Published by NavPress on August 17, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
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The First Book to Link the Science Behind Tiny Habits to Faith and Trauma Recovery
“The heartache that you woke up with this morning, that pain in your soul that makes even the task of receiving hope for today exhausting, that heartache is not who you are. The abuses, losses, and betrayals you’ve experienced do not have to continue to cast a dark shadow over your life. Your journey is not over, and you are never alone. Your situation is not your destiny, and sorrow isn’t your permanent address.”
Juni Felix is a triumph―a survivor of profound trauma, a Behavior Design Teaching Team member of renowned Stanford University professor Dr. B. J. Fogg’s Behavior Design Lab, and a Tiny Habits Coach. She begins her book with these words to encourage every recovering person to design a path toward hope, peace, and joy. By combining the science of Behavior Design with faith, she equips you with a proven method that works: Tiny Habits, a fun and surprisingly simple system that reprograms your mind toward faith that offers freedom from the wounds of your past. In this accessible book, she offers a vision of living faith by practicing Tiny Habits that build on each other and reward us with tiny victories and celebrations along the way.
As one who has long used Tiny Habits and teaches about using them to transform lives and relationships, Juni teaches that because God is a Systems Guy, human behavior is not random and unpredictable; it’s systematic. Once you understand the system, you can design strategies that work to take back your life and stop the cycle of shame, blame, and self-condemnation for good.
Juni Felix encourages trauma sufferers to pursue healing over the long haul, taking tiny, gradual steps towards wellness and spiritual wholeness. Felix is forthright about her own difficult background, but shows the reader how her life gradually changed as she began to think of trauma as “bad code” that she could rewrite by changing her habits. She urges readers not to blame themselves for feeling stuck or unable to heal, but shows them how a systems mindset for human behavior can help them make incremental changes that lead to transformation. Much of the book’s thesis originates from work by Dr. B. J. Fogg, a Behavior Design specialist, and Felix shares her passion for how a “TinyHabits” system can help people grow in self-compassion, love, and community.
I enjoyed Felix’s warm, personable writing voice throughout You Are Worth the Work: Moving Forward from Trauma to Faith. Her unique personality and compassion for others come through clearly in her writing, and I appreciated her many different reflections about common issues and experiences that trauma survivors struggle with. She seamlessly interweaves Scripture with her personal reflections and ideas for behavior design, and even though I found some aspects of the TinyHabits system gimmicky, the core truths behind the program will invite transformation, regardless how someone adapts it to their tastes. I would encourage people with less emotive personalities to read this book for the wisdom it offers, even if they find parts of it cheesy or unnatural to them.
You Are Worth the Work is full of practical ideas and loving encouragement for trauma survivors. Most of the examples focus on trauma within the family, since Felix’s background involved severe abuse and neglect at home, but people with different backgrounds can still benefit from her perspective and identify with her overall descriptions of life with trauma. Also, I’d like to note that this book is appropriate for teenagers. Felix avoids delving into graphic content, so this book can be helpful for anyone with the maturity and reading level to engage with the complex topics it covers. I would recommend You Are Worth the Work to people who feel overwhelmed by the healing process, no matter what they have specifically suffered, and this book would also be a great read for family members, friends, and spiritual leaders who want to better understand and support traumatized people in their lives.