Originally published on my first blog: HERE.
The older I get, the less I like self-help books. I tend to believe that everyone’s definition of happiness (and/or success) is different, and everyone has to find their own path to it. It’s a personal journey unique to each of us. But after three different friends recommended the book You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero, I had to check it out.
I enjoyed the book because of the author’s sassy and sarcastic sense of humor. But I found some of her advice to be just a more in-your-face version of stuff we’ve all heard before. She is big on the Law of Attraction, sans The Secret vision board, and I am not a huge fan of that concept. If you are not familiar with it, the basic idea is that if you believe hard enough and send enough positive vibes out to the universe, you will attract the positive life changes you are seeking. I’m an optimistic person and I believe a positive attitude goes a long way, BUT… I don’t believe that putting sticky notes all over my house that say “I am a supermodel” is really going to land me on the cover of Sports Illustrated‘s swimsuit edition.
I did appreciate the author’s theory that our subconscious brain may be sabotaging us based on something that probably happened to us way back in our childhood. In my case, it’s apparently possible that not being able to afford the Gloria Vanderbilt jeans I thought I needed to make my life complete in the 7th grade may have led to a subconscious belief that I don’t really deserve nice things, which in turn led to feelings of self-doubt and some stupid mistakes I made as an adult. Pretty deep, huh?
I also appreciated the author’s motivating message to get over yourself, stop dwelling on the “what ifs,” and Just Do It. (Sorry, Nike, I don’t know how else to phrase it.) If you need a push to get outside of your comfort zone and take the first step toward a dream your subconscious self once believed you were not worthy of–this book might be for you.
Probably my biggest takeaway from reading this book is this: my perimenopausal badass self has learned a lot over the past forty-something years (I can’t say “forty-something” for much longer, so please indulge me while I can). I have come a long way in overcoming the self-doubt that used to plague my younger subconscious mind, even without the help of a self-help guru. How did I do this? I’m not really sure, but I think it’s just a matter of living life and eventually reaching the age of not giving a crap about the things that used to hold you back. In the course of living my life, I may actually have gathered some life lessons that are worthy of sharing. In fact, I’m thinking I should write my own self-help book. I don’t have a title yet, but I do have a Table of Contents:
This is the point where Jen Sincero would want me to envision this future book on the bestseller list while buckling down to “Just Write It.” I’m not quite there yet. Maybe I just need 40-something more years to get over those Gloria Vanderbilts.