My sister gifted me a signed(!) copy of Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass for Christmas a couple years back and finally, after a false start or two, I recently finished it. I should note that my hot-and-cold behavior toward the book had nothing to do with the material itself. I'm just a finicky reader. I didn't read with the express intent of providing a comprehensive review, but I do have some points I'd like to share about my reading experience.
I suppose the most important question might be whether I recommend the book, and I definitely DO.
Jen Sincero’s work feels like a solid gateway into the world of self-help literature
Although initially averse to the informal tone of the text, I became used to it quickly and now appreciate how a conversational voice suits the subject matter. I realize, now, more formal diction could have felt pedantic or made the advice given feel unpalatable.
Two things to keep in mind when considering whether to pick up (or download) this work---
The first is that relatively early in the book, Sincero calls on the reader to concede that there is some sort of divine energy guiding the events of our lives, whether this is called God, the Universe, Source Energy, etc.
This task was easy for me because that's already how I naturally feel, but I realize not everyone will find this request so simple. Sincero notes, also, that most personal growth books assert some kind of faith-based confidence, so finding a work that avoids this may prove difficult.
The second point is that the author consistently uses weight loss as a cited goal example alongside major life changes such as falling in love or changing jobs. I initially read malice into this, but in retrospect I see my bias was distorting the information being given, and all in all I believe in Jen Sincero's positive intentions.
Either way, I wanted to note this in case someone with a similar sensitivity is interested in reading. In the end, of course, it's up to you to decide whether this might detract too much from the positive aspects of the work.
The parts of You Are a Badass near the beginning and end were personally the most eye-opening.
Sincero's early analysis of why so many of us feel some kind of insidious 'lack' in our lives deeply comforted me
It's a similar validation as the assertion that clinical anxiety and depression have a more simple and logical cause than something like a personality flaw.
Points made around the middle of the book felt a bit obvious, but I think my perspective was skewed because I’ve been working for a while on adjusting my thoughts and bringing my self-talk to a more affirming place. I can easily see how years or even months ago these same points would have felt more revelatory.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading You Are a Badass, as it was my first foray into the self-help world. Perhaps I was expecting a series of intense epiphanies, a type of boot camp for the psyche. Instead, the experience I had with this book felt like walking down a forest path and uncovering a pocket-full of small, precious gems. There are definitely bits of insight from this book I will carry forward with me indefinitely, especially concerning time and money (which makes me curious about the author's book entitled You Are a Badass at Making Money.)
Sincero delivers her wisdom with warmth and many concrete examples from her life to illustrate her points. As I read, I definitely felt like I was learning from someone who practiced their sermon.
The true testament of this book's effectiveness is that it prompted me to start my blog after months of hesitation
I still have a lot to learn about blogging, writing, and life as a whole, but that will always be true. I am at least now taking a more active role in creating the life I want, and for that reason, I do in fact feel some badassery starting to bloom. ♥