Book Breakdown: “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero

I consider myself the queen of reading self-help books. That might make me sound like I need them, but let’s face it, I do. We all do. Even if we don’t know it.

I had figured, up until this month, that “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero was just another version of “The Secret” or “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” for the next generation trying to find themselves in this crazy thing called life.

I often saw this bright yellow book stacked on the Barnes and Noble Best Sellers table and plastered all over privileged, typical “boss babe” Instagram pages. As I scrolled, I rolled my eyes and laughed. Just another book being sold to young people who are desperate for motivation.

What can another generic book meant to get the reader excited about their goals provide for a reader that any old Eckhart Tolle book could not?

It wasn’t until I went to a bar for a friend’s birthday and a drunk blonde in a jean skirt came waddling up to me after her grand finale on karaoke. She put her arm around my shoulder and swayed as she murmured, “Have you… heard of the book You are a Badass? It… it changed my liiife.”

At this point, I decided, all right- if this gem is recommending a piece of literature, that apparently made her the woman she is tonight on this dance floor, and this book somehow stood out to her enough to remember it’s importance in this state, I must be missing out on something.

I gave it a read to see if it was anything special, and I thought I would leave a few notes for you to read over just in case you’d like to do the same.

Book Breakdown

The author lays the chapters out in parts and breaks it down in the contents, like writing each section on a note card and laying them all out on the floor to see them at once. The book explains why a certain mindset is crucial to making our dreams happen, and how we can conquer our roadblocks and get out of our own heads.

She talks about conscious thinking and subconscious thinking and how it is all controlled by our closeness to “Source Energy,” which I translate as God, but the reader can translate as literal energy, the universe, or a stack of pancakes for all the author cares. Sincero simply aims for the reader to achieve closeness with Source Energy.

“In order to truly raise your vibration,” Sincero says, “you’ve got to believe that everything you want is available to you. And the best way to keep this belief strong is by staying connected to Source Energy.”

During the time that this book crossed my path, I had been struggling to live in the moment. I made an effort to be present by immersing myself into the pages of the bestseller, followed by a meditation session at the end of every day. The book reminds me of a time my pastor talked about how depression comes from being upset about not being able to change the past, and how anxiety comes from being upset about not being able to control the future. He said depression and anxiety take away from enjoying what we have right here. It takes a lot to have tunnel vision on what is in front of you, especially in such a fast-paced world. Wrapped up in the comotion of youth, the following quote from “You are a Badass” resonated with me,

“It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dramas, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about a slow internet connection, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now.”

The key? Tuning into “Source Energy” and being able to “hear your intuition” more clearly. Once you do this and can see your dream future, you have to start acting on it.

Later chapters are served with more boldness, with titles like, “Your Brain is Your Bitch.” The last half of the book breaks down how we can create our realities from our thoughts and gives a few examples. This concept can be hard for many readers to grasp because it is such a counter-culture way of thinking in today’s world.

We are so used to being reactive to situations and demanding evidence before we believe anything to be right. We operate in a world of wanting security, facts, and a solid plan before making a move out of our comfortable, safe reality. Folks tend to identify to whom they have been in the past up until this moment, that it feels so unfamiliar to get out of our comfort zone and shake up our future. The author explains the faith-based decision making by referencing the current phenomenon of depression, which unfortunately affects  322 million worldwide.

“Realize that you’ve gotten into habits with these things and switch them around. Behave the way a person who isn’t depressed behaves. Dress how they dress, hang out with the kinds of people they hang out with, speak the way they speak, do the things they do. Really sink into the understanding that you can have what you want.”

I personally like to call this “faking it till you make it,” and have practiced it often in my own life. I have found that by putting yourself in a position for success and opportunity to come your way (whatever that looks like for you), you are increasing your likelihood of moving in that direction. The last step is simply pairing it with contentment and confidence. Understand that you will not know what you are doing and that this moment is just a small part of the process, and that is okay.

