Book review of “You Are a Badass” and much more coming at you.
Welcome to the first official book review for the new A Lady Goes West Book Club. In the early summer, we read Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass,” and today, we’re going to talk all about it. And even if you haven’t read it yet, there are some takeaways in this one for your life right now, so proceed. 🙂
First off, I haven’t been reading all that much since Brady was born (just a couple books over the past 9 months, actually), so I was very excited about the opportunity to read something that we could discuss and enjoy together. Based off of a vote in the A Lady Goes West Friends Facebook group, we selected “You Are a Badass” because it’s a short read, supposed to be funny and is super positive.
While the book was first published in 2013, it seems to have had a resurgence these days, with the self-help trend appearing all over social media. I like the idea of self-help — it’s sure come a long way — and nowadays, we can call it personal development, and it’s a very good thing to consume. And I mean, who wants to read a strict diet book telling you all the things you’re doing wrong over the summer? Not me! So positivity it is …
Book review of “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero
A little background on the author, Jen Sincero: She’s a career, success and life coach with a big business, and she’s a New York Times bestselling author of multiple titles, who helps people make huge changes in their lives for the better. But she hasn’t always been a success, and her learnings from a life of struggle and indecision helped her to find her way and lead others as well.
The book is broken up into chapters with short narrative stories from Sincero’s life (basically talking about people she knows or things she’s encountered, which serve to prove her point), followed by tips and quotes to help you put the information into action in your own life. It’s broken up into five parts:
- Part 1: How you got this way
- Part 2: How to embrace your inner badass
- Part 3: How to tap into the motherlode
- Part 4: How to get over your B.S. already
- Part 5: How to kick some ass
Sincero starts the book out by saying that she is going to ask us to do some pretty out-there things when we read it, and we have to stay open, or we’re screwed. It’s true. Because …
“If you want to live a life you’ve never lived, you have to do things you’ve never done.”
She then lets us know that our subconscious minds (the feelings in our head) tend to run the show based off of beliefs we develop as kids. And our conscious minds (the analytical thoughts in our head) are then controlled by the subconscious. What does all this mean? We are often driven by our subconscious, and we don’t even know it — meaning we do and think a lot of things that can be bringing us down and guiding us down the wrong path unintentionally.
She goes on to say that we’re all part of a connected Universe, and we’re all just energy, moving along in the Universe. And as we’re all just vibrating along, we need to know that like attracts like. So you should raise your vibration to tap into the vibration that you desire. Pretty cool thought.
Sincero also encourages us to be present and connected to the Source Energy of the Universe. We spend so much time worrying about little stuff, that we often miss the greatness of life’s moments. She talks about Ego, and Ego in the sense that it’s your limiting beliefs and the part of you that’s holding you back. This Ego does everything it can to keep you from changing too, because change is hard.
After laying the scene for our current state, Sincero gets into the lessons. And of course, first up is learning to love yourself and giving yourself affirmations. She suggests giving up self-deprecating humor and forgiving yourself for past mistakes. She moves on to tell us to stop caring so much about what people think and also not letting ourselves get our self worth from others either. Truth!
Sincero wants us to know that everyone has a unique gift that they can give to the world, and we have to figure out what that is, and do it. And to find out, just start doing things. Because “most answers reveal themselves through doing, not thinking.” She also wants us to meditate, of course, in order to be more present and learn to hear our own inner voices. And speaking of our inner voices, our thoughts are what make our realities, so we have to change our thinking FIRST.
I loved her tip about having a mindset in which you say “This is good, because …” with basically everything that happens in life, so you’re forced to look at lame happenings as a potential for growth. Pretty powerful!
And when it comes to taking action, Sincero wants us to know that done is better than perfect, and in order to complete something big, always chunk out assignments and to-dos in little segments and then, delegate or die. If you want to grow your business, you have to get some help — so figure out the tasks you aren’t good at or don’t like doing and pass them off to someone else. It’s possible.
Moving on, Sincero encourages us to be decisive, instead of spending so much time in indecision (ohhh boy, this one hits home for me), and she also says that the most common trait among successful people is that they make decisions quickly, because indecision is torture. But you don’t have to always be right, because failure is okay. For instance, an example Sincero gave is this: Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school three times, and he turned out okay. So, let’s remember that, “the only failure is quitting, the rest is information.” And when it comes to decisions, go big. Because if you up-level what you desire, it will become available to you.
Here are the questions she says you should ask yourself when making a decision:
- Is this something I want to be, do or have?
- Is this going to take me in the direction I want to go (not should go)?
- Is this going to screw over anybody else in the process?
Simple stuff, right?
Sincero finishes up the book by talking about money and how it’s totally okay to go after it. She recommends creating a detailed plan on how much money you want and then manifesting it, always knowing that the more money you have, the more money you can give back too.
Pros of the book
The pull-out quotes.
The pull-out quotes in this book could basically make up my Pinterest vision board for my life for entirety, and I like that (okay, truth, I don’t have a vision board, even though Sincero suggests creating one).
Not only is Sincero straight shooting, but she’s got a way with words. I also like that the pull-out quotes visually stand out, so you can go back and find them quickly and soak them in. And she’s pretty darn funny, with some raunch too. (There are a few things I wouldn’t repeat on the blog, but I sure did laugh at them.)
Here are some of my favorite quotes …
- “Growth ain’t for weenies, but it’s nowhere near as painful as living the life you’re living right now if you’re not really going for it.”
