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1. A badass never backs down from a fight worth having.
This means you have to become skilled at knowing when to fight, and when to walk away. You don’t think “I should try to _________.” You go after it with everything you have, because you don’t intend to be demolished by the heavily-armed line of power players mowing down the opposition. You have dozens of sneaky work-arounds and so-called “dirty” fight tactics in your arsenal. And you also know when to walk away and fight a different battle on a different day.
2. A badass is an ordinary sinner.
You don’t try to hide that in order to appear better than you are. You’ve been trespassed against, and you’ve done some trespassing of your own. But your heart is good. You know you’ve been screwed up, but you don’t dwell on it, and you don’t waste a lot of time on blame.
3. A badass lives on the edge.
You are completely, utterly willing to walk out to where no one else will go, and peer over the edge. You live where other people are barely willing to visit. Badasses don’t unquestioningly accept other people’s limits, and you never wait for someone else to tell you that something is possible. You explore the edge. You hang out there. You are a trailblazer. You are willing to take risks that would make others cringe.
4. A badass is absolutely authentic.
A badass may have a flare for the dramatic, but they’re by no means counterfeit. Sure, you tell a great story and you have incredible showmanship, but you keep it real.
5. A badass is not a jerk.
You can call something like it is without hesitation, but you have self control, you don’t prey on the weak, and you stand up for others who can’t stand up for themselves. You don’t constantly brag about how badass you are, either.
6. A badass acts despite fear.
This is the heart of courage – not that you don’t have fear, but that you act despite it. Badasses are accustomed to accepting uncertainty without letting it power and direct them. You’re audacious. You initiate. You do, when others only watch.
7. A badass is a little bit mysterious.
You don’t say everything you know. You feel no obligation to justify your values or convictions to anyone. Instead you simply live into badassness. From the outside, it may look like you don’t care, but the truth is that you don’t care about things that don’t matter. See #8 below.
8. A badass doesn’t tolerate bullshit.
Bullshit qualifies as something that doesn’t matter. Which is why being a badass is so liberating. More people should try it. This is also why it’s easy for you to ignore the haters. Haters try to get you to submit to the status quo, but you don’t listen. You just do your thing and walk on.
9. A badass has a tribe.
You have mentors, trainers, a people, a posse. You may work synergistically within your tribe, but your sense of self does not depend on it. You watch each other’s backs and acknowledge each other’s accomplishments. When you need to call on someone, these are the people who will unfailingly answer.
10. A badass accepts that blood happens.
If you plan to live, you will get hurt. Black eyes, bloody noses, busted ribs, torn muscles, and even serious ass kickings do happen to badassses. But you know what it feels like to be punched in the face and you don’t let that stop you from doing what you’re here to do. You know your body and you trust it. You’re ready for anydamnthing.
11. A badass gets what they want.
You aren’t ashamed to go after the things you desire. You never manipulate others to get it, but you’re not going to be stopped from reaching your goals. You accept your unique gifts (strengths) and weird malfunctions (flaws), and put them both to work for you. You figure out ways to get paid to exist.
12. A badass has swagga.
You walk like you know where you’re headed, and you don’t expect anyone to mess with you. You don’t have low self-esteem. You got badittude because you believe in who you are and where you’re going. You do shit without looking. You’re confident. Your swagger reflects the fact that you aren’t embarrassed or apologetic about what you’re good at or what you know.
13. A badass is a natural leader.
Your confidence creates trust in others. But the real reason you’re so valuable as a leader is that you are intensely creative, disruptive, and challenging. This is what the world needs more of. You say “yes,” then you figure out how to deliver. You believe there’s a solution for all of the most important problems.
14. A badass speaks with confidence and power.
For a badass, there is no “try” or “should.” You use the language of “will” and “absolutely.” You also don’t dumb down your language. When you’re ready, you speak your mind without waiting to be asked. You say what you mean, but you aren’t argumentative. Or an asshole.
15. You’re not Skeletor.
You are not 100% whip, chains, and snarl. You have a place of playfulness inside you, and it never makes you feel weak or stupid to roll on the ground with a six year old (and let him beat you), or hand feed a nest of abandoned bluebirds. These things restore your soul.