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In You Are a Badass

How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

By: Jen Sincero

Reviewed By: Bob Ruffolo

Most of us have had a moment, at some point or another, when we realized that perhaps we weren’t reaching our true potential. Whether that be from a lack of confidence, poor habits, or complacency – it’s a terrible feeling.

In You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, Jen Sincero aims to help you get out of that rut and get back on track towards the life you really want, both professionally and personally.

Jen Sincero is a New York Times Bestselling Author, success coach and motivational speaker who’s won over audiences across the world.  

As a coach, she’s helped clients negotiate seven-figure deals, grow their businesses, and even find their soul mates.

As a coach, she’s helped clients negotiate seven-figure deals, grow their businesses, and even find their soul mates.

You Are a Badass contains 27 concise chapters packed with interesting stories, practical advice, and simple exercises you can follow.

In it, Sincero focuses heavily on identifying and overcoming self-sabotaging beliefs and limiting behaviors that keep us feeling trapped and prevent us from chasing our dreams.

She outlines a strategy for figuring out what you want in life and taking real steps towards living the life you want.

Using the three lessons below, she also helps you embrace your challenges, instead of fearing them, so you can use them to your advantage as opportunities for learning and improvement.

1. The First Decision You Have to Make

You need to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to change your life.

- Jen Sincero

Waiting is passive. You can sit on the couch and wait.

Waiting gives the false sense that you’re doing something, but it’s just an excuse to not do anything.

Deciding requires you to take action. Deciding forces you to get up and make something happen.

According to Sincero, you don’t have to hit rock bottom to make a big change in your life. Although the stories of someone hitting rock bottom and catapulting to success are certainly the most interesting and memorable stories, they don’t represent the vast majority of success stories in real life.

In most cases, what really happens is the person finally decided to get serious about what they wanted in life and actually going after it. The factors that lead to that decision are infinite and don’t even matter that much.

All that matters is that you make the decision for yourself and you believe it. As Sincero explains, our personal reality is dictated by our thoughts and beliefs.

Aside from the laws of nature like gravity, our day-to-day reality is most largely determined by how we perceive the world around us and how we feel about it.

However, Sincero is careful not to let this book come off as a typical feel-good self-help book – she makes it clear that you have to be willing to put in the work. It’s just that the work starts in your head before you take action.

2. Self-Confidence Starts With Self-Respect

One of the most important concepts from You Are a Badass is the value of self-respect. Sincero argues that we should never cater to others for the sake of being liked.

She encourages you to “own your ugly” and never apologize for being yourself.


On a related note, Sincero stresses the point that it’s okay to want money.

For some reason, we believe that wanting to make a lot of money is a greedy or shallow trait, yet we all know logically that having a lot of money improves our quality of life and improves our ability to help others.

Don’t be ashamed for wanting money – if you are providing value, you deserve to earn your fair share.


Another point that Sincero makes repeatedly is that the old saying about “you are the average of your friends” is completely true and part of having self-respect is being more selective about who we allow to influence us. In other words, being more selective about our friends.

Too often we fall into the trap of worrying about what everyone else thinks of us, and we never stop to consider what we think of them. It’s not about whether or not someone is “good enough” to be our friend, but instead, it’s about what kind of value they add to our lives.

According to Sincero, the negative people in your life have to go. To be a badass, you have to believe in yourself and it’s nearly impossible when everyone around you is bringing you down.

Moral Support

An interesting point that Sincero raises is how we as a society give massive praise to those who take a leap of faith and follow their dreams to become successful – once they’ve succeeded. However, when someone takes the initial leap of faith, the people in their personal life call them crazy.

Unfortunately, we can’t change how others feel about what we do with our lives, but we can change who we surround ourselves with and who we allow to influence us – and it all starts with having self-respect.

3. Your Failures Aren’t Special

Failure is a popular buzzword right now, especially in the business and marketing world.

In the past, people tried to hide their failures; now it seems like people try to make a big drama out of every mistake to further emphasize their accomplishments.

As Sincero puts it, “everyone screws up and you’re not special for doing it.” Mistakes are not really failures, they are just situations for gathering data and moving forward.

According to Sincero, the only real failure is giving up when you shouldn’t have. Either you find a way to move forward or you find an excuse to justify inaction.

When we view failure as special or as a badge of honor, we give it too much power. When we view our mistakes for what they are (a small misstep or bad decision), we automatically hold ourselves more accountable for correcting the mistake and moving forward.

Ultimately, being a badass, as Sincero describes, is not about being so great that you never fail – it’s about being so driven, confident, and competent that we consistently overcome our failures.

What Does This Mean For You in Business?

In today’s business world, you very rarely luck into things. Gone are the days of staying with one company for decades or being entitled to a raise or promotion. Today, people need to hustle to get the life that they want. They need to ask for it, or even go a step further and take it.

When you make a conscious decision to live a better life, have self-respect, and accept failures not as a trophy, but as a necessary step in success, you’ll have all of the skills needed to start progressing. Ask for that raise, apply for that promotion, start that solo venture. In most cases, the only person standing in your way is you!