You Are a Badass - Book Review
Updated: Jan 5
Part of the self growth process means testing out different “helping” activities. Some of us may wind up reading books; specifically self-help books.
In this blog post (and others to come), let it be known that I am not substituting counselling with reading. What I do want to do is give you options to further your self growth, whether it be as part of your counselling journey or solely as an avid reader. So in an attempt to provide recommendations of some self-help books that could become part of your mental health “toolbox”, below I share my first impressions of Jen Sincero’s book You Are a Badass: how to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.
First and foremost... who is this book for?
This book is for the fierce and the “do it or lose it” folks. It may not be for those of you expecting a softer tone. Sincero makes it very clear from the start that YOU HAVE THE POWER TO DO ANYTHING! She even writes in caps to emphasize this point. She also mentions that you have to put in the effort. This point is probably one of her top takeaways.
So what is this book about?
Sincero is adamant about committing yourself to changing your life around, starting with your beliefs (thoughts). She encourages you to become curious about your thoughts, specifically about those that tend to be less helpful and more critical. Those that tell you you’re not good enough, that you should be doing better, that you should work longer hours, etc. Becoming aware of all your thoughts is key to gathering the power to change them.
Once you start noticing how you think, you might start changing your thoughts for some that are more compassionate and understanding ("I'm really busy at work right now and know that I may not get all my projects done this week, but I will get them done"). With changes in thoughts, you might also notice other shifts around you (e.g., work performance, energy level, relationship status, etc.). And, while you are working hard to make the changes that align more with your True self, beware of people that may try to drag you back to the person you “were”, the person they know. Surround yourself by the unconditionally supportive (that long distance friend you call after a breakup, that colleague who has the open door policy, that counsellor you’ve been seeing for a couple months). They will support your change, your self growth.
In all this change, Sincero wants you to hone YOUR TRUE SELF. If you think about it, you are the only you that exists. Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! said Dr. Seuss. So in a way, you are special and all that you do is therefore great! Admittedly I do think this is a bit cheesy, but when you put that judgment aside for a second or two, and just think about it... it’s true!
Then when you’ve aligned your beliefs and actions with your True self, learn to trust yourself as well. Listening to your gut, your intuition. “Trust the current. When you relax and go with it, it's easy” says Kamal Ravikant. This can be extremely scary and uncomfortable to do at first. But if you try it once you’ve taken the hardest steps there is: to do something different. All other steps are easier because you’ve already broken the habit.
One way to jump start change is to take a look back at the days when you woke up every morning and were excited for the day ahead. Was it putting on a magic show for your parents or making experiments in the chemistry lab, or learning that new cord on the guitar, or putting back together the toaster? Lean into your fantasies! The ones that got you all excited and unable to sleep at night. And let’s be clear here, not all fantasies are sexual! In this case, they reflect your big dreams! When you remind yourself of these fantasies, GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION to follow them. You are worth it!
Lastly, and one not to forget, Sincero absolutely wants you to start LOVING YOURSELF. If this isn’t something you currently do, or are uncomfortable doing, try loving something small at first (e.g., your nail painting skills, your mathematics wizardry, etc.) or even seeing yourself as one of your admirers does. Love yourself every day and always. This is the biggest gift you can give yourself. And I believe her! When you start loving parts of your self or your whole self you become unstoppable.
Should I read it?