a two-hundred-plus-page chat.
Now that we’ve found some common ground in our mutual humanness, I want to start at the beginning of my story, with some of my earliest and most treasured memories.
One particular memory is so vivid that I can almost smell the corn tortillas searing on the stove and hear Nana’s thick Hispanic accent. Though decades have passed, I still remember the games I’d play with my grandma in her tiny one-bedroom apartment. I loved those times when it was just the two of us, when she’d make my favorite food and we’d giggle and play games until all hours of the night. (Bedtime never existed during sleepovers at Nana’s house.)
As I played with my dolls on the floor one evening, Nana reached for a roll of masking tape, ripped off a long piece, and stuck it to the fuzzy brown carpet next to me. She placed another and another, until several long pieces formed a lopsided square around my six-year-old self. Then she tossed the remainder of the roll to the side.
“Ta-da!” she said. “Es una casa, mi Jordan preciosa!” (“It’s a house, my precious Jordan!”) A gap, an empty space on one side, marked the doorway to get in and out of our imaginary house. Stepping over the cockeyed lines of tape that marked pretend walls wouldn’t do. Why? Because you can’t walk through walls.
I’m always amazed when I realize these simple, seemingly insignificant childhood games we played had powerful lessons tucked inside. Doors are essential in life. Doors are the only way we allow others in and the only way we step out. They’re also the only way we move beyond the little walls we tend to build around ourselves in an effort to avoid vulnerability or possible betrayal. Perhaps in our most simple and unobserved experiences, such as mine with Nana, we learn more about the purpose tucked deep inside us than in the milestones and moments we publicize on social media.
This was just one of many make-believe games Nana and I played together. In our enchanted world, such as that imaginary house made of tape, I had a sanctuary in which to dream. I had a safe place to be anything I could imagine, and I loved it.
This is where my childhood nickname, Sparkles, originated. I admit that’s a horrendously embarrassing nickname. But it was oddly accurate. I wanted to sparkle, to shine, to be beautiful, and to be seen. Don’t we all?
Nana and I often switched roles when we played make-believe. Sometimes she pretended to be the child so I could be the grandma. Other times she was the customer so I could be the chef. This time, though, she was the patient and I was the nurse.
“Knock, knock,” she said. I reached out my arm and acted as if I were opening a door, welcoming her into my clinic. She extended her leg dramatically as she moved through the doorway—the gap in the tape. I knew what was coming.
“Big step!” we said together.
“Big step” was our thing, our own little tradition. Nana encouraged me when I was a toddler simply by coming alongside me, taking my hand, and showing me how to take a big step. The big step became part of nearly every game we played together. We didn’t do anything without taking big, fearless steps. Together we’d each peel our toes off the floor, simultaneously stretch out our right legs, and say, “Big step!”
As our toes hit a new place on the floor ahead of us, we celebrated, often dancing to a silly tune Nana made up on the spot. Other times we’d give each other a high five, and sometimes, when Mom wasn’t looking, Nana would sneak me some of my favorite candy, gummy bears, as if to say, Well done, little one.
Even into my adolescent years, sweet Nana whispered that phrase whenever I felt afraid, unsure, or insecure. When I was nervous about playing the part of an Oompa Loompa in the middle school play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, she slipped her weathered hand into mine, which had been painted orange, and gave me a wink as if to remind me: big step.
Before I ever really understood the depth of what she was teaching me, Nana dared me to dream, to be bold in pursuing the ground God lays right before me, and to take fearless steps with purpose before I figured anything else out.
One big step. That’s all it took to give me the courage and boldness to step out a little farther and walk a little taller as a young girl. I still believe that’s all it takes for you and me—one big step. At first glance this idea might seem cliché—silly, even. But I think we often forget that every big step in life is really just a series of tiny movements and small decisions that add up, becoming the very thing that allows us to move from living in insecurity to living out our destiny.
