“You Are A Badass” by Jen Sincero: 10 Life-Changing Lessons I Learned
Watching other people’s reactions when you openly mention that you’re into “self-help” are pretty similar as when someone mentions they’re a “vegan” or “feminist”. It makes some people excited, other people cringe, but there’s almost always a judgmental reaction from the masses. I would say more often than not, it causes misunderstanding. Negative connotations are embedded.
“Something must be wrong with them if they’re so interested in self-help.”
Well, look at it this way. Imagine if you got over yourself already and started taking personal growth seriously, or at least into account. You’d probably be happier, have more money, be fitter, or have that healthy relationship you’ve always wanted (even if you just want a healthy relationship with yourself, that’s cool too). We live one life, and you’re seriously trying to tell me that you have no interest in bettering yourself, your mindset, or your well-being?! Self-help isn’t for the broken. WE ALL NEED HELP AND ARE CAPABLE OF GROWTH. And there’s no limit on our growth capabilities as human beings.
For those interested or brave enough to take a dip in the self-help pool of magnificence, “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero is a wonderful place to start. Her style of writing is anything but cliche self-help rambling, but instead feels like she took you out to coffee & casually gave you a bucket-load dose of truth. And if you’re still apprehensive about reading a self-help book, don’t get me wrong. I GET IT. it’s weird to get used to terms like “the Universe” or “Source Energy“, (both of which are used in this book), and take them seriously concerning your personal growth. I’m a fellow cynic. But this book isn’t expecting you to think like a total non-conformist hippie. These are more used as reference words used to understand a new way of thinking, and that way of thinking is necessary to maximize your understanding of this book.
In this post, I’m going to share the 10 Key Lessons from this book that most resonated with me. This book covers it all, so your top lessons might be a bit different! Regardless, it’s most definitely worth the read.
It’s actually amazing how such a short chapter (3 pages) can give such a profound message. On the surface, the message is CHILL OUT, YOU’RE NOT A SUCKY HUMAN! But really, the main take away is that we ultimately decide how we view and love ourselves. That’s right guys, it’s a decision. We have the control. I mean, how nice would it be to wake up every morning and decide, “I love myself and everything I am“. It sounds too simple and good to be true. But seriously. Try saying it out loud….at home….preferably alone. You’ll feel like a serial killer but at least you’ll be one with a healthy self-image.
Sidenote: In another chapter she reviews this a bit more and discusses “Affirmations“. DO THESE. For real. Give it a few days. Wake up and repeat a phrase to yourself. For example, if i’m having trouble sticking to a healthy lifestyle, I’ll say “I am strong-willed and capable of making firm decisions to be healthy. I am in direct control of my actions“. It may feel awkward and silly, but just do yourself a favor.
2) What Others Think
Somewhat related to the previous topic, Sincero steals my heart right off the bat with one of my all-time favorite quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
You are in direct control of how other people make you feel. Letting others make you feel sub-par is, again, a decision. Sincero words it best, “It’s about respecting yourself, instead of catering to your insecure need to be liked“. Let’s be real, everyone wants to be liked, and that’s okay. But wanting and “needing” are separate things entirely. Imagine if all the fruitless effort you put into getting others to appreciate you, you put into appreciating yourself? Now, that’s an actual investment worth your time.
3) Your Thoughts Are Your Truth
This chapter had me all “YAAAS GIRL PREACH!“, the entire time. THIS is how I’ve always felt, but Sincero words it with such ease, that she makes it easy for the average person to understand. Our minds are crazy devices. We can literally directly transform positive thinking into positive experiences. If we give good vibes to the world, it gives them right back. It’s a very mutualistic relationship.
