Top 10 Self-Help Books For Transforming Your Life
Okay, so let’s face it. I’m a self-help junkie. Been that way for years. Coming from a rough, chaotic background it’s probably saved my life a time or two. It’s remarkable how books can make you feel like you’re not alone in your struggles. Even if the author isn’t there personally, reading their words makes it feel like they’re in the room with you. It feels like they understand you and are nudging you forward with wisdom, patience, and faith in the process. At least that’s been my experience. Fortunately, and probably thanks to these folks (among many others), I’ve come out on the other side on my own life journey to where things are much easier, more peaceful and fun that ever before in my life. They even lead me to write my own personal empowerment book. Let the gratitude shine forth! Here’s my list of the Top Ten Best Self-Help books. Enjoy!
Self-Help Books For Transforming Your Life
The Drama-Free Way: A Thought-Management Guide to Navigating Chaos and Thriving, by Jennifer Kern Collins.
Okay, so that’s me. But to be honest, I’m still using it as my own manual for living. Given my years of personal struggle, education, experience as an addictions counselor and now as a life coach, plus all this reading, it’s packed with stories, informational content, exercises and the science behind how we become addicted to the drama in our own minds and how that influences our outer world experience. We have collectively co-created a culture that is addicted to drama and the path it is leading us down as a human race is, frankly, unsustainable. As we each take personal responsibility for our own thought patterns and “feeling good” we become less dependent on our circumstances or other people to make us happy, which allows us true freedom to create, to live, to express our authentic spirits, to live our greater purpose, to play and to just be. This book provides the how to of managing your thoughts and energetic states to live in alignment with your spirit and effectively work with the law of attraction to create your most flowing, joyous, harmonious life.
This book is simple and easy to read. My brain likes simple. There’s a lot of repetition which continuously reinforces the concepts. The author gives us four simple things to focus on to be more peaceful and productive in life: making no assumptions, speaking with integrity or being impeccable with your word, not taking things personally, and always doing our best. He elaborates on all of these concepts with examples that make these lofty ideals practical and understandable.
You would think it was a novel, except that you’re learning concepts of creating true peace along the way. What I love about this book is that it tells a great story with interesting characters who demonstrate the concepts the reader is absorbing. The setting is an addictions treatment camp for adolescents. They go off into the wilderness for their recovery process and the parents stay at the camp’s base to learn from the owners how to engage with their kid in healthy, supportive ways when they get home, to create new patterns and habits, least their teens fall back into old patterns of substance abuse. What’s brilliant is that all the teachings of creating peace are applied to work relationships, marital partnerships, parenting and also seen from a global level, as the camp owners are two men: one Israeli and one Palestinian. Diagrams, images, progressive presentation. All make for an entertaining and highly useful read.
So, here’s the dude perspective on self-love. To my knowledge there’s not a lot of that out there. Kamal is extremely forth coming and raw in his account of his journey from suffering physically, emotionally and professionally, to healing, wealth and abundance through a very simple (again, love simple) approach to practicing self-love, one of the most powerful energies there is. And it’s only 57 pages long. But don’t let that or the large font point size and widely-spaced paragraphs fool you. This book packs a punch. It is one of the most powerful little collection of thoughts I’ve ever read—when translated and applied to my own life. You have to take it to that level. But only if you want to experience the miracles of transformation available to you.
One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth, by Iyanla Vanzant.
Okay, so this is one of those books that truly saved my life years ago in my early twenties when I was in the midst of my deepest pain. My copy is highlighted, written in, scribbled on, post-it-noted, earmarked—the works! It is well organized and simple to follow. Iyanla has it broken into sections of “phases,” and within that each “day” has a lesson or point of focus presented in only a few short pages of teachings and insights about universal concepts, followed by a “workbook” segment to do your own processing, reflection and discovery. She offers definitions, commentaries, affirmations and personalization. The wisdom in these pages is presented in a relatable, easy-to-follow manner, with personal stories and examples to enhance the reader’s understanding and ah-has.
There are a lot of authors out there, but Liz Gilbert is a true writer. Her prose is poignant, creative and playful, with clever metaphors and skillfully sculpted imagery. Her books read like you’re sitting there having a cup of coffee with her. Big Magic strikes a beautiful balance between offering stories, insights, laughter and wisdom while calling the reader forth into their own creativity. She brilliantly speaks about the energies of creativity that are out in the ethers in the form of ideas, circulating about the planet looking for a human to partner with to become manifested or expressed in physical form. Her experience and examples give us permission to listen to our creative urges and to take risks with putting our “work” out there. While a standard book store might not categorize this as a “self-help” book, to me it gets that job done through painting a new picture of how to interface with our fears to more effectively live our higher purpose and let our souls be expressed through us. When we are living that path, we cannot help but grown and expand—the true essence of healing.
Deep, man…deeep. And yet easy to read and follow. Somehow Michael Singer has managed to take some serious Buddhist-like teachings and wrap them into simple language and relatable stories. This book took me several months to read, as I would pick it up and process for a few days and then come back to it when I was ready for more. It explores how the world we inhabit inside ourselves has to be reformed, healed, upgraded before we can experience the peace and happiness we truly desire. It’s another one that leads us to change our lives from the inside-out. It looks at the over-arching themes that need to be addressed in order for us to grow into who we are capable of becoming.
One day, this treasure showed up in the mail, right when I was in the midst of deciding whether or not to get married or call off the wedding. It’s not your standard self-help book. It’s really just a series of notes. But often times it is via the insights that come through another’s struggles we can gain some footing in our own awarenesses. Our spirits can speak to us through the words on the page, as we awaken to our truth. That’s what this book was for me. I transcribed dozens of passages into my “quotes collection” journal, and then I referred back to them over and over again in the dismal moments. It’s a timeless classic and can be revisited at any stage of life, in any circumstance along the journey.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brene Brown.
Full permission to be human. That kinda annoyed me at first, being the world-class perfectionist that I am. Demanding absolutely no errors or screw-ups from myself or others makes for a narrow life. The juice is in the messiness, so I’ve found. That’s where the growth is. Brene Brown’s work has opened us up to letting the eff-ups be exactly what they are and even finding value in them (egads!) But somehow this is all so liberating. This book offers a look into “wholehearted living,” which focuses on our innate worthiness, which is not contingent on our performing, proving or earning. We are