Jen Sincero On Using Fear as a Compass
Jen Sincero is a New York Times Bestselling Author, having previously published “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.” The book has become a legend in the self help world and we are lucky to have Jen back at it again as her latest treasure, “You are a Badass at Making Money,” is set to be released today. Having recently survived a life threatening illness, I connected with Jen to share the incredible impact her first book had on my recovery. Jen was a key player in helping me to channel my inner “Badass” and reconnect to passion, purpose and creativity. I can honestly say, having spent a year bedridden and going through a Near Death Experience, Jen’s powerful words struck a chord and helped to usher miracles into my life. I’m honored to introduce Jen Sincero and to share her latest endeavor with you. Leave it to Jen to help you shift your relationship to money and to connect you to your “Inner Badass” who’s closer than you could ever imagine! Welcome, Jen.
CGO: Hi Jen. I’m so excited to share the inspiration behind your latest book on money. I would love to begin by going back to the introduction to your original Badass book. You talk about how your life changed on a dime by beginning with something as simple as a decision to change your life. Please share with us what was going on in your life at the time and how this pivotal decision changed the course of your life.
JS: I was in my 40’s and I was living in a converted garage. I was struggling to make a living. I had a great life and great friends. Yet, the money piece was so challenging for me. One day, I decided that I couldn’t take it any more. I couldn’t take being broke any longer. I couldn’t be in that space of “What do I do with my life?” any longer, and I had to take action. It came down to making a conscious decision. Basically, I chose not to identify with being broke any longer. I realized I deserved a beautiful life, and abundance was something that I needed to welcome into my life.
CGO: I love your authenticity and vulnerability. That must have been a very challenging time yet it was a powerful catalyst for change. Your original book weaves in a great deal of wealth consciousness while this book’s sole focus is on shifting our internal energy to begin manifesting on a conscious level. What inspired you to focus on the subject of money and begin taking action?
JS: I was seeing other people doing things that I really wanted to do. It was also a realization that this was my one shot; the one opportunity I had to turn my life around. I had the awareness that I was wasting this one chance and that I had to do things differently. I could no longer deny that I was a badass. Quite honestly, I was just being lame. It became way more painful to be lame than it was to begin making money.
CGO: Again, such beautiful transparency, Jen. As you share in your book, money can bring with a lot of connotations and inaccurate beliefs such as “money doesn’t grow on trees” or “you have to work really hard to be successful,” etc. How do people begin to develop healthier beliefs about money?
JS: You begin by becoming aware as to what they are in the first place. You need to intensively listen to the way you talk about money. You need to examine your thoughts and your language about money and success. It takes a really concerted effort to affect change in these patterns. One exercise that’s really helpful is to take out your journal and begin writing in streams of consciousness. Write down all your thoughts about money. This is a really revealing exercise for most people. Pay attention to what your family and friends are saying about money. Water does seek it’s own level. We tend to surround ourselves with people who have similar beliefs and we listen to them rather than to ourselves.
CGO: That seems like a very revealing exercise! It sounds like you are suggesting that people become hyper conscious as to their thoughts and their language. Your book zeroes in on the power of the subconscious and how this is the real unconscious driver in our lives. You refer to the temptation of the “trixters.” How do we begin to uncover those unconscious beliefs that tend to hold us back from living the life of our dreams?
JS: One of my favorite ways is taking action outside of your comfort zone. Our beliefs have a tendency to run really deep and this has a way of unmasking those beliefs. These beliefs tend to be so deeply rooted that we are unconscious that we even have them. If you’re taking a risk and you are not scared in some way, you’re doing something wrong. As we push the limits of our comfort zone to break through these belief systems, it’s natural to feel fear. The way to know that you’re going in the right direction to expand who you are, is to do things that are outside of your comfort zone. By it’s nature this will reveal your fears and let you acknowledge and identify with them! By doing that exercise, everything will surface to pull you back into your comfort zone. This will reveal those subconscious beliefs to you and allow you to accept your fears in a healthy way.
CGO: It sounds like you’re all about embracing the fear. Our egos can be quite tricky, tending to keep us in our “uncomfortable comfort zones.” Share with us what you’ve learned about harnessing the power of the subconscious and how we can begin to get clear on what those beliefs are. Our ego’s purpose is to keep us in this box, when we go through major changes in our lives, must we expect fear?
