I somehow managed to resist Jen Sincero’s Badass books for a considerable time— (You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life was published in 2013, You are A Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth in 2017, You Are a Badass Everyday: How to Keep Your Motivation Strong, Your Vibe High, and Your Quest for Transformation Unstoppable in 2018 and Badass Habits: Cultivate the Awareness, Boundaries, and Daily Upgrades You Need to Make Them Stick in 2020. Yes- I have read them all). I finally picked up the first one in January of this year and then promptly devoured each and every one of them. I’ll be honest, I totally held out because of the cuss word in the title. I am certainly not a puritan or Goody Two-Shoes – But then again, I do try hard not to fall into what I consider the cheap trick of using swear words to get attention. Don’t get me wrong—I use them, daily… But, I also attempt to be somewhat creative in that respect by at least inserting a homonym or two or swearing in another language- which somehow seems slightly more sophisticated. More importantly, however, I did not want to ever be caught toting a book with the word “badass” emblazoned on it in through the halls of academia or worse yet have it be visible on the bookcase behind me in a Zoom call- potentially blowing my carefully maintained woo-woo cover.
But I finally caved and in short order was hooked on all things badass-ery.
Jen Sincero is not what I would describe as a good writer per se, there is nothing poetic or particularly gripping about the prose but, I do not think that is the point of the book. Each of them reads more like a series of motivational texts or emails from a good friend or, more specifically, a coach, because in fact, that is what Sincero is, an in-demand ‘Success Coach’.
The books draw heavily on experiences from her own life, particularly the major changes she made in her early 40’s when she went from being a broke freelance writer living in a garage to the highly successful business woman she is now. Additionally, she includes plenty of “if they can do it so can you” stories from her clients. She is irreverent, she can be funny but her message is not necessarily new, and she does not pretend that she is offering something totally original. What she does offer is advice that is clear, straightforward and totally without sugar coating; Work hard. Believe in yourself. Never give up. She also offers simple and clear ‘instructions’ on how you too can transform your life. Changing your mindset and “if you can dream it- you can be it” is at the core of her message. How she suggests this may be achieved includes the practices of meditation, daily affirmations and manifestation techniques. Some examples of her advice;
“If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.”
“So often, we pretend we’ve made a decision, when what we’ve really done is signed up to try until it gets too uncomfortable.”
“Our thoughts become our words, our words become our beliefs, our beliefs become our actions, our actions become our habits, and our habits become our realities.”
Maybe it is all timing… everything Sincero is selling is what I need to hear at this particular time in my life as I embark on a new chapter– Even if it is coming from that loudmouth coach’s voice in my ear, urging me to keep going, to not give up, telling me I am indeed a bad*ss. Whatever cheap tricks might be working- I’ll take ’em!