So I’ve been reading a self-help book called You are Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. I know sometimes when we hear the words “self-help” we cringe; we immediately picture a wussy little man wearing pleated khakis with glasses and a haircut from the 90s who has mommy issues and calls his therapist at all hours of the day . . . like Buster from Arrested Development. . . . .
Anyway, just so you know I don’t wear khakis . . . I like self-help books. They have made a big difference in my life, because lets be honest, it’s hard and confusing AF being a human.
But for realz, tho . . . a month or so ago I was caught in state of panic. I would wake up, go through my day, then go to bed with intense anxiety . Everything felt like it was teetering on the edge about to send it and myself into the abyss of ruin. I ended up texting my friend/fitness coach/role model a long-ass, novel-length text detailing how I was feeling that could be summed up by “I’m freaking out about my whole life and I’m losing my mind.” She asked if she could call me (you know it’s bad when a text won’t do), and like a snake charmer playing a lute helped me calm all my inner writhing feelings of “AHHHHH” into a neat little workable pile. She also suggested I read the book You are a Badass.
You have to understand my friend/fitness coach/role model is also a mom/hairstylist/owner of a hair salon/nutrition school student. She runs her businesses as well as helps run her husband’s business. She also has done Tough Mudder, runs half-marathons, and mud runs and does all other kinds of other awesome. She also happens to be one of the coolest, most positive, sweetest, encouraging people I know. She’s a badass. Also she gets up at 4 AM, which in my mind makes you a badass or a complete lunatic: she’s a badass. Knowing she was suggesting I read this book made me want to read it all the more.
I consider/aspire to be a badass which by me saying this might make you think I’m a total tool, but some people think lizard people created the world so . . . you can think whatever you want, but hear me out. Here are my badass-ery creds:
- recently published a kids book, despite the obstacles and am currently knocking on “big deal doors”
- I have 7 tattoos including one sleeve, I have a nose ring, and I shaved part of my head (okay, maybe I at least look the part)
- I have a “Go big and let’s F***ing do this” attitude.
- I have been told I am.
- I already feel like a douch bag making this list so I’m done, but maybe you should make a list like this of things you like about yourself, because you’re awesome!
Honestly, despite my best intentions, I still wake up in the morning with an oily face looking like a cave troll and have the attitude of a sad sopping wet wash cloth. I live with my parents and my bank account well . . . you hear those crickets?
Some days I show up to life like a rockstar: “Here I am. I’m hot and awesome and I’m doing awesome things and my life is going places.” Rage Against the Machine is playing in the background. And some days I’m like don’t look at me I’m a fat-loser-whose-never-ever-going to do blah blah blah blah. I’m going to die alone because I’m a sad nothing blah blah blah. Cue the sad farty country song. (I’m sorry, I’m just not that into country.)
All that to say, since reading this book I still wake up sometimes feeling like a gross lame thing, but I don’t live in the pity party. I have a five-minute stop-in drink and leave. Thanks, but no pity party. I’ve got somewhere else to be.
One of the main themes in Sincero’s book is “it’s all about perspective.” For example: I can sit here like a sad sack on the floor and say things like “I’m never going to move out of my parents house, because I’m the idiot that chose to be a writer and life is hard.” Or. . . I can say I’m not sure how I’m going to move out of my parents’ house because right now I don’t have a ton of money and being alive is expensive, but I have job which is so great for so many reasons, and there are solutions to making more money. I can do this.”
Another example is singleness. Some people trudge around being like “I’m single, dur dur-dur.” Instead of being like, “Sup, world I’m single! I have no commitments right now and I’m having the time of my life! First of all, no one wants to be with lame-o sad-face and so you will be single, and being sad is a waste of time. I could go on because I have been lame-o sad face and it sucks and honestly I think single people need to have more fun. (If you’re a single person and having more fun, I’d love to hear how you are having fun in life and in that weird land full of awkward interactions and mind-games called dating. Comment below, please!)
Sincero talks about that this shift in perspective makes you more available for possible solutions and opportunities. The human brain is a beautiful thing. While we are going about our day, it is working in the background on solving problems. And so the reason we tend to have great ideas in the shower is because taking a shower doesn’t require much brain power usually, and our brain can show us the answer to a “problem.” Also, when we say we physically can’t do something our body will say “really? okay.” and we won’t be able to do that something. Yay science! Despite our best intentions, our beliefs will manifest themselves in how we behave no matter what.
So, if you’ve already decided that you can’t, you most likely won’t. If you’ve decided you can’t get your dream music career going and you’re somewhere and you notice a music producer, you’ll probably sneer and be like “Ha! Thanks Universe.” and go about your sad life. But if you really want to be the next big thing and you believe you can, there is a higher likelihood that you will go talk to the music big-time and gain an opportunity.
I’m not saying just because you believe you can do something, it will happen. Depending on what your goal or dream is there are certain things that will have to be in place for that goal or dream to be realized. But having a positive outlook on life will make achieving/finding that thing that makes your life seem like a dream easier, because “our fantasies are our realities in an excuse free world.”
This year, I decided I was going to have a perspective shift; to see problems as obstacles that can be conquered and to generally stop worrying about stupid sh*t. I decided to have more fun. I have been just as tired as I have before, but instead of being depleted by worry, I’ve been tired, but fulfilled by time spent living life. I decided that I can, instead of “well, hopefully.” And I decided to practice loving myself more than I ever have before. Not to sound like an infomercial or anything, but this book has really given me the tools and has been a great reminder that life can be more than great: it can be everything I dream it can be. And you guys, my life isn’t perfect, and I’m certainly not perfect, but I’m really happy. As Sincero says, “It’s about having the cojones to show up as the brightest, happiest, badassiest version of yourself, whatever that looks like to you. . . You need to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to change your life.” And acting on it.
Sooooo, I hope you’ll read this book because it’s amazing and will change your life for the better. Imagine how awesome your life could be if you let go of fear and embraced yourself and your life. Imagine how this world could be if it was filled with happy and fulfilled people. And remember “the only failure is quitting. Everything else is just gathering information.”
So seriously read this book.
Here’s one more quote: “The key to [the greats’] success is that they decided to go for it, they stopped listening to their tired old excuses, changed their lousy habits, and got the f**k on the f**k.”
Ok, so like seriously, go buy this book right now.