Thursday, July 30, 2015

The book that changed my life...literally

Sitting on the back porch I’m basking in the thrill of freedom and success. No more papers, no more homework, a 3.7 GPA and a master’s degree in Exercise Science & Health Promotion. It’s the calm after the storm. The beauty in the sunrise. The silver lining. [Insert all weather-related metaphors here].

In the 2 weeks since submitting my final final, I’ve signed on for another year of full-time consulting work, been invited to be a guest speaker at a women’s networking luncheon and spent a lot of time reflecting. 12 months seemed like a lifetime of sacrifice when I started – now I think of those same 12 months as my launching pad. The contract is a reward for a risk well taken.

We’re taught to play it safe and not take risks, 
and to caution everyone around us to follow suit.
~ Jen Sincero

I knew it was time to make a change. My passion has always been helping people improve their lives. But my purpose is to inspire change and healthy lifestyle habits. To do that I knew had to DO IT. But HOW? Was 35 too late to even try? Then I realized that once something moves from our brains to our bones, that’s when we can use it to change our lives.

During this battle of comfort zones (stay in it vs. take a chance), I stumbled across an amazing book: You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. I devoured it – literally - reading it on my lunch break every day. With a highlighter and post-its.

Jen doesn’t sugarcoat the blunt realities “this shit is not for sissies” and “you have to keep the faith, always, even when your ass is on the line”.  She also points out quite eloquently that “There’s nothing as unstoppable as a freight train full of f*#k-yeah”.

It’s a laugh-out-loud, insightful book for anyone with a sense of humor and a fire for finding success – in health, in faith, in family, in career. She discusses the past worth forgetting, the excuses to throw out and the experiences to embrace. 

On family dynamics: “It’s not your fault you’re f*#ked up. It’s your fault if you stay f*#ked up.”

On friendships: “Get out there and find people who make you feel like you can leap tall building in a single bound. Be clear on whom you want t o meet and make a concerted effort to go meet them. Your life is a party. You get to choose how you invite people and experiences and things into it.”

On forgiveness: “You have screwed up in the past. You will screw up again. You aren’t a better person for feeling guilty or bad about yourself, just a sadder one.”

On faith: “Faith smothers your fear of the unknown. Faith allows you to take risks. Faith is the stuff of 'leap and the net will appear'. This is about your faith being bigger than your fear.”

On fear: “It’s so simple; fear will always be there, poised and ready to wreak havoc, but we can choose whether we’re going to engage with it or turn on the lights , drown it out and crawl past it.”  

On self-love: “Incessant self-deprecating humor is for losers. Receive compliments gracefully instead of countering with a disclaimer such as, ‘Oh, this ratty old thing?’”\

On what others think: “The trick is to not only deny the criticism any power over you, but even more challenging, to not get caught up in the praise. There’s nothing wrong with blushingly accepting a compliment, but if you find yourself always seeking outside approval that you’re good enough or cool enough or talented enough or worthy enough, you’re screwed."

On YOU: “You are kind of a big deal.” And you ARE!

You can find You Are a Badass on Amazon. It’s in airport gift shops (I know, because I saw it Monday), there’s a Kindle version, an Audible and an MP3 CD…no excuses with all those choices.

If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way.
If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.
~J. Sincero

PS: I should probably add a disclaimer that I am in no way receiving any benefit from this review or post. In fact, Ms. Sincero & her publishing company have no idea that I am sharing this – and I hope that it’s ok with them!

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