There was a time a few years ago when I read nothing but self-help books. Finally, I grew out of that little phase and now mix my reading up with fiction, historical fiction, memoirs, business books and also self-help books.
Don’t get me wrong, I love reading books about how others became successful and ways that I can adapt to their habits and also become successful myself, but I also love mixing it up with some fiction too.
Below are the best self-help books I’ve read and I’m hoping over 2021 to include even more self-help books in my year round-up as I want to better myself and improve on things I’m not well educated in.
If you would like to know what I read in 2020, you can find that here and you can also find my first monthly round-up of 2021 here.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
A revolutionary system to get 1 per cent better every day. People think when you want to change your life, you need to think big. But world-renowned habits expert James Clear has discovered another way. He knows that real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions – doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call. He calls them atomic habits. In this ground-breaking book, Clears reveals exactly how these minuscule changes can grow into such life-altering outcomes. He uncovers a handful of simple life hacks (the forgotten art of Habit Stacking, the unexpected power of the Two Minute Rule, or the trick to entering the Goldilocks Zone), and delves into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience to explain why they matter.
My rating: ★★★★★
This is one of the best self-help books I’ve ever read. There are so many things to learn from this book, but it’s so brilliantly written. There are models you would see in textbooks, references to psychologists and even some mathematical formulas, but James Clear makes it so easy to understand. This book has made me change the way I look at my own habits and also the habits that I wish to employ in my every day life. I now know some steps to follow if I want to make those habits stick and also how to get rid of habits that don’t benefit me or my life.
Ladies Get Paid by Claire Wasserman [Gifted]
Filled with Claire’s personal stories and straightforward advice, this is a must-read for anyone who wants to take their career to the next level. If you’re looking to get a raise, navigate a promotion, or break the glass ceiling, Ladies Get Paid will show you how. Part how-to guide, part manifesto, Ladies Get Paid encourages the self-advocacy and activism that will help you close the gender pay gap and take the power back in your career.
My rating: ★★★★★
I’ve been questioning my own career of late; am I where I want to be right now? Is this what I want to be doing for the next year or more? Does this job fulfil my passion? Reading this book made me realize that I shouldn’t settle for what I don’t deserve when it comes to my career, and as a woman, I need to speak up in the workplace and make sure that I am treated as an equal to my male counterparts. Ladies Get Paid features different stories from various women in the working world who faced discrimination, toxic managers, salary-bias and racism. We are in the year 2021. Women before us fought for us to be at the same table as male CEOs and Executives, yet we still represent such a small percentage of this number. Progress still needs to be made and we cannot settle for less than we deserve.
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
In this book, you’ll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life – money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You’ll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that’s within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life. The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers – men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.
My rating: ★★★★★
If you read any book from the ones that I recommend, please read this one. Before you blow it off as witchcraft or absolute waffle – just try it. I’m a huge believer in the Law of Attraction and practice it quite a lot. I kind of wish this book had come into my life much sooner, but I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today or had the experiences I’ve had if it wasn’t for practising the Law of Attraction. I owe everything to it. Trust me, you need to know the secret and once you do, you’ll watch your own life change for the better.
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-travelling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want. Create a life you totally love and create it NOW. Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before. By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.
My rating: ★★★★★
I loved this book. It’s definitely one of the best motivational books I’ve read in a long time. It was an easy read and cut the crap about why we aren’t being our best selves, why we procrastinate and gives you the motivation to get your life in order.
What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey
From all of Oprah’s life experiences, she has gleaned life lessons – which, for fourteen years, she’s shared in O, The OprahMagazine’s widely popular ‘What I Know For Sure’ column, a monthly source of inspiration and revelation. Now, for the first time, these thoughtful gems have been revised, updated, and collected in What I Know For Sure, a beautiful book packed with insight and revelation from Oprah Winfrey. Organized by theme – joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power – these essays offer a rare, powerful and intimate glimpse into the heart and mind of one of the world’s most extraordinary women, while providing readers a guide to becoming their best selves.
My rating: ★★★★★
I adored this book. It was such an easy read that I read it in two days. The book is made of short columns that Oprah has written over the years for her O Magazine, giving an insight into her extravagant life, her connections to the Universe, her love for meditation and love for friends and family. It’s an uplifting book that I return to time and time again for motivation.
#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso
Filled with brazen wake-up calls, cunning and frank observations, and behind-the-scenes stories from Nasty Gal’s meteoric rise, #GIRLBOSS covers a lot of ground. It proves that success doesn’t come from where you went to college or how popular you were in school. Success is about trusting your instincts and following your gut, knowing which rules to follow and which to break. Inspiring, motivating and empowering, #GIRLBOSS will give you the kick up the ass you need to reach your potential.
My rating: ★★★★★
I think this must have been one of the first ever ‘self-help’ books that I read because it’s always stuck with me and I read it every single year. I specifically remember the first time I read it. It was Christmas 2016 when I had just started my blog three months previous. The book gave me the kick-up-the-ass that I greatly needed to take my blog seriously and really try to make something of myself. If ever I need that kick-up-the-ass again, I always return to this book.
