5 Life-Changing Books on Personal Growth

There are a number of self-improvement books out in the market. I have read my fair share and there’s no doubt that another author will come out with a new and improved way of dishing out the same information in a different form. Out of all the books I have read so far, there are a select few I would recommend to a friend.

I have read and listened to the following books a few times and each time I take away something new. The following is a list of my favorite books on personal growth. You know, the stuff that makes us better humans. Changing yourself for the better can be painful, but it also makes you a stronger person in the process. If you have a book you’d like to recommend, please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

#1 – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- Stephen R. Covey

“Habits are powerful factors in our lives. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily express our character and produce our effectiveness… or ineffectiveness.”- Stephen R. Covey

It has also been said that everyday we are either taking one step closer to our goal or taking a step away from our goal. We have the ability to change our habits for better or worse, so why not choose new good habits now. As long as we live on this earth we have the ability to say to ourselves that we are never too old to change.

#2- The Success Princples- Jack Canfield

“If you assume in favor of yourself and act as if it is possible, then you will do the things that are necessary to bring about the result. If you believe it is impossible, you will not do what is necessary, and you will not produce the result. It becomes a self-fulling prophecy.”- Jack Canfield

I haven’t read any of his books that made him famous (i.e. Chicken Soup for the Soul), but this stands out as one of my favorites. He provides particular success principles in bite size form to make it easier to apply in your life.

#3- The Untethered Soul- Michael A. Singer

“Everyone knows you can’t deal well with a situation if you’re getting anxious, scared, or angry about it. The first problem you have to deal with is your own reactions.”- Michael A. Singer

When you are able to see your feelings for what they are, you will be able to take a step back and realize they are just feelings. Remembering that you are not your feelings is one of the steps towards an untethered soul.

#4- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck- Mark Manson

“Because happiness requires struggle…Real, serious, lifelong fulfillment and meaning have to be earned through the choosing and managing of our struggles.”- Mark Manson

He also talks about in length how we go about dealing with our problems. The first is denial and the second is the victim mentality. How do you deal with your problems? I can see how easy it is to blame others for our problems and from my own experience I can see how denial made it appear to solve my problems. Little did I know, I wasn’t dealing with my problems I was compounding my issues.

#5- You are a Badass- Jen Sincero

“You need to raise your frequency to match the vibration of the one you want to tune into”- Jen Sincero

Believing in ourselves has got to be one of the most challenging aspects of living this life. We all have different life experiences, but we can all agree that negative talk comes from what we hear in our own heads. See for yourself how raising your frequency in a positive way can change your day. I didn’t believe it until I applied it in my life. Like attracts like. If you continually focus on the negative things occurring in your life that is exactly what you’ll attract. Positive vibrations will attract positive events and people into your life.

Self-Awareness: Getting My Shine On

I learned about the term “glow-up” from my 17-year old daughter, Lexy. Wiktionary defined it as “the complete transformation in a person’s appearance for the better.” I have also learned that glow-ups are easier than what I have on my mind.  Is there a term for someone looking to change their inner appearance?

I can be quick to dole out advice to another, but if you are like me it is difficult to take when someone else is providing constructive feedback. You may get upset and slam a few doors in the process, but if you allow some time to quiet your mind, you will be surprised at what you will find within yourself.  If you want to become a better person, you need to become more self-aware. Here are some helpful ideas worth mentioning.

  1. The Daily Shine Podcast

During the week I listen to a daily podcast called “The Daily Shine.” It has me practicing ways I can become more self-aware. I like to take notes while I’m listening. I used to do it by pen and paper but found it more helpful to use my sticky notes app. All I can say is to keep listening, learning, and applying. You really aren’t learning if you don’t put it into action. 

Becoming self-aware has its own set of challenges. When I turn it into daily practice, my days turn into an arduous climb. I like to imagine that it is like someone messing with the incline on your virtual treadmill. I have to constantly put what I have learned into action. Unfortunately, my reactionary impulses are terribly on point. My breathing becomes short, I can feel a pounding in my chest and all I want to do is scream. I become agitated easily and provoked into unnecessary arguments. The term “mama bear’ I now realize, needn’t apply to the overprotective mom.

I know that a contributing factor to my mama bear tendencies is sleep deprivation. I have a hard time taking a nap as suggested by healthcare providers when they say, “When baby sleeps, you sleep.” I nod and smile, but it doesn’t work that way in my house. When Kylie is sleeping, I’m thinking about all the things I need to be doing or want to be doing. My want could be as simple as painting my nails (I like looking at freshly painted fingernails when I’m writing). Sleep is something I miss terribly. It is the uninterrupted sleep I crave nightly. As soon as I shut my eyes, Kylie starts clearing her throat, providing me fair warning that she is about to lose it. I appreciate that she doesn’t go from 0-100 like her sister, Brooklyn. It is a constant lesson I am learning: Not becoming my emotions which brings me to a second helpful idea.

2. The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

My husband, Lexy, and I have read it. Self-awareness can go a long way into strengthening that inner muscle of controlling your emotions. It isn’t right to go off on my family because of my lack of sleep. It comes down to reigning in my own emotions with no excuses. Take some time to read this one and refer back to it often. There are times in the day when I seek peace and quiet, but I know that it isn’t a possibility.  How do I find stillness in the midst of a storm i.e., crying babies and the times when the older kids aren’t getting along? The tapping technique is helpful but I always return to deep breathing for long term effectiveness. Singer will have you wanting to highlight his entire book and then have you sharing it with friends and family. Lastly, a necessity in the arena to becoming better is improving our interpersonal connections.

3. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

My husband and I read this a while ago. It needs to be referred to often. Chapman talks about the “love tank.” It is not something that can be replenished on its own and requires constant care. Your relationship with your spouse does not and cannot run on auto-pilot no matter how stream-lined you think it is. This book has been around for a while and speaks for itself. You may realize that your own love language is shown through actions and not words or maybe it’s both. Whatever it may be, your spouse needs to know what that is. Mind readers do not exist. 

My last suggestion, do not bite off more than you can chew. I like to take on self-improvement ideas as if it were a project that has a specific deadline. Realize that there is no deadline, it is a forever process. Once you think you have a handle on it, a unique situation will arise. If you decide to take this journey to self-awareness, it will turn into a climb that will have you grabbing at roots and tree limbs, but I know that once I get there the view will be lovely. Don’t beat yourself up on what you aren’t doing. Remember to keep your focus on your improvements no matter how small. If you have helpful ideas of your own, please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.