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You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life Paperback – April 23, 2013
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#1 New York Times Bestseller
“Sincero (Don't Sleep With Your Drummer) brings a fun, feminine verve to now well-tread self-help tropes… The tone is far more feisty than academic, and there's humor on every page, all of which is exactly what her intended audience most needs"
—Publishers Weekly online
“If touchy-feely self-help tomes make you feel, shall we say, less than inspired, this no-nonsense manifesto to awesomeness might be just what you're looking for. Filled with blunt and sassy advice, do-it-yourself exercises in personal transformation, and a whole lot of hilarity, You Are a Badass will silence your inner critic, and help you build a life worthy of the kind of Facebook news feed that others envy. Take a day off from looking for your inner goddess, and spending some time cultivating your outer badass instead.”
“I adore Jen's realistic and funny take on all matters of living an awesome life. She has such a gift for writing in a very digestible way that will appeal to everyone. If you're looking for purple unicorns and rainbows you won't find them here, what you will find are practical and easy ways to connect with your inner badass and change your life.”
—Madisyn Taylor, Co-Founder, DailyOM
“Author and success coach Jen Sincero takes the self-help book to another level with her cutthroat humor and in-your-face attitude. …The 27 thoughtful, well-written chapters are worth it—by the time you finish the book, you will understand the secrets to a life you deserve and how awesome you really are at controlling the outcome of your life. In other words, you’ll realize how much of a BAMF you really are!”
—Albuquerque’s Weekly Alibi
“Sincero has probably written the most entertaining self-help book many readers will ever get in their hands on…. Reading this book was like talking to a best friend – the one that will tell you like it is no matter the circumstances and that forces you to think outside the box.”
—The State Hornet, California State University, Sacramento campus paper
“[You Are a Badass] is (and I quote) “the self-help book for people who desperately want to improve their lives, but don’t want to get busted doing it.” You have permission to upsize your serving of awesome with this funny, fulfilling read.
“YOU ARE A BADASS is a phenomenon!”
—Liesl Freudenstein, Boulder Book Store
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Until Chapter 17.
About halfway through the book, Sincero begins talking about excuses. Okay, yes. A valuable thing to discuss. People, myself included, make excuses all the time. But she decides to target a set group of people.
People who are clinically depressed. She says, and I'm paraphrasing here, that depression is a comfort because it gives those who suffer from it an excuse not to do anything but stay in bed.
And that is precisely when I tuned out. I went from loving everything she said to eye rolling in a matter of seconds.
My clinical depression is not an excuse. It isn't me being lazy. It isn't me snickering as I back out on plans I make with friends. It's me literally being unable to do anything because my disease is keeping me from doing it. There are days where I can't do anything at all. There are days where laundry piles up and my bedroom becomes a disaster and I hide away from the world because I don't think I'm worthy of being seen. There are days where I stop seeing my friends because I feel like I'm a burden to them.
And my friends understand this. They know what I go through and they know that if I need some time to myself to get my brain under control, then it isn't an excuse. It doesn't mean I don't love them. It means that I'm just dealing with negative thoughts and I need to work through it. The fact that Sincero completely misunderstands depression ruined this book for me instantly. Yes, I will admit she gives valuable advice. But once I figured out that her advice disvalues someone like me, I checked out.
Also, her advice...is highly privileged. She says things like, "If you can afford this book, then you're doing okay." "Just buy the car of your dreams!" "If you want to travel the world, stop making excuses and you can." Some people...can't do that. Don't get me wrong, I'm in a good place right now but a year ago? I could barely pay my student loans. I couldn't afford to replace the khakis that were part of my work uniform. I ate leftovers for days on end because my paycheck wasn't going far enough. I didn't blame the universe for this. And I certainly didn't spend beyond my means just because I thought 'the universe owes me and will figure it out.' Sometimes, you're just in a s***ty place in life. I was in a s***ty place for three and a half years. Going out and spending money on a trip around the world isn't exactly sound advice for everyone. I felt like Sincero was speaking to one small group of clients. I didn't fit within that group.
Like I said, she does say some really nice things. She did build me up for quite a few chapters. But she dropped me instantly and it hurt. Depression is hard enough. People with depression shouldn't hear that it's an 'excuse.' I was highly offended and if I wasn't so far in the book, I would've stopped reading altogether.
Needless to say, I'm pretty glad to be done with this one.
Other readers have already pointed out the ludicrous example of how the author talks about her "magical" ability to always find great parking spaces just because she sends that need out into the universe, or some other claptrap. That idea might be revolutionary if you've never read any other self-help book and you already have your basic needs addressed. If that's you, wish away!
I almost never give up on books, and I couldn't even get halfway through this one. It was grating and annoying, filled with self-promotion and bragging about how the author is really awesome and cool. She started a band! She knows someone who was able to basically crowd-fund a villa in Italy! She's a published author! So on and so forth until I'm wondering about who actually cares about this. I stopped when the author was lauding a trip to India where she claims a bus she was on was wildly late and had all these detours, but the entire bus crammed with people was joyous and wondrously happy. I'm imaging the people who ride the bus who are trying to get to work, home, medical services, etc, and I can't see them being happy about being wildly off schedule. Plus, the idea of this Western woman almost fetishizing "exotic" countries made me cringe. That was the point where I could not take this any more.
In short, this book might appeal to you if:
1) You've never heard of any other self-help ideas
2) Fortune cookies regularly wow you with their insights
3) You don't have any financial issues, disabilities/chronic health concerns, and nothing ever goes wrong for you