Badassery, as defined by Shonda Rhimes in her book A Year of Yes:
“BADASSERY: 1. (noun) the practice of knowing one’s own accomplishments and gifts, accepting one’s own accomplishments and gifts and celebrating one’s own accomplishments and gifts; 2. (noun) the practice of living life with swagger : SWAGGER (noun or verb) a state of being that involves loving oneself, waking up “like this” and not giving a crap what anyone else thinks about you. Term first coined by William Shakespeare.”
I remember the first time I was listening to Shonda Rhimes read her book A Year of Yes. It was one of my first purchases from Audible, and I used to listen while I walked the path alongside a creek where I lived. I remember her talking about badassery and I thought “I want some of that.”
I wanted some of that because I thought I didn’t have any. I thought I lacked all swagger and anything that had to do with badass-ness.
I was at a low point for myself personally. I was working a job I liked, but didn’t love. I knew there was more out there for me, but I didn’t know what I wanted to be doing. I was in an on again-off again relationship and kept thinking that he was so great when we were together, but why was I so unsatisfied? Was this as good as it gets?
I wanted to feel powerful. Like I could create things and scale mountains. I wanted to see other countries and places I’ve never been. I wanted to feel like I was in control of my life and I was creating what I wanted it to look like. I wanted to be the girl that DID things, ACCOMPLISHED things, loved deeply and was loved by others. I wanted so much more than what I was getting in my life.
Instead I felt like I was just a plastic bag in the wind, blowing around American Beauty- style. I felt like I was aimless but I didn’t even know where I wanted to aim myself. So where do I even start, and what’s the point?
“If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there,” said the Caterpillar to Alice in Alice in Wonderland. I saw this as a death sentence. “I don’t want ANY road, I want the right road!”
If you’ve been in this place, you know there are a few ways out. You can make some choices that make things worse. You can sink into feeling bad and find things that numb the pain. Maybe you binge watch TV, you eat or drink too much, or you start experimenting with anything that brings you a hit of pleasure or a feeling of being ok. Busyness sometimes happens in this phase because doing a lot of things to distract yourself still feels like doing things!
If you go down this road, it can be a while before you see a problem and get out. For me, I had things like “A Year of Yes” show up in my life and I kept having these feelings like I’m supposed to be doing more than just this. There was more than drinking a glass of wine every night and watching TV to ignore that I wasn’t feeling good. There was more to life.
Yes, there is.
And the clues to get out are found in the definition of badassery. Did you catch it?
It’s about knowing, accepting, and celebrating your accomplishments and gifts. Mary Oliver said “Instructions to live a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
And that’s what you do to get out of a funk. You need to start paying attention. What comes naturally to you? What do you enjoy? What makes you feel curious? Start doing those things more.
As you do those things, keep paying attention and allow yourself to be astonished. Not underwhelmed. Not humble. Not ignorant. Astonished. And then share that with others. Tell your loved ones. Tell the people you lead and manage. Tell your neighbors, your social media followers, who ever will listen.
When we share our joy we are celebrating our badassery. And in doing so you may inspire others to do the same. Your joy sparks someone else’s and gives them the permission to enjoy the joy.
We need more people in their badassery. The world depends on it. Start with yourself today. I give you full permission to start paying attention in your own life to the things that feel good to you and then to do them more.
Does it sound simple? Good. Then you have no excuses. It may not be easy, but that’s ok. We just need to follow the joy, and let it be simple.
What comes up for you when I say that you should pay attention to what you’re good at? What are you good at? What do you enjoy? What do you do with ease?
Did you find this blog post helpful? Do you want to increase the love in your life? It all starts with yourself, which is why I created a simple self love meditation. Claim yours here and get more love immediately.