- “Comparison is the fastest way to take all the fun out of life.”
- “We throw a wet blanket of ho-hummery over our lives when we live in fear of what others might think, instead of in celebration of who we are.”
- “What other people think about you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.”
- “Your job isn’t to know the how, it’s to know the what and to be open to discovering and receiving the how.”
- “We only get to be in our bodies for a limited time, why not celebrate the journey instead of merely riding it out until it’s over?”
- “You cut yourself off from the supply of awesomeness when you are not in a state of gratitude.”
- “Our entire experience on this planet is determined by how we choose to perceive our reality.”
- “The people you surround yourself with are excellent mirrors for who you are and how much, or how little, you love yourself.”
- “Never apologize for who you are. It lets the whole world down.”
- “One of the best things you can do to improve the world is to improve yourself.”
- And perhaps my favorite, “Your life is your party. You get to choose how you invite people and experiences and things into it.”
The numbered to-do lists per section, which tell you what steps to take to make changes in your life. I like to follow bulleted and numbered lists, so this was for me.
It was enjoyable to read. I just liked learning and seeing what she was going to say next. I think that’s the test of a good self-help, personal development or nonfiction book — you need to actually like it, and I liked “You Are a Badass.” I could see myself reading it again (which I sort’ve did, as you’ll see below).
What are the big resonating themes?
How cool is it that the last numbered to-do under every section relates to loving yourself? The reiteration reminds us that this is a central theme to moving forward with anything in your life. We really need to focus inward in order to get anything outward done in our lives. We often look to the external, but what’s internal means more.
Soaking up the moment, spending time with those you love and going after what you what in life NOW and not later. We tend to put things off, and Sincero reminds us that there’s no reason to put anything off any longer.
She wants us to know that our energy and inner thoughts are everything, so we have to be positive and put out positive energy, in order to get it back. Because we’re all just vibrating along, looking for good vibrations.
Learnings and my reflections from the book
Quite a bit. Reading this book inspired me, made me feel empowered and also let me know that everything I’ve been feeling with the trajectory of my career/life/being is pretty common (indecision, stuck, etc.). I also resonated very much with the idea that change is hard and just because you want things to be different doesn’t make them different. You must ACT.
Truth be told, this statement spoke to me like whooooooaa: “You need to go from WANTING to change to DECIDING to change.” There are a few things I’ve wanted to do with the blog that I’ve been scared to do and just haven’t out one foot in front of the other because of self-doubt and lack of time, and I feel like reading this book has pushed me over the edge to actually TRY.
Now, I won’t say that I woke up an entirely different person from reading this book at all, but I will say that it provided some motivation for me, and made me think I will go for it on a few things. It covered all of the bases for believing in yourself and making improvements for sure, and those are reminders we all need, so I think anyone could get something out of it.
And when I start feeling like I need a boost, I’m heading back to read all of the pull-out quotes above, because they are T-R-U-T-H.
I often use the excuse: “but I have to take care of Brady, or I’m a new mom” in my head as to why I don’t do things or go after things, and perhaps that excuse is holding me back — although it is totally my current reality. (Side note: I don’t think Sincero has kids, so she didn’t really relate to the mom-hood aspect of making decisions, running a business or being a working parent, so you’re somewhat forced to forget all of that, which is perhaps a good thing — just an observation.)
You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to get value out of the book either, because so much of the focus is on the internal aspects of change it takes to actually become a badass.
Anywho, overall, it’s a fun read and a valuable one, and from one writer to another, the excellent word choices and format made me quite happy.
How to put it what you learned into action
When you read a book like “You Are a Badass,” you may get some immediate motivation, and then you may go right back to your old ways, habits and life and forget it all. That’s always the tendency, and one that I find myself doing as well.
So here’s what I suggest …
- Find the big chapters with the themes that mean a lot to you, and make one little change each week following her protocol. Like actually make a change. (And I know, change is hard.)
- Photocopy the quotes that resonate with you, put them on your mirror, as your screensaver on your phone or tape them on your fridge and read them. Bonus points if you make a vision board using a few quotes and add some graphics or color to fancy it up.
- Select a morning mantra based off of what you learned and force yourself to repeat, absorb and believe that morning mantra. Mantra the heck out of it.
- Then, set a goal AND make a plan to reassess the changes you set out to make in a month. If you find you didn’t do anything, then go back to the book and reread the parts that you need and start from the beginning of this to-do list again.
It’s totally okay and appropriate to read something more than once to truly take it in. In fact, I went back through the book multiple times to write this review and was reminded of some great inspiration that I had already forgotten after my initial read.
While I wouldn’t say that my life is completely altered based off of reading this book, I do feel more enlightened, and I do feel more confident in going after what I want. And I hope you feel the same!
Thanks for reading along with this book review of “You Are a Badass.”
What book should we read next?
Here are a few I’m thinking may be good options:
- “The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep and Sex Drive; Lose Weight; Feel Focused, Vital, and Energized Naturally with the Gottfried Protocol” by Dr. Sara Gottfried
- “The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body” by Cameron Diaz
- “Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be” by Rachel Hollis
- “The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too)” by Gretchen Rubin
More posts you may enjoy:
Questions of the day
What did you learn or take away from reading “You Are a Badass”?
What did you like or dislike about the book?
If you didn’t read it, what are you currently reading?
Do you have any recommendations for the next book club book or a vote on the list above?