‘Badass’ author Jen Sincero: Go to ‘spiritual gym’ to achieve life goals

WASHINGTON — You’ve probably seen Jen Sincero’s books before. They’re typically a bright, attention-grabbing color, with a funky font that unapologetically reads “You Are a Badass.”

Sincero writes self-help books filled with advice on how to build confidence and habits that will allow readers to meet their goals. Her first book, “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life,” topped the New York Times Bestseller list and has sold over two million copies.

Her following book, “You Are a Badass at Making Money,” also made the New York Times Best Seller list. Her newest novel debuted in December and is titled “You Are a Badass Everyday: How to Keep Your Motivation Strong, Your Vibe High, and Your Quest for Transformation Unstoppable.”

Sincero’s success may come from her stylistic choice to give advice as if she were one of your close friends. While she touches on psychology and human nature like many other authors of self-help books do, Sincero does it with a heaping dose of humor, honesty and warmth.

She talked with WTOP anchors Shawn Anderson and Hillary Howard Wednesday about her new book, the inspiration behind it, and how you, too, can become (and stay) a certified badass.

“In my book, I talk about going to the ‘spiritual gym,’ which is putting practices into place to keep your motivation strong,” she said.

Sincero said you come into the world doing the things that are true to your heart as a child, but over time, you learn to judge and doubt yourself, which stops you from becoming the true badass you’re meant to be.

To achieve life goals, she said you should spend time attempting to unlearn self-doubt in order to return to that child-like wonderment. But unlearning unhelpful, harmful thoughts is hard work.

Sincero’s advice, detailed in her new book, focuses on how to do that hard work every day.

“Surrounding yourself with people who are really making it happen, reading self-help books, meditating, listening to music that pumps you up” are just some ways to go to the ‘spiritual gym,'” Sincero said.

Of course, just like how going to the regular gym can regularly end up on the unchecked part of your to-do list, going to spiritual gym can become an easily-avoided chore. But similar to your physical-health goals, life goals must be regularly confronted and worked on if you want to see some progress.

“Every day, you read a little bit from a book, or you watch something on YouTube that inspires you, or you call somebody and you map out your to-do list for the day … And it can be just 10 or 15 minutes,” she said.

But going to spiritual gym “is critical,” she said. So, where do you start? Sincero recommends taking a good, hard look at your complaints and excuses.

“If you’re constantly complaining that you never have enough money or that you stink at relationships, or whatever, you can start looking at that and be like, ‘Huh. What if I changed that story?’ Or ‘What if I really questioned that down the roots of it? Is that really true or is that an excuse that I’ve been throwing around for my whole life?'”

And Sincero isn’t just calling readers out on their bluff; her advice to look inward comes from a deeply personal place.

“My big issue was money and I was really struggling well into my 40s, living in a garage,” she said. “I had a lifetime of proof that I sucked at money. Then I did the work that I write about and turned it around.

“I really believe that anybody who feels like it’s too late for them, or they’ve tried everything but it doesn’t work … I really believe that if I can do it, anybody can, because I was committed to being broke for a very long time.”

“You Are a Badass Every Day” can be purchased at any book store or on Amazon.

WTOP’s Shawn Anderson and Hillary Howard contributed to this report.

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