There’s a lot of talk about being a badass these days, whether you’re a badass at the gym, at work, or when you’re out with your kids, there is an inner badass within us beckoning to come out.
My journey with badassery started last year while reading Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass.” Since then, I’ve been on a journey learning what being a badass looks like for me.
Through my eyes, being a badass means that I’m confident, authentic, satisfied, grateful, and joyful. There are a few things that I do to keep me at my ultimate badass self.
Create Time for Personal Development
I used to associate personal development with my job in Corporate America. For those of you who have experienced personal development in this way, you know what I’m talking about. From a high-level, you and your manager may set some goals for you to achieve and this is what is measured for your annual review.
Hal Elrod’s “The Miracle Morning” completely changed my perspective on personal development. The concept behind “The Miracle Morning” is to set yourself up for success by starting your day with a selection of tools adapted from a collection of morning routines of successful people. They include: Silence (meditation), Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribing (journaling), also known as S.A.V.E.R.S.
What I’ve learned over the past year from practicing the S.A.V.E.R.S. is that getting up earlier in the morning to do these simple things puts me in a positive mindset. I used to hit snooze and begrudgingly get out of bed for my morning routine. Now I dedicate time for me so that when I walk out the door, I’ve had time to reflect on how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking, how I want to show up, and what I want to do.
As human beings, change can be tough. I get it. Just this morning I went to my regular gym and saw that the workout was totally different. I almost walked out the door. What I’ve learned from that “flight” feeling that we all get from time to time, is that I better buck up and do this because I’m probably going to grow from it. And, dammit, I was right. About a quarter of the way through the workout I felt strong and capable. I couldn’t do everything as well as I wanted to but I was learning more about myself and the grit I possess to step up.
Along with change comes the complete surrender of perfectionism. But, but… yeah, I know, perfectionism can feel really good. It’s so satisfying to walk into a situation and know exactly what to do and have it come out so lovely. And, yet, what’s better is walking into a situation where you do your best and you perform. It may not be perfect but you put your best self out there. Revel in the accomplishment and learn from the experience so that you can add more next time.
I, like you, am “perfectly” human and I too take the easy road sometimes and don’t do the thing because I’m afraid it won’t be as good as I want it to be. More often than not, I miss an opportunity and think to myself, “what if?” In my exploration of badassery, I’ve learned to do the thing as often as possible.
Joy is a new word for me. And by new, I mean I used to say, “I want to be happy.” I’ve learned that I get to create happy by how I think. I’ve also learned that I prefer the word joy to describe happiness.
Joy, for me, is that feeling on a sunny day where I’m looking out at a vista that is so breathtakingly beautiful and I’m smiling and my whole body is full of love and I’m so grateful for that moment and how could anything possibly be better than this? THAT is my joy.
Taking a moment, or two, or twenty, to recognize the ultimate blissful joy that surrounds us lights me up. You know what else it does? It creates happiness. I remember a few years ago when a dear friend of mine had a traumatic event that ended up being a cancer diagnosis. One of his favorite things to do at that time was to go outside with his morning coffee to watch the world wake up. It didn’t matter if it was raining cats and dogs or if it was 35 degrees. He was experiencing his life in a new way and he described this as an opportunity of pure, soulful joy that sang from the center of his being.
Look for joy and soak it up, let it sink in, because when you do, it spreads to others.
Feel all the Feels
I’ve seen people change their lives with optimism. In fact, I’ve read so many books and listened to so many things about how a positive outlook changes our lives that I am a true believer. Over the years I’ve layered in ways to shift my thinking to be positive.
And sometimes, frankly, I get really pissed off. I get so pissed off that my heart beats really fast, my breathing gets shorter, and my shoulders get so close to my head that you almost can’t see my neck. This does not feel good. But, if I don’t explore why I’m feeling that way and let myself feel it, it only comes up again later. Do you feel me here?
The reality is that we cannot recognize our amazingly joyful moments without the sadness, frustration, and anger. The ultimate badass feels all the feels.
Change Your Self-Talk to The Good Stuff
What we think and say impacts how we feel and how we act. I remember reading about being impeccable with your word in “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz years ago. At the time I could not wrap my brain around how to do this. The definition for impeccable is: in accordance with the highest standards, propriety; faultless. There are many times that I say something that is not at all what I meant to say. I believe the saying is, “open mouth, insert foot.” We have all been there at one point or another.
I’ve recently revisited the “impeccable with your word” concept and applied in a different way. The new way I think about this is that what we say and how we think attracts that very thing to us.
Part of this has to do with how our subconscious brain works. For example, think to yourself, “I don’t want to be late.” What’s the image you see in your head? I see myself scrambling to get to my next appointment. If we shift it slightly to “I want to be on time,” what’s the new image that you see? I see myself relaxed and peaceful looking at a clock arriving at my next appointment with time to spare.
When I add this type of context, being impeccable with my word becomes attainable and engages my imagination. Ruiz makes powerful, valid points and your interpretation could be entirely different. It is when we can apply the teachings to our daily life that we can reap the benefits.
I love visualization. My vision wall, yes I said wall, is off the hook. I look forward to the V in my morning routine when I get to visualize about my day and the future. I also know that if I sit around staring at my vision wall all day, nothing will happen. I may have some pretty pictures to look at but my life will remain the same.
Did you know that our brain thinks the same thoughts over and over again, day after day? For evidence, pay attention throughout your day and take notice of a few of your thoughts. Are they new? Some of them may be new but, for the most part, I’m willing to bet many of them are the same.
Visualization helps us find new thoughts. So does reading, chatting with others, listening to podcasts, and watching movies. The positive change happens when the wheels hit the road. As a badass, make it a priority to take action. If you’re a list maker, write a list and cross off the things as you go. I use my Scribing in the morning to write down my accomplishments from the day before. This helps me recognize my actions.
You are a badass. Breathe it, live it, find your way to apply it so that we can see you at your true badass self. And, heck, if the word badass doesn’t work for you, change it. My point today is to recognize how you define and describe your own badass way.
If you are unsure where to begin, start writing some things down. What brings you that blissful joy that lights you up? What is it right now at this moment that is so incredibly awesome?
Be well, friends, and enjoy your exploration.