I’ve set an intention this year to read more. Read literally anything as long as it’s in book form. I’ve always loved reading but lost the motivation to do so during my career as a student. I felt like I never had time, or, when I did have time, I just wanted to do something mindless. I didn’t want to think more than I already was because the amount of thinking I was doing was exhausting. However, now that school is coming to a close, I find myself with a desire to read again. I’m a huge fan of the classics, anything old, historical fiction, or mystery. I also appreciate a good romance novel on occasion. One category I’ve pretty intentionally avoided, however, has been self help.
I’ve always been the kind of person who thinks I can just help myself. I would think to myself, “How on earth could that stuff help me more than I can help myself? What can it give me that I can’t get myself?” However, as I’ve gotten further into adulthood, and further away from knowing what the heck I want to do with my life, I’ve found myself looking for answers everywhere, including self help books.
Now this book, You Are A Badass, has been out for a while. I repeatedly saw it in just about every Target or bookstore I went into. It always intrigued me, but given my aversion to self help literature, I avoided purchasing it. Then I started hearing from all sorts of people in the wellness world just how good this book was. I found myself thinking, “These people seem to have their lives together and even they love the book… Maybe it’s worth a look.”
So, during a random Target visit a couple months ago, I decided to pick up You Are A Badass. And now, I’ve decided to share my thoughts on this alternative self-help book with you!
Book Review: First Impressions
If you’ve ever seen or heard of this book (which I’m sure you have, because it’s literally everywhere), you know it’s easily identifiable. With a bright yellow cover and giant title font, it immediately catches your eye. All of this is super smart branding, if you ask me. The title itself, You Are A Badass, is a pretty powerful affirmation, a reminder that no matter where you are in life, you are amazing and have the potential to be even better. Under the title is the descriptor, “How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.” Personally, I think this sentiment resonates with just about everyone on the planet. No matter how successful or “together” you are, you probably feel like something is missing or you want to make things even better. And that’s just what this book tells you you’re going to do.
Book Review: Content
This book is laid out in 5 sections: “How You Got This Way”, “How to Embrace Your Inner Badass”, “How to Tap Into the Motherlode”, “How to Get Over Your B.S. Already”, and “How to Kick Some Ass”. Each section does just what it says it will do, in a tough-love style.
Section 1: How You Got This Way
The first section honestly took me by surprise. I started getting really defensive while reading through how much “The Big Snooze” impacted my life and how my subconscious was kind of screwing me over. How had I been so passive? I didn’t think I was like that! But honestly, it was such a wake up call to me. Then, You Are A Badass gets surprisingly spiritual. Given my first impression of the book, I didn’t think there was going to be talk about a “higher power” or “the universe”, but yet this concept plays such an important role in this book. Jen makes a point to be non-religious with this idea and leaves you to interpret the concept of a higher power as you see fit, which I think is wonderful. She then references the idea of a higher power frequently throughout the rest of the book.
She talks about “The Universe” giving back to you what you put out into it. I LOVE THAT and it has totally changed my way of thinking about my small, everyday actions. She explains “The Law of Attraction”. While not an idea exclusive to this book, Jen explains that The Law of Attraction is all about putting out into The Universe what you want to receive. You attract what you put out there. How freakin’ powerful is that? This whole first section sets up themes and ideas to which Jen references throughout the rest of the book.
Section 2: How to Embrace Your Inner Badass
This section is all about your potential. If you’re anything like me, you are your own worst critic. This section reminds you that you are AMAZING. Regardless of where you are in your life, you are a badass. Be a little easier on yourself. You’re a badass, but you’re human. Love yourself no matter what, even if you make a mistake. Forgive yourself, give yourself a hug, and keep moving forward.
Section 2 also reminds you to just do you. Other people’s judgements and opinions of you, especially when related to trivial things, don’t really matter. Just because someone thinks your dream is stupid or you’re doing something wrong, doesn’t make it so (within reason of course. Let’s keep things ethical here). Basically, she talks about focusing on your own badassness, regardless of if others see it in you.
