How to Be a Badass: Jen Sincero’s Guide to Success

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Are you stuck in a rut? Are you struggling to reach your potential? Do you want to learn how to be a badass according to Jen Sincero’s book?

In this “How to Be a Badass” guide, author Jen Sincero’s life advice is condensed down into quick and easy lessons. Sincero shares wisdom about creating a new life, doing things you never thought you’d do, believing in things you can’t see, and pushing past your fears.

Keep reading the “How to Be a Badass” guide to learn more about Jen Sincero’s life lessons.

How to Be a Badass

This “How to Be a Badass” guide covers the five sections of Jen Sincero’s book and breaks down each one in detail.

In You Are a Badass, Author Jen Sincero explains how she was once unimpressed with her life. Though she was a published author and had family and friends, she wondered, “Is this the best I can do?” She embarked on an exhaustive self-improvement journey and found success — she learned how to be a badass, get herself out of a rut, and find greater personal and professional success.

After wading through all the good and bad of the self-help world, she decided to take every bit of useful self-improvement advice she found and share it with others via her book which we have condensed into this “How to Be a Badass” guide.

The main principle she learned is that creating a better life requires only one simple shift: Going from wanting to change your life to deciding to change your life. In this “How to Be a Badass” guide, she shares wisdom about creating a new life, doing things you never thought you’d do, believing in things you can’t see, and pushing past your fears. The book has five sections:

  1. How Did I Get This Way? Learn what’s holding you back.
  2. How to Leave Insecurity Behind and Love Yourself. Live your best life.
  3. Tapping into the Source. Be a part of the power all around you.
  4. Getting Over Your Own BS. Make changes to create a life you’ve always wanted.
  5. Go Forth and Live Your Dreams. Take action as you live your new life.

How Did I Get This Way?

Understand the deep-seated beliefs that have been holding you back. Once you are aware of them, you can begin to change them.

The Subconscious

No matter what you think you want, if there’s a subconscious belief that links your desire to pain, you won’t let yourself achieve it. The first step to getting rid of harmful subconscious beliefs is becoming aware of them.

God or Source Energy

We are connected to a limitless power, but most of us use only a fraction of it. You can call this power whatever you like — God, Universe, Source Energy — but what’s important is developing an awareness of and relationship with the energy around and within you. 

Being Present

Instead of being in the moment, we worry about daily life. If we were living in the present, we’d understand that life is a miracle. Being present gets you out of your head and connects you to Source Energy, which raises your frequency, which attracts things of like frequency to you.

The Ego

When you try to break out of your comfort zone and live the life of your dreams, your Ego may try to stop you with emotional and physical roadblocks. “Ego” refers to your “shadow self,” the part of you that, deep down, feels unworthy of love and success. The author refers to the Ego as the “Big Snooze,” or BS.

Self-Perception

Too many of us have a negative self-perception. We think we’re inferior and inept. To counter this, try seeing yourself through the eyes of someone who admires you. This person will see only your full potential and talents. You can eventually become your own fan. 

How to Leave Insecurity Behind and Love Yourself

You need to do certain things to free yourself to live your best life.

Accepting Yourself

This section of the How to Be a Badass” guide says that when we love ourselves, we are free to live rich, authentic lives. But negative messages can fill us with false beliefs, fear, shame and self-doubt. Fortunately, we can reclaim our self-love and rid ourselves of guilt, self-doubt and loathing to be and have everything we desire. One of the most important things you can do is appreciate just how special you truly are. Understand that there will never be anyone else exactly like you, and nobody In the world will use their gifts as you can. 

Don’t Worry About What Others Think

People often live in fear of what others think instead of celebrating who they are. This fear stops you from getting out of your comfort zone and reaching your full potential. When you stop caring what other people think you become your most powerful self. 

How do you move to a place where you’re unaffected by the opinions of others? The key is not just denying the criticism any power over you, but also not getting caught up in praise. 

When we base our self-worth on what others think of us, we hand over all our power. You have to understand what’s true for you, outside of anyone else’s opinion, good or bad, and hold onto that. Everything else is just someone else’s perception of reality.

Figure Out Your Purpose

We’re all born with unique and valuable gifts to share with the world. When we put them to real use, we get to live a life of purpose. But sometimes finding your purpose can be a confusing process. One of the things you can do when you’re unsure of your purpose is to just take a step. Instead of wasting time trying to figure out the perfect next move, just do something. Pay attention to suggestions and opportunities all around you — and pay attention to how you feel about these options. Does something strike a chord with you? If so, pursue it.

