Do you want to be a badass — tougher, smarter, and more awesome?
First, let’s figure out exactly what that means.
You don’t have to buy a motorcycle, wear shades indoors, or learn to fight. You can if you want, but what you drive or wear will not make you badass.
It is badass to figure out how to make a unique mark on the world — and throw everything you’ve got into your mission.
Like Serena Williams.
This guide will show you what it means to be the strongest, truest, and most focused version of yourself. So you can live your most badass life.
And yes, this article will show you how to be a badass woman – but it’s also for the men too.
Can you learn how to be a badass?
Let’s start by looking at some modern-day examples like Daniel Craig, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elon Musk, and JK Rowling.
These people are not admired because of what they are, or where they came from.
They are respected because of what they do, and what they accomplish.
They don’t sit down. They don’t shut up. They make big moves, and they raise others along with them.
Do you know what the least interesting thing about them is?
Their average – or slightly below average – beginnings.
These badass humans weren’t born. They were made. Through the challenges they faced in life and those they set for themselves, they became icons.
These people have grown to see obstacles as opportunities to learn. They see goals, and they’re willing to do just about anything to get there. This is also one of the characteristics of a leader.
That’s not to say you should trample everyone in your path — you can be a source of inspiration. People who stand up for what’s good and right, despite the risks, are true badasses.
Badassery isn’t a quality that’s easy to come by. It’s earned by perseverance and struggle. It’s granted only in pursuit of a vision that’s bigger than the person who imagines it.
So yes, you can learn how to become a badass. It’s a journey that you can begin right now.
Step 1: Be true
One thing you notice right away about badass people is that they are unapologetically themselves — uncompromising.
That doesn’t come easily to many people. Standing out is impressive when you’re successful, but what about before that?
It’s just being weird. It often leads to negative judgment and even discrimination.
Just think about the online abuse people like Serena Williams endure, for their appearance and attitude. The traits that make her badass, also make her a target.
Showing your true self also opens up the possibility of disappointing people you love. There are so many outside expectations to live up to. You want to make your parents proud, excel at work, make your partner and children happy.
For example, imagine telling people you are about to walk away from a respectable career to start a mountain trekking business:
- Your parents: “Sure, just throw away that degree.”
- Your spouse: “Nope.”
- Your friends: “Have you lost your mind?”
The thing is, getting caught up in other peoples’ expectations makes you forget to live your truth. You lose sight of your values. You slip into earning validation instead of developing what makes you unique.
In fact, you may not even know what makes you unique. Your first step to becoming more badass is finding out who you are. In short, you need to learn how to find your purpose in life.
Uncover and Hold Onto Your Badass truth
You can’t be a badass if you silence yourself. A badass doesn’t compromise their values for the sake of others’ comfort.
Pay attention to the parts of your life where you silence your truth:
- Who aren’t you completely honest with?
- In what ways are you hiding?
- Where are you compromising your values?
Truth and power go hand in hand. When you live in your truth you are the most powerful version of yourself.
Show the world the REAL you, even when you feel vulnerable and scared. It’s impossible to be a badass when you’re not living authentically.
Your mission: Find your true self
Badass behavior starts with strong core values and knowing yourself deeply. Step one is to explore what matters to you most, and why.
If you’ve been lost in the grind for so long that you don’t know what your truth is, take some time to work on this.
Here are three ways to get started:
1. Talk to people
Talk about these ideas with someone close to you, like a partner or a close friend.
A lot of people hesitate at this part because they’re worried about being judged. Feeling this way is totally normal. Have these conversations anyway. The fear passes after you begin.
You may even be surprised to find out how much support you have for being true to your nature.
If you don’t have anyone you feel safe enough to talk to, consider talking to a therapist or coach.
2. Think about what makes you feel good
Journal about times when you felt most like yourself. Why did those moments make you feel happy or satisfied or fulfilled?
These are clues that reveal your core values.
It’s best to spend some time alone, preferably in nature, but anywhere that you can think.
You want to avoid the influences of others so avoid social media entirely.
3. Think about what makes you feel like a fake
Take this a step further and write about what didn’t work for you. Dig into the things you’ve tried that made you feel like a fake.
Are you continuing any of these behaviors today? If you are, brainstorm ways to transition these behaviors into something more authentic.
It might take a few hard conversations, but this will lift a big weight from your chest. This relief will open up new ways to move forward in your life.
Step 2: Be strong
Badasses aren’t superhuman. It seems that way because they are so outstanding in one or two areas.
They excel at what they do because they don’t waste time and energy on things they don’t care about — or things they suck at.
If you want to make big changes in your life, you need to know what you want. You also need to know where your strengths are, and where they’re not.
Once you figure this out, you can become unstoppable. You can achieve any badass goal when you know your strengths and weaknesses. For example, here are some different approaches, that are only possible when you know what you can and can’t do:
- Throw yourself into learning a necessary skill.
- Uncover a weakness and manage rather than avoid it.
- Outsource or bring someone onto your team with the strengths you are lacking.
Strong enough to be honest
It takes physical strength to do well in a gym. It takes mental strength to become a badass.
It takes internal work, and often, facing hard truths. For example, it could mean facing mental demons that have kept you stuck in self-sabotaging behavior.
Basically, you have to stop lying to yourself.
Being honest with people in your life is important, and it’s equally important to be honest with yourself.
