There is so much to take away from Jen Sincero’s “You are badass“, I couldn’t squeeze all into one write-up. Here are more lessons urging you to live as if your life depends on them, cos it does! Continue to be the best version of you. This is not about making a lot of money or finding the vaccine for COVID 19 (unless that is your calling). It is about knowing what you are made of, understanding your purpose and creating a life you truly desire. It is about living life as your maker intended for you to live it.
“Tenacity… birthing your dream is like, giving birth”
Jen narrates how interviewing people through her career revealed to her that an overwhelming majority of successful people attest that tenacity is the secret to their success. I wonder why it is considered a secret though. Nobody achieves great success without walking through fire. You must first be chiselled before becoming the best version of yourself.
A friend of mine just started a new venture in hopes of meeting her opulent version. Some weeks back she told me she was tired of the hurdles she was encountering and was ready to throw in the towel. Coincidentally, I was reading this book and was right on the page on tenacity and staying the course.
The analogy of giving birth which Jen Sincero uses is quite vivid. It powerfully captures the entire experience of realizing a dream. Like getting pregnant, the fun and easy part is the conception (hopefully). Months of untold pain then ensue. Diseases you didn’t even realize existed plague you. Aching back, blocked eardrums, disastrous face breakouts, your toes and fingers swell like healthy carrots. At no point does it occur to you to get rid of the pregnancy five- or six-months in. Instead, you find ways to deal with your discomfort as you eagerly wait to meet your bundle of joy. That is the same mindset you need, to become the best version of you. A no-nonsense commitment to staying the course. Being tenacious in spite of the stumbling blocks which life throws at you. The difference between those who grow to their maximum and those who settle is tenacity.
“Prioritize you. You aren’t a selfish person for taking care of yourself. Just a happier one”
Society most often equates prioritizing oneself with being self-centred. What we fail to understand is that you cannot pour out of an empty jar. Prioritizing you means nurturing every area of your life so that you can be in the best possible position to look after others. Prioritizing you is some variant of self-love. My number one fantasy since becoming a mother has been to travel to a faraway hotel all by myself, preferably on a mountain, to just sleep, and sleep some more. I do not even have a fulltime job yet, still, this dream haunts me! What more of parents of three and four children with full-time jobs?
If you are experiencing mental and physical fatigue, take the time off to rest. If someone asks a favour which requires you running around and you say yes, you may be thinking you are being nice to them but you aren’t being nice to yourself. Sit some activities out. Go for a massage, a pedicure, pick up a new hobby which involves relaxing. The rest of the world would still be here when you return from your wellness retreat.
“Successful people have good habits: unsuccessful people have losery habits”
You may not realize it but your little bad habits have piled up into ginormous roadblocks interfering with your progress in some areas of your life. Can you think of some bad habits holding you from achieving the goals you set for this year? As I mentioned in the first part of this write-up, dealing with procrastination radically transformed my life. The change was surreal. It felt like a miracle, but all I did was, I STOPPED PROCRASTINATING!
You may really want to achieve something but find yourself spending hours on the internet, jumping from one social media platform to the other. Then you have to rush over the said task not giving it your best. Or you may want to rid yourself of excess weight, but you just can’t stop eating junk food or having mid-night snacks. I am not talking about things you do once in a while, but things you do on the regular. Our habits are all the things we do automatically without thinking, they help to form who we are.
Because our habits shape who we are, you should pay attention to areas in your life you are absolutely proud of, as opposed to the ones you flush at. Figure out which bad and good habits helped create them. Focus on replacing bad habits with good ones. Once you know what your bad habits are, you can protect yourself from them then watch yourself thrive in every area!
“Watch your mouth. The self-deprecating humour is for losers”
You truly cannot expect to live the best version of you with the sad jokes about you which you have become accustomed to telling. Jokes like “my broke self can’t afford…”, “I can’t keep a man even if he were chained to me…”, I can’t read more to save my life…” etc. This has got nothing to do with you having the ability to laugh at yourself. It is the habit of throwing jabs at yourself insistently. Seemingly harmless jokes, over time, turn into seriously destructive beliefs. If you must say something to, or about you, soak yourself with affirmations; be it in the self-love department, relationship, finance, mental health or relationships. Call yourself the names you would love to become. To call yourself positive names, you have to think positive thoughts. Have a grip of your mind.
“Your brain is your b****”
Here we go again with the beautiful choice of words. I know all the talks about the mind being so powerful are old and cliché. The reason there is this much emphases on your mind is simply that the mind is beyond incredible. Your mind is your canvas. Conjure up thoughts which create idyllic pictures on it. Own your mind, and let it know that you are in control. The moment you have the ability to believe in the not yet seen, your reality will begin to change.
The big mistake we make is we demand to see evidence before we believe it to be true. You have got to get a handle of your thoughts if you want to change your life. Keep your thoughts directed toward your goals. Creating a vision board is an amazing way to keep you visualizing yourself becoming the best version you so desire. We are visual beings, seeing yourself as what you hope to be, puts you a few steps to becoming that.