Tapping Into the Source

This section explains how to connect to Source Energy to get into top mental and spiritual shape. When you’re connected to Source Energy, you can create your new reality. 

Meditation

The goal of meditation is to quiet your mind of all the chatter so you can connect to Source Energy and hear your inner guidance. The basic steps to meditation include:

  • Sit up straight in a comfortable cross-legged position; hands on knees or in lap.
  • Close your eyes (or open, gazing softly at a spot on the ground) and focus on your breathing. 
  • Release any thoughts that come into your brain and focus back on breathing. 
  • Keep your mind as clear and empty as possible to allow flashes of intuition.

Your Thoughts Create Your Reality

Your thoughts and beliefs dictate your reality, so if you want to change your reality, you have to change your thoughts. When you change your thinking, you’ll see evidence of a new life being created around you. 

Everything you want is available to you; you just have to shift your perception to see it become reality. Your job isn’t to figure out how your dreams will become reality; you job is to know what you want and be open to receiving the how. You do this with your thoughts.

Keep your thoughts directed toward your goal, do what you know to do to keep moving in the right direction, and be on the lookout for your opportunities.

Get in Touch With Your Younger Self

If we harness the ability we had in our youth to live our dreams, we can reach our goals and live with more joy. Try these strategies:

  • See what you can get away with. Go after life with a sense of “why not?” 
  • Find what makes you lose track of time. Make doing things you love a priority.
  •  Let the Beginner live alongside the Expert. Continue to hone your skills and take your craft seriously, but don’t lose the fun in the process. 

How to Give and Receive

If you want to attract good things and feelings into your life, you must send good things out to everyone around you. Here are some tips on getting into the give-and-take flow: 

  • Pick one or two causes meaningful to you. Give to them consistently. 
  • Give away something you love. If possible, don’t let them know where it came from. 
  • Leave a dollar more than you normally would every time you tip.
  • If someone is snarky, respond with love. Smile, compliment, and make people laugh.
  • Say yes to offers instead of being afraid of inconveniencing someone.
  • Feel how good it feels when you give and receive.

Gratitude

The more you can stay in a state of gratitude, the stronger your connection to Source Energy and the more effortlessly you’ll be able to manifest something you can’t see into your reality. Tips on practicing gratitude include finding the good in any situation and finding 10 things to be thankful for every day. 

Forgiveness

When you hold onto resentment, you give away your power. It’s like “taking poison and waiting for your enemies to die.” When you carry around guilt, shame and resentment, your Ego is in charge. It holds onto the past, keeps you a prisoner to your pain, and lowers your frequency. But when you decide to forgive and let negative feelings melt away, you are on the path to freedom. Your higher self is in charge and you own your power, banishing the anger, resentment and hurt.

Go With the Flow

Going with the flow of life, dealing with the unexpected in a positive way, and finding the joy in frustrating situations are ways to grow as a person and create a richer life. 

Getting Over Your Own BS to Be a Badass

Section 4 in the How to Be a Badass” guide talks about making changes to create the reality you’ve always wanted. 

Let Go of Your Old Story

If you stop focusing on negative, self-limiting stories that frame your reality, you’ll realize that you can create any reality you want. To start shifting your current perspective and rewire a new story for yourself, it’s important to know what your self-sabotaging stories are and what you’re gaining from them, and then replace the old stories with new, powerful ones. 

Stop Procrastinating

Procrastination is an easy form of self-sabotage; there’s no shortage of fun things you can do to help you procrastinate, as well as people eager to procrastinate with you. Part of procrastinating is simply not going for a challenge or experience we really want because we tell ourselves we’re “not qualified.” 

We put a ton of energy in to coming up with excuses why we can’t be, do, or have what we want; what if we focused all that energy on going for it instead? When you go for it — just do it or start it — instead of finding excuses, you can change your life.

Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

There are three common complaints behind our feelings of overwhelm that you can address: 

  • “There’s not enough time.” You can start handling time better by showing time some respect — if you’re always late, start being early. Identify your favorite time-wasters and guard against them, and try breaking down a task into bite-sized pieces. 
  • “There’s too much to do.” When you feel overwhelmed, try not talking about how busy you are. Get some help; delegate and learn to prioritize. Take care of your own priorities first before helping someone else. 
  • “I’m exhausted.” Listen to your body and take care of yourself. 

