I want to tell you about someone who calls herself a writer, but I don’t think that’s her true calling, I think, at heart, she’s really a coach who just happened to stumble into writing as a way to tell people that transformation is possible and available to them. The teacher I want to introduce you to (or reacquaint you with) today is Jen Sincero.
Her actual press bio states that she is a #1 New York Times Best Selling Author, Speaker and Coach and today I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned from her, what I like about her and why I think she really is more of a coach than a writer.
I think by now most people, or many people, have heard of her.. So if you have heard of her before and read her work, I really want to know what you love about her and what you’ve learned from her. Or, if she’s not your cup of tea, I’m curious to know why not, not to disagree with you or try to convince you.. Just to hear another perspective.
I can’t remember the very first time I became aware of her, but I remember noticing a buzz about her – probably back in 2013 or 2014 after her 3rd book- which many people think is her first book – came out and got so much attention. The book has a bright yellow cover and I’ve heard it referred to as the yellow snowball because it just kept on gaining momentum and getting more and more popular.
My Own Judgy Resistance
The title of that book is “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” and when I first heard about it and read people’s comments about how much they loved it and how good it was, my initial reaction was:
“No, that’s not for me.”
I have this thing about people using slang and swear words in professional or business settings – I think it’s gimmicky and they’re trying to get a reaction, so my natural instinct is to be dismissive. How’s that for some crazy, judgy resistance, right?
So, even though her book’s subtitle told me that she had the answer of how I could stop doubting my greatness to start living an awesome life – and this was during a time in my life that wasn’t that awesome, when I was, in fact, doubting my own greatness, I was like, “no thanks, I’m good.”
I just have to laugh at myself now! How naive I was! How sure I was that my own judginess was giving me great advice!
Fast forward, 4 or 5 years later, when my life had already transformed into a more awesome version of itself and I was starting to consider and experiment with my own greatness, her book popped up on the list of titles of currently available audiobooks to borrow on my library app – and I remembered how much attention that book had received and how many people continued to recommend it, so many years later, so I thought, why not, I’ll give it a try. And I fell in love!
What do I love about Jen Sincero?
As I was listening, I realized much of her book (the yellow one) is what I’ve learned from my other favorite teachers. She talks so much about thought work and choosing thoughts intentionally- which I first learned from Brooke. She also talks about getting into alignment, creating the life you want for yourself and law of attraction, which I first learned from Jess.
Some might assume that it could be annoying or redundant to hear the same or similar messages repeated by different teachers- but, I have to say- I LOVED it! It was reassuring, familiar, and hearing her funny, fresh take on my favorite topics was so entertaining and enlightening!
I really enjoyed hearing new examples and metaphors and personal anecdotes about concepts and practices that I already believed in and was using in my own life.
What do I love about Jen’s writing and narrating?
Firstly- did you catch that I didn’t actually “read” her books? I listen to them – first from the library.. Then, because I wanted to be able to re-listen on demand without waiting my turn in line, I bought them on audible. I highly recommend listening to books and I highly recommend you check out the free offerings from your local library!
I love Jen’s voice so much – both her written voice- like her style of writing.. And her speaking voice. It just sounds so real and authentic and true. I love how she tells stories and explains her thoughts and uses funny little expressions to describe what she means. I love when she refers to how she was – the impetus and inspiration for figuring herself out, as
“broke as a joke.”
That description seems funny- but it’s actually about something that’s not funny- being broke and feeling poor and scarce is not funny at all- but she describes the state of her life as “broke as a joke” and herself as being so tired of that at her age, by the time she finally decided to turn her life around. She describes it as being unavailable to be living the way she had been living anymore. So, for me, her description brings a self-depreciating quality to it – so not taking herself too seriously, while at the same time, taking her decision to change very seriously.
It makes me wonder – what area in my life am I unavailable to be living the way I am currently living? Or what about you? Is there a part of your life that’s just not acceptable, and you are no longer available to keep living that way?
Before and After
The way she describes her own “before” the part that she decided she was no longer available for.. Seems so raw and authentic. If it were a before and after weight loss photo, she wouldn’t just be showing someone standing in front of the mirror, then 20 pounds later, that same person showing the slimmer version of themselves. No, her “before” picture would be more like a shot of someone sitting on a couch eating chips and drinking a milk shake while binge watching reality tv -(As an example) she really paints the picture of where she was.. And how far she’s come.
She describes her transformation when she finally decided she was just going to get herself what she wanted, despite her own resistance.
