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How to Be a Badass According to Jen Sincero

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero is one of those self-help books that leave you feeling enlightened, motivated and ready to conquer the world. This is the mark of a great self-help book. While there were some moments I questioned her opinion, I definitely absorbed a great amount of her amazing advice on how to be a badass.

As part of my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge, I promised to review every book I read for the next two years. You Are A Badass marks the 8th book review this year.

This is also the first book I read by Jen Sincero, and it’s about time!

She published this book back in 2013 (in book years that was forever ago), so most of my friends had already read it and so did a huge portion of the general population. Like always, I was behind on keeping up with current literature. However, it was on my radar and stayed there until I decided to pick it up this year.

I’m glad I eventually read it because there are a lot of good tips, presented in Jen Sincero’s humorous and no-nonsense kind of way, that really stuck with me. 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a small commission for any purchases made through these links on Caffeine and Conquer. For more information see my disclosure policy

Quick InfoA photograph of the yellow book cover "#1 New York Times Bestseller; You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life; Jen Sincero"

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

Published by: Running Press
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Genre: Self-Help; Non-Fiction

My Rating: 




“In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word. If you’re ready to make some serious changes around here, You Are a Badass will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them – it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it now.

By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll 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 use The Force to kick some serious ass.”

Synopsis retrieved from Goodreads

My Thoughts on You Are A Badass 

According to the front cover of my book, You Are a Badass has sold over a million copies! When someone sells that many books they must be getting something right. 

Her opinions are in the realm of mindset and manifestation – insights to help change your mindset from an “I can’t” to “yes”. She teaches us how to be a badass by providing the tools to manifest the life we want. 

Jen Sincero covers many areas of self-help or personal development. From learning about our ego in a philosophical sense, embracing our worth through affirmations and learning to let go, there was A LOT covered.

Obviously, each section of her book is going to resonate with different people in different ways. Listed below are the points I felt the most useful in my personal life, as well as a section I wasn’t so happy about.

Letting go of Negative Feelings

One of the themes of You Are a Badass is about the impact holding onto negative feelings can have on your overall well-being and mindset. Sincero recommends reflecting on why you react to certain people and actions in a negative way, how you can let go of resentment and live your life without the drama.

If I were to grab one quote from the book that explained it perfectly it would be this one:

“Holding on to resentment is like taking poison and waiting for your enemies to die” 

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, pg. 123

In my own personal life, I am definitely impacted by resentful feelings and creating drama in my life. For example, I hold resentment against a roommate who I don’t get along with. I have held on to these feelings for almost half a year now! In addition, I get incredibly irritated when I share my joy with someone about something and the feeling isn’t reciprocated. Yet, if I take Jen Sincero’s advice, and reflect on my thinking behind these feelings, I’m essentially creating my own drama and remaining in a state of negativity. 

As the quote above makes clear, these negative feelings are like poison that we ourselves are consuming but have no impact on the people that hurt us. If we’re to learn how to be a badass, we need to learn to forgive and realize that our reaction to people has more to do with us and less to do with them. 


Conquering Fear

Another important self-help tip presented by Sincero is overcoming fear to make room for growth.

“Our greatest fears are the greatest waste of time.”

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, pg. 173

What I like about this advice is it’s making it clear that there is one major thing holding you back, and it’s probably fear. It’s not your fault either because we’ve been conditioned to think a certain way. Whether you’re not doing your dream job because you think you won’t succeed, or you don’t travel because you would have to go alone, you’re letting fear control your life. Sincero provides great advice to navigate our fears and move forward in life without them affecting our decisions.  

As I was reading this chapter, I thought I would be on the side of someone who lives in fear, due to my issues with mental health. However, as I was reading her advice I found myself on the other side, ignoring fear and taking that leap of faith into the unknown. This year I had the guts to quit my job to pursue self-employment, and I just did it, without doubting my ability to succeed. Looking back, I’m so surprised at myself that I was acting in this way without even thinking about it and love myself even more for how badass I was (and still am)!

Surrendering to Faith

Another idea in the book I surprisingly aligned with was Sincero’s explanation of faith. Before reading this book I would have associated faith with religion and religion only. Since I’m not a religious person I never related to the idea of faith in a higher being, and I still don’t. However, Sincero presented faith outside of the Christian context and I finally got it! 

Conquering our fears and living in the moment requires that we surrender to the unknown. 

“Your faith in the Universe must be stronger than your fear of not getting what you want.”

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, pg. 225

Rather than use God to talk about faith, Sincero called it the Universe and Source Energy to describe the unknown energy. The energy that, if we’re in line with, allows us to vibrate at a high frequency. It’s faith in this energy that she recommends we surrender to. The idea is rather than have doubt and fear of the future, we should take that leap and have faith that it will work out. 

Jen Sincero on Mental Health (how she got it wrong)

There is one attitude Jen Sincero holds in her book that I would argue she was completely insensitive about, and that is mental health. She speaks of depression as if it is a choice, which I found really upsetting since the rest of her advice was motivating. 

A particular passage stood out to me while reading the book. While writing about changing our internal stories, the excuses we make for ourselves that allow us to continue to act a certain way, she wrote:

“Once you’ve gotten clear on your story and have done the energy work above, take action. If you were once depressed but have decided to let it go, top listening to melancholy music, stop talking about how lousy you feel, stop pretending that putting on your bathrobe counts as getting dressed, etc…Instead focus on the good and do the things you love to do – make an effort instead of collapsing into the familiar feeling of being depressed.

“Realize that you’ve gotten into habits with these things and switch them around. Behave the way a person who isn’t depressed behaves. Dress how they dress…”

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Her book tends to have a tough love tone to it, which is something I loved. However, in relation to mental health that tough love attitude sends a bad message. Sincero describes depression as easy to get out of and rewarding (you can lounge around all day and be lazy). Those with depression will agree with me when I say that getting out of it is not as simple as listening to happier music and getting out of your pajamas. While it can help a little, there is A LOT more going on that requires attention.  

My Rating

I gave You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. This book would have received a full rating if the language surrounding depression was more sensitive to the full issue. Despite that, Sincero’s advice on mindset and manifestation were enlightening and I can’t wait to apply them in my own life. 

I will definitely be picking up You Are a Badass at Making Money next (I didn’t mention that chapter in this review, but it was amazing!). 

If you are in search of information to help you manifest your dreams and change your mindset to one of abundance I recommend Jen Sincero’s no-nonsense guide to how to be a badass. 

Did you read the book and found a particular section helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

A pinnable image. Has two photographs, one of a woman walking in a sea of flowers and another of a womans eyes. Overlayed on top is a photograph of the book "You Are a Badass" and the text "Our greatest fears are our greatest waste of time".


  1. Katie says

    This was a great review! I read the book over the summer and loved it, but I have to agree about they way she approached mental health. I personally feel people who assume depression and other mental health issues are easily overcome haven’t experienced the true depth of what depression is and does to a person…meaning they either haven’t experienced depression themselves or they haven’t felt the loss of someone who was dealing with it. Perspectives shift and change as we experience things first hand and while I also appreciated her tough love approach, I think she missed the mark there.
    Anyways, this was a great post! You are a Badass At Making Money is next on my list too, so I’ll be sure to check back to get your thoughts.

    • sarah.fournier says

      I also thought the same – that Sincero must not have experience with depression for her to think that way about it. It’s sad but we’re getting better at informing people about the realities of mental health. Thanks for commenting! I popped on over to your blog and subscribed. Looking forward to following your posts.

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