One Last Big Step
Several years later, Nana got really sick. She’d been ill for a while when I found her one Tuesday afternoon banging her hands violently on a wall, lost and confused and trying to escape her nursing home—the place that kept her safe. Turns out you really can’t walk through walls, even if you want to. I wrapped my arms around her to calm her, but she didn’t recognize me. A nurse came to the rescue. I gulped, and with a lump in my throat, I fought back tears. Nana had always been a safe place for me when I felt afraid as a little girl. But now, when I tried to be a safe place for her, when I tried to wrap her in a protective embrace and be her refuge when she felt afraid, she didn’t know me.
As Nana would say, Oh my stars.
We finally calmed Nana and got her seated. Alzheimer’s was winning the battle for her mind, and somehow it was managing to break my spirit too. Then the nurse handed me a plastic cup of peaches and asked whether I’d like to help feed my grandmother.
Seriously? No, I don’t want to feed her. She’s supposed to feed me! I wanted to respond.
But I didn’t say anything. I kindly accepted the plastic cup of preserved fruit and asked Nana to open her mouth, just as she had asked me to do many years ago. My mind was swirling. Is this real life? What is happening? What do you do when one of your very best friends, one of your childhood heroes, the one who pretended to be sick and broken so you could pretend to nurse her back to health, becomes truly sick and broken? How do you handle it when the roles you played in that imaginary house of tape become reality? How do you cope with the disappointment when you hope she’ll recognize your face but she doesn’t?
I didn’t know. My seventeen-year-old heart didn’t have a clue. I searched every square inch of myself and came up without an answer worth more than that old roll of tape. Maybe you know how it is with brokenness like this. The kind we can’t seem to control—the downward spiral of shame, sickness, or pain.
We stare into cups of peaches, searching for answers, hoping for a break from the breaking, wishing that somehow the damage will be reversed, and wondering where on God’s green earth that light at the end of the tunnel is.
About a year later, I had just settled in for my first year at Indiana University when Mom called to tell me Nana had taken a turn for the worse. She didn’t have much time left, and it was time to say goodbye.
Goodbye—a send-off, a word used when parting ways. How is it that the word we use when ending a phone call is the same one we whisper when we’re about to be separated from someone who’s slipping into eternity—a separation marked by the reality that we won’t be able to just call each other back? When we’re about to be divided by walls we can’t leave a gap in, as we could with tape on the floor? Nana was about to take a big step into eternity, but this time I couldn’t hold her hand the whole way.
I packed a bag, locked my college dorm room, hopped into the car Nana had passed down to me, and cried mascara-filled tears onto the steering wheel as I raced home. Somehow I managed to drive despite my blurred vision.
When I arrived at the nursing home, I found my mom sitting by Nana’s side. I plopped down next to her and leaned over to kiss the pale skin on Nana’s forehead, knowing this would be the last time. Within a few hours Nana took that big step into eternity, leaving the rest of us behind. The heart that had given so much light and love to my own young heart had no beats left. Mom’s eyes filled with tears as I hugged her tight.
She squeezed back as if to wring the sadness out of both of us. Bearing burdens is just like that—leaning in, letting someone else’s pain seep from her heart into ours. It means becoming a shelter for someone, often when our own heart is barely beating. But there’s comfort in that. A purpose in it.
Purpose. There’s profound purpose in simply meeting other people right where they are, in stepping into, not away from, their struggles and sharing them. Sometimes we can be so quick to offer consoling words and dry someone else’s tears, when really the best thing we can do is let the tears flow and even absorb them. Bearing burdens doesn’t mean fixing them. It means not allowing the other person to bear the load alone.
We sat there, Mom and I, waterworks and all. I wanted nothing more than to find a roll of masking tape and wrap it around my heart to keep it from falling apart. And maybe that’s what I began to do. Maybe that’s what we all do sometimes.
The Walls Were Only Make-Believe
When all the visiting, sharing, laughter, and tears surrounding Nana’s funeral ended, I traveled back to campus and attempted to make the transition to college life and learn all that comes with adulting for the first time. That’s a challenge in and of itself.
In the middle of an awkward transitional season, losing Nana added a curveball I wasn’t prepared for. So I spent the subsequent months trying to wrap my life in the things I thought would hold me together, in what I thought would keep me strong and secure when I felt as though I were falling apart. Academic accomplishments. A boyfriend. Leadership positions and résumé boosters. The whole nine yards.
