More than anything, activist, author, and girl-power guru, Alexis Jones, wants you to know that you’re a beautiful bad-ass. “Our physical beauty is just one slice of the pie that makes us truly beauty-full,” Jones says, digging the word play.
“Until we start to value our compassion, sense of humor, integrity, creativity, grace, resilience, intelligence, and boldness—among so many other smoking-hot attributes—we’ll all struggle with feeling like we’re enough,” adds the author of I Am That Girl, a result of Jones’ global campaign that empowers women to fully express themselves.
Brimming with advice about self-love, the book’s been endorsed by Jones’s famous friends, like Hilary Duff, Kristen Bell, and Sophia Bush—who penned the book’s forward—as well as Kate Bosworth and Bryce Dallas Howard. (And Jones herself had a TV moment as a Survivor contestant.)
But, of course, embracing your bad-assness is sometimes easier said than done, which is why Jones shared eight tips, which are expanded upon in the pages of her new book, to help all of us see ourselves as the bold, brave, and yes, “beauty-full” woman we aspire to be. —Jamie McKillop
1. Be a “passionista.” First thing’s first: Sit down and really ask yourself, What do I want and what makes me happy? “You’ll only find your passion if you search and fight to discover it,” Jones writes. “You have to get out there in the world and do things that scare you.”
2. Be first. Skipping something you love (The gym? A massage? Girls’ night?) to keep open to plans with your significant other isn’t helping either of you. “When being selfless becomes so automatic that your instinct is to think of others first and you second, you’ve lost grasp of who you are and what you need,” Jones says. You are the priority.
3. Be hard-core. That job application you still haven’t finished? Do it. “Idleness prevents us from reaching our potential,” Jones explains. Keep your work ethic in check and stop making excuses.
4. Be unpopular. It’s more than okay to be the friend who orders a salad at a burger joint (or vice versa)—and that applies to far bigger things, too. “Stop worrying so much about the naysayers and surround yourself with people who support your dreams,” she says.
5. Be bold. Dream big, then challenge yourself to chase that dream. “The people who have done, seen, and accomplished amazing things in this world have done them not because they lack fear, but in spite of it,” Jones says.
6. Be resilient. A break-up? Work troubles? “It is precisely when everything as we know it is turned upside down that we have the opportunity to evolve,” Jones counsels. “Life is about moving through those obstacles with grace— and sometimes that involves clenched fists, a tear-streaked face, and some four-letter words.” Buy some (natural) waterproof mascara and keep on keeping on.
7. Be a sponge. When Jones graduated from college, she “cold-called 20 female executives in the entertainment industry,” looking for guidance, she says. “To my surprise, not just one or two, but all of the women called me back.” In a week, she’d nabbed 20 interviews with some of the most powerful and influential women in Hollywood. The lesson? Be brave in tracking down a mentor, then make it a point to soak up his or her knowledge.
8. Be of service. Actually do those Flywheel charity rides, or that 5K-for-a-cause you’ve been meaning to sign up for. True fulfillment requires more than “the right husband, perfect children, your dream job, or the perfect body,” Jones says. “When we’re pouring out our heart and serving others, we find the ingredients of real joy and wholeness.”