You Are a Badass: (by Jen Sincero) The book that inspired me to blog

I'm excited to announce the winner of my first GIVEAWAY!  Leonor S., you were picked by as the WINNER!!!!  You should be receiving an email today with details!

Thank you to all who entered!!! I had an overwhelming response of entries, so can't wait to plan my next one soon. 

The reason my first ever giveaway included the book You are a Badass by Jen Sincero is because even though it took me over a year to read it, once I finished it, I started making changes in my life.  It didn't take me that long to complete because I'm a slow reader, but it WAS because I wasn't ready to put into practice what the book entails.  The subtitle, How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, is what drew me to the book when I purchased it at PaperSource one day.  It spoke to me on sooo many levels.  For a few years I had been walking around doubting things about myself that I once felt very confident about.  I don't know when it happened, but I know it had to do with several events in my life.  A break up that devastated me.  A life of singleness that I began to question.  Turning 40.  Being an empty nester.  Moving further away from my family.  All of these things compounded into a voice that slowly got louder in my head saying, "I wasn't worthy of happiness." 

I went to a counselor for about six months trying to narrow it down.  He was an excellent source of knowledge and I felt very comfortable opening up to him about my past.  We made a lot of headway, but there was still something not answered for me.  Rather than explore that unknown territory, I threw myself into a "must keep busy" state where I started boxing 4-5 times a week, worked out with a personal trainer 2 times a week, hiked every weekend and I always had plans.  The problem with being busy is that you mask the real problem.  No matter how much I threw myself into my calendar of events, I couldn't escape the real problem of still not being happy with the life I had.  I was plagued with comparisons of other people's lives on social media and just talking to friends with their fulfilled destinies of family life.  I didn't like the cards dealt to me and I didn't know how to get out of this downward spiral of emotional ickiness. So I bought the book.

When I read Part 1: How You Got this Way, I got a crick in my neck from nodding my head so many times, as I read through each line about things that make us doubt ourselves and our own self-perception.  Jen was socking it to me with every word and it freaking hurt! Then she said "you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance."  YES!  I am the only me... so I kept reading into Part 2: How to Embrace Your Inner Badass. Within pages, she began to give me some pointers on how to win myself over again.  The one I found the hardest was #7 Don't Compare Yourself to Others.  Even after absorbing all of the steps, I kept comparing.  It's all around me, ALL of the time, how could I stop? So, even though in this section, Jen gives some incredible advise and some great suggestions on how to tap into your inner Badass, like I said previously, I wasn't ready to put any of this stuff into practice.  So after Part 2, I let the book sit on my table for 9 months. 

Nine months later, which is ironic because around the time I put down the book, I also found out that I was going to become a Gigi.  My daughter was pregnant and due on March 20.  About a week after my little Kinslee came into the world, I was sitting in my living room and the yellow cover of the book caught my eye.  I picked it back up and made a decision.  I'm going to be a badass grandmother! So I began reading the book with purpose.  I wanted my granddaughter to see her Gigi as a strong and capable woman and not just because that's the person I portrayed, but because that is the woman I am! I went back and read each chapter slowly, making notes and even putting reminders in my calendars about some of the steps.  I found it helped me focus on making changes.  

The chapter that had the most impact on me in Part 3 was Chapter 15: Forgive or Fester.  I realized that I had been holding onto so much resentment from my past mistakes and people who had done me wrong.  "Holding on to resentment is like taking poison and waiting for your enemies to die".  Read that again . . . Let the truth of those words really sink in.  All of the unhappiness that had been consuming my thoughts had spread into my life like cancer.  AND there was one true root of that unhappiness.  Not being able to forgive.  I started journaling letters to all of those who I hadn't forgave and telling them I finally did.  With each pen stroke, the weight was lifted.   And with that, I moved on to Part 4: How to Get Over Your B.S. Already and I'm proud to say I am no longer festering. 

"What you choose to focus on becomes your reality".  Once again, Jen nailed it.  I had focused on so much negativity in my life that I was just walking around as a big old negative icon.  I shifted my focus on things that were important to me.  My family.  My dog.  My hobbies. My life.  That's all that really mattered to me anyway, so instead of worrying about the rest of the world, I began to focus on my world!  It's funny how quickly you realize how blessed you are, when you shift that focus. 

Part 5: How to Kick Some Ass.  This is when I noticed that I was no longer just thinking about things, actions started to take place.  I started new healthy habits, I deleted the Facebook app off of my phone so I wouldn't spend worthless hours scrolling through people's lives. I started waking up earlier to read some of the book, journaling more, going on longer walks with my dog, enjoying coffee and breakfast, not watching much TV, taking long baths and relaxing.  I felt great.  Then I finished the book.  

The next day, but after years of contemplating starting another blog, I created and posted my first blog as The Wandering Gigi.  Jen's words,"Instead of wasting hours and days and years trying to figure out your perfect next move, just DO something already", rang in my head as I started typing.  I didn't care that I might not reach a lot of people through my blog, I didn't care if no one cared that I was starting one, the only thing that was going through my head was I wanted to start a blog.  As a long time journaler, I enjoyed writing and I wanted this to be an outlet.  

So thanks Jen Sincero for helping me find my inner Badass and paving a path for me writing again.  I hope to keep this blog going to share the life that I consider pretty BADASS! 

If you are struggling or doubting yourself, I encourage you to buy this book.  Even if you are like me and not completely ready to take the necessary steps to start living your awesome life, at least it will be in your home, waiting for you to stop doubting your greatness and prove to yourself that you are a badass too! 

Would love to hear from others who have read the book and the impact it has had on your life.