It was like a strategy to distract myself from mourning. I thought if I filled my life with enough good things, covering up the internal feelings of insecurity with external Band-Aids, perhaps the sadness would somehow go away. I reasoned that the image I built up on the outside would somehow make me all better inside.
Over time I became the girl who kept up with the crowd on Friday night and still aced a test at eight o’clock on Monday morning, all while juggling eight billion extracurricular activities, clocking in at a part-time job, and training for a half marathon. I mean, why not?
You know, I used to hear the word labels and immediately think of negative things. Except when I look back at that season, it’s obvious that reputation management and image maintenance are nothing more than sticking a bunch of labels and titles on ourselves that we assume others will perceive as positive. Labels such as “the smart girl” or “the put-together girl” or “the grad student” can give a sense of confidence because of how others perceive us. However, they also create pressure to live up to the perceived expectations that come with those labels. If you’re “the smart girl,” you’d better not get a B on that test. If you’re “the fit girl,” you’d better not eat that cake. Whatever the word or label is, trying to live up to what we believe that ought to look like creates a lot of pressure. Of course, I didn’t know that at that time. I thought looking strong meant being strong (spoiler alert: that’s not always true).
Those labels I lived behind were like those lines of tape I played inside as a little girl. Behind them I could hide from the world and keep my insecurities a secret.
But those tape walls had never really kept me safe. They were just tape. They were only make-believe, after all. And perhaps the same is true for labels we live behind and boxes we get stuck inside. Maybe they’re just made up in our own minds.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Your Brokenness Is Welcome Here 1
Part 1 Where Do I Start?
1 You Can't Walt Through Walls 11
2 What Are You Really After? 23
3 Breakthrough Begins with You 33
Part 2 Getting Unstuck
4 Overcoming Impostor Syndrome with Intentional Action Steps 51
5 Overcoming Disappointment with a Different Perspective 71
6 Overcoming Shame by Sharing 91
7 Overcoming Comparison with Compassion and Communication 113
8 Overcoming Perfectionism by Prioritizing 135
9 Overcoming Distraction with Discipline 149
Part 3 What to Do Now
10 Focus on Who You Are, Not What You Do 165
11 Redefine Success 173
12 Let It Go, Girl 183
13 Get Out of Your Own Way 193
14 Stop Waiting, Start Living 205
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I picked up Own Your Everyday during an extremely difficult time in my life where I felt like I had to put everything I wanted to do on hold. This book really challenged me to stop acting like my life was temporarily over and to start dreaming big again. That dreaming led to looking at what steps I could take in the meantime. I loved the book so much that I bought the audible version so I could hear Jordan speaking these truths into my life!
Such a great book full of real talk! Simple and practical steps to be present and make the most of each day! I highlighted so much and will continue to go back to the nuggets of wisdom in this book and share it with others. Perfect gift for new grads also!
I’m a newbie to Jordan Lee Dooley. And when I found her followers I wondered if I was too old to appreciate her. I am delighted to report that Jordan’s style amazes me. I’m an avid reader of self help or coaching books of the Christian industry. And I’m delighted that she is the real deal. Her faith is who she is but not shoved at you. She just declares her experiences with God. Her wonders and how she sees God essential in her life purpose. She’s not preachy. She is truthful about what helps her. She seems like a kindred spirit. A sister or dear friend who has dropped by to be real and talk through how to live owning your everyday the way God desires for you. She will help you find your purpose, hone your purpose, accept struggle, take baby steps forward, she covers so many layers of life and learning with such ease and fluency. She will use her book. Her blog. Her podcast to be that whisper in your ear to remind you or train you to have a healthy mindset. This book is full of her thinking aloud in a healthy way. I would say her gift to the reader is a God driven growth mindset with your unique purpose as the foundation. It’s an easy read. But I was disappointed when it was over. Thankful she podcasts weekly. Lots of authors tell us how to reflect and be introspective. Jordan Lee Dooley is the first coach who makes self discovery seem effortless and simple. Delighted to partner with Water-brook Multnomah and read an advanced copy. I hope this is the first of many books. I sense that women of any age will be captivated and want to grow with her for years to come. It is true that our “brokenness is welcome here.” But is also true that you can own your everyday and let go of false feelings and learn to move ahead.
