Book Review: Gaining Traction

December 1, 2015



Through contatcing therapists about my book Grief is a Mess, I met a lovely woman named Vicki Panagotacos. I just finished reading her book Gaining Traction: Starting Over after the Death of a Life Partner.


Although I've never lost a life partner, I still found the book to be extremely helpful. Since my mum died, I think I've handled my life pretty well and made some awesome choices. However, I continue to struggle with my mental thoughts. Even though my actual life is amazing, my thoughts often overtake me and I don't enjoy my day. It is so easy for me to spiral downward. 


Through reading Gaining Traction, I actually feel like I can gain control over my thoughts. 


The book is broken down into concise chapters, with even shorter sections. Every section address a digestibel topic and comes with action steps you can take.


Here is where Vicki's book is different. Lots of books offer advice and steps you can take. However, the advice is often generalized for the masses with phrases like, "Just choose to be happy."


In reading Vicki's book, I felt like she knew exactly the kinds of thoughts that go through my mind. She truly understands grief. She perfectly targets each thought that can hold a grieving person back and then specifically addresses it.


There were three subtle mental switches she mentioned in Gaining Traction that really stuck with me. They stuck with me so much that I chose to make a video about them called For the Grieving: 3 Ways to Think More Positively


Another positive thing I learned from her book was to always keep post-it notes around for when I think of something fun I'd like to do. I often find that my thoughts and ideas are overwhelming. Now I have post-it notes for all of them! Whenever I get a little down, I look at all my fun ideas and choose one!


Vicki states in her book, "You have learned that your life is not over, but to live it fully you must leave your nest to get what you want and need." Gaining Traction equips you to do just that. It steps you through the mental shifts that need to be made so you can even WANT to get out of your comfort zone and enjoy life. 


I am grateful the book came my way. I'd offer to let you borrow my copy, but it's covered in notes and underlining!

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