“Gratitude is a state of being”
Gratitude goes way beyond “thank you”. It is having an awareness of, and a deep appreciation for the many miracles in your life. I have a sister-friend, for whom I would love to buy the world. She not only tells you how grateful she is for the tiniest gift you give her, but she is also effusive about receiving. You’d give her a thoughtless gift and she would keep it for over a decade; wearing it often and reminding you how much she still loves it.
As the giver, I find this endearing and it warms my heart and makes me want to give her more. Since it made her happy, and she returned the happiness years later when I expected she should have gotten rid of that old blouse! The gratitude mentality opens the flow for more. You cut your self off from the supply of awesomeness when you are not in a state of gratitude.
“While there are those who have always known exactly what they want to do, there are a lot more of us who spend most of our lives looking under rocks and behind trees for who we are…”
In the preface of Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”, (review coming soon), she states that she absolutely hates the question- “what do you want to be when you grow up? “
While this may be a valid question to pick children’s brains so they can think of ideal career choices, it suggests something finite, which she thinks is sad.
To become your best version, you are constantly evolving. It is okay if you are still figuring you out. Let yourself off the hook…you’ll probably fulfil several callings throughout your life. If you think about it. It makes more sense to evolve as you age anyway. I know people who have boldly swapped careers at forty and are at their happiest. Then there are those who have stayed in one place since their late teens till retirement and are equally happy. A good majority in their mid-thirties may be wondering where they belong. The big question is, are you living the best version of you at every stage? If you are in the “figuring out season”, follow what feels good in the moment, every moment, and it will lead you through a most excellent life.
Remember, some of the things which resonate with you now, you may find appalling in the next decade. Your life is a journey as you discover and grow into the best version of you.
“Our conscious mind thinks it is in control, but it isn’t”
Knowing what your subconscious beliefs are, are paramount to you living the best version of yourself. In part one of this review, we touched a little on this. I figured I’d buttress more on it. You may be wondering why you simply cannot shake off certain behavioural traits. It could be why you never strive for excellence. Or why most of your relationships are in precarious conditions. It could be you are a man who always makes crass comments about women. Anything which bugs you, and you cannot seem to get a handle on it.
In this section, Jen explains that as humans, we both have a conscious and a subconscious mind. The conscious mind processes all information. It worries, fears, judges and criticizes. However, the conscious mind doesn’t fully develop until we get to puberty.
“Our subconscious mind doesn’t think about anything, but it is in control”
The subconscious mind, on the other hand, is the non-analytical part of the brain. It has no filters and is fully developed at birth. Because it has no filter, it believes and stores every outside information given to it from early childhood. These subconscious beliefs lie undisturbed and run our lives. This may not necessarily be bad beliefs. Unless we realized we have underlying issues we need to deal with. Your impending doom could be as a result of beliefs you do not even realize still rule you.
You may have learned at a tender age that money was the root of all evil. Or a bitter single parent raised you and planted seeds of distrust within you. Maybe as a child, adults taught you to strive only for the bare minimum. Dig deep into what you knew as a child with regard to a specific area in your life you can’t get a grip on. To be the best version of you, you have to be aware of what your subconscious beliefs are. Only by knowing, can you fix the issues.
Many of us go through life like bees. Busy planning, chasing after a career, running after money, raising children, etc. Even after working hours, our minds keep running around like restless overachievers. There is nothing wrong with keeping busy. Nevertheless, take out time to meditate.
Apart from busy schedules, life is complex, messy and sometimes foggy. In navigating this life, we all need a compass. Meditating is some sort of a metaphorical compass which comes with guidance. Taking the time off physically and mentally are habits everyone should cultivate.
Meditating, generally speaking, is an act of tuning off, focusing on your breathing while freeing your mind so that you can connect with the universe. Personally, it is time spent in God’s presence. In prayer and worship. Connecting to my source of being, letting His word light up my path and direct my steps toward my purpose. Nourishing my mind, body and spirit.
Whatever meditation means to you, however, you choose to define it, ensure to take the time off daily to be still. There are a lot of voices in or heads we need to declutter every now and again. There is the voice of worry, anxiety, fear, greatness or boldness. To distinguish between these voices, and HEAR the right voices, you have to be one with your mind and truly listen. Meditating will propel you to be the best version of yourself.
Develop a growth mindset to be the best version of you
I am an advocate for personal growth and development; of each and every one of us expanding in every area of our lives to our maximum capacity. Imagine a world where everyone actively pursued their truest selves? A world where we earnestly desired to be all that we were created to be? Fearless beings tapping into our inner powers, striving to be that best we could possibly be. You are badass had me thinking of such a world. I look forward to writing an update on how applying these lessons have effected positive change in my world. Shall we have a rendezvous in say, six months? Again, I would love to read about what resonates with you in the comments.
You are powerful, you are loved. you are surrounded by miracles. Believe, really believe that what you desire is here and available to you.