I have finally finished reading You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero (book review and giveaway coming soon!). With most people, this means that it is time for a new book to read. But for me, it means that it is finally time to dig deep into its pages, and revisit the parts I have marked for review.
See, the problem with a lot of self-help/self-development books is that most people read them, see the exercises and skip past them, and reflect on how “nice” everything sounded without putting in the legwork to actually make a difference. To be honest, it is a great market to be an author in – there are far more consumers than doers.
But in the spirit of not wasting my time, and of applying what I have read, I am going to go through the exercises and jot them in here. The first area I have marked?
How to Get Over Your B.S. Already
Step 1: Become aware of what your stories are
Alright, easy enough, right? What are the crummy things that I tend to always say to myself?
- I always fall off the wagon
- I never have enough time/money/energy in the day
- I can’t afford graphic design programs/courses
- I should do more with my life
- I suck at writing
- I wish I could travel
- I want to write a book (but…)
- I don’t have the money to do the things I want to do
- One day I will love my life
- I’m trying to lose weight
Well. That feels totally crappy. Okay, what’s next?
Step 2: Become aware of what you are gaining from your stories
Certainly somewhere in my brain it sees a benefit, right?
- I always fall off the wagon because it is easier than trying to do something new or challenging or different. It is easier to tell myself that I will fail so when it happens I don’t feel as bad. It is a way for my to protect myself from disappointment.
- I never have enough time/money/energy in the day. I tell myself I never have enough time/money/energy because it gives me a reason to rest and be comfortably lazy. It is my go-to reason to be lazy.
- I can’t afford graphic design programs/courses. I can’t afford graphic design programs/courses because I am fearful of making it another priority and am self-conscious about going back to school. I feel like people will think I’m done for doing more schooling after a college degree. I tell myself I can’t afford it as a way to not pursue it and remain comfortable.
- I should do more with my life. I compare my life to other people to point out the lack I have because it allows me to be a victim of my past and remain in a sad comfort zone. I look at highlight reels and tell myself I can never live a life as awesome as other people because it gives me a reason to not be in uncomfortable situations.
- I suck at writing. I tell myself I suck at writing so I don’t write and therefore cannot be told by other people that I suck at writing.
- I wish I could travel. I limit myself to the confines of New England because the world scares me. I do not prioritize traveling on purpose because I fear I will never want to go back home and I will abandon the stable life I have built. The thought of traveling reminds me of how blah my everyday is, and makes me fearful of being less content with my life.
- I want to write a book (but…) I come up with excuses on why I am not a good writer because it means that I don’t have to sit down and put my thoughts on paper in a meaningful way. I tell myself my book ideas aren’t good enough so I don’t have to see a pitch fail. I can be lazy.
- I don’t have the money to do the things I want to do. Telling myself that I don’t have money allows me to stay in, stay put, and remain in a familiar state.
- One day I will love my life. Telling myself that I will love my life when I get to x, y, z gives me an excuse to not love it now. It gives me an excuse to stay in routines, and to play victim when convenient.
- I’m trying to lose weight. If I tell people I’m trying and I fail, I will get sympathy. If I tell people I AM losing weight, I am committed to that and that means giving up excessive pizza and beer.
I am noticing a trend here – I really like to try to be lazy and safe (ha…)
Alright, so now that I feel properly crummy, how can we turn this around?
Step 3: Get rid of your stories
Okay, so I get it. These beliefs were all set up to try to protect me and keep me comfortable and safe… It’s sort of like the warm hug of a super, over-bearing mother.
I understand them and get where they’re coming from, but it’s time to let them go.
I always fall off the wagonI am capable of committing to something long-term and following through. I can do anything I put my mind to. I never have enough time/money/energy in a dayI am so excited to be alive and to have the ability to do anything with my day. Life’s possibilities are endless! I can’t afford graphic design programs/coursesI am constantly learning and growing and developing and know that this is something that I want to do. I have a sense of direction and purpose and cannot wait to get started! I should do more with my lifeI am capable of living the life I choose, every moment of every day. Life is GOOD. I suck at writingI am a writer and follow my dreams. I am so blessed to have found something I love to do from such an early age. I will show the world my talents! I wish I could travelI will travel the world and see and experience so many new and exciting things! I want to write a book (but…)I will write a bestseller! I don’t have the money to do the things I wantI will have all the money I will ever want. I am grateful for what I have and what is to come. One day I will love my lifeI love my life now, and am grateful for every day. Every day is a new opportunity! I am trying to lose weightI am losing weight in a healthily and sustainably and am so excited to celebrate my body every step of the way. I get to share my journey with others and inspire people!
PHEW. That feels way better.
Now that the heavy lifting is done, I just need to…
I need to keep doing this?
Yes, I need to keep doing this.
Because let’s be real here, folks. There is no one checklist or one exercise that is going to change your mindset forever. But finding the truth (aka the good stuff listed in Step 3) and making sure I’m sticking to that truth is essential. Jen Sincero talks about taking action on the third list (which, by the way, this blog post kind of double dips for me for that reason so sorry not sorry). She also talks about getting out of your routine (working on that) and avoiding the “spiral” (all or nothing thinking).
Equally as important, I have to love myself. Because that helps keep all the drama stories from creeping back into my beliefs. How can I say I suck at writing if I am so stoked to show the world what I can do? I’m going to write a bestseller! And travel! And it’s going to be awesome!
And guess what?
This is only one exercise I’ve blogged about here. We’re going to keep this up.
And while you are certainly welcome to try these along with me, I would highly recommend reading the book first, as it gives all the necessary mindset context goodness that really helps to make these things stick. I also highly recommend listening to Sam Brown (formerly Smart Twenties) because she’s amazing (and her accent is to die for).
Feel free to drop a comment below of what your story is, and how you flip it! Also if you have book or podcast recommendations, I would love to hear them!