Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Evel Knievel, and actors like Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, and Charles Bronson, are all considered modern, iconic male badasses. We idolize men being strong, charismatic warriors, but what about the women? Who are the badass role models?
If we break it down like the men listed above, the woman would be ethical, strong in opinion, able to handle herself in a fight, and not be afraid to back down from the truth, even if it means an ass beating. These kind of real life badass women would be Ronda Rousey, Laila Ali, and any other women, like military, police, or firefighters, who run into the face of danger or risk the chance of physical harm. Character role models from movies would include Sarah Connor in Terminator, Alice in Resident Evil, Ellen Ripley in Alien, Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max, Carol from Walking Dead, and Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games.
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” ~Bruce Lee
I might ask ten different people for a definition of badass, and I may get ten different answers, but that’s the beauty of life, we can express ourselves in any way that makes us feel like a badass. Imagine if you became paralyzed from a horse fall. For you being a badass may be spending years in rehab with a goal of getting back on the horse again. For someone with PTSD, being a badass may be going to therapy and facing the traumas of the past. And for another being badass may be taking a self-defense course or learning to box.
Being a badass in the military or in TV is often more about truly being a strong warrior, but to us civilians, badass is about facing doubt, fear, and makes you feel like you are doing what is right, what you are meant to do. It’s about living life to the fullest and expressing your true self to the world, in spite of what others may think. It means you don’t listen to the nagging little voice that says “you can’t do that!” And instead you tell that voice to “shut up because I have a plan.”
For me, becoming a badass meant I had to face all the demons from my past and admit I was in a victim mode. For years I ran, I hid, and I avoided anything that might expose the real me. I had been so abused from infancy into adulthood that I had nothing but doubts about who I was and what I wanted. (Read my story here http://www.stefanilord.com/category/why-write-a-blog/ ) I had been trained that it was easier to take the abuse silently than to stand up and fight.
It wasn’t until I was in my mid 30s that I decided to face my fears and look inward. I hated it so much. It was painful, it was dark and dirty, and it was filled with shame and guilt. But somehow I knew that I had to expose all this gunk or I could never move forward; I would be doomed to repeat my mistakes over and over.
It took years of therapy, self-help books, as well as being vulnerable and honest enough to looking inward. But in the end I went from victim to warrior. Today the things that make me feel badass are when I hit the heavy bag and practice boxing, shoot my guns, work out, walk into a place alone with my head held high, accomplish a goal, and especially riding my motorcycle. I think I feel the most badass while riding – there is nothing like it. For some people they may get exhilaration from skiing, running a marathon, or even finishing a quilt, but of me it’s the twist of the throttle that makes me feel most alive.
Badass is a feeling; it’s when the action or thought makes you feel very confident and strong. Do you feel like a badass warrior when you make excuses to go on a date because you’re too afraid? Or when you quit something because you lose faith in yourself? Of worse yet, you don’t even try because you’ve convinced yourself you will fail or you not good enough, smart enough, skinny enough, anything enough? No – those are all self-defeating acts that make you feel insecure. Badass is finding out you have type 2 diabetes, being 50 lbs overweight, and deciding to join a gym, hiring a personal trainer, and doing something about it. You face the self-destructive thoughts and behaviors and you commit to change.
Badass is NOT bullying! If you think that beating people up that don’t deserve it, or making fun of innocent people, or robbing people, or harming others, including animals is baddass – you have a mental defect and you should to take a very long walk off a very short pier.
Badass is “hell yes, I did it! I didn’t think I could, but I did!” It means learning how to ride a motorcycle no matter how scared you are. You may be afraid but you do it anyway. Badass is about standing up for what’s right and protecting yourself as well as the innocent. Baddass is about knowing how to defend yourself, but not going out and starting fights. Badass is doing what makes you stronger and more confident. Badass is about doing things that most people say you shouldn’t, or that you can’t. So go out and be badass. Do what makes you happy, makes you feel good, and causes no serious harm to yourself or others. To hell with what other people think!