Get Rid of Fear

When we’re ready to break out of our comfort zones and start creating a new life, we’re often held back by fear. Tips for navigating your way through fear include:

  • Look to the past. Think about something in your past you were afraid of. How do you feel about it now? Does it even give you a twinge of fear anymore? When you face your next challenge, remember that no matter how big it feels now, someday it will seem insignificant.
  • Try a different perspective. Break it down and pinpoint what you’re really afraid of, and then flip it around to make it work for you.
  • Be in the moment: Being afraid before something happens depletes your energy. 
  • Limit the negative input you receive. Keep your frequency high.
  • Don’t think about upsetting things in bed at night. There’s nothing you can do about them at that point, and inevitably the next morning they don’t seem as scary.

Seeing Others as Mirrors

When someone annoys you, you’re projecting onto them something you hate about yourself, or their behavior triggers a fear or insecurity. When you stop projecting your own insecurities and negative qualities, you are free to become your highest self. Here’s how to start:

  • Own your own faults. Notice what’s driving you nuts about other people. Is this a quality you have? Does it remind you of something you’re trying to avoid or suppress?
  • Dig deeper. Once you’ve identified what part of yourself you’re projecting onto the person who is irritating you, you can start to let it go. 
  • Understand what you’re getting out of the situation. Figure out the false benefits this negative behavior brings you.
  • Ask yourself how it would feel if you changed the behavior. Understand what it would be like not to live this way, and then release the behavior.
  • Don’t be an enabler. If you’re constantly bailing someone out, they’ll never discover how to save themselves. 
  • Get rid of toxic people. There are times you’ll need to get away from someone who is chronically self-obsessed, or violent, or negative, or otherwise toxic. Cut the cord. 

How to Go Forth and Live Your Dreams

Figure out what you need to do to take action as you create your new life, which is an important part of You Are a Badass.

Deciding

When you decide to go for your goal, you stop listening to your excuses and change your habits. To do this you need to truly want your goal, become a swift decision-maker, stop negotiating your decisions, and learn to stay the course. 

Making Money

Money is energy. When you are operating at a high frequency, you align your energy with the money you seek and manifest the money you want and need to fuel your new life. We can nurture our relationship with money by observing important rules of wealth consciousness:

  1. Focus on abundance. We live in an abundant universe, so drop the belief that you shouldn’t take too much of anything, money included.
  2. Heal your relationship with money. Create an affirmation around the idea of “money comes to me all the time.” Repeat it during your day.
  3. Get clear on where you want to be. Think about the life that will make you happy. Figure out how much this life will cost and set out to manifest the money you need.
  4. Raise your frequency. Get in alignment with the kind of money you want to manifest. 
  5. Put yourself in the best shape to manifest money. This includes finding a sense of urgency, raising your own bottom line, envisioning your new life, taking action, and continuing to seek knowledge and coaching.  

Surrendering

Sometimes we want something so badly and work tirelessly to achieve it, but end up pushing it away because we’re afraid. We try to control our circumstances via our old patterns and limiting beliefs. We try to take charge, which is fear-based thinking.

The answer is to surrender, allowing The Universe to do its job. Allowing is love-based thinking. Surrendering isn’t letting go or giving up; it’s releasing the outcome to The Universe and having faith that our deepest desires are coming into our lives. If you want to know how to be a badass, you need to know how to surrender.

Taking Action

Lots of people want to change but don’t succeed because they don’t want to leave their comfort zone. Try these strategies from the “How to Be a Badass” guide to make changes and break out of your comfort zone:

  • Lose your bad habits: What bad habits keep you stuck? Trade those habits for the kinds of habits successful people possess.
  • Breathe: Deep-breathing exercises keep you connected to Source Energy.  
  • Surround yourself with positive, successful people.
  • Set honest goals: If you rarely get off the couch, don’t vow to run 10 miles a day. Rather, start with half a mile a day.
  • Read your manifesto: Write down your vision of an ideal life and read it before you go to bed and when you wake up. 
  • Get help: Getting a coach or mentor can help you make faster changes in your life. 
  • Get physical: Using your body, along with your mind and soul, gives you more power to create your ideal life.
  • Figure out what makes you feel great: Surround yourself with the things that make you feel awesome, whether it’s a song playlist, clothes you feel great in, or pictures of people who think you’re fantastic. 

Belief

Whatever you desire to do with your life, be it start a business, lose weight, build an orphanage or direct movies — believe it’s possible, available to you, and that you deserve it — no matter what anyone else thinks or believes is possible.

Note: This “How to Be a Badass” guide is not meant to be a supplement for reading the full book but is a brief overview of the main concepts and ideas.

How to Be a Badass: Jen Sincero’s Guide to Success

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Here's what you'll find in our full You Are A Badass summary:

  • How to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to do it
  • How to stop your self-sabotaging thoughts
  • How to tap into Source Energy for mental and spiritual strength

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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