I used to spend my childhood reading all day, every day. However, once I started college, things changed. This past summer, I recently got back on the reading train (finally!) and wanted to share with you 10 self-help books that have changed my life. As most of you know, I am one year away from being a licensed counselor. Because of my love of self-improvement related topics, the counselor in me has been dying to share these great reads with you!
1.) On Becoming Fearless…in Love, Work, and Life
I personally love Arianna Huffington, and this is by far my favorite book of hers. She examines how fear affects our lives and limits us from daring to achieve greatness. Written with her daughters in mind, Ms. Huffington talks about her own experiences, as well as drawing experiences from others, that will transform your idea of fear. Ultimately, she will inspire you to be fearless in love, work, and life in general.
2.) The Happiness Project
Gretchen Rubin woke up one morning and decided that she wasn’t as happy as she knew she was capable of being. Thus, she started a 12 month long self titled “Happiness Project,” in which she shows you how it’s possible to take action steps toward being more happy. I loved this book because it was more of a personal narrative than a psychology textbook, which are less common among the traditional research-filled self-help books. Rubin will inspire you to dive into what makes you personally happy, and may even go as far as helping you to create your own Happiness Project!
3.) The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
This might be my favorite book on the list. I LOVE Brené Brown; she speaks right to the heart. In this life-changing book, Ms. Brown talks about how imperfection shapes us; how the more vulnerable and self-aware we are, the more likely we are to live a wholehearted life. I kid you not, I dang near highlighted the entire book.
4.) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
An oldie, but goodie. When I was in middle school, I was required to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, and I fell in love with it. Recently, I read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and it was world-shifting. I use the action-based principles taught in this book daily, and the habits have stayed with me throughout the years.
5.) You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
Okay, so right off the bat, the title of this book attracted me, and it did not disappoint. This book is for the person who just can’t seem to get their shiz together. You Are a Badass will help you change self-sabotaging behaviors, inspire you to love yourself more, and help you to finally reach those goals. Essentially, the book reminds you of how freakin’ awesome you are, in case you need the reminder. (Don’t we all!)
6.) The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
Okay, so I’m not sure if this book would exactly qualify as “self-help,” but I’m going to throw it in this list anyways because this book has been a miracle worker for our relationship. In case you aren’t aware of what the 5 Love Languages are, Chapman breaks down how we all essentially love five different ways: Through words of affirmation (compliments or words of encouragement); quality time (your partner’s undivided attention); receiving gifts (symbols of love, like flowers); acts of service (setting the table); physical touch (intimacy.) You can read all about what YOUR love language is, what your PARTNER’S love language is, and how you can please one another according to that love language.
7.) I Thought It Was Just Me (BUT IT ISN’T): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy and Power
Oh, Brené. This book reminds us that our imperfections are what makes us human, and our vulnerabilities remind us that we are alive and in this together. This book will ultimately help you let go of the idea of perfectionism and encourage you to love yourself exactly how you are.
8.) Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
I’ve talked about this before, but I LOVE Thrive. Huffington writes how she had a wakeup call when she collapsed and landed herself in the hospital because of exhaustion and sleep-deprivation. This inspired her to think about what we are doing with out lives; we are so connected, sleep-deprivied, and obsessed with power & money. But does this really bring us happiness?
9.) The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know
One of my readers actually recommended this book to me after she read my post 5 Ways to be More Confident, and I’m so happy that she did! This book discusses how even though working women are more educated and qualified, they still let men walk all over them in the corporate world. Why? Kay & Shipman argue that women lack confidence. Ladies, this book was written for you. It’s so filled with gender facts, practical advice women and more to inspire you to dominate in the workforce.
10.) The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: The Definitive Work on Self-Esteem by the Leading Pioneer in the Field
Let’s face it: Self-esteem is something that almost all of us struggle with at one point. This is a MUST-READ especially for any parents with young kids. Brandon provides clear guidelines for teachers, parents, managers, and therapists who are responsible for developing the self-esteem of others, and shows you how important self-esteem is throughout our journey in life.
What are some of your favorite self-help books? Leave me a comment below!
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