you are a badass summary

Book Summary: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

The Book in Three Sentences

In this book summary of You Are a Badass, you’ll learn stories, advice, and exercises. Written by motivational coach Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass helps you identify and change negative beliefs so that you can get what you want. There are chapters dedicated to making money, taking risks, setting and achieving goals, and loving yourself, among others.

You Are a Badass Summary


You Are a Badass is for those who feel they have untapped potential and for people who think they have everything in order but there’s something missing. To achieve this ultimate level of fulfillment you have to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to change it. Wanting is wishful thinking, deciding is actually doing something about it. To get there, you have to forget your fears and fail often. This means staying open-minded and trying new things.

Part 1

Chapter 1: My Subconscious Made Me Do It

As a way to educate children, a series of beliefs are passed down from generation to generation. This creates an illusion, a world that doesn’t exist, and detaching yourself from those beliefs is difficult yet necessary.

Humans have a conscious mind that allows us to process information and an unconscious mind that is non-analytical and based on feelings and instincts. The latter is the one that believes what our parents told us when we were kids. In a way, the subconscious mind is a blueprint for our life and we are controlled by those beliefs we acquire early on in our livers without realizing it. If your conscious and unconscious minds want different things, you’ll feel confused.

Chapter 2: The G Word

We all have limitless power, but we’re only using a fraction of it. You have to create a bond with the spiritual energy which the author calls the Source Energy so that the work you do has meaning. To do so, use the law of attraction: focus on what makes you feel good so that you attract more of it. To achieve what the author calls “a high frequency” and create a better reality, stay positive and believe in yourself. On its own, energy isn’t enough, you also need to take action.

Chapter 3: Present as a Pigeon

Most of us go through life between moments of anxiety and moments of zen-like calm. Instead of worrying about what happened or what is going to happen, focus on the now. Being alive is a miracle, but rarely do we take the time to appreciate it. Children and animals are perfect examples of what living in the moment is like. The things you want in life already exist, the problem is that we aren’t aware of their existence. What’s worse, you might miss those things when they pass you by because you’re paying too much attention to the noise in your head.

Chapter 4: The Big Snooze

In the spiritual world, ego refers to the false self, a part of us that takes over and says how good we are as a way to hide our insecurities. Ego, which the author calls Big Snooze or BS, is driven by the false beliefs we’ve accumulated ever into our subconscious growing up. The BS gets validation from others, it’s reactive, fear-based, and committed to living in the past and in the future. The true self, on the other hand, has a connection to the Source Energy. Unlike the BS, the true self gets validation from within, it’s proactive, love-based, present-based, and lives in a reality of limitless potential.

Most people have built their entire lives around the belief that you can’t go for it, so when someone else goes ahead and follows their dreams, the rest find it uncomfortable. This is why positive changes are often met with the disapproval of others, especially the people closest to you. The BS does everything possible to prevent you from growing and changing.

Chapter 5: Self-Perception Is a Zoo

It takes the same amount of energy and focus to believe you’re great as to believe you’re terrible, but we usually lean towards the latter. The solution to this is to become your own fan. Detach yourself, see your glory and potential, and recognize that we’re all perfect in our own ways.

Part 2

Chapter 6: Love the One You Is

We understand the basics of life when we’re born. These include breathing deeply, eating when we’re hungry, ignoring criticism, and loving unconditionally. Over time, we replace those primal instincts with negative false beliefs. Don’t invest in what other people tell you to invest in, follow your instincts. Invest in what you believe in to live a rich, full, and authentic life. Never invest in the idea that you’re not good enough. Love yourself by taking into account the following guidelines:

  1. Appreciate how special you are
  2. Drown yourself in affirmations 
  3. Do the things you love
  4. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones
  5. Ditch the self-deprecating humor
  6. Welcome compliments and take care of yourself
  7. Don’t compare yourself to others
  8. Forgive yourself
  9. Love yourself

Chapter 7: I Know You Are But What Am I?

Never waste time caring about what others think of you. Don’t let criticism take power over you and don’t get carried away with praise. Gracefully accept compliments, but don’t look for the approval of others. Don’t base your self-worth on other people’s opinions of you. If you do this, your well-being is outside your control and depends on others instead.

In order not to care about what others think of you:

  1. Pay attention to your motivations
  2. Always do your best
  3. Trust your intuition
  4. Find a temporary role model
  5. Love Yourself

Chapter 8: What Are You Doing Here?

To live a happy, fulfilling life, you need a clear purpose. To find your calling:

  1. Be the alien: Imagine you’re an alien visiting Earth for the first time, what would you devote your life to?
  2. Take the first right step: Instead of waiting for the perfect move, just start. Thinking isn’t enough to find answers, you also need to take action.
  3. Do your best wherever you are: No matter where you are on your journey to find your calling, do your best.
  4. Don’t reinvent the wheel: Put yourself out there so that you are more informed about what to do next.
  5. Don’t get caught up in the thunderbolt hype: You may not find the perfect thing you have to do and that’s fine. Follow what makes sense at the moment. 
  6. Listen to your intuition: Spend time alone without doing anything and your intuition will tell you what to do. Be patient and you’ll eventually receive inner guidance.
  7. Follow your fantasies: Ignore what you have to do to survive and ask yourself, what would you do if money wasn’t an issue?
  8. Love yourself

Chapter 9: Loincloth Man

Regardless of who you are, what you’re into, what you wear, where you live, and what you do, love yourself.

