It’s officially the season of NEW YEAR NEW ME, and I can’t really think of a better person to lead us on that charge than Jen Sincero, author of the You Are a Badass® series! She’s got a new companion book out, much to the delight of fans of her first two mega-hits, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life and You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth; titled You Are a Badass Every Day: How to Keep Your Motivation Strong, Your Vibe High, and Your Quest for Transformation Unstoppable, this latest work contains a hundred exercises, reflections and cues to keep you on track towards unlocking your inner badass.
Sincero is currently on a book tour, and I was able to catch up with her for a few minutes while she was en route to her hotel to find out more about You Are a Badass Every Day. She also loaded me up with great advice re: maintaining self-care in times of chaos, sticking to your 2019 resolutions, what to do when you actually DO achieve massive personal success and more, so read up on all of that below, and be sure to check out the entire You Are a Badass series if you haven’t already!
How’s 2019 been treating you so far?
It’s good! I’m on a book tour, so it’s pretty nuts, but also exciting.
Speaking of which, tell me how you came up with the concept for this new companion book!
It was honestly my editor, Laura Tisdel’s idea, but we decided we wanted to do something that would help keep people motivated and on track since that’s one of the biggest questions I get at my talks. You know, people would read my books and other people’s books and go to seminars, meditate in the morning, but by the end of the day they’d sort of be like, “Well, I’ll change my life next week.” So we wanted to do something that was a quick kick in the butt to keep you motivated and on track.
And what about you, personally? Do you ever still struggle with self-motivation now that you’re sort of in the driver’s seat? Who does the guru look to?
Oh, hell yes I have trouble staying motivated. [Laughs] I do know what to do in those instances, though; I have my little tips and tricks which, after years of practice, really help. For me, music is very motivating, and it really pumps me up. Surrounding myself with other people who are moving in the same direction on the same things I am is also really helpful. My goal this year is to really get in shape, so I’m going to get myself some friends who want to do the same thing, and we’ll keep each other accountable. I also really believe in coaching, so I’m going to get a personal trainer and make sure my ass is properly kicked. [Laughs]
I think there are probably quite a few people on side with you re: the fitness goals, at least for this month; how do you feel about the concept of resolutions? Good idea? Bad idea?
I’m a fan of resolutions period, so I’m totally down with New Year’s resolutions. I think the most important thing with anything, though, is to chunk it down and to get specific. I think people make lofty New Year’s resolutions and don’t really think about all the pieces required, the specifics of accomplishing them, which absolutely requires some sort of practice to keep you motivated. I refer to it as your spiritual gym. But reading a book every day or listening to music or whatever it is, you’ve got to have that in place to keep it on track. And also, try not to do everything all at once; chunk it down into bite size, manageable parts, because I think overwhelm is one of the leading causes of people dropping the ball.
Absolutely. Now, obviously you want people to be badasses, to succeed and achieve their goals. What happens when they actually do that, and do it in a big way? Do you have any advice for the transition? For instance, when you started becoming very successful, did you find there were people in your life who began treating you differently? Was it at all a difficult adjustment?
My personal relationships definitely shifted; I lost some close, old friends who either didn’t fit me anymore, or I didn’t fit them anymore, and it was sad and painful, but it was necessary, I guess. But I made some awesome new friends who are more in line with who I am now, and of course I kept a crapload of old friends, too, but there were some who didn’t quite work anymore. And I think if that is happening to you and you’re having growing pains, it’s important to surround yourself with people who get you and know you and love you, whether or not those are old friends or new ones.
And what about staying true to who you are? I mean, you, personally, seem like you’ve always had a pretty strong sense of self, but what about someone who maybe doesn’t have that in the same way? Do you have any advice for not losing yourself should success and badassery come in a big, fast way?