Now this isn’t to say that if you’re looking for Mr. (or Mrs.) Right you can walk outside right now and loudly proclaim, “I AM WORTHY OF LOVE AND OPEN TO FINDING A HEALTHY, GRATIFYING RELATIONSHIP!“. You’ll look stupid, scare people, and getting a relationship doesn’t work that way. This process isn’t magic. The point is, when you radiate positivity and the belief that you can have (and deserve) what you want, you WILL it into existence and clear the pathway for those good things to find their way to you. Don’t believe it? Just try it!
4) Give, Give, Give
There is a particular excerpt from this chapter that resonated with me. Sincero states, “When we’re in fear, we hold on to what we’ve got because we don’t trust that there’s any more. We pinch off the energy, we’re scared to share, and we focus on, and create more of, the very thing we’re hoping to avoid, which is lack“. This one hit me like a ton of bricks. While most of us are brought up with the notion that, “sharing is caring”, the way Sincero words this is with a high dosage of adult realism.
This concept is really, very simple. The more you give, the more you get. Once again, this is yet another example of, what you put out into the world, will come back to you. The more you withhold from the world, the more lack you possess. If you live with the mindset of “never having enough”, it stunts your growth as a human being and makes you susceptible to negative thinking and experiences. SHARE WHAT YOU CAN, and don’t live in fear of what you don’t possess, but instead what you can give to this little speck of a planet.
5) Being Positive Does Not Equal Being Delusional
This is a big one for me. It’s something I try to practice in daily life, and it might even annoy the %$#@ out of some, but I never apologize for it. Positivity is power we all possess. The problem is that thinking positive routinely, can be seen by others as delusional.
“How can any one person always be that happy?!“.
While I really do get it (sometimes in the morning I want to smash those with a smile on their faces), this ultimately serves no one. When you make a conscious choice to be positive, you are taking power over a situation, not letting the situation have power over you. Positivity is a weapon, one that often confuses your enemies. Wield it, USE IT.
As Sincero recommends, a life hack to get this positivity habit started is to begin adding “This is good because…” to otherwise sucky situations. If you turn negatives into positives, you will be happier, healthier, and overall more successful. So do it my fellow cynic, I DARE YOU. Your life will change.
6) Forgiveness Is About You
This section tells you to simply remove that chip off your shoulder and get over yourself already. When you hold on to a grudge/resentment/anger, who are you hurting? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not your enemies. Not even close. The chapter states, “Forgiving isn’t about being nice to them, it’s about being nice to yourself“. SO MUCH TRUTH. Do yourself a favor and forgive, forgive, FORGIVE. Happiness has no place for resentment.
7) Too Much Planning, Not Enough Doing
This topic for me, and for I’m sure many others out there, felt like it was handwritten for my life. Many of us get stuck in what feels like an uncontrollable, never-ending cycle of “not getting things done”. Why is this always happening? It can’t possibly be us! Like every other bomb dropped in this book, once again, IT’S COMPLETELY US.
Procrastination is an excuse. A fear-based distraction. An indicator that although you may think you want something badly, you quite possibly don’t want it bad enough. Or, that you’re so wrapped up in your own fear of failure that you create the distractions in order to protect yourself from the misery of not succeeding. She states, “Procrastination is one of the most popular forms of self-sabotage because it’s really easy.” It requires no physical, mental, or emotional effort to procrastinate. We just do. It’s impossible to fail at something that requires no action.
But the main point I took away from this chapter states, “Remember That Done Is Better Than Perfect”. Holy crap. So I can just start something, and it doesn’t have to be perfect right away? I can make…MISTAKES?! The realization is too much to handle. This new way of thinking, coincidentally, is what pushed me to create this blog. I’ve always wanted to do it, but procrastinated (for years), in fear that I wouldn’t meet my personal standards of perfection. But I started one anyways. And the world didn’t implode.
8) Mastering the To-Do List
Related to the last topic, this one is an insanely useful take-away. Much of the reason why our tasks don’t get done, or we have an easy excuse to procrastinate them, is that we aren’t optimizing our actual To-Do lists. I personally go through life making list, after list, after list. To me, making the list gives me a temporary sense of reinforcement that I’ll get those things done. If I write them down, I already got those tasks done in my mind. But this is setting myself up for failure.