How to Be An Overnight Success by Maria Hatzistefanis
Fashion-loving Maria set out with a dream to build a beauty business and – despite not excelling at school, and being fired from her first job – she has achieved it. She did it by dreaming big, working hard, surrounding herself with the best, taking risks, creating buzz and building her own personal brand, which is now a favourite with high-profile models and media personalities including Poppy Delevingne, Daisy Lowe and Kylie Jenner. Crucially, she believes anyone can do this and her book, brimming with good sense, great advice, tips and secrets – all presented in an easy, friendly style – shows how.
My rating: ★★★★★
Some of the best books you can read are by those that have gone before you and created incredible success for themselves. Maria may have been an ‘overnight success’ in the eyes of the media, but she will tell you that overnight success came from ten years of hard work. If you put the work in behind the scenes and don’t give up, you too can have the success you desire.
Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
In this lively, practical, and inspiring book, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone, from a plumber to a professional ice skater, will know exactly how to amplify his or her personal brand on each. He offers both theoretical and tactical advice on how to become the biggest thing on old standbys like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat; podcast platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and iTunes; and other emerging platforms such as Musical.ly. For those with more experience, Crushing It! illuminates some little-known nuances and provides innovative tips and clever tweaks proven to enhance more common tried-and-true strategies. Crushing It! is a state-of-the-art guide to building your own path to professional and financial success, but it’s not about getting rich. It’s a blueprint to living life on your own terms.
My rating: ★★★★
I really enjoyed Gary’s book that focuses on different social media platforms and how to crush it on each. The books gives examples from real-life people that have used Gary’s advice to make it big on social media and how they’ve elevated their businesses, quit their day-jobs and become online influencers through digital marketing and putting themselves out there on different social platforms. This was my first read of Gary Vee’s and I think I might have needed to read Gary’s first book Crush It in order to get the most out of this one.
Mindset by Carol Dweck
World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea-the power of our mindset. Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success-but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals-personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.
My rating: ★★★★
I’m a huge believer in your mindset being your most important asset. I always preach about the importance of mindset and how to change your mindset to be more positive and optimistic. This book taught me that there are two types of mindset – a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. The growth mindset looks at challenges with a positive attitude. On the other hand, a person with a fixed mindset avoids tough challenges as they don’t want to fail or appear inadequate. From what I can tell, growth minded people are open minded people. They want to learn, are open to new viewpoints and being wrong. I know that I have both growth and fixed mindset attributes and in different circumstances. I am a mix of the two, but this book has helped me find ways to switch to a growth mindset when I usually find myself in the fixed mindset. It’s a great book to learn more about mindset and also the mindset of sports stars, business leaders and every day people like you and me.
So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
Inspired by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ famous Stanford University commencement speech in which Jobs urges idealistic grads to chase their dreams, Newport takes issue with that advice, claiming that not only is this advice Pollyannish, but that Jobs himself never followed his own advice. From there, Newport presents compelling scientific and contemporary case study evidence that the key to one’s career success is to find out what you do well, where you have built up your “career capital,” and then to put all of your efforts into that direction.
My rating: ★★★★
I borrowed this book from my flatmate, wanting to read it ever since I saw it on his bedside table. The title of the book is one of my favourite quotes. It’s a quote by Steve Martin, the actor and comedian. The book talks about not doing what you love for a living. Instead of following your passion, follow your skills. In my humble opinion, I think you can do both. You can be passionate about the skills that you possess in a certain industry. I believe that you can have your dream job if you really want it.
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
You no longer need to work nine-to-five in a big company to pay the mortgage, send your kids to school and afford that yearly holiday. You can quit the rat race and start up on your own – and you don’t need an MBA or a huge investment to do it. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau is your manual to a new way of living.
Learn how to:
– Earn a good living on your own terms, when and where you want
– Achieve that perfect blend of passion and income to make work something you love
– Take crucial insights from 50 ordinary people who started a business with $100 or less
– Spend less time working and more time living your life
My rating: ★★★★
A relatively short book but filled with a lot of great information. The book showcased many examples of businesses that started by accident, that started by transferring online or by turning a hobby into a full-time job. I personally felt quite inspired by the book and took some things away that I can implement into my own projects. The overall message from the book that I took away was that a lot of these entrepreneurs were working in very high-paying jobs but took large pay-cuts to work in their hobbies instead, because money doesn’t equal happiness. Especially when it’s in a job that you plan to do for the rest of your life. Often, it is worth the risk to do something you love and put all of your passion and energy into it.
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
What if you could wake up tomorrow and any—or EVERY—area of your life was beginning to transform? What would you change? The Miracle Morning is already transforming the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world by showing them how to wake up each day with more ENERGY, MOTIVATION, and FOCUS to take your life to the next level. It’s been right here in front of us all along, but this book has finally brought it to life.
My rating: ★★★
In his book, Hal Elrod gives a list of six S.A.V.E.R.S to include in the first hour of your morning routine; Silence, Affirmation, Visualisation, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing. Of those, I currently do one. When I first read the book, I wasn’t very motivated or expecting my life to change. I vowed to start waking up 30 minutes earlier at 7.30am in December, then progressing to 7am in January – both of which I did. Now that we’re in February, I now wake up at 6.30am every morning, reading for an hour before starting to work on my blog, before then starting my day of work. At the time, I didn’t think this book would have a big effect on me, but something clearly stuck subconsciously.
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