Stop what you're doing and order Own Your Everyday now. Let me tell you...Jordan Lee Dooley speaks to your heart in every way. This is a book designed to help you work toward making space for your biggest dreams and finding ways to achieve them. Jordan is so down to earth and relatable. Some books in this genre feel like a lecture but Jordan is so genuine in sharing her own struggles and doubts, it feels less like someone telling you what to do and way more like a good friend guiding you toward your best self. I couldn't put this down and plan to re-read it multiple times. This would also be a wonderful book to read every December or January as your prepare for the year ahead. Take time to get comfy (Jordan is a big advocate for leggings and cozy sweatshirts!) and read this book - you will not regret it!
In " Own Your Everyday," author Jordan Dooley gives the reader permission to shake off the expectations of others to reach towards freedom. This is her first book, yet I feel as though Jordan is the type you could have a great conversation with over coffee. Honest and encouraging, Dooley seeks for readers to examine the motives behind what they do and how they use their time and talents. Often we pile more onto our plates than is necessary or healthy, leading to exhaustion and disappointments. I've not followed Dooley's work in the past, but she brings a unique perspective to her writing, which I enjoyed. Most of my early reader PDF is highlighted for future reference and so that I can hand letter some quotes that really hit home for me. Don't miss out on this one--it would make a great gift for a woman of any age who is trying to find their true purpose in life--not one dictated or encouraged from the culture we live in. I was excited to receive an early reader PDF. All opinions are my own and I was not required to leave a review.
This book is like you're sitting down with a cup of coffee and a warm blanket for a chat with a friend. The conversational style and personal anecdotes from Jordan make you feel right at home. I loved how light-hearted, yet moving this book was. It's like getting your therapist and big sister all wrapped into one. I have been reading more and more of the personal development genre lately and though Rachel Hollis has been the one I'd go to in a tough season of life, right now I think I'd pick this book over any of Hollis's. The pages of my advanced reader copy, gifted to me by Waterbrook, are dog-eared and highlighted and written in far more than GWYF. I truly believe Jordan is going to start a movement, well, another movement, we already have YBIWH but now we have OYE. And it's going to catch fire any moment.
Own Your Everyday reached inside my heart, mind, and experiences to make me feel seen by Jordan. Some of the experiences were literally play-by-play my own. I knew Jordan was going to give me a new goal or perspective for my life from listening to her podcast and following her on social media, but she changed my life direction. This may seem a bit extreme that a “self-help” book could actually help, but I guarantee that one story or piece of advice will resonate with you. I highlighted at least one sentence per page. I cried during several chapters which spoke right to my heart. Even if you say you don’t read self-help books, I recommend picking this one up. Own Your Everyday is life-changing, not just self-help.
This book is perfect for any woman, at any stage of life, looking for encouragement to embrace the calling God has for them in both the large and small pieces of their life! I love that Jordan encourages her readers to begin right where they are, shares her personal story and her experience learning the lessons she shares, and then includes practical action steps in each chapter - there's literally no excuse not to find your purpose if you read her book thoughtfully and step out in even just a few of her suggested steps in faith! Can't recommend more highly. I received an early copy of this book from the publisher as a member of the book launch team.
This book is SO good! In this generation, I feel like we are all trying to perform and be successful, whether that’s self-imposed pressure or not. But have you ever wondered if there is something more to life? If there is purpose in everyday tasks? If we can overcome that “pressure to prove”? If you’ve ever wondered any of this, this book is FOR YOU. Jordan answers all of these questions and more in such an easy-to-read format. I loved reading about her story! She really is a girl just like the rest of us that overcame the pressure to prove and showed up for what she was made to do. Jordan shares relatable stories and tangible steps to take to truly own your everyday. I highly recommend for every girl/woman out there! (I am so grateful to have received an advanced reader copy from WaterBrook and Multnomah!)