We all know a few people who are just effortlessly cool. They seem to get everything they want. They won’t take anything from anybody. Not only are they tough mentally, but they are tough as nails on the outside with a body that seems as strong as their mind. They are true bad-asses. And whether you know it or not, you are completely capable of being one too.
The truth is, we all have a little bit (or a lotta bit) of bad-ass in us and the world will benefit by bringing it to the surface.
Want to fast track your way to bad-assery? Here’s 12 simple steps:
1. Stop worrying about what other people think of you and mind your own damn business.
To some degree or another, we ALL care about what people think, but the more you can realize that what others think of you really isn’t any of your business, the more badass your life will be. You want to be able to walk into a room and worry about who you might like, not who might like (or dislike) you. The truth is that people will always have opinions, no matter what you do. Who cares what other people think of you?! I’d rather be the person who grabs the bull by the horn and works toward her goals without a care in the world what people think, rather than the one who sits, waiting and pleasing other people, just to make sure I am liked.
Listen, you’re a flawed creature…we all are. We doubt ourselves, we try to be things we are not, and when we look in the mirror all we see are the things we don’t like. We are not the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine or Men’s Health. And none of us will ever be as kickass as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as cool as Carrie from Sex and the City, or as badass as Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead.
We are human. We’re not a fake, perfectly lit character with a script on TV or an airbrushed cover of a magazine. Accept who you are. Revel in it.
2. Enjoy life.
While you’re here on this earth, live life out loud and have FUN! Now, I know what that means for me, but I don’t know what that means for you—maybe it’s snowboarding, surfing, playing tennis, riding roller coasters, starting businesses, or being charitable. But soak in all that you can. Continue your education. Read books. Play sports. Learn about the world. Perfect a skill. Travel. Yodel. Whatever it is, just do it.
Maybe it’s one thing, a bunch of things, or always something new. Maybe adrenaline is your fun. Maybe adventure is your game.
Whether it’s a career, hobby, or just trying new things, spend as much time as possible doing what you love and having a good time. You only live once. Seize the day!
3. Take action in spite of fear.
Fear is make-believe. It’s like a monster. It only exists in your head. And that monster will never go away if you don’t confront it head on. When you are living an exciting life, there will always be an element of fear involved as you have new experiences. Rather than let it stop you, remember that you are uncomfortable because you are simply traveling out of your comfort zone, which is a GOOD THING.
There is a SPECTACULAR life waiting for you right on the other side of that monster. And no matter how hard you try to avoid that monster, there is no way around it, only to charge forward, knock it over and step on it’s snaggle-toothed, hairy, wart filled face.
Funny thing is, doing what you fear usually isn’t bad at all—it’s the thinking about it that is the worst part. The idea of the monster is the scary part. Fighting it is actually kind of fun! Choose your weapon!
And another thing, everyone’s life is chaotic and problematic, and bad stuff happens to all of us. You aren’t the only one. You are going to make mistakes, you are going to have failures. There is no ultimate destination in life where everything is coming up rainbows and butterflies. Learn to be positive no matter what you’re going through. Otherwise, your mistakes will beat you down, make you sick, turn you into a person who isn’t much fun to be around and it might even kill you. If you are positive and take the happy route, failures can make you stronger, more humble, more loving, more giving, and more badass.
4. Realize life is all about people and relationships
Surround yourself with good people. Cherish and nurture the relationships you have with the ones you care about. Sometimes some people need it more than others. Seek that out.
Start new relationships with the giving hand. Be a friend rather than looking for friends. And always extend the olive branch when you feel something slipping away.
Life is about others. And never, ever, EVER put money before friendship. That never, EVER turns out well.
5. Right your wrongs
Whenever you’re wrong, and someone else becomes wronged because of you, fix things as soon as possible. If you get in the habit of righting your wrongs, you’ll start to notice patterns in your behavior and fix problems before they happen. Saves yourself some time and stress. And it might even save you some relationships. Being the bigger person is always a badass thing to do.
There’s never ONE THING that’s gonna come along and make everything better except you. Look, you aren’t the Dalai Lama and no one expects you to be, but if you do a lot of things right and constantly make small improvements, you are going to feel pretty damn good everyday.
