Jen Sincero’s forward, go-getting attitude in her self-help and motivational book “You Are a Badass,” stresses the importance of self-esteem and confidence in relationship to one’s overall competence and ability to perform consistently. One influential concept receiving particular attention lies in the following subtitle of Sincero’s work: “How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.” In no uncertain terms, Sincero’s declares that her focus in this work will be motivational and the supplying the reader with the logic to overcome their insecurities and actualize themselves. Many of these self-help books fall under large thematic umbrellas like these, which deal with aspects of our psychology. In particular, the prevalence of impostor syndrome or the fear that you don’t truly have the skills or ability that you might purport to have on your resumé or during your job is what makes Sincero’s self-help book unique. An article in the Harvard Business Review summarizes the relatable psychological symptoms of those feeling the brunt of being an impostor: “One of the greatest barriers to moving outside your comfort zone is the fear that you’re a poser, that you’re not worthy, that you couldn’t possibly be qualified to do whatever you’re aiming to do.”
In designating the reader as a “badass,” Sincero is taking a proactive stance in addressing the increasing regularity of impostor syndrome as a cultural issue and experience. She places and elevates the reader in an upbeat, though somewhat idealized space, explaining to them that they, as individuals, ultimately exert the most control over how they will react to events and how they will face their own realities. Sincero, though she runs through common phrases and expressions, gives special attention to the reader and contextualizes them in a way that is meaningful. Her attitude and positivity are traits that we often put on mute and take for granted, but Sincero’s own words best demonstrate her innate ability to empathize with hopes and sentiments for the reader and wider audiences: “What other people think about you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.” What Sincero reminds us is that sometimes the smallest gestures can make the biggest differences in a largely indifferent world.