Gosh, I guess it’s almost like not losing yourself when you’re not successful as well. It’s sort of the same thing. It’s not believing the hype in either direction, you know? When you’re not successful, don’t buy into the idea that that’s who you are, that nothing will ever change. Don’t identify with that. And same with being successful – don’t place your whole identity around success. Be grounded in your heart with the things that are important to you. A lot of people talk about being scared of being visible; one of the reasons people won’t get successful is because they’re scared of being taken down. The criticism is guaranteed, right? And some people are so terrified of being judged that they won’t let themselves be successful. But I think another thing that’s equally as destructive is the accolades – those can be just as destructive if you really buy into that and form your identity around that. The only important stuff is what’s coming from inside of you, that you have integrity and you feel you did your best and are proud of your work.
This has all been great advice so far, which shouldn’t be surprising given your line of work! Have you found that you’ve needed to create boundaries when it comes to interacting with your fans, either at official events or on social media or in public? Like, do you get the same treatment as, say, a doctor, where anyone and everyone will just come up and be like, “Hey, can you look at this thing on my back real quick?” Like, where do you draw the line with giving advice?
[Laughs] I gotta say, my fans are pretty damn cool. They definitely approach me in public and ask for a selfie or a book signing if they have a copy with them, but for the most part they really respect my boundaries. And I really appreciate that. They’re just awesome.
Good to hear! Alright, and here’s another thing I wanted to talk to you about – I think a lot of people have had a hard time staying positive and motivated specifically because of this current administration’s policy-making and the resulting news cycle. Do you have any advice in the realm of self-care, or being able to surmount the negativity?
I think there’s a danger in inundating yourself with news, especially when it’s bad news. I think it’s really important to stay informed, absolutely, but I think we can get a little obsessed about it. I think it’s really important to watch that line where you go beyond becoming informed to plaguing yourself with bad news. I also think you’ve got to remember that you can’t be of service to anybody if you’re massively depressed and completely overwhelmed and hopeless, so while you’re allowed to feel whatever it is you’re feeling, if you can channel your disappointment and your anger into action, that’s a very useful way to manage the information coming at you. Don’t get so crushed by it that you go beyond anger into hopelessness. So I think that’s the cutoff – stay angry, stay active, but don’t overdo it.
Amen to that. Now, since you’ve written several books, I assume you like to read! Have you been reading anything good lately that we should know about?
Tons. I’m not reading any self-help right now (I read so much of it over the years that it was sort of like, “Oh, right! There are novels in this world!”), but I’m reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, which is genius. I just finished All the Light We Cannot See, which was really just one of the best books I’ve read in decades. I’m also reading David Sedaris’ Calypso, which is standardly genius, as he always is.
So you do have some time to read despite your busy schedule, but what else are you able to squeeze in between tours and talks and all the things? And does an “average” day exist for you, and/or do you at least some semblance of a routine that you try to enforce daily?
I’ve worked for myself for so long, and especially now that I’m not running my coaching business anymore, I sort of have the luxury of picking whatever projects I want to work on these days. So every day is different. I’m renovating my house, so that’s taking up a bunch of my attention, but it’s super fun. I’m also writing a screenplay with a really good friend of mine, and that’s been really fun. I’m on my book tour now, so it’s just sort of what comes at me each day. Probably the most scheduled thing I have right now is working with my writing partner, but that’s a far cry from having any sort of structured day. [Laughs]
Totally get it. But what about any daily rituals? Is there anything (even small) that you eat every day, do every day…
I’d say the main thing without fail that happens is I walk my dog. (He’d be kind of pissed if I didn’t.) [Laughs] Other than that, I meditate, I’ve got a pretty good meditation practice, and coming soon will be exercise. [Laughs]
[Laughs] And what about for the rest of 2019? Anything besides the projects or goals you mentioned earlier that you’re excited about?
You know, I’m really loving being on tour. I forgot how exciting it is! Being on the road and meeting all my readers has just been such an honor, and just so, so fun. So that’s really exciting. I’ll also be traveling to Italy and possibly some other places, and I’m turning my house into sort of an artist retreat! I’ve got a lot of friends who are artists who are going to come live on the property and work on their projects, which I’m really looking forward to. So stuff like that.
Wow, that’s amazing! Very excited for you about all of that, slash it sounds like it’s going to be a great year. And on that note, let’s end it with you filling in the blank on the following statement – “I hope 2019 will to be the year of ______”
I hope 2019 will be the year of feeling better than I’ve ever felt!