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

36922D01-B023-4B1F-AC4E-F05F66D934D3I picked up this book because I wanted a pep talk. I felt like I needed to hear how awesome I am. So, I said, why not listen to Jen Sincero tell me.

Here is more about You are a Badass if you’re not familiar with this book.

In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.

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.

I listened to You are a Badass via audiobook, Sincero narrates, and I like her voice. It is straightforward and unpretentious. Her reading fits the tone of the book. This is a total self-help book, titled and marketed as straightforward and unpretentious, but don’t let that confuse you, it is completely and totally full of all the self-helpy things you find in self-help books. If you’re into that genre, you’ll probably enjoy this book. If you don’t, you might not like it so much.

The structure of the book makes the book move quickly. Most chapters are short and consist of an idea, some examples, and then a list that helps the reader to strategize how they can implement that idea in their life. Again, it is straight forward and unpretentious.

I thought the book was fine. It hit all its marks, and provided some insights, it didn’t offend it didn’t excited. As I listened, I found myself zoning out, and then not caring enough to go back and hear what I missed. There were some parts that resonated with me. The section on time, and utilizing one’s time spoke to me most. When it came to time Sincero had a different and specific approach that I appreciated. I also liked the way she talked about forgiveness and money, and also how she talked about the people we find most irritating in our lives. She verbalized things I’ve thought of and heard before, but in a new way.

On the other hand, the book is full of tropes and ideas you’ve heard a hundred times before about, loving yourself, taking a risk, behaving the way you want to be perceived etc. I don’t fault Sincero for including this stuff in her book, my guess that it works, thats why you hear the advice so much. However, these suggestions felt redundant and were the moments I most found myself zoning out.

If you’re going through a major life change, or feeling like you need a boost, this book might speak to you. This is one of those books that could mean a lot to you depending on when you read it in your own journey. You might hate it today, and in ten years think its the best thing ever. It didn’t do much for me, at least not right now.

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Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

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I have never read an advice column in my life. It is not something I seek out, or something that I have any interest in. Well, now that I’ve read Tiny Beautiful Things, that has all changed. Now, I love advice columns, but only if Cheryl Strayed is giving the advice.

If you’re not familiar with the Rumpus magazine’s Dear Sugar column here is a little of what you can expect from this book.

This bestselling book from the author of Wild collects the best of The Rumpus’s Dear Sugar advice columns plus never-before-published pieces. Rich with humor, insight, compassion—and absolute honesty—this book is a balm for everything life throws our way.

This books is special. It is full of advice. That at once seems obvious and still unique and is specific and still universal. Strayed does a thorough and compassionate job of answering the letters. She is never condescending and seems to always come from a place of working it out the best you can. Which is often harder than it sounds. She reminds people they know the answer, or she guides them toward what she thinks is right, or she shuts them down, or she builds them up. She seems to know how much of each ingredient her response needs and takes her time to doll it out.

If you don’t know Strayed, which at the time of writing to “Sugar” these people in need of advice didn’t. You assume the woman answering the questions has her whole life together, and always has. But if you do know Strayed, you know thats not true. I won’t spoil her life for you (you can read it all about it in Wild or watch Reese Witherspoon in the movie), but she has lived a big life. Its what makes her advice so precise and potent.

I don’t think I related to a lot of the letters, but some of them might as well have been written by me. I would imagine everyone who reads this book feels that at some point. Some, perhaps the best ones, are questions you’d never think to ask, but you’re so glad someone did because you needed to hear the answer.

I’m grateful to this book, I have suggested it to a lot of people. I have even mentioned it on The Stacks podcast (Ep.9 at the 39:30 mark). Everyone who has read it has enjoyed it, found it interesting at the very least and some have found it life changing. I’m grateful to this book for helping me, and those I love to see life in a new and special way.

I listened to this book, and Strayed reads it. I fell in love with her voice and her cadence and if you’re so inclined this is a fantastic audiobook. I went back a few times to listen to my favorite ones again and again. Hearing Strayed say “sweet pea” is better than I could’ve imagined.

The best news is, I just found out (and I realize this makes me very late to this party) that there is a Dear Sugars podcast, with Cheryl Strayed and the Sugar before her, Steve Almond. So once you’ve read the book go listen to the podcast. More Sugar to go around.

Read this book. Share it with a loved one. Chances are they will take something meaningful away from this book, and thats a tiny beautiful ting indeed.

To contribute to The Stacks, join The Stacks Pack, and get exclusive perks, check out our Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/thestacks). We are beyond grateful for anything you’re able to give to support the production of The Stacks.

The Stacks participates in affiliate programs in which we receive a small commission when products are purchased through some links on this website. This does not effect my opinions on books and products. For more information click here.