Isn’t it so interesting how resistance shows up differently for all of us? For her, apparently, she was very resistant to what she refers to as “cheesy experiences” – high fiving, being in a group money seminar and shouting beliefs and affirmations- but someone else, may have no resistance to that at all- but may have resistance to – talking about money, or charging for their services.
As I’ve mentioned, I love listening to her self-narrated books, but once, while I was listening, I noticed that as she closed out a chapter, she seemed to be giving steps or a list of actions to take.. And each list would end with the advice to “Love Yourself.” Great Advice! But also, I’m so glad that she repeatedly listed that as a last step, because that repetition is what made me notice there were “how to lists” sprinkled throughout the chapters.
And since I didn’t want to try to advance and rewind around the whole audio book to get to the end of each section to hear and transcribe the lists for myself, I decided to just buy the physical copy of the book. And I’m so glad I did.
When I got ahold of the hard copy and started reviewing the lists, I was reminded how PERFECT the advice is and it made me want to teach a course- or maybe take a course- using those steps as the outline. Which made me wonder if Jen already teaches those courses using those steps, so I checked her site.. And discovered..she does offer an 8-week DIY coaching “course” on her website at Jensincero.com So, I’m thinking about enrolling in it.. I’ll let you know if I do.
My Favorite Things
My all time favorite thing Jen has said or written is the phrase “Life is Re. Di. Cu. Lous!
She had just finished telling the story of how she was in a rock band when she had no business being in a rock band and the moral of the story was “just to see what you can get away with.”
She encourages us to go after life with a sense of “why not?” because, after all.. Life IS ridiculous, right? None of us know what we’re doing here!
I remember the first time I heard this part of of her book- I actually ended up rewinding and replaying it while I was driving- it hit me so hard and made such an impact on me. Then, when I got home that night, I replayed it again so I could write it down. And, I made it my mantra.
And, of course, when I ended up getting the physical copy of the book and was randomly flipping through.. Did I happen to flip to that page? You know I did!
So, since life IS ridiculous and none of know what we’re doing here.. What do you think YOU could get away with? What do you want to say “Why Not?” about?
Surrender is Releasing Resistance
Another favorite part of her book that hit me with such impact was her assertion that surrender is releasing resistance – since I’m a resistance researcher and all about releasing resistance, of course I had to re-play, and re-read this chapter.
She describes our need for control is a way to “take charge of a situation” (as if we could take charge of anything outside of our own brains).. So, instead, what if we just surrendered? And let things play out? And accepted reality?
She explains this concept with a party metaphor- and you know, I love parties.. And I love metaphors.
Basically she poses the question -would you rather attend a party that you’re being forced and manipulated and expected to attend? Or would you attend a party where the host is sure it’s going to be amazing either way but would be so happy to have you there?
That forced, manipulated expectation is a sign of scarce thinking- of fear!
“Doubt is resistance, faith is surrender. Worry is resistance, joy is surrender.
Control is resistance, allowing is surrender.”
Thank you Jen! I couldn’t agree more.. And I love the way you lay it out!
Thank you Card, Love Note & Fan Letter
And since I’ve apparently redirected this episode directly to Jen now, let me go ahead and deliver my Thank you Card, Love Note and Fan Letter to one of my favorite coaches:
Jen! You inspire me so much for so many reasons! I’m so encouraged that you openly share that your transformation started for you when you were well into your 30s and 40s.. Indicating that it’s not too late for anyone! And there’s no expectation that anyone should have figured any of this out sooner!
I love your blunt openness and descriptiveness that you found much of the path that eventually got you where you wanted to go cheesy at first – but you decided to embrace the cheesiness. This is such a good reminder to me, when I encounter my own judginess.
And thank you so much for writing.. And continuing to write.. And may I offer- even though you’re so good at it, and it’s brought you so much success.. I’ve heard you say in interviews that you don’t really enjoy the writing process – so, I thank you for pushing through that resistance so I can read your work.. But also, I wonder, if you know that your true genius is in transformation.. Not writing. You’ve transformed yourself. You teach others how to transform themselves.. So, maybe you don’t have to be a writer!? (but secretly and selfishly, of course I still hope that you continue to produce content, in whatever medium you’re called to).
I’m so curious to hear what you think. What are your favorite parts of Jen’s writing? If you’ve been putting off picking up her books, are you going to give them a try? And now I want to hear your thoughts and your reactions.