Real talk: 2016 was a rough year for me, both personally and professionally. After the turmoil of the presidential election and an incredibly disappointing holiday season I was completely burnt out. By the beginning of 2017 I was not only tired, but uninspired, and probably having a mid-boss-life crisis.
Before throwing in the towel (which I was seriously pretty close), I reached out to my Instagram community and asked for some #GirlBoss-esque book recommendations to give my entrepreneurial spark one last ditch effort.
Enter: You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. The description on Amazon seemed SO self-helpy that I physically cringed, but I trust my followers, and so many wonderful people recommended it that I figured it was worth a shot. Basically, a bright yellow, swear-infused Hail Mary pass.
I barely even made it through the Introduction before there were so many lightbulbs going off in my head that I read straight through the night. And the next day. And then drove to the store and bought it in paperback so I could actually feel it in my hands as I read it AGAIN.
This book not only changed my life (I now have enough online dating stories to fill another blog post), but my business too. Not only was I able to shake that “The Universe is out to Get Me” feeling (spoiler: it was actually a nasty combo of my Ego, 2016 being a shitstorm, and that time I was actually depressed), but things that seemed disjointed suddenly started clicking into place.
The values that I’d always held in one way or another found their place in my brand and my message. My mission to help kickass women express themselves finally seemed like enough. I didn’t have to be all the things to all the people, I just had to use my talents and passion to help women know that they too, are badass.
Below are some of my favorite You Are Badass-isms + how they’ve impacted my life and biz…
“No matter what you say you want, if you’ve got an underlying subconscious belief that it’s going to cause you pain or isn’t available to you, you either: (A) won’t let yourself have it, or (B) you will let yourself have it, but you’ll be real fucked up about it. And then you’ll go off and lose it anyway.”
Holy, freaking, moley this one hit me hard.
This applies to SO many things in my life, but for the sake of not airing all my dirty laundry on the internet, let’s talk business success.
I want my business to be successful (duh). I want to totally rock at what I do and make an impact in the lives of those around me (double duh). Social media shows me successful businesses in my field all the time, so I know it’s totally possible. It’s 110% possible for me to make a living doing hand lettering and calligraphy out of my spare bedroom turned office.
Sure, my business pays the bills, but I’m talking “venti iced soy latte from Starbucks every morning without batting an eye” kind of success. Book in Barnes and Noble and collaborations in the aisles of Target kind of success. You know, shooting for the moon.
But in all my years of business, did I really think I can have that kind of success? Like really really? Not so much. Was that holding me back without me even realizing it? Damn straight.
Take a hot minute and think about what YOU really, truly want, and then, if you don’t have it, think of how your subconscious might be holding you back.
I can practically see the lightbulbs from here my friend.
“Vibrations attract vibrations.”
It’s all about those good vibes, man! Living your life at a higher frequency attracts things of a higher frequency right back to you. AKA, being bogged down in all the things going wrong in your business (or life) will bring the shit sandwich right back around, boomerang style. Focusing on the good, even in shitty situations, brings around the good.
Sounds pretty woo woo, right?
Sure does! But it works, too!
For me, it was (and is) a shift in attitude and working from a place of passion and intent. Gone are the days of “The Universe is Out To Get Me.” Now, I’m back to my tried and true mantra - “I will not be a cranky bitch.” I shifted my habits to move away from the hustle and grind, getting back into practicing yoga everyday, even if just for 10 minutes, and downloading a meditation app to use at least once a day.
That’s not to say things are always sunshine (hey mystery infection and hacked bank account!), but in trying to live at a higher frequency, I’m able to have more control over how I react to the world around me.
“It’s just as easy to believe we’re awesome as it is to believe we’re giant sucking things.”
So. Much. YES! It takes just as much of your brain power to think you’re freaking fantastic as it does to think you’re the absolute worst, so why not stick with freaking fantastic?!
This was another “oh…duh” moment for me. I spend so much of my time focusing on my flaws and mistakes that I hardly ever take a second to think about what a badass I actually am.
My best friend once mentioned that her mother, after finally traveling to Connecticut and meeting me in person for the first time, couldn’t stop talking about how brave I am.
My initial reaction was, “Brave? Me?”
That’s CRAZY SAUCE. I moved to a different country where I hardly spoke the language and didn’t know another soul. I got not one, but two tattoos, despite being so afraid of needles they make me lay down when they draw blood at the doctor’s office. I quit a stable job in a career field I’d gone to college for to pursue what was once just a hobby. I’m one seriously brave woman.
Why, then, was I confused when someone else pointed it out?
Imagine how awesome life would be if I owned that all the time? Imagine how awesome your life would be if you talked about what you love about yourself more than what you don’t?
Life would be pretty darn badass if you ask me.
“Do not waste your precious time giving one single crap about what anybody else thinks of you.”
*Raises hands, emoji style* I can’t even begin to tell you how much of my life I’ve spent stressing over the “right” thing to wear. There’s actually a little ball of anxiety in the back of my head right now as I type this before heading to a party tonight and I have no idea what to wear. I have a closet full of clothes that I love. I (think) I have pretty good taste. I’m able to read a situation to figure out what’s appropriate. So why in the actual F do I care if I’m wearing the “right outfit.”
Life would be so much more fun if I didn’t focus on that one little thing that no one even cares about anyways. And if they do, so what?! Don’t like my Star Wars muscle tee? It doesn’t like you either, and it’s comfy and quirky and makes me feel badass. Think my pink tulle skirt looks silly? Good, I do too, and it’s part of why I love it so much. I look like a freaking ballerina in that thing and it’s AWESOME.
We can’t change how people act towards us, but we can 100% change how we react to it.
“Most people wander around giving the tasteless candle version of their gift.”
You, yes you, have talents and gifts and a whole slew of awesomeness behind you. I do, too. So why do we squander all that goodness being stressed out bags of doubt and fear?
Screw the tasteless candle. Let’s bring fun and sass and awesomeness to the party.
“You cut yourself off from the supply of awesomeness when you are not in a state of gratitude.”
Every night I write down ten things I’m grateful for that day. They can be as broad as “I can easily take a how shower everyday” to “that look Guinness gave me with his big puppy eyes.” Ten things, no matter what. Even on what feels like the shittiest of days, I find ten whole things I’m grateful for.
A few weeks into doing this, I went to the Woman’s March in Washington D.C. My friend and I had signed up to take one of the many chartered busses down, and needed to be at a specific spot at 1 a.m. to drive through the night. Our bus was sent to the wrong location, and it was 3 a.m. by the time it turned back and got it us all. My friend was tired and agitated. I was tired and grateful to be going at all, even if it was a few hours late. I remember thinking how grateful I was to be grateful, which seemed super Inception-y, but watching how upset she was, and how not upset I felt, made the lightbulb go off above my head. “Oh, duh. This is what gratitude feels like.”
I noticed such a shift that I’ve also started setting alarms on my phone throughout the day. Every two hours the little noise goes off and “I’m grateful for…” pops up on the screen. It literally jolts me back into a state of gratitude. Sitting in traffic or caught up in a project or falling down the rabbit hole of current events, I’m constantly reminded to be in a state of gratitude. All of a sudden I’m grateful to have a car that gets me where I need to go; I’m grateful for a job that lets me do what I love; I’m grateful that I live in a country where I have access to news at all.
What are you grateful for right this second? Take a moment and try to think of as many things as you can and see how it changes your perspective, even just a little bit.
And now, because I love this book so much, I want to share it with you! I’m giving away a Box of Badass, including a copy of You Are a Badass AND an 8x10 art print from yours truly! Click below to enter…