- Author: Jen Sincero
- File Size: 1385 KB
- Print Length: 258 pages
- Publisher: Running Press Adult; 1 edition (April 23, 2013)
- Publication Date: April 23, 2013
- Language: English
Bestselling author, speaker and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, cuts through the din of the self-help genre with her own verbal meat cleaver in You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. In this refreshingly blunt how-to guide, Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, life-changing insights, easy exercises and the occasional swear word.
Via chapters such as “Your Brain is Your Bitch,” “Fear is for Suckers” and “My Subconscious Made Me Do It,” Sincero takes you on a wild joy ride to your own transformation, helping you create the money, relationships, career and general all around awesomeness you so desire. And should you be one of those people who would rather take a bullet than get busted with a self-help book in your hands, fear not. Sincero, a former skeptic herself, delivers the goods minus the New-Age cheese, giving even the snarkiest of poo-pooers exactly what they need to get out of their ruts and start kicking some ass.
By the end of You Are a Badass, you will understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to start living the kind of life you used to be jealous of.
Jen Sincero is a talented writer, and her edgy, irreverent style will be inspiring and motivational to many readers. If you’ve read other self help books then you probably won’t find much that’s new here. In fact, it’s really the in-your-face tone and humor in her writing that makes this book worthwhile. As for her ideas, I personally found a lot to take issue with. First, she has a very polarized view of spiritual growth that divides our lives in to those that suck and those that are awesome. Maybe that works for young millennials just starting out in life, and if that’s the audience she’s g oing for, then great, but most of us are somewhere on a continuum and her assertions that life is either this way or that way are simplistic to say the least. Sincero also uses a lot of highly critical, edgy language to describe people who are struggling or stuck – therefore not as awesome as she is – using words like “lame-o ” “suck” “wuss” …well, you get the idea. This may be mildly amusing the first time around, but it gets old fast and it’s not exactly kind to those who may really be struggling. I have to confess that I question a writer who continually references her own life choices and personal career success as a model that the rest of us should follow. There is an exhibitionistic, narcissistic, “look at me”, “look at how successful I am” dimension running through this book that is self-indulgent while lacking insight about what success could mean or look like for another person. Read this book for a quick shot of motivation if that’s what you need, it’s good for that, but look elsewhere for help in developing your own ideas and values about success and purpose. This is the Jen Sincero version and it may not apply to you.
Until Chapter 17.
About halfway through the book, Sincero begins talking about excuses. Okay, yes. A valuable thing to discuss. People, myself included, make excuses all the time. But she decides to target a set group of people.
People who are clinically depressed. She says, and I’m paraphrasing here, that depression is a comfort because it gives those who suffer from it an excuse not to do anything but stay in bed.
And that is precisely when I tuned out. I went from loving everything she said to eye rolling in a matter of seconds.
My clinical depression is not an excuse. It isn’t me being lazy. It isn’t me snickering as I back out on plans I make with friends. It’s me literally being unable to do anything because my disease is keeping me from doing it. There are days where I can’t do anything at all. There are days where laundry piles up and my bedroom becomes a disaster and I hide away from the world because I don’t think I’m worthy of being seen. There are days where I stop seeing my friends because I feel like I’m a burden to them.
And my friends understand this. They know what I go through and they know that if I need some time to myself to get my brain under control, then it isn’t an excuse. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them. It means that I’m just dealing with negative thoughts and I need to work through it. The fact that Sincero completely misunderstands depression ruined this book for me instantly. Yes, I will admit she gives valuable advice. But once I figured out that her advice disvalues someone like me, I checked out.
Also, her advice…is highly privileged. She says things like, “If you can afford this book, then you’re doing okay.” “Just buy the car of your dreams!” “If you want to travel the world, stop making excuses and you can.” Some people…can’t do that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in a good place right now but a year ago? I could barely pay my student loans. I couldn’t afford to replace the khakis that were part of my work uniform. I ate leftovers for days on end because my paycheck wasn’t going far enough. I didn’t blame the universe for this. And I certainly didn’t spend beyond my means just because I thought ‘the universe owes me and will figure it out.’ Sometimes, you’re just in a s***ty place in life. I was in a s***ty place for three and a half years. Going out and spending money on a trip around the world isn’t exactly sound advice for everyone. I felt like Sincero was speaking to one small group of clients. I didn’t fit within that group.
Like I said, she does say some really nice things. She did build me up for quite a few chapters. But she dropped me instantly and it hurt. Depression is hard enough. People with depression shouldn’t hear that it’s an ‘excuse.’ I was highly offended and if I wasn’t so far in the book, I would’ve stopped reading altogether.
Needless to say, I’m pretty glad to be done with this one