Sincero talks about the art of making a To-Do list. She offers simple strategies which are focused on narrowing down your tasks. She states, “Do what you can do in joy, instead of trying to do it all in misery“. She also offers up the advice on really thinking about which tasks actually need to get done, as opposed to the mundane tasks that you put down to simply fill up your time. Narrowing down your To-Do list is tough, as I am guilty of having the mind-set that I can get everything done if I power through it. But be kind, and realistic with yourself. Set yourself up for success early on. You’ll be happier in the end.
9) Money: The Toxic Relationship You Didn’t Know You Had
This was a mind-blowing moment for me. I legitimately didn’t realize I had an unhealthy relationship with money, and I bet if you’re reading this saying “Oh well, I don’t“, you actually just might. I’ve never even remotely considered the fact that I had a negative outlook on money. I’ve been fortunate enough to never be in serious debt, have maintained good credit, and have never had any traumatic money issues in my life thus-far.
Why would I have issues with money, seeing as how fortunate I am?
But then, something so profound was touched on in this book. It allowed me to have the realization that BECAUSE I have been so fortunate in not having serious money issues, that I have developed a state of mind in which I feel I don’t need a lot of money to be happy. Which sounds like a noble thing right? We’re brought up to believe that “Money does not buy happiness”. But there are experiences in life, that money does buy and is necessary for. And for pretty much all of us, those are experiences we want in our lives in order to be happy.
Sincero states, “Decide what you want and write down the exact cost“. This was over-whelming. When I added up the experiences in life I wanted to have (travel, home, children, etc.), the actual cost far exceeded what I thought it would.
So you’re telling me that my intended path to having a happy, morally-sound life not defined by money has actually been hurting me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Our goal is to ultimately see money as a positive “tool”, not shackles that have a negative hold on our lives. If you fight the need for more money, you’re pushing away life goals and experiences that you wish for yourself. Get rid of the pride, and accept that in order for you to achieve happiness in certain areas of life, money is a means to that joyous end. She also goes on the say that “Having money is not only a blessing, it’s my responsibility.” So, it’s okay to feel the need for more money and still maintain a humble existence? Yes, yes it is.
10) Final Thoughts
In the last sections of the book she touches on some tips that will use the momentum of the lessons learned in this book to keep you propelling forward. There are three in particular that I connected with most:
Become An Expert At Forming Habits. And in forming the new habits, do ANYTHING to make it feel routine (Example: I’ve literally gone to bed in running clothes to remind myself to run in the mornings). The first step in keeping a new habit, is making the decision to. Take control of that mind of yours, start slow, and make a small decision each day towards mastering that new habit. Progression not perfection.
“Hang High“, as Sincero calls it. This is something I feel everyone has to watch out for. If you’re on a path to bettering yourself, don’t make the mistake of surrounding yourself with people who will bring you down. Surround yourself with those who keep your expectations high for yourself, and make you feel like you need to reach their level of potential. Make friends with those who are living the kind of life you wish to live.
Be Realistic When Setting Goals. Setting new, exciting expectations for yourself is great. But don’t set yourself up for failure. If you set such small goals, that you can’t possibly fail them, you are building that trust in yourself that you can get things done. As smaller goals get completed, gradually set that bar higher and higher, till you’re achieving those outlandish goals that you originally set.
So, to wrap things up, this book helped me immensely. Not only did it teach me new things entirely, but shed further light on things I was already aware of. Whether you’ve already read the book, are thinking of reading it, or think “self-helpy” books are pretentious and forced, I hope that this review gives a little insight on some important lessons we can take into our daily lives!
You can purchase a copy of this amazingness HERE
P.S. I would love to hear from you!
If there’s anything in this post that resonated with you, or anything you’d like me to touch on further, don’t hesitate to let me know! 🙂
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Till next time!
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