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What I took away from You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

In recent years, self-help has become an increasingly popular genre of books. Many authors claim to have the secrets to happiness or success, and want to share them with readers for just $25. Hey, cheaper than hiring a life coach, right? I recently read You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero and found it really inspiring. I highly recommend reading it to get the full effect, but if you don’t want to or don’t have time, here’s what I learned.


1. The importance of checking in on your subconscious

Sincero mostly talks about the subconscious in regards to manifesting, which is something I’m still not entirely sold on. However, I think that there is something to be said for being more aware of your subconscious thoughts and feelings. When we suppress our true desires or feelings, we often end up self-sabotaging. The example used in the book is that, even if on the surface you want to be in a loving relationship, you could subconsciously fear intimacy because it has caused pain in the past. This may lead to failed relationships because you are not willing to deal with that fear and fully invest in the relationship. While this is a more extreme example, I think it’s important to have some level of self-awareness and check in on how our subconscious might be affecting our lives.


2. How to make a decision

Sincero really cuts the BS when it comes to her decision-making process. She claims that only three questions matter when making important decisions:

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?

This approach may seem a little unrealistic (especially if you’re an overthinker like me), but it does put into perspective the things that truly matter in any decision.


3. “There’s nothing as unstoppable as a freight train full of fuck-yeah.”

Enough said.


4. The mindset that takes the pressure off of any situation

Sincero’s personal motto is “I just wanna see what I can get away with.” Going into a situation with this idea in mind takes the pressure off yourself and essentially gives you permission to fail. For example, the next time you apply for a job, try thinking “I just want to see if I can get it.” Having this mindset lowers the stakes, making it more of an experiment than the life-or-death situation it can sometimes feel like.


5. How to debunk your own fears

The book offers a number of ways to view fear, but the one that resonated most with me was the idea of looking at it from a rear-view mirror. Basically, Sincero asks readers to think of something that they’ve done that they were terrified of before doing it. She then asks if they can still feel that fear today. The answer is no, her point being that what scares us now will seem like no big deal later on. By “envision[ing] your challenges from the future [and] look[ing] back on them from a place of victory,” your fears lose a lot of their power, and it becomes easier to gain the courage to face them.


6. Love yourself

Sincero drives this idea home at the end of almost every chapter, and I think it’s important to reinforce. So if you needed a reminder, this is it: love yourself.


Sources: 1

Ashlee is a third year Creative Writing student, originally from Calgary(ish). When not drowning in writing assignments, she can be found drinking coffee or complaining about needing coffee. Her other hobbies include using reading to procrastinate, spending too much money in bookstores and reorganizing her bookshelves.
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