Part 3

Chapter 10: Meditation 101

Meditation sounds simple in theory but can be extremely complicated in practice. The goal of sitting down and doing nothing for a few minutes is to quiet your mind and listen to some inner guidance. Meditate for five to ten minutes each day and work your way up. This is one of the best habits you can start. You don’t have to meditate, but if you do it, you’ll be able to be more present and relaxed, you’ll gain focus, and you’ll be in a good mood.

These are the basics of meditation for those who have never tried it before. Sit comfortably and relax, focus on your breathing, notice the thoughts that come into your mind, and go back to your breathing when that happens.

Chapter 11: Your Brain Is Your Bitch

Our thoughts are powerful because we create our realities through them. By visualizing something and believing in it, you can make it true. You have to change your thinking and then the evidence will show up, not the other way around. Once you have your goal, focus on it and do everything you know how to to do make it happen.

To tell your brain you’re in charge:

  1. Ask and it is given: Clear your mind and connect with your Source Energy asking what you want.
  2. Act as if: This is the idea that if you want something, behave as someone who already has it. Act like what you want is already happening.
  3. Upgrade your environment: Clean your house, redecorate it, and remove the clutter.
  4. Make a vision board: Give your mind images of the kind of life you want
  5. Surround yourself with people who think the way you want to think. Avoid pessimists to maintain a positive headspace. Hang out with people who think big, take action and make positive changes to make their dreams happen.
  6. Love yourself

Chapter 12: Lead with Your Crotch

When you’re young, you take chances and you aren’t afraid to fail even if you’re inexperienced. When you’re older, you’re wiser, but a lot of people confuse being responsible with being boring. Pursue your dreams regardless of how old you are. Don’t settle for mediocrity even if you see yourself as a responsible adult. Don’t go along for the ride until the journey of life is over. Celebrate.

To celebrate life:

  1. Just see what you can get away with: Seeing what you can get away with takes the pressure off and lets you see life as a game.
  2. Lose track of time: Try to find activities where you lose the sense of time.
  3. Keep being the beginner: Keep the beginner mindset. Be more comfortable knowing that there’s more to learn. Don’t get serious and hyper-critical of yourself and your work. Don’t suck the joy out of the things you love. Take things seriously, practice, make mistakes and learn from them, keep going, and get good at what you do. The process should always be fun. If there’s no fun in the process, you’re missing the point.
  4. Love yourself

Chapter 13: Give and Let Give

Giving is one of life’s greatest joys. The more you give, the more you receive and vice versa. To attract good things and feelings, give to everyone around you.

Chapter 14: Gratitude: The Gateway Drug to Awesomeness

Be in a state of constant gratitude. Without gratitude, you’re powerless. Gratitude and faith go hand in hand and feed off each other. To be more grateful, try the following:

  1. When something good or bad happens, practice saying “This is good because…”
  2. Review your day by thinking about ten things you’re grateful for
  3. Love yourself

Chapter 15: Forgive or Fester

When we suffer physical pain, we are focused on relief but for some reason, we’re more likely to endure emotional pain despite the guilt, shame, resentment, and self-loathing it might bring. Don’t let negative feelings from the past affect your present. Forgive and you’ll be free. Forgiveness isn’t about someone else, it’s about you.

To forgive:

  1. Find compassion
  2. Erase the other person from the equation
  3. Decide you’d rather be happy than right
  4. Look at it from all angles
  5. Get it out of your system and let it go
  6. Soon, you won’t even remember this
  7. Forget about it and start from scratch
  8. Love yourself

Chapter 16: Loosen Your Bone, Wilma

As hard as it may seem, try to go with the flow. To do so, the author provides a series of tips: don’t complain about what you can’t change, talk and be kind to strangers, expect the unexpected and learn to enjoy it, find humor in annoying situations, and love yourself.

Part 4

Chapter 17: It’s So Easy Once You Figure Out It Isn’t Hard

Most of us can see what we want and we kill ourselves to do things in a way that doesn’t work.  Sometimes this requires a different approach: stop, evaluate, look at things differently, and look for an easier alternative. By creating stories, we ignore the infinite possibilities available to us at a given moment. Some things are there all along and we simply don’t notice them. Your reality is what you choose to focus on.

Shift your perspective. To do so:

  1. Become aware of what your stories are
  2. Become aware of what you’re gaining from your stories
  3. Get rid of your stories: Write all your false rewards on a page, feel them, thank them, and release them. Replace them with new, more positive truths. Focus on the new truths and notice how happy they make you. These new truths become your new affirmations. Write them down where you can see them and repeat them often.
  4. Take action. Never believe you’re ruled by your past circumstances.
  5. Get out of your routine
  6. Sidestep the spiral: When something negative happens, feel it, learn from it, and let it go
  7. Love Yourself

Chapter 18: Procrastination, Perfection, and a Polish Beer Garden

When we say we’re unqualified to do something, we’re often scared to do it. What holds us back isn’t the lack of experience, it’s the lack of determination. Procrastination works as self-sabotage because it’s easy.