With brutal honesty, take a clear look at where you are in your life and where you want to be. That’s the first part.
The second part is honestly assessing your strengths. Leveraging your strengths is how you’ll start moving towards the badass life you envision.
Here’s how to do it:
Take some time to think about what makes you feel strong:
- Which activities make you feel capable?
- What tasks do you accomplish effortlessly, better than others?
- When do you feel in control and fearless?
These are the strengths that you have right now. You can build on these skills and depend on yourself for the results that they bring.
This is the easy part because these skills are already a part of you.
Next, take a look at what makes you feel weak:
- What are some situations where you’ve felt inferior, not up to a task, or at a complete loss?
- Where do you hesitate?
- What tasks make you feel fear?
Your mission: Use your badass strength
When you come at life from a position of strength, you are confident. You are capable. You are badass.
Whatever you want to do, you can do it faster and better using the skills that come naturally. The skills you currently lack could eventually become strengths — if they work with the way your brain moves.
For example, if you’re a doctor, adding public speaking to your skill set could be easy. You already talk to patients one on one. A speaking coach and some practice could get you comfortable in front of a larger audience.
If you’re an artist, you might not be good at marketing yourself, even if you try hard. The two fields aren’t intuitively connected — but you could hire an agent.
For skills that your brain just can’t do, work with people who can see your vision and add their expertise.
Step 3: Be focused
You can’t perform at a badass level in everything at once.
Think about people you know, or read about, who pull off amazing feats. They may be training for an ultramarathon, but are they killing it at work? Are they writing a novel? Did they just have a baby? Are they starting a business?
No. They are out running every night and every weekend. They are focusing with intensity on their biggest priority.
What enables them to succeed consistently is burning away all the unnecessary parts of their lives.
In short, they focus on what matters most, and they focus on one thing at a time.
It’s not easy, but it’s simple: relentlessly pursue one dream until you make it real.
A badass goes after what they want
Living a badass life is a lot like the old Choose Your Own Adventure books. You are the protagonist. Every day, you make choices that determine the story of your life.
No matter how trapped or stuck you might feel, you have to look for options. Find ways to take action toward the result that you want.
You might have to get creative to find those options, but it’s important that you resist the idea that you’re stuck.
Living the kind of badass life that you’re aiming for means not giving up. If a way doesn’t exist, figure out how to make one.
Sometimes you might feel like there is too much to do, and the path is too long and too hard. At times like these, focus on the one thing in front of you.
It sounds badass to take giant leaps, but in reality, it’s the tiny, incremental, consistent steps that will transform your life.
Being badass means saying no
A badass knows how to focus on what they want. This means not letting your focus get pulled away from where you want to go.
Learning how to say no to distractions and offers — especially when they’re tempting — is the most important skill you can learn.
For example, being offered a promotion and a raise is great for your ego and your bank account. But if your badass vision involves starting a business or changing careers, it’s a distraction.
Being awesome takes sacrifice. At times, you’ll have to say no to spending time on hobbies, vacations, and entertainment.
You’ll have to say no to expectations and social pressures. Spending time with family and friends is important, but make sure it’s quality time.
There is no such thing as time off. There is only time, and it’s up to you what you do with it.
Your mission: Focus on your badass vision
Before you can focus on your vision, you have to define and choose one.
To start, write down exactly what you want your life to look like. I don’t mean “Make a lot of money and live on a beach somewhere.”
I mean write down in excruciating detail what your life would look like if you could design it from scratch:
- What do you do for income?
- Who do you spend your time with?
- What kind of house do you live in?
- What does it feel like to be a badass version of yourself?
Great, you have some ideas about what you want. But you also need to know why you want those things.
If you want a lot of money, why? How much exactly do you want, and what would you do with that money?
If you want to work fewer hours, why? What would you do with that time instead?
If you want to build a business, why? What need would your product or service fulfill? And if you need help answering this, I’m a business coach and I can help.
Going deeper, you can get to the heart of what’s missing in your life. You can choose a priority based on what you need most — and where you can make the biggest impact.
Whatever you decide to pursue, the final step is putting everything you’ve got into achieving it.
Laser focus and dogged pursuit of your goal will make you truly stand apart from the crowd — like a true badass.
Finding time to focus
Examine what you are doing with your time, and cut out everything that doesn’t serve your goals. Obviously, go for the low-hanging fruit first.
Time wasters, like social media and television, toxic relationships, being out of shape — it’s easy to spot the glaring issues sucking time and energy.
Successful and driven people actually have a harder time with this final step. They already have a high degree of self-control and good habits. They are doing a lot and doing it well.
But they are not satisfied, and they don’t feel badass.
If that’s you, your mission is to pull your focus in.
You don’t have to permanently abandon ideas and projects that excite you, but you must set them aside for now.
You don’t have to stop being a good parent, spouse, or friend, but you have to stop aiming for perfection.
You don’t have to give up activities that bring you joy, but you have to find joy in the pursuit of your badass vision.
What can you do right now to be more badass?
The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago. The second best time is right now. It’s the same with turning yourself into a badass.
It’s time to drop all of your excuses. If you’ve completed the missions in this guide, you know exactly what you want and how to get there.
“But I’m not ready!”
Here’s the secret:
No one is ever ready, there is no perfect time, and if you keep waiting, then you’ll never be the badass you were meant to be.