An Entry by The Provocateur | salty.intoxicating.stimulating change
As the provoker of provocative thoughts…. we need to talk about badasses. It seems there is a lot of chatter these days about how to live life like a badass. There are images, urban dictionary entries and countless Pinterest Boards dedicated to these claims of badassery. But what is a badass really…. and how can you spot a fake? I dug through the internet, talked with my close network and referred to my own experience to answer and investigate this, (oh so sought after label), to help you define this for yourself and how to recognize a fake when you see one. (we don’t need you emulating some jerk after all.)
1. A real badass doesn’t lie | A fake badass has to lie
The practice of life doesn’t require lies, because it’s just that, a practice, and we all mess up from time to time. A real badass doesn’t have to lie because they know how much strength they get from living truthfully, even when it friggin stings… a lot … with a white hot poker…. like, in your eye. The fake badass cannot deal with this sort of pain game… so they take themselves out of game by lying. They lie about their life to others to save face (oh I’m too busy to commit) they lie about how the situation went down (he told me I had to resign) and they lie mostly to themselves so they can justify not wanting to be “uncomfortable.” Newsflash fakes, you cannot be comfortable and a badass at the same time… it’s impossible.
2. A fake badass wins a lot | A real badass fails
Fake badasses are those who “appear” to have it all locked up. The only thing you ever hear about their life is “how great it is” or how amazing bits of it are. They never seem to say anything about their bad days. Okay fakes, you might fool us with your gritty charm from time to time, but we know everyone has a bad day. Real badasses will reveal their good, bad and ugly…. and that means, yes… they in fact, fail. They fail so bad sometimes, they will be found in the middle of the floor crying like a kid without cake. (not that I know anything about that) The real badass isn’t afraid to fail. In fact, if you aren’t failing…. you aint’ showing up.
3. A real badass creates | A fake badass steals
I have always believed that original creatives are the backbones of the universe. (I’m mean look at me) <wink> To be a creative is to almost be cursed, because once you open that palate of paint that crap gets everywhere. It’s really hard being creative all the time, but whats worse…. is showing your creative ass to the world so everyone can tell you how lame your stuff is. The fake badass will create too…. absolutely, but they will steal in order to do it and do so because someone else made all the mistakes for them. This is brilliant in many ways because the fake badass will never look like an idiot or appear to fail. Hey, we all “steal” in some regards… because we all want to be inspired and people have some good-ass ideas. But some of you won’t even change the message or marketing, the words or the vibe, or the look or the tune of what you’re doing. One word: #knockitoff <— yeah, I cheated
4. A fake badass is quiet | a real badass speaks up
I see that stupid poster all the time “a badass sits back quietly while everyone else goes on talking” or whatever the hell it says. This nonetheless was written by a fake badass looking for attention. The truth is, the fake badass doesn’t have the answer, so they have to be quiet for fear of looking “not in the know.” A real badass really could give two licks if they’re wrong, because they have been wrong before and they’re okay with it. Notice I didn’t say a real badass is loud…. for good measure. A real badass isn’t loud, they just know when to “speak up” and when not to. A fake badass is loud when they FINALLY have a damn thing to say and they say it with such gusto that it sounds fake and over the top.
5. A real badass makes it about “us” | A fake badass makes it about “me”
This is also the definition of a persuader vs. a manipulator (thank you Bob Burg) A real badass isn’t winning unless those around them are also winning. Therefore, the real badass tends to make it about “us.” The only time the real badass won’t do this…. is when they’ve gotten “burned”… (well, burned a couple times, because they will give people too many chances) and then all bets are off… and “you can go play in traffic.” A fake badass is really only about themselves…. they make sure everyone knows how badass they are, how exclusive they are and how unstoppable they are, without you. (oh please, let me be friends with that)
6. A fake badass is untouchable | a real badass is approachable
A fake badass likes to play things mysterious so they can keep people interested in them. Why is that? Well, the truth is, the fake badass has 1 of 2 things going on…. 1…. they have NOTHING going on and they have to generate interest with being mysterious or 2…… they are plotting to unleash some type of fire on their target(s). The faker knows that people love someone who acts like a badass… people are inspired by rebels…. but be prepared, you won’t be invited to join that club. (we wear pink on Wednesday) The real badass tells you to wear pink on Wednesday and challenges you to come up with an amazing look. You see, a real badass isn’t threatened by people who can do (enter super skill here) better then them, they actually hook up with said skilled person and create an allegiance… making them approachable. I will warn you though, the real badass will say farewell to a skilled person if they aren’t “the right” person/ job/ situation…. because they know life is too short to deal with stupid ass s#$&.
7. A real badass embraces weakness | a fake badass rejects weakness
A real badass might embrace weakness because they have learned some good lessons from being weak themselves. Rather than running away from pain and uncomfortable stuff (which tends to make people feel weak)…. real badasses tend to run straight at it so they can get it over with. The fake bad ass will evade, deflect and even ignore confrontation because the know they have likely had a role in the conflict…. and, it makes them feel weak to admit their wrongs. No one likes to be wrong… but a real badass will seek communication and understanding, whereas the fake badass will seek a hiding place until everyone forgets.
8. A fake badass glares | A real badass stares
The faker doesn’t glare because they are “mean”….. they glare because they are jealous when they see true badass behavior, knowing it shows them up. No, really I’ve seen this go down as a third party and it was super interesting. It was interesting because when you watch someone who plays a badass roll (faker) but get blind-sided by the way they “glare” at someone…. it becomes very clear that “said badass” is a phony. A real badass won’t glare…. but they will stare. Why? Well, when witnessing bad ass behavior, the real badass is studying… like some kind of personal anthropological exercise is underway. Badasses will learn from one another, fakes will pick each other a part.
9. A fake badass calculates | a real badass just jumps
Fake badasses need plenty of time to calculate their plans so they don’t get shown up, outsmarted or embarrassed. They will try to make their calculating behavior seem like the smarter choice by spotlighting the opposite behavior in others, as means of protection for their own shortcomings. <— that is some deep as s#$&…. and I’m out of shovels. A real badass however, will throw idea after idea out into the universe because they know (especially in today’s environment) the competition is thick…. and they want to get through as many ideas as they possibility can so the fails can be trashed. After all, why spend more time on that s&%# when you could spend more energy on s&*% that really works! A real badass doesn’t have time to spend on a masterpiece, only to find out it was a total flop.
10. A fake bad ass is a one trick pony | A real badass has a horse ranch
Fakes can be talented…. absolutely, but they tend to do one thing well. That was fine (like 10 years ago) but in today’s fast paced world…. you need to be multi-talented and creative. The one trick pony just doesn’t have longevity and will fizzle out on their one good idea. A real badass will build a ranch and collect a crap-ton of horses. (even busted ass horses with like, hoof rot and mange) because they see potential in everything. You see, even if the real badass has only one “thing” going on…. they will figure out a way to turn it into a crap-ton of other “things.” Some of these things will thrive and others will die…. but their ability to take that journey is what makes them true badasses.
The archaic image of a badass riding in on a Harley drinking whiskey from a bottle and getting into a bar brawl are over. The real bad ass will ride in on whatever damn motorcycle they want, have a glass of wine and hit asshats with their wit. The old model of admiring the fake badass’s edgy behavior are just that, old. I do believe it’s time to lift up the real badasses… they are the ones who are busy trying to make you one of them!