Daree Allen, Author of What's Wrong With Me?: A Girl's Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and Advice Chats About How People Stay True to Themselves

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Meet Daree Allen

Daree Allen is an authorpreneur, young adult esteem advocate, speaker, and goal-getter in Atlanta, GA. She has published articles on a variety of topics as a freelance writer and blogger, and is the author of the new teen mentoring book entitled, "What's Wrong With Me?" in which she discusses her own childhood dealing with self-esteem, premarital sex, family and personal relationships. Find out more about her work at www.dareesinsights.wordpress.com and www.DareeAllen.com.

Synopsis from Goodreads

Premarital sex. Drugs. Dating violence. Dropping out of school. So many choices, good and bad, are available for youth in America today, and girls continue to be especially vulnerable. They often blame themselves for things that go wrong in their lives, even when it s not their fault. They ask, What's wrong with me?, or they hear, What's wrong with you?! and brace themselves for the denigrating comments to follow. 

It's a timeless theme: girls grow up in every generation struggling with self-esteem, confidence, body image issues, uncertainty about dating, and insecurity about their identities. Where do they turn for answers or role models? Friends and peers don t make for such great influences and mentors when they are floundering themselves. Images of women of color in the media (TV and music videos) reinforce an impossible ideal and lack of self-esteem. 

How do girls today make decisions that will positively impact their future and not become victims of their surroundings? How can they affirm their Christianity proudly and not succumb to the deteriorating values of modern society? In this empowering Christian self-help book, Allen weaves her memoir from 20 years of journaling with lessons that still ring true for girls today, about such topics as accepting their identity, adopting a healthy body image, dating relationships, dealing with toxic friends and family members, avoiding or delaying premarital sex, building self-esteem, developing a positive attitude, dressing for success, setting goals, spending money wisely, handling anger and depression, and embracing their singleness, discovering their life purpose, and keeping God first. 

I would like to welcome Daree Allen, author of What's Wrong With Me?: A Girl's Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and Advice  to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Allen was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:

Staying True to You

The concepts of "fitting in," peer pressure and groupthink are proven psychological phenomenons. However, they don't end with high school.

As adults we also can fall victim to these things if we're not careful.

Many industries operate with a kind of "formula" for success that says if you do this, please this group of people, you'll get success. Sometimes this involves taking shortcuts or compromising your values.

But at what expense?

Political Correctness

Our nation claims to be "One Nation Under God" as is stated in our pledge of Allegiance to the American flag, and our currency bears the statement, "In God We Trust." But our culture really does neither.

As the years go by, there are more and more attempts to kick God out of our schools, our of our communities, and out of our lives. For example, in December we say "Happy Holidays" to avoid offending non-Christians. In public some refer to God as "higher power" or "the universe." Girls Scouts USA has even changed references to God in their official Girl Scout promise and elsewhere to be printed like this: "God*" with an explanation that girls can define God however they like:

"Girl Scout policy states that the word "God" may be interpreted depending on individual spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, "God" may be substituted with the word dictated by those beliefs."

Not a Sell-Out

My first two books, "What's Wrong With Me?" and the "What's Wrong With Me? Reflections Journal," are a response to the desperate need for self-esteem and empowerment resources for teens and young adults--especially those who are not impoverished, but considered "good" or "average" and supposedly don't need help. When girls finish reading my book, I want them to understand themselves better, feel more assertive, make better choices, and be on their way to discovering and living in their purposes and destinies. They will realize that they're not alone in the way they feel, that they don't need approval from others to validate their worth, and the importance of a personal relationship with God.

I recently met with a trusted colleague and she recommended that I change my book (or create another version of it) that contains no scripture references or mentions of God or the Bible. I came to the conclusion that although she meant well in giving me this advice, it would have hurt my brand--and my spirit--to take her advice. Some may think that removing the references is "selling out," while some say it's just an effort to market to a wider audience, not in any way trying to negate my beliefs. But every successful book has a specific market--a specific niche.

Although there may be "unchurched" kids who need the mentoring content in my book, there is not such an overwhelming emphasis on "God this, God that" that would beat them over the head as they read it to the point where they cannot get those positive messages.

In the end, staying true to myself keeps my conscious clear, and honors my relationship with God. Regardless of your beliefs, staying true to yourself will keep you from losing your way. Not all will agree with your choices and convictions, but a person who cannot respect them is not a person you need in your life.

- Daree Allen, MS, Author of What's Wrong With Me?: A Girl's Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and Advice

- Visit my website: http://dareeallen.com

May you read well and often