6. Be YOU. Only Better
Mom was right. Just be yourself. Being you is the thing you can do better than anyone else in the world. You are an expert at it.
If you aren’t, others will know it, and more important, you’ll know, and hate yourself for it. It’s really hard to keep up an act and even harder to get yourself back down to reality.
And let being you also mean that you are helping to make the world a better place. Because this planet can be pretty screwed up at times. Go through life looking for ways to make the world more awesome for everyone in it now, and for generations to come.
When you see our planet or the people on it being given a raw deal, rise up and take a stand.
I’m not talking about being some self-righteous vigilante or passive aggressive martyr so you can get an ego fix, I’m just talking about looking out for your fellow man and doing the right thing when it needs to be done.
7. Accept that you’ll never get everything done
The to-do list never ends. Cross one thing off and you seem to add four more things. You are never going to get it all done. (although having a to-do list will keep you fabulously organized and that is a badass quality too!) But, understand that life is chaos. Sometimes the ride spins at 100 miles per hour and you can’t jump off. And if you have a million things and are going in circles on the crazy train, how are you actually going to get to work on the things that will bring you closer to the life you want to have. Impossible, right? No, wrong.
Do the important stuff first, and be cognizant of the “busy-work” that like to creep up on you every chance they get so you can avoid doing the real important stuff like giving the monster a sucker punch in the gut. Those are the actions that help you to grow and evolve so you can become the person you need to become to get to where you want to go. Organizing your closet and cleaning out the garage can wait. Stop losing yourself in the ever-growing to-do list.
8. Learn to say NO.
You can never be everything to everyone. It’s important to know when to say “yes,” but it’s much more important to know when and how to say “no.”
If you don’t know how to say “no” you’ll end up over-extending yourself, committing to things you can’t really give 100% to, and spending your time running around trying to make everyone else happy. You’ll lose your focus and dilute your power and become a doormat. If there is one thing a badass is NOT, it’s a carpet for wiping someone else’s dirty feet on.
9. Stop talking, start doing, take action.
One of the best ways to stay stuck in your life is to constantly talk about things and never take action. If you want to really change your life or achieve a big goal, then commit to being someone who takes big action and talks about it after rather than the other way around. Do everything you can and go after your goals like you have a gun to your head. Give it your all.
Stay on your path and trudge forward with big strides, but be flexible and adapt to the conditions of the road. Remember that you can control what you do but you cannot always control the outcome. You CAN control your attitude about the outcome though. So don’t worry about it so much. Worrying creates anxiety and anxiety is self limiting and will tear you apart inside…and that anxiety will create even more bad thoughts, giving you more anxiety and creating a big stress loop inside your body. Stop the madness. Change your attitude.
10. Trust your Gut
If someone or something feels wrong to you listen to what your intuition is telling you. It knows way more than you do. That’s right. There’s a part of you that knows best and it’s not your head or your heart. It’s your gut.
If you’re having trouble getting in touch with that part of you that knows best…try meditating or exercising (you should be doing that anyway – all badasses know their body is of primo importance). But, listen to your gut. It’s usually never wrong.
11. Forgive Yourself
Usually when you have something against someone and need to forgive them, it’s actually something in yourself you need to forgive; the other person is just holding up a mirror for you and you don’t like what you see. When you forgive, you’re not actually doing something for the other person. You forgive them for you. Karma works itself out.
Forgiveness is the quickest and most direct path to peace. Resentment is the road to misery. And it’s toxic. It’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It will never happen and you will just slowly become more miserable.
12. Tell it like it is
True badasses are open and honest about their intentions in everything they do. They do not want to hurt anyone, but don’t want to feed someone lies to make them feel good either. And definitely wouldn’t want anyone to do that for them.
And if you’re honest, you’re never really wrong. Sure, you’ll still make mistakes, but when you’re transparent about everything and admit your shortcomings and flaws, the fear that comes from trying to be something you’re not is not a factor. Stay authentic to who you are and your view on the world and tell it like it is.
The takeaway: Life will try to beat you down, others will try and take what you have, and your own mind will tell you that you’re not good enough, but set your sights high, keep your attitude positive and keep on charging forward.
YOU ARE A TOTAL BADASS.