I am not a self-help junkie, but every now and then someone tells me about a seriously inspirational book that I just can’t miss out on. The first time this happened was with Seth Godin’s “What To Do When it’s Your Turn, and it’s Always Your Turn.” That one didn’t just change my perspective, it changed my journey and led me to subscribe to his blog, meet him in person, and ultimately enroll in his 5-week altMBA program. It didn’t drastically change who I was, it allowed me to become MORE myself in an entirely authentic manor. So, when I joined a group of women here in Pittsburgh who wanted to come together to talk about books, I was completely on board with the selection of this gem: You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.
The cover is an overwhelmingly-happy shade of yellow, and the title is enough to start a feminist revolution. From the first chapter, I couldn’t stop marking it up – underlining poignant sentences and writing comments in the margin like ,”YES” or “Do this more!” Almost nothing the author, Jen Sincero, wrote and shared was completely dumbfounding or new information, it was about the light she put each element in that made it look new to me. For example, she talks about money and living in abundance in such a way that made me want to completely shift my perspective of paychecks. I’m constantly seeing and pining for things I want, but can’t have, can’t afford or don’t need. Sincero tells her readers, “I’m not talking about going out and recklessly blowing all your money on stupid crap.” Did I mention she is hysterical and totally relatable? “I’m talking about expanding your beliefs about what is available to you in all areas of your life.” This is her follow up to her decision to buy a brand new Audi instead of a boring Honda CR-V. It wasn’t the decision to spend more money, it was a decision to completely change her way of thinking about her options – and her life. She bought the Audi, and pushed herself to live a bigger and better life to afford her new purchase.
So what if that’s true? What if everything is available to us if we just re imagine the way our world works? Can you imagine the possibilities of what is out there for you, if you stop limiting yourself by your current situation?
Suddenly, my world feels limitless. I’m not about to go buy myself an Audi, I live on a fairly fixed income and I don’t need an Audi. But I’m most certain that if I go out and purchase the new living room furniture I’ve been eyeing, and commit to filling and decorating the beautiful house I’ve come to call home, the means and money to continue enjoying it and filling it will continue. I will make and sell more bags on Etsy, because I need the money and I’ve filled myself with inspiration and motivation. Aaron will start work at his new job and feel nurtured by the new, homey surroundings to finish school. We will perpetuate positivity through our lives. What an incredible truth.
The other chapter that really stuck out for me from Sincero was called Millions of Mirrors. Have you ever met someone who just annoys the crap out of you? Someone who you empathize with, but also dislike entirely? There’s something about them you just hate, and yet you know there’s another layer of emotion there? Sincero tells her readers that this is you reflecting on others – something they do, or have, or are, is something you do, or have or are, and you hate that about yourself. Not following? Let’s put it in context. I worry, pretty consistently, that I talk too much, share too much, let others too far into my inner-thoughts. I worry I’m letting others feel my anxiety – I worry, and worry, and worry. Since I realized how much I worry, I’ve started putting deliberate measures in place to stop – to start being a warrior instead of a worrier. Two weeks ago, I was in a meeting about potential funding opportunities. The woman, an expert in her field and an excellent resource to all parties, rambled for 35 minutes about her stresses, the pressures she’s under, the worries she has.
I left the meeting nearly shaking with anxiety. She had rubbed off on me so drastically, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t understand why I felt this way. Later that very evening, I read this chapter in Sincero’s book and it was clear. What I disliked about this woman, was actually something I dislike about myself. I was reflecting her actions on myself, and judging both of us for it. Once I was able to see that my reaction was about me and not about her, my perspective of her changed!
The truth is, you are a badass, and so am I. This book is filled with amazing stories, great lessons and real exercises you can implement in your everyday life to help yourself become the true force of power and badassery that you really are!