JS: You can use fear as your compass. It’s the same energy surge of excitement. Fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin. And that’s exactly what you should be experiencing is a feeling of excitement combined with fear. Expect a rush of fear and excitement as that’s the energetic force behind your desire to change. You haven’t yet done what it is you’re trying to change, so it’s a natural process for the feeling of fear or excitement to come into play.
CGO: I suppose it’s very easy to mistake one emotion for another as they tend to be a very similar feeling. Through all your research as well as your own challenging life experience, what have you learned about a fairly universal relationship to money and wealth that many of us share?
JS: First of all, it’s easily one of the most loaded topics on the planet. It’s a loaded subject that feels dirty to talk about. People have tendency to think of it in black and white terms. You can value people and experiences or you can value wealth and success. They tend to see them as mutually exclusive. That’s just absurd! You can certainly be a very caring, altruistic person and make a lot of money. I included an entire chapter on the principle of allowing as it’s such a critical piece of the money making equation. Money is a very confusing subject for most involving a lot of shame.
CGO: It’s a very loaded subject and an uncomfortable one culturally. You talk about how overwhelmed we can feel by our internal world when we have a deep desire to create lasting change in our lives, and the resistance that it can entail. Sometimes, it feels like too large a mountain to climb or a task that’s insurmountable. What did you tell yourself during these moments to keep you focused on moving forward and taking action?
JS: I think taking things small piece by small piece is essential. If you look at the entire picture, you will feel overwhelmed. It’s so important to break it down into manageable steps. Just do what you need to do in small bite size chunks of time. Overwhelm is, most often, a mindset. If you think about all the things you have to do, you’ll be face down on the floor. It really helps to break it down into smaller pieces. When you structure your day, you look at the 20 minutes to walk the dog and the hour it takes to do a task, and you’ll see that it’s not so overwhelming if you stay in the moment. When we break it down and look at the specifics, we set ourselves free. We also get overwhelmed when something “bad” happens and we allow ourselves to spiral down and believe everything is bad. People tend to create drama and make things far worse than they are in reality.
CGO: How true is that! Yes, we human beings do tend to create a lot of drama. There’s a universal issue with women dealing with self esteem and confidence issues. What have you learned that has helped you to overcome self doubt and low self worth?
JS: You have to work at it. It’s a muscle like anything else and it takes practice. We are born confident and people have different levels of confidence. There are ways to build that “confidence muscle.” One way is to surround yourself with women who are confident. The way you hold your body is really important. How you carry yourself says a lot about you. Taking small, baby steps is also a way of building confidence. If you’re in sales, begin by making small sales and building yourself up. You’re not likely to become a super confident person overnight. It’s critical to build that muscle slowly.
CGO: That’s a muscle we rarely exercise yet it’s one of the most important ones in the recipe for a happy life. I love the phrase in your book “Badassery seeks its own level.” What do you mean by that powerful statement?
JS: I’m referring to the people you surround yourself with on a regular basis. You see, when we go about making significant changes in our lives, you’re killing off your old identity. This causes a lot of problems as our ego resists change by keeping us stuck in our comfort zone. This new identity you’re creating causes a lot of shifts in your relationships. When you change, everything changes, and many people around you may resist that change. It’s so important to surround yourself with people that are the level you desire. We tend to match that energy. When we shift and change, we no longer match our old energy and it affects our relationships. If you hire coaches or mentors that are at higher level, it will naturally push you and begin to shift your energy. You’ll begin to match their energy rather than “slinking” back to your old energetic patterns and ending back in your comfort zone. While you’re in the process of shifting your energy and making sweeping life changes, staying around people in a higher vibration will keep you from sliding back into unhealthy patterns. Surrounding yourself with people who have expansive thoughts and will cheer you on, is vital to the success of changing your life.
CGO: Yes, it’s those patterns that are so difficult to change. Jen, it’s clear that you’ve done a great deal of inner work. I would imagine that you still have to deal with old patterns that may surface from time to time and the typical self sabotage we can engage in. It comes down to changing our internal wiring so that we develop healthy patterns and behaviors. Do you struggle with old patterns or self sabotage any longer? If so, what do you tell yourself to begin shifting the old wiring?