Jen prompts you to think about your purpose. You may not know it yet, but we each have a reason for being here. In this section, she walks you through the journey that is finding your purpose, reminding you that it’s a process. You just have to work through it. She closes this section with a hilarious personal story (involving a man in a loincloth) about a lesson in living her best possible life.
Section 3: How to Tap into the Motherlode
Section 3 of “You Are A Badass” focuses on self-reflective topics such as meditation, intuition, personal relationships, and your relationship with yourself. It really drives home the idea that you are in charge of the energy that you put out into the universe, and thus the energy you receive. This section is all about utilizing all that potential you identified in the previous 2 sections. Self-reflection through meditation, and actually listening to what you are trying to tell yourself, is so incredibly powerful. Living your life in high-vibe way by taking chances, being gracious, forgiving your mistakes, and being flexible, is really the key to manifesting your best life. Sounds simple, right?
Section 4: How to Get Over your B.S. Already
Living the “high-vibe” life really does sound simple, but yet very few of us are actually tapping into our full potential (including me). This whole section calls you out on your excuses, your procrastination, and your aversity to being uncomfortable. I think this was the most relatable section for me, though it definitely had me feeling a little defensive. But that’s how it’s so powerful. We all do it; we all make excuses for not pursuing our goals or improving our lives. It’s freakin’ hard. It’s uncomfortable. It requires a lot of introspection. It’s not all glitter and unicorns. And while this section reminds you of these things, it also shows you just how worth it the work can be. I mean, your dream life is worth a little discomfort and work, right?
Section 5: How to Kick Some Ass
The final section is all about implementing the previous four sections. It focuses mainly on monetary gain and career goals, but also touches on more personal aspirations as well. “How to Kick Some Ass” is all about giving yourself permission to kick some ass. Sometimes, we feel guilty for making money, for being successful, or for getting what we want. Why do we deserve good? Well, this section addresses these doubts in a way I hadn’t previously considered: you are more beneficial to the world when you are fulfilled. When you are taken care of, financially or otherwise, you have the tools you need to share your gift (whatever it may be) with the world and help as many people as you can. This really hit home with me, and, I thought, really drove home the main theme of the book which is: Love Yourself.
Book Review: Writing Style
I always think self help books are going to be written in a very delicate, lovey-dovey way, and that’s honestly part of why I’ve always been so turned-off by them. I have enough feelings on my own, I don’t need some words on paper telling me how else I should feel. As you might guess from the title, You Are A Badass isn’t overly sensitive, but is still incredibly effective at getting you to realize your potential. It has more tough love than anything. This book is blunt, straight to the point, and STILL gets you to work on loving yourself more and think about what you really want in life.
It’s also very casual. I’m usually a stickler for proper grammar and found myself getting occasionally distracted by the conversational sentence structure. However, when I reminded myself how casually and colloquially this book was written, it ceased to bother me. Jen wrote “You Are A Badass” as if she were sitting with you on the couch, drinking coffee, and telling you to get your shit together. On that note, there is a bit of profanity sprinkled throughout the pages as well, but I’m sure you gathered that from the title.
Book Review: Overall Thoughts
Through her writing, Jen makes you feel like she’s a friend who only wants what’s best for you. She’s tired of you not seeing the greatness that you are and that your life could be. She’s having a conversation with you about what you want in life and why you aren’t getting it. She even gives you a bit of a kick in the pants to open your mind and start seeing what really could be. More than anything, though, she gives you permission to want to be successful, and to pursue your dreams.
One thing I really love about You Are A Badass is the way Jen reminds you throughout that none of this has to be about some big life change or lifetime goal, but it could be. The tools in this book could completely change your life if you put in the work and let them. They can be used however you see fit, whether that’s simply learning how to cook, improving your personal relationships, or starting your dream career. If you don’t really know what you want in your life, you’re feeling stuck, or unfulfilled, give this book a try. If nothing else, You Are A Badass will give you the ability to change your life. You just have to put in the work.
Note*- This was not a sponsored post by any means. I simply found this book incredibly powerful and want to share it with as many people as I can. You can find the book here.