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Best Self Help Books for Personal Growth

Updated: Jan 11

In the quest for personal growth and self-improvement, books can be our most trusted companions. They have the power to challenge our perspectives, reshape our habits, and inspire transformation.

In this blog post, we delve into the world of self-help literature, exploring four remarkable books that have the potential to change your life and encourage personal growth. From Adam Grant's thought-provoking "Think Again" to James Clear's practical "Atomic Habits," Daniel Priestley's insightful "Oversubscribed," and the profound conversations on resilience in "What Happened to You?" by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey, these books offer unique insights and guidance on various aspects of self-improvement.

A jubilant person at the top of a mountain in the clouds
Best Self Help Books

Best Self-Help Books

Match with Blue flame

Think Again by Adam Grant

The concept behind this book is to challenge yourself to think like a scientist at all times (with personal life, work life, finances). It encourages you to not stay committed to something based on only the facts that you had previously but instead, to take new information into consideration as it becomes available. Here's a perfect example: decades ago, doctors thought it was ok for pregnant women to smoke. You can even find advertisements showing it to be cool and accepted. However, as the medical community learned more, the habit is no longer viewed as healthy for the unborn child and many people have changed their actions in light of the new information.

This is a great book for adults (and even teens approaching college years) to read because it explains how our decisions should change based on the facts. If what you had wanted when you were 20 years old no longer suits you, or a belief has changed, don't stick with it just out of principal. When you change your mind it doesn't mean you are a failure, instead, it means you are embracing the new data available to you and are pivoting based on that information... and that is growth!

I love the suggestion to evaluate decisions yearly or even more frequently. This process is applicable to all areas of life and can truly bring greater knowledge, understanding and happiness!

Book Title - Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits by James Clear

I've always been pretty good about developing good habits and skipping past bad ones - it was interesting to learn more about why things stick the way they do. He gives lots of great examples. The concepts provided can be translated into work life or personal life and he breaks it down step by step.

James suggests looking for small wins when developing habits and maintaining them. It's also very important to not put so much emphasis on the goal. Instead, the emphasis should be on the systems and the processes as that's where the progress lies. This also helps to alleviate the "what next" feeling that often accompanies accomplishing a goal. One example he used is training for a marathon. If you spend 5 months solely focusing on that one day, when it's over, you'll often experience a type of let down after the initial excitement wears off. However, if you trained those months with the intention of simply being a better runner, you've created a habit that will continue well beyond the marathon.

Artistic rendering of a person

The book was written in a very conversational manner (I also had the audio - so you listen as Oprah and the Bruce D Perry, MD PHD have great discussions). It was full of stories that elicit so many feelings. Stories that I've already repeated to my husband and sons.

One key point is that people's behavior is based on trauma that occurred in their past. Timing of when a person experiences trauma also plays a huge role with earlier experiences often having a bigger impact as the brain is just developing during infancy and childhood. So even though a 2 year old may not remember a specific event, they may still have issues associated with that trauma.

"We elicit from the world what we project into the world; but what you project is based upon what happened to you as a child." -Bruce D Perry, MD PHD

We need to change the mindset of even well intentioned people from asking "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?". This doesn't excuse any current behavior, but what it DOES do is get down to the source of the issue so that healing can begin.

The book also discusses how the people around the individual contribute to the success in healing. When in a loved and stable environment, that person is more primed to heal. With those key factors absent, a person may fall down a bad path. Drinking or drug use can become a way to "regulate" their despair and get into a neutral feeling that the mind and body craves, causing addictions and further issues. Or if they are young, they may act out, often getting misdiagnosed.

Understanding what a person has been through can also help understand their triggers. We've all heard of how those that fought in war struggle with fireworks - the sound is a trigger in the brainstem and reactions occur before the cortex can make sense of the reality of the situation. Smells and sights can do the same. The response can be two different extremes - for some, their heart rate goes up and Fight/flight mode engaged. For others, when they get triggered by something related to their trauma, their heart rate drops (can even pass out) as their body has been trained to send painkiller (opioids) to protect the body and prepare for injury.

As a society, we can do better.

Instead of being quick to label, we can slow down and ask questions. The child that was a straight A student until 4th grade and then turned into a miscreant??? Maybe a close relative died or something happened, something that they just haven't learned how to heal from as of yet.

I encourage parents, educators, managers to read this book. If nothing else, perhaps it will encourage more empathy.

As an added bonus, if you've ever experienced a trauma, this book may be able to help you continue to heal as it did with me.

An abundance of people lined up

This book gives great examples of how to drive interest in your product/service. This is a great read and provides highly relevant content for any entrepreneur, business owner, sales rep, or even social media influencers.

One obvious example of where some people are doing this right and others just haven't gotten the hang of it yet (or simply don't understand HOW to build interest in their product or service) is with hairstylists. If you've been getting your hair done for years, you know the difference. You've got the person that you can call on a whim and they can get you in that day or week. And then you've got the stylist that is booked months out; the one that you make sure you've booked your next appointment before you leave otherwise you know you'll never get in.

Oversubscribed talks about the approach to your book of business or your sales that stops discounting your offer and puts you in a position to be in much higher demand. By being in higher demand, in general, also means that you are able to earn more because you are setting your rates as an established, highly sought after and experienced person and because your schedule is full.

Best Self Help Books - Conclusion

As we conclude this exploration of some of the best self-help books, it's clear that personal growth is a journey filled with insights, challenges, and moments of profound transformation. Each of the four books reviewed here brings its own perspective and wisdom to the table, offering valuable lessons that can help you think more critically, build better habits, achieve business success, and navigate the complexities of trauma and healing.

The power of these books lies not only in the knowledge they impart but in the potential for personal growth and positive change they unlock. So, whether you're looking to refine your mindset, enhance your habits, or explore the depths of resilience and healing, these books are your trusted companions on the path to becoming your best self. Happy reading!

The covers of four recommended best self help books
Best Self Help Books

More Book Recommendations!

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Note: At no additional cost to you, you will find affiliate links in this blog to loved products. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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3 Kommentare

18. Sept. 2023

Great recommendations, especially atomic habits speaks to me! :)

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18. Sept. 2023

These are all great suggestions especially the trauma book What Happened To you!

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17. Sept. 2023

I've heard of Atomic Habits, but the other books are new to me. Thanks for the recommendations!

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