Work hard, love others, and do the best you can.

Sincero and I swap short attitudes on this one, she just calls it watching your mouth.

“Stop talking about how busy you are. Focus on what you enjoy about all you do and the spaces in between instead of feeling weighed down by it all. Decide that you live an awesome, relaxed life full of interesting projects that you love doing and communicate that to the world and yourself- do what you can do in joy instead of trying to do it all in misery.”

The one thing I would challenge in this read is the author’s first rule of wealth consciousness.

She says in chapter 24, “Some people are born into cushy lives of trust funds and connections and opportunities and fancy educations, some of these people go on to make great financial successes of their lives and some of these don’t. Some people are born into extreme poverty and live in cardboard box houses by the side of the freeway; some of these people go on to make great successes in their lives, and some people don’t. While their obstacles and initial childhood impressions about money can be extremely different, those who achieve success share one key thing: the belief that they can be, do and have whatever they set their minds to accomplish.”

Although this may ring true, I do not believe it is parallel in each situation. A drug-addicted, homeless teenager on Skid Row could be able to make great strides in her career, but I am sure that she is not concerned about getting a promotion or doing a Ted Talk. She may be concerned more about making it to the other side of town safely, and that is all at this moment. She may not even know what a Ted Talk is unlike the privileged, educated person that fits this book’s demographic.

You Are A Badass” tends to use the theme of “just pull up your bootstraps,” but what if marginalized and less fortunate communities in our population have no metaphorical “boots”? I believe that there’s a lot of truth in manifestation, but I think the basic needs of each person are different, which takes away the scale of manifesting “anything.” To round out Sincero’s concept, those who have gotten out of even this low of a situation all have one thing in common- they believed they could. I do believe it takes confidence and small goals to reach wherever you want to be, but that place is different for everyone-the same expectations can be blanketed across all humanity.

Often, we tend to drown ourselves in our own limitations and pronounce ourselves “dead” in certain areas of our lives, for lack of a better term. Manifestation is powerful and undeniable, but like anything else, it can be more challenging based on varying circumstances and worldviews.

Overall, I learned that most of us are trying to hold tight and control our future, using the same doubts and patterns that we use currently and feeling chained down by them. Out of fear-based thinking, we try to figure it all out and map out the steps to success, instead of trusting our bigger story. Since reading this book, I have been manifesting certain truths in my own life, and it has been absolutely undeniable to watch how God works in your life when you jump head first into trusting there is a plan.

Get out of the way

From what this book taught me, embracing creating your own reality is a black or white decision. Unlike most of the similar books I have read, Sinero instructs the reader not just to infuse these practices into their lives, but stresses the importance that it all does not work if you aren’t willing to go in, balls to the wall. It reinforced faith in my own life.  We cannot only believe in God, fate, karma, or “The Universe” when it works in our favor. Being an anxious mess until we see our issues worked out and then thanking God and sharing our blessings on Instagram is not necessarily trusting the process. It is so freeing to give up the tight hold of our outcomes and to not walk around with the weight of our worries on our shoulders. I encourage you to experience it in more ways than you may now.

I challenge you this month to throw your hands in the air and let go of something that has been weighing on you. Have faith that it will work out, not exactly how you want it to, but exactly as it is destined to, exactly how it should. Pair this with working hard wherever you are in this point in time, and go about life with confidence. Once you have manifested your goal, you will be blown away by what is revealed in your world and how your heart changes. Shift your perspective- as famous author and philanthropist, Anthony Robbins puts it, “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”

I closed the book and looked back on that night with the drunk girl. I would now say that, in a way, this read “changed my liiiife” too. Although she obviously was not a millionaire or an entrepreneur, she did not give a shit about what that had to do with this very moment- and that’s something we could all learn from.


Madison Ford

Read the book for yourself, and let me know what your thoughts are.

Let’s grow together! Follow me on Instagram @accordingtomadisonford

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