Before I decided to start investing in personal development, my mindset was all over the place. I started my personal growth journey in late spring of 2015, right after I graduated college. On the outside I seemed like I had it together and was on a successful path. I graduated college Cum Laude and had a job in my dream industry lined up. To most I had it made. However, after I graduated, and things started to slow down, and I had nothing to do, all my emotions hit me like a ton of bricks. During this time of having nothing to do, I found myself depressed. I finally let myself grieve all that I had lost in just a couple months and it wasn’t pretty. My mindset needed a serious reset. Reading books like the ones I listed below helped me develop what I like to call a “bossed up” mindset. This list of books is for people looking to expand their mindset in ways most people won’t.
1. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
This book has helped me tremendously with seeing my value! I’ve accepted that my battle with self-doubt will be a lifetime one but there are ways to remind yourself of your greatness. This can include having self-mantras, keeping a log of nice things people have said, keeping a list of your accomplishments, or a playlist of videos that makes you feel powerful. In this book, best-selling author and success coach Jen Sincero, explains her journey with overcoming self-doubt in a humorous and simple way. After reading this book, you’ll walk away with greatly improved confidence and basking in your brilliance. Because you are brilliant, I know it and deep down you know it too.
2. More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth
Reading this book made me feel like I was reading a story about myself. I can relate to Elaine’s story so much! Elaine managed to become the Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue by age 30, yet throughout it all she struggled with feeling like she was enough. In her book, she discusses her journey. She unpacks profound lessons on race, identity, power, ambition, love and finding her voice. After reading this you’ll feel ready to face fear and persevere towards your goals.
3. Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop
If you couldn’t tell by the title, this book is for action takers! This book is the harsh truth you don’t want to hear but need to. Best-selling author and life coach Gary Bishop show you exactly how to silence that lying inner critic and strive for something better. Except a lot of curse words and advice on how to get unstuck. This book will remind you that all the answers you seek are already within you, you just have to extract them.
4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
Blogger and author Mark Manson believes that life’s struggles give it meaning, and that the mindless positivity of typical self-help books is neither practical nor helpful. His unconventional approach to self-help is what made me want to read this book. Mark believes that our ability to turn lemons into lemonade is not what improves our lives. Instead he argues that we need to get better at stomaching lemons. Meaning just reframing your thoughts to be more positive won’t do the trick but learning to become better at dealing with adversity will be life changing. After reading this book, you’ll feel more comfortable confronting your painful truths and moving forward.
5. Disrupt-Her: A Manifesto for the Modern Woman by Miki Agrawal
I posted a review of this book on Instagram that led me to meet the author, who is an entrepreneur I admire. Don’t believe me, click here for proof. I love Miki’s perspective on creatively disrupting an industry and I was enlightened by her way of thinking. As the creator of innovative companies like Thinx and hellotushy, she knows a thing or two about how to identify what’s no longer serving us and create new things that will. This book is perfect for women seeking to radically question the status quo. After reading this, you’ll start questioning a lot of things in your life and start to seek better.
6. Year Of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhime
Can you imagine pushing yourself to say yes to all the opportunities that come your way for an entire year? As someone who loves social experiments like this, I certainly am up for the challenge. Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder reveals an intimate perspective into her life and how saying yes for a chance altered her life. After reading this book, you’ll feel compelled to say yes to more “scary” opportunities. This book made me reevaluate times where I said no because of fear. After reading this I chose to say yes more often. Like to a new job, to starting my blog, and to hosting my own networking events.
7. The ONE Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan
This book was challenging for me to read. As a multi-passionate and multi-talented person, I struggle with picking one thing to focus on. If you struggle with that as well, I see you and I know how you feel. This book will be a game changer for you. Real estate moguls Gary and Jay discuss how focusing on one thing helped them cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, lower stress, overcome that overwhelmed feeling and stay on track. After reading this book, you’ll understand why focusing on your one thing will enhance your overall well-being including your work, personal, family and spiritual aspects of your life.
8. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
Carol is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of personality, social psychology and developmental psychology. This book will help you understand how your brain works, how certain moments in your life have defined how you view certain things and how you can develop a growth mindset, despite any adversity that you’ve been through. If you’re not into reading books that reference research findings, you may not enjoy this one. I love reading about scientific findings and how it affects our behavior, that’s probably why I work in the marketing field. After reading this book, you’ll have a better understanding of the difference between a fixed and growth mindset and how you can acquire a growth mindset in all aspects of your life. It’s not our abilities or talents that lead us to success but rather our mindset. If more people understand the power of their mind, the world would be a MUCH better place.
9. Best Self: Be You, Only Better by Mike Bayer
I’m starting to realize that I really love books written by life coaches. This one is full of tangible advice! Not only does Mike teach you about how to improve various aspects of your life but he provides activities to drill the principles into your head. I promise if you actually do the exercises (I had to push myself to do them) you’ll become more self-aware than you’ve ever been. You’ll start to understand your habits and figure out how to live authentically. He discusses each of the spheres of your life including your social life, personal life, health, education, relationships, employment and spiritual development.
10. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
Brené Brown is my spirit animal. Reading her books is what taught me the importance of being vulnerable and how to reframe shame and choose courage instead. She explains throughout the book that every time we are introduced to someone new, try to be creative, or start a difficult conversation, we take a risk. We feel uncertain and exposed. We feel vulnerable. Most of us try to fight those feelings because we strive to appear perfect. When there is no perfect person or perfect time and waiting for things to feel perfect will only damage our life experiences. She discusses why numbing your sadness also numbs your joy and how to embrace all of your emotions. This is a must read, you won’t perceive your emotions in the same way after reading this book. I’m so grateful to have read this early on in my personal development journey.