Several years back, I read The Secret and went full in on the Law of Attraction. I made a vision board, wrote a gratitude list, said all the affirmations, and acted “as if” – as if all of my hopes and dreams spoken out into the universe had come true.
And you know what?
That stuff works.
Whether you refer to that “stuff” as God, the Universe, the Great Buddha, or the Big Cheese, setting your intentions, putting positive vibes out into the world, acting from a place of love, and being grateful causes some powerful stuff to happen.
I fell off the Law of Attraction bandwagon though. Not intentionally and not all at once. I just got comfortable with where I was and what I was doing. I stopped flexing my muscles, as it were.
Until the inevitable happened and I started to get uncomfortable with it all.
That’s a story for another day, however.
As the universe tends to do, the kick in the butt I needed to get a move on already arrived in the form of a book I’ve wanted to read for a while: You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. It was this month’s book club read, and from cover to cover, it was the message I needed to hear.
The reviews on Amazon are enough to let you know not everyone loves Jen’s writing style. It’s casual, in-your-face, and no nonsense. She wants you to listen and listen good. While her teachings aren’t exactly breaking news, her approach is fresh and in my opinion, appreciated.
There are so many takeaways from You Are A Badass, but I’ll focus on just a few.
“You are responsible for what you say and do. You are not responsible for whether or not people freak out about it.”
One point Jen drives home is the fact that YOU are responsible for YOU. You are responsible for your own happiness, your own choices, and your own reactions. Too often, we get caught up in the worry of what others will think if we do that crazy thing that won’t quite let us go – if we quit our corporate job to be an artist, buy a plane ticket to parts unknown, decide one day that we’re tired of our long hair and cut it all off…. I am SO guilt of caring too much about decisions I make will be perceived by those closest to me.
“What other people think about you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.”
I needed this reminder. I’ve been playing it pretty safe for a while. I could keep playing it safe and stay exactly where I am – or I could take a few risks and see what happens. To shorten this story, I bought a plane ticket to Portugal (see you in September!) and signed up for PursuitHQ.
I’ve only got one life – may as well live it and make it a good one.
“So often, we pretend we’ve made a decision, when what we’ve really done is signed up to try until it gets too uncomfortable.”
The above is one of my favorite quotes in You Are A Badass. I’ve been the absolute queen of indecision lately. “I think I’ll do this.” “No, I’ll do this instead.” “Here, how about this?” “This is a better idea…” On and on it goes. This quote? Me. Jen encourages readers to just STOP overthinking things. We already know in our gut what we should do – just do it, trusting it will work out, without worrying about what others may think.
“Wanting can be done sitting on the couch with a bong in your hand and a travel magazine in your lap. Deciding means jumping in all the way, doing whatever it takes, and going after your dreams with the tenacity of a dateless cheerleader a week before prom night.”
Another favorite quote, just because.
Jen also talks about people as mirrors for ourselves. We all have those people that we just cannot deal with. There is something about them that sets our nerves on edge, causes us to roll our eyes, or just plain annoys us. Jen encourages us to use those people as mirrors – what is it in them that we see in ourselves? And when we figure it out, if we don’t like it, change it.
At the end of the day, we create the lives we lead. We can choose to sit in the safety of our corporate cubicles, or we can buy plane tickets to Portugal. We can write songs in our bathroom and never share them with the world. Or we can perform it for a crowd and see what happens. The reward is in the risk. Or however the saying goes.
How To Be A Badass is a book readers find highly inspiring or completely ridiculous. Personally, I’m putting her words into action – see: Portugal plane ticket – creating vision boards, and all around modifying my way of thinking. I’ve spent a week scolding myself every time a negative thought – especially “I can’t..” thoughts – pop into my head.
Whether you believe in the Law of Attraction or answered prayers or wishes on stars, I think we can all agree that there is something to the idea behind the power of positive thinking and going after whatever it is that sets your soul on fire.
Have you read How To Be A Badass? What did you think of it?