JS: There’s a great expression, “New Level. New Devil.” Basically, when you’ve solved one puzzle, there’s another one waiting for you. It’s really all the same thing that I wrote about my first book. It comes down to becoming aware of your thoughts and the language you’re using. It’s about changing your beliefs at the deepest level and surrounding yourself with positive people at a level you admire to help you hold the new energy. When I feel myself slipping back, I pick up my self help books and I begin reciting mantras. I head to the spiritual gym and I meditate. Truly, you have to keep going to the spiritual gym.
CGO: You are so right. Work those spiritual badass muscles! Is there anything that you have desired to manifest that you’ve found some resistance to and why?
JS: Right now, I’m really wanting to buy or build a house. I’m trying to manifest the house or the land to build it on. It’s not happening for me right now and I know I’m not in control of the timing. Patience has been a really big lesson for me. I know patience is the lesson I was put on this earth to learn. I keep visualizing it and believing that it’s coming. I try to live in a space of gratitude knowing that it’s on it’s way to me in divine timing.
CGO: Knowing you, I have a feeling the perfect home will find you. Jen, you emphasize the power of gratitude time and again. What role does gratitude play in manifesting your dreams and changing your life for the better?
JS: Gratitude is so important. I still have my pity parties and get down from time to time but gratitude is the way back. If you can be in gratitude mode rather than complain mode, your life will flow more easily. It’s like what I was talking about with the home I’m working to manifest. Gratitude is for what you already have and we are all so lucky as we have so much to be thankful for. When you stay in a space of gratitude for the things you haven’t yet received, you put yourself in a space to receive them. When you’re in a state of gratitude, your focus is on believing that your dreams will come to you. That’s how we change our reality. We must believe these things are coming toward us and stay grateful as that keeps us in that energy of creation.
CGO: There’s nothing more important than gratitude. Most people want a silver bullet when it comes to creating wealth and financial security. What is the number one most important thing in your experience to begin shifting from a lack mentality to a wealth mentality?
JS: It really comes down to a decision. A decision to end being broke or living a life of struggle. With that one decision come all the scary things you’ll need to do to change your life.
CGO: That was certainly true in my case. Jen, what I loved most about your book is your own “Badass” sense of self deprecating humor. The language you use to describe your journey is more of that of a stand up comedian. Share with us what inspired you to bring such endearing humor into the work that you do?
JS: It’s just how I talk. I was broke and living in a converted garage in my 40’s. What other way would I be?! I wrote my first book for myself. I wanted a self help book that was witty and entertaining. I wanted to have a different take on the information as there’s so much available in the self help aisle. Sometimes, you can say something in a new way and it’s heard differently. It’s that “Aha” moment when that inner shift occurs. I wanted to welcome a whole new audience in the self help world. I intended to attract those types that are very “snarky” or see thing as “woo woo” when it comes to personal development. That was my mindset and I was writing for myself as there’s incredible information out there.
CGO: It’s so important to be yourself and it sounds like you’re deeply connected to your audience. You’re well known in the self help or spiritual world. What inspired you to begin turning inward and connecting with your own spirituality?
JS: It just kept showing up for me. Every book that I would read about changing your relationship to money or setting goals, the information was the same. This spiritual piece around money kept showing up and I thought it was hocus pocus and new agey. What I found was, the more I read and began practicing, the more my life began changing. I saw my life changing rapidly and the lives of my clients and I knew that it worked.
CGO: I’m so glad that it did as you have helped so many tap into their inner badass. You definitely were a major catalyst in my life! You have a fascinating story. It’s been an incredible year with the launch of this book and an upcoming book tour. You’ve accomplished incredible success in a short period of time. Just curious as to what’s up for sleeve as to your next achievement in the literary world?
JS: Taking a nap! (Laughter) I’m giving myself a break in Italy to celebrate the book launch. I’m doing a lot of speaking as well with my upcoming book tour and can’t wait to see everyone!
You can find Catherine Grace O’Connell at CatherineGraceO.com. She is on Facebook, and Instagram and Twitter as @catherinegraceo. You can find out more about The Fierce 50 Campaign and how you can help us and join the Movement by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.