There are so many types of books and genres to read – and I read many. But always at the top of my reading list is a self-help or personal growth book. I sprinkle them into my reading list more frequently than any other type of book.
I find that when I spend more time on improving myself, growing myself, and engaging with myself I am overall happier. My confidence gets a boost and I am filled with a powerful motivation that tells me I can accomplish greatness.
Yup, that’s what I really feel inside. And I love it. Actually, I crave it.
I’ve found that continuing to invest in myself has huge benefits. And I am sure it can have the same effects on you.
Where to Start? There Are So Many Self-Help Books to Choose From
If you follow me, then you know that I meditate and do a lot of inward thinking and assessing. That is where I started with self-help books. I consider where I am stuck, looking to expand, or want more insight on a specific topic.
Through the years I have read many self-help books but in my most recent reboot of inner focus, I started with The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson. The premise of this book is to use daily activities to achieve larger goals of success and happiness.
And that is just what I needed at the time. I found myself often meditating about how to focus. What step to take first to work toward the end result of a goal I knew I wanted. I felt that I was in a tail-spin of doing nothing but wanting everything. So I found a book to help me with that.
As I was reading Jeff Olson’s book, I also listened to the audio version of The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins and You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Personally, I like devouring multiple books at once to get different insights and advice to move forward in the direction I feel I need to go.
Within that topic, I found other books to be inspiring and helpful. The thing is, with every book I read or listened to I took another step toward my goals. I found another idea to help me stop procrastinating, make effective to-do lists, and not hit my snooze button.
I think you get the idea.
The Number One Reason to Read Self-Help Books: Positivity
Positive Change, Positive Thoughts, Positive Mind
Clearly, not everyone is a ‘glass is half-full type of person. If we all were then there would be no need for that euphemism. The benefits of positive thinking are incredible. And I think that’s the number one takeaway of most self-help books.
Whether you are reading books on increasing wealth, dealing with addiction in your family, or any number of other areas that you need insight on, the books give you hope and positivity.
Your mind and the change in your thought process that happens when reading self-help books and starting to implement their ideas or strategies are hopeful and positive. Learning to cope, hearing others’ stories, feeling the author’s passion – all these things are increasing your positivity.
You also don’t feel so alone when reading self-help books. You realize that your struggles and emotions are normal. This too changes your thinking from negative to hopeful to positive. When the author shines a light on this for you naturally you can release some of the stress you carry.
That release of stress allows positivity to seep in. Creating room for positivity often leads to more room for it. That’s why I always have more than one book on a topic enlightening me at a time.
Be Open to the Advice and Know When to Close the Book
Yes, you can close the book. Meaning, stop reading it and move on to the next.
But first, be open to it. Oftentimes there are activities to complete, such as journaling, complimenting others, or making a specific change in your routine or thought process. Try them, you never know what you might like or take away from them.
Keep an open mind about what the author is saying and see how it resonates with you. However, be okay with not all self-help books being for you. I have walked away from many books.
Some intentionally and others just because I put it down and never picked it back up. Clearly, I wasn’t getting enough out of it or it wasn’t resonating with what I needed at the moment to continue reading. And that’s totally fine. I encourage you to do that when you’re not getting out of it what you need.
Pass it along to someone else, drop it in a donation box – it will resonate with someone else who needs it. But you don’t have to push through it. Nobody is grading you on it. Be okay passing on it and going to the next.
I add this in because I used to have a hard time stopping in the middle of a book, even fiction. Once I start a book I feel an obligation to finish it. I have pushed my way through many, even though they were having the opposite effect on me than I needed. Or they weren’t contributing to the knowledge base I was looking for.
I did this for many years before I realized I was wasting my time and holding myself back. Now, when I recognize that I am not getting what I need I close the book and move on to the next.
Don’t Rush – Read at a Pace You Can Retain the Information
It’s okay to read one paragraph a day if that’s all you can handle. Or maybe it’s a chapter that you can get through, retain the information, and process the take-aways.
There is so much information in a good self-help book. And that information often leads to deep thoughts, needing time to process and think of ways to implement the information.
Trying to rush through useful material doesn’t allow you the time to digest it. Give yourself the time you need with the information so it can sink in and ultimately help you with what you’re looking for.
Here’s a list of some of my faves to get you started:
- The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson
- The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins
- You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
- We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power by Rachel Rodgers
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
- Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Dr. Joe Dispenza
- Better than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits – to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life by Gretchen Rubin
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