Reading Pathways: Jen Sincero

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Shireen Hakim

Staff Writer

Shireen Hakim is the author of the award-winning refugee story "Rabbi the Rabbit" in the anthology OUT OF MANY, ONE: CELEBRATING DIVERSITY. She is a Contributing Writer for We Need Diverse Books. She has written for HelloGiggles and NaNoWriMo blog. Shireen has a writing certificate from Stanford University Online.

The only self-help books that helped me were the New York Times bestselling You Are A Badass series by Jen Sincero. I read the first You are a Badass in 2017, when I was exceptionally hopeless and depressed. Its message stuck with me and I read it until the end.

Reading You are a Badass was more like reading stories written by a friend, who had also gone through a hard time and understood what you were going through. Sincero included so many downs as well as ups that I didn’t feel like a failure for not being at her level. She made happiness and success seem attainable. Sincero, with her tousled hair, dangly earrings, and open smile, is saying, hey I did it, you can too. Plus, her last name is SINCERo, so how could you not trust her?

book coverYou Are A Badass

The part that stuck with me the most, and that I still mention to friends and colleagues today, is in Part 1, Chapter 4: The Big Snooze. If there’s any concept you take from You are a Badass, read up on The Big Snooze. Sincero lays out the background for “How you Got this Way,” including your subconscious but specifically your ego (AKA the big snooze.) Sincero provides plenty of examples of now successful clients that immediately went through hazards once they decided to change for the better. This segment finally helped me figure out why I was so stuck! I wanted to change so much, but emotionally and physically, I was drained. This book stopped me from driving myself wild with guilt. I learned to recognize the counterproductive self-talk and behaviors, and most importantly I learned to give myself the time, space and reassurance to get used to change.

book coverYou Are a Badass at Making Money

While the first Badass book provided the biggest wake up call, the second, You are a Badass at Making Money, is the most applicable. I took the most notes while reading it. The hardest, but most useful parts for me in the book were the fill-in-the blank lines (“I’m grateful to money because __”) and the Money Mantras (money-centered positive affirmations.) I read this book in 2018 but I need to read it again.

book coverYou Are a Badass Everyday

The third and final book in the series is a  refresher. It’s like, oh yeah I’m still a badass. After you read the first two, You are a Badass Everyday provides useful bullet points to maintain your positive vibe. It’s a quick read, so you can glance through the confidence boosters and quotes a few minutes a day.

bookishYou Are a Badass in 2020!

If you want to continue to benefit from Jen Sincero’s treasured wisdom and warm advice after reading her three books, check out her latest products: You are a Badass 17-month 2019–2020 Planning Calendar and 2020 Wall Calendar!

I honestly love planners, and I always buy more than one for the new year. (I had three planners for 2019.) But so far I have committed to the You are a Badass planner (it covers August 2019–December 2020). Basically, it makes me feel empowered and organized. The bold yellow makes me sit up straighter and say, Yes! I am here! Yet, it is still well-structured enough so I stay up to date with my appointments, deadlines, etc. Quotes from the three books headline almost every page, whether you are looking at your weekly or monthly schedule. Writing this post reminded me the planner comes with two sheets of stickers that I need to enjoy!


I am an even harder sell when it comes to calendars, because you have to stare at them directly on your wall every day. So far, I enjoy using the 2019 section of the calendar. It displays the tradition yellow You are a Badass headline. I plan to keep that up instead of January’s photo, as that quote doesn’t agree with me. (Plus my niece comes in my room often and she is already repeating this B word, I don’t want her repeating another.) Out of all the saucy and inspiring headlines featured in bold yellow, red or blue, my favourites are ‘Love the One You is’ and ‘Follow Your Joy and Ride the Wave of Awesomeness.’