You are a Badass – Jen Sincero (Book Review)
This book is pretty much in your face. With its bright yellow cover and the huge letters screaming at you: You are a Badass. How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life. You are a Badass talks about how we are constantly sabotaging ourselves in getting what we really want, about learning about ourselves from what annoys you about other people, about chasing your dreams and creating a life that you want and love.
Oh but isn’t every self-help book like that? I hear you think. Yes, you might definitely recognize things from other books. But to me You are a Badass was different. Different because it is so blunt, so in your face, so funny and so light. This book reads like a breeze, but it will teach you so many lessons. For some people, it might be a bit woo-woo, when it talks about the Source Energy and connecting to the power within you, but if you look through this it is a really good book with a damn strong message.
I will share my biggest takeaways from You are a badass with you!
False beliefs and taking control of your life – You are a badass!
“Most people are living in an illusion based on someone else’s beliefs”
Ever refrained from doing something, because of what you thought other people would think about it? Ever refrained from doing something, because it wasn’t what you are supposed to do? I definitely do. Our lives are built up on beliefs that have been taught to us from the beginning of our lives. Firstly mainly by our parents, later by many other people in our lives. These beliefs are no truths, they are simply beliefs. Most of these beliefs are unconscious, we don’t even know that we have them, until we are made aware of them. As soon as we are aware of them, we can start to change them.
“Become aware of what your stories are. You are the author of your life. Not your parents, your partner, your friends. These stories are not the truth and can be rewritten. The sooner you write yourself a better script, the sooner you get to live a more awesome life”.
This hit me. People don’t like changes. People prefer staying in their comfort zone. Once you start doing things different from what other people do, people in your life will start to respond to it. Often negatively, not because they don’t want you to succeed, but because they are risk averse and want to protect you or because they secretly envy you for doing something they have always wanted to do, but didn’t dare to.
Uncertainty and fear to fail often lead me to ask other people what they think when making a decision, but usually, their advice lead me to decide NOT to do something.
But in the end, YOU are the one who has to take the decisions about your life and only YOU can improve your life and work towards your goals. And that’s why I liked this so much:
Go after life with a sense of ‘why not’
‘I just wanna see if I can …’
Why not just try? You can tell yourself from the beginning on that something won’t work. But why not just try it? If it fails, it fails, but at least you tried. What is wrong with trying and failing? And what if you don’t fail, what if you succeed?
The only questions you ever need to consider when making decisions about your life:
1. Is this something I want to be, do or have?
2. Is this going to take me in the direction I want to go (not should go)?
3. Is this going to screw over anybody else in the process?
I LOVE THIS. If it is something you really want to do, if it will take you in the direction where you want to go and if it doesn’t harm anybody else in the process, JUST DO IT!
“So often when we say we’re unqualified for something, what we’re really saying is that we’re too scared to try it, not that we can’t do it”
It is not always other people telling you that you shouldn’t or can’t do something. Often you are the problem yourself. This sentence above was me, 3-4 years ago, constantly telling myself that I was unqualified for things. I remember looking for an internship and rejecting every single one that I found because there was always some requirement that I didn’t have. In reality, I was just totally terrified about having to do a job interview and therefore, I kept telling myself that this job wasn’t the right one for me. While actually I was just afraid to try and fail.
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are”
No comment needed. You are unique, so why would you want to be someone else.
“You are responsible for what you say and do. You are not responsible for whether or not other people freak out about it”
Be responsible, but stop focusing on what other people think of your decisions. If it feels right for you and doesn’t harm people, just do it.
Other people in our lives are like mirrors to us
“Things that bother us about other people bother us because they remind us of something that we don’t like about ourselves. Or their behavior triggers a fear or insecurity that we have but may not realize we have”
This part of You are a Badass really was an eye opener to me. Jen writes about how other people in our lives are like mirrors to us. They project on you how much or how little you love yourself.
I remember situations like these very well from my high school years. The people I disliked most were the good looking popular kids with the big mouths. I told myself they were too loud and annoying, while in reality I secretly envied them for their confidence, for liking what they looked like and for daring to speak up and show themselves. While I was sitting in a corner believing that I was a worthless boring girl and that nobody would be interested in what I had to say.
The biggest lesson I learned from this part of the book is that when such a situation happens, where you are very annoyed by somebody, check in with yourself. Why does this person annoy me so much? Do you feel threatened by them? Do they remind you of something about yourself that you don’t like?
The example Jen gave in the book is one that I can directly reflect on myself: getting annoyed by somebody that is always late. This annoyance doesn’t necessarily have to do with that person being late, but it has to do with YOUR truth about people having to be on time. You can turn this around and ask yourself “In what ways am I being too rigid or controlling?”
From this scenario, you might discover that you are a lot more rigid and less flexible than you like to admit. And you can ask yourself: What I you need to do for this situation not to bother me anymore? The answer might be to stop insisting that people do things exactly the way YOU do them. Letting go of this might make you a lot more relaxed and also a lot happier.
I can be exactly like the description above. Getting totally frustrated when somebody doesn’t do something the way I want it. But getting frustrated and commenting on it leads to nothing, except for me and that other person arguing and getting frustrated with each other. Does it make you any happier? No! I think this is a huge lesson: When somebody frustrates you, try to find out where this frustration comes from and use it as a mirror towards yourself.
When you up-level your idea of what’s possible, and decide you really go for it, you open yourself up to the means to accomplish it as well!
And finally, this. Just start seeing possibilities. Start believing that you are able to accomplish your goals. Because as long as you keep telling yourself that you won’t be able to do something, you won’t do it. As soon as you will start believing something is possible, that you will go for it, then you will actually be able to do it!
Yes, You are a Badass definitely makes it into the top 5 of my favorite self-help books. One I will definitely take off the shelve now and then and reread because there are so many lessons in it that I want to be reminded of often. My only advice: go and buy this book. It is truly brilliant!
You can buy You are a Badass here* (in the Netherlands) or here
*This is an affiliate link. Read more about why I use affiliate links in my disclaimer