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In early November, after over a year of living in our current residence, I finally got out and found our local library and got a library card. It had been years and several addresses since I used one. I rarely had time to read – or at least, I rarely allowed myself time to read. As I perused titles, with no real direction or intent, a book stood out to me and piqued my interest. That book was You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero.
Without a plan, I had ended up in the self-help and personal development section – a section I admit I have pretty much always avoided. Who needs all the hokey “You can do it!” b.s., right? Well, as it turns out, I did. After a rough patch of disappointment in 2017 (see my post about Bouncing Back After Failure), I had spent the summer and fall floundering and was finally starting to make the uphill climb out of depression and lethargy. Something about the title just struck me. It felt different than what I expected from these kinds of books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen Sincero is a bestselling author and success coach, and her website and social media accounts are full of inspiring quotes, stories, and resources, as well as fun and photos. She found success around age 40, which means hope is not lost for all of us past 25 who think we’ve somehow missed our boat.
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life is a nonfiction, self-help book that doesn’t feel like one. The book is full of advice, easy exercises, funny personal stories, and even some swearing. Jen Sincero covers everything. From acceptance of what you can’t change, to ways to change what you don’t like, and how to just be yourself and take charge of your own life. Through sharing her own story and journey, she equips the reader to better move forward on their personal journeys.
The book covers ways for you to improve your own life by becoming more aware of your thoughts and subconscious behaviors. Jen covers fear and overcoming it to pursue your dreams. She even helps to direct you if you aren’t sure what your dreams are! Jen encourages you to take that scary leap of faith and start living. She encourages you to stop worrying about what others might think or say about you. Sometimes we really just have to let go and trust the Universe.
Most of all, she wants to help you embrace one truth. Whether you believe it about yourself currently or not, you are a badass.
“Wow.” That was pretty much my reaction to this book. It’s funny, honest, down-to-earth, and direct. And it got into my head, in a good way.
I admit, in the beginning, I was eye-rolling a bit. Despite being so much more blunt and informal than what I “expected” from self-help books, I was still seeing a version of “the only thing stopping your life from being great is you!” and things labeled as “positive affirmations” and my pessimistic self wanted to laugh it all off. But yet I kept reading. And I stopped eye-rolling. I started nodding. And agreeing. Gradually, I realized my view of my life and the world around me was changing.
I don’t necessarily agree with all of her opinions. But I also realized I didn’t have to. Before this book, I might have held on to the small parts I disagreed with and used them to dismiss the whole thing. With the way I’ve changed how I look at things, I can overlook those small and relatively minor details and look at the big picture and see its value.
Look, I don’t want to sound too cliché – but when I say “this book will change your life”, I mean it. Is everything in my life magically amazing now? Did all my problems disappear? No, of course not. Have I been able to start looking at my life from a better perspective and let go of things I don’t need to be stressing over? Yes. Since reading this book, I have been able to improve my attitude, my acceptance, and my gratitude. And it encouraged me to keep reading, finding more books. From the ones Jen herself recommend in the book to ones that Amazon recommended, I’ve gone on a whole self-improvement journey since I picked this up in November.
I absolutely loved this book and have already started recommending it to family and close friends. And now I’m recommending it to you, the internet at large. Pick it up. Buy it new, buy it used, listen to the audiobook, check it out from the library. Even if you’re feeling pessimistic, don’t give up on it, and don’t take it too seriously. You don’t have to 100% agree with everything she says (the same is true of ANYTHING you read), but read it all and take what does apply and resonate. It might be more than you expect.
Jen Sincero has since written a follow-up, You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth, which I want to pick up in the near future. This time she has tackled personal finance in a blunt and practical guide. If it’s even half as good as this book, I can’t wait to read it.