Review of You are a Badass: How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life by Jen Sincero (2016, John Murray Learning, 256 pages)
Because I enjoy reading motivational, personal development books, especially the ones that make you feel like you can be anything you want to be, I picked up a copy of You are a Badass*. Through this book, the author, Jen Sincero, delivers a pep talk to her readers, outlining how they can become more successful by addressing their limiting beliefs and personal barriers head on, clarifying their goals, and using the concept of manifestation to bring whatever it is that they want into their lives. Each short chapter is suitably written in a witty, takes no nonsense, ‘you got this!’ tone and is peppered with anecdotes from Sincero’s own experiences that offer a supporting context (and lots of humour) to the step by step guidance that she then goes on to share with her readers.
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I came to this book as someone who is completely new to the Law of Attraction and Sincero makes it clear right from the very outset of the book that readers should be willing to adopt the belief that, once they know exactly what they want, they will be able to attract whatever it is they desire into their lives. While Sincero has certainly opened my mind to the Law of Attraction, as a novice in this area I still felt that I needed much more detail on vibrational energy, and the idea that The Universe has an influence on the outcomes in my life, before I could truly commit to going with such a concept and totally ‘surrendering’ to it, as Sincero suggests at the end of the book.
Although I needed some more convincing on the Law of Attraction, I could see how positive visualisation, a growth mindset and self-belief, which Sincero advocates throughout the book, are vital for goal attainment (as well as ensuring that we actually carry out the actions that we have committed to!)
Whatever your position on the Law of Attraction, the book itself contains plenty of useful advice and practical exercises that can help you to develop a positive mindset and get clearer on what it is that you want to achieve.
Here are my top 3 takeaways from You are a Badass:
1. Ramp up the self-love and take good care of yourself
The core message of self-love is punctuated at the end of most of the chapters (and yes, I agree with Sincero on this one, we could all do with more of that!) Coming at your goals from a position of self-compassion and possessing an unwavering belief that ‘you can do this’ will greatly assist you in getting through the challenges and the discomfort of being in the ‘stretch’ zone.
As Sincero advises, get into the habit of reciting affirmations that make you feel like a million dollars each and every day, catch those long-held negative beliefs you have about yourself and reframe them into positive statements that serve you so much better, and take extra special care in cultivating your positive mindset (including being aware of the people you surround yourself with and the material you read, watch or listen to).
This also involves learning how to forgive yourself and others. Sincero offers some brilliant suggestions on how to shift your mindset when it comes to forgiveness, emphasising that it is an act of self-care and holding onto grudges does more damage to you than the person/people involved. She encourages readers to extract the most valuable lessons from those difficult situations and face up to the deeply held principles and insecurities that impact on their relationships with others.
2. Make sure the goals you have set yourself are really something that you want to achieve (and be 100% clear on what it is that you want)
This one is especially important for all us people pleasers out there! It’s time to unpick those ‘shoulds’ that can all too easily influence your decision making, explore the real reasons behind the actions you have said you are going to take, set aside some time on your own to ask yourself what it is that you want in life, get it down on paper, imagine it all in great detail, and then, as Sincero advocates, dare to entertain the prospect of making some of your own dreams come true.
3. Stop procrastinating!
You will already have an advantage in getting your procrastination under control if you have taken ownership of your goals and know exactly what you are aiming for (and why) since you should then be somewhat motivated to get there! However, despite our best intentions, and that wonderful initial burst of enthusiasm, we all know that procrastination can start to set in and seriously halt our progress when we are on the road to success. Sincero duly devotes space in the book to address this pesky issue including exercises that prompt you to explore some of the root causes behind procrastination (namely fear) and sharing strategies to help you to manage your time better (such as identifying time wasters, determining your priorities and deciding what really needs to be done by you or others).
Did I come away from the book feeling like I was a totally unstoppable badass? Well, OK, maybe not 100% but I’d say that I now have much more of an idea of how I can get in touch with the badass inside me that is just waiting to come out, bellowing ‘Hello World!’ at the top of her lungs. I know that this doesn’t happen overnight and the tools and techniques that are shared in the book need lots of time, commitment and practise (as we are talking about changing habits of a lifetime here) but it is so worth it once you start seeing results!
The notes that I took from the book will definitely be revisited and I am also confident that some of the exercises could be usefully applied to future coaching sessions (particularly those around addressing limiting beliefs and gaining clarity on goals) so overall it was a very fruitful read!
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