Here are some tips to stop procrastinating:

  1. Done is better than perfect
  2. Notice when to stop
  3. Make a bet with someone mean
  4. Own it and work with it
  5. Love Yourself

Chapter 19: The Drama of Overwhelm

Most of the problems in our lives we create ourselves and they are unnecessary. Appreciate what you have, the opportunities, ideas, people, tasks, interests, experiences, and responsibilities. These are the three most common complaints related to overwhelm:

  1. There’s not enough time: Time is in your mind, make time work for you, act like time matters, identify your distractions and build defenses against them, and break tasks into small chunks.
  2. There’s too much to do: Don’t talk about how busy you are, get someone else’s help if you need it, question if everything you have to do is equally important, delegate to those around you when possible, and prioritize the tasks you have to do because everything else is secondary.
  3. I’m exhausted: Make the time to do inspiring things, take time off or your body will make you sick due to stress.
  4. Love yourself

Chapter 20: Fear Is for Suckers

Fear is usually a choice. When possible, don’t engage with it. Fear is all around us and we’ve turned it into a habit. Fear hasn’t happened yet because fear lives in the future.

To navigate through fear:

  1. Think about something you did that was scary. Look back on it and think about how it isn’t terrifying anymore. Fear can be a waste of time if you let it.
  2. Make fear work for you, not against you. Fear is about perspective, so change your perspective to be afraid, not of what you do, but what you choose not to do because you’re afraid.
  3. Chances are nothing terrible is happening to you at this very moment, so don’t worry about what might happen before it does. Be in the moment. Also, the thought of it happening is usually worse than the reality itself.
  4. Be conscious of the information you consume. How much of that information is valuable?
  5. Don’t waste time in bed thinking about things that you find upsetting. Use the mornings to meditate and get rid of bad thoughts.
  6. Love yourself.

Chapter 21: Millions of Mirrors

Other people are our mirrors. Who you surround with reflects who you are. Even if you dislike someone, there’s something about that person that resonates with you and if you confront those feelings, you might become a better person. Admitting you don’t like something, is the first step to letting it go. By standing up to someone, you have to rewire your own beliefs about yourself.

How to be unapologetic:

  1. When you notice something you dislike about others, think about why that happens.
  2. Question your false beliefs
  3. Help, but don’t enable. Helping others is great, but don’t let them pull you down or drain your energy. If they’re making you feel depressed, heavy, or resentful, stop helping them.
  4. It’s painful to be around certain people, so get away from them
  5. Love yourself

Chapter 22: The Sweet Life

When you love someone, the best thing you can do is appreciate them while you still have the chance. Something similar happens with projects and experiences, you should do them before it’s too late. Also, love yourself while you still can.

Part 5

Chapter 23: The Almighty Decision

When you focus wholeheartedly on a goal regardless of the obstacles along the way, you’re likely to achieve it. You have to be committed, and determined. Temporary failure is expected, but you have to trust your vision. The key is to want something so much that you decide you’ll get it. Chances are you will.

To succeed:

  1. Have a big desire to get it
  2. Improve over time
  3. Don’t take part in the negotiation process
  4. Be tenacious
  5. Love yourself

Chapter 24: Money: Your New Best Friend

Become the person who gets away with what they want. Get out of your comfort zone when it comes to money. This will let you see that there’s more available than what you might think. This refers to material things or experiences. You can pay for it with the money you have or come up with ways to get the money you need. The act of borrowing money, selling things, or getting a loan can be transformative, Making money isn’t about money per se, it’s about the experiences it enables. Believe that you can get what you want and do it.

Although we don’t need money for things other than the basics to survive, if you feel like you deserve things that make you happy, that’s fair too. To improve the world, you first have to improve yourself. The money is there if you want it. You just need a sense of clarity and urgency to get it. Treat your dreams with a similar determination.

Chapter 25: Remember to Surrender

Sometimes we want something so bad we might scare it away. This doesn’t mean to give up, it means to let go and create some space between you and what you want. The idea is that we trust that thing will eventually find its way back to us.

Chapter 26: Doing Vs. Spewing

Anyone can read, study, and understand a lesson. But the important part is if you’ll do anything with it. Success is about getting uncomfortable and making a habit out of it.

To make the Universe work for you, this is what you have to do:

  1. Eliminate bad habits: our habits define us, so keep the good ones and get rid of the bad ones. Find the behaviors that can make the most positive changes in your life and turn them into habits.
  2. Remember to breathe: focus on your breathing to connect with Source Energy
  3. Hang out with people who have the traits you want for yourself
  4. Be honest about your goals
  5. Write down your goals and ideal life. Read this often
  6. Get some coaching and mentoring
  7. Get in shape
  8. Motivate yourself with music, pictures, audiobooks, and movies
  9. Love yourself

Chapter 27: Beam Me Up, Scotty

Pursue your dreams with confidence. Whatever it is you want to do, it’s possible. Don’t worry about what others might say or think. Love yourself.

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