I’ve decided to read 12 self-help books in 2018, and I’m taking y’all along for the ride by way of a new blog series I’m calling “Reading Self Help Books So You Don’t Have To”. I have to admit, the title is a little misleading; I would encourage you to pick up a copy of any book I write about because I’m going to a) talk only about the stuff I personally found helpful and implemented in my own life, and b) bastardize the shit out of it.
I’ll check back at the end of every month to tell you what habits from the last books I’ve stuck with and why, and which ones fell by the wayside.
Without further ado, January’s Book is You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. Here’s what I took from it:
Vibrating at the same rate as the Universe
I use this phrase sort of tongue-in-cheek all the time now, but after reading You Are A Badass, I do think about being more positive and questioning/challenging my self-limiting beliefs so I can attract good things to myself. I mean, I don’t know if The Secret/Law of Attraction thing is real, but I’m willing to spring for it if it eases the path toward my goals a little. I keep the Universe in mind when there’s something I want to achieve, and trust that I need only ask (or at least, put in the work) to receive.
It reminds me of a quote from one of my favourite movies, 5 to 7, “The world will surprise you with its grace if you let it.” I am open to letting the Universe surprise me with its grace.
An attitude of gratitude
Sincero wholeheartedly promotes meditation in her book, and I may try it in earnest some day, but I’ve largely scrapped that tip for now. Instead, I take a few minutes in bed, on my back, just before I fall asleep, to reflect on my day and silently count at least 10 things I’m thankful for. The idea is to focus on what’s good in my life, vs. what I’m lacking.
Speaking of my nighttime “gratitude meditation”, I tack a few silent self-affirmations and shout outs to the Universe on the end. Embarrassing things like “I deserve and am open to all of the good stuff the world has to offer” and “I’m comfortable being uncomfortable because it means my life is changing for the better”. I mean, it all sounds like hippy dippy shit, but what does it hurt? I want it to be true.
Own it and work with it
I will never be Suzy Homemaker, and there will never be enough time in the day to accomplish what I want to accomplish. Fuck it. I get done what I get done, and I’m not going to beat myself up over it anymore. I’m choosing to focus on my accomplishments rather than shit (like mopping my floor every other day), that won’t matter in a week anyway.
In the here and now where I am writing this blog, I know that I’m not interested in reviewing and recapping an entire book. That would require me to, like, take actual notes and maybe rehash some details that bored me the first time I read them. I’m too intellectually lazy to do something that feels like a school assignment. Instead, I’m owning that laziness and writing only about the things that excite me, and I am genuinely looking forward to this blog series as a result.
What other people think of me is none of my business
This one is hard for me because I am a people pleaser to the extreme. I am just going to do my thing, be proud of everything I do, and leave other people to think whatever they want to think about me. That’s the plan, anyway.
This is good because…
Full disclosure: I read this book in November and this is the one thing I’ve consistently stuck with. Basically, I take any bad situation where normally I’d be cursing myself, someone else, or the Universe, and I force myself to find the silver lining. For example, one day, I thawed a roast with the intention of putting it in the crock pot, only to discover I had none of the ingredients to make it. I had plans and knew I wouldn’t be able to get to the grocery store in time for dinner. I was super pissed at myself because I’m crazy about meat and expiration dates, and the roast would have been dead to me the next day. I took a breath and thought “this is good because it will force me to do groceries later. I can make the girls an easy meal, and when Chase gets home from work at 11pm, I can surprise him with a romantic dinner”. And I did, and it was fantastic. Chase and I got to spend some much needed quality time together when, normally, I’d be in bed sleeping.
It works for big things, too. When my dad and grandma were hospitalized this past December, I thought “this is good because it’s giving me a new appreciation for my family and spending time with them.” It made seeing everyone for FOUR DAYS IN A ROW this Christmas worthwhile.
Did you read You are a Badass? What from the book resonated with you? Has it had a direct impact on your life? I would love to hear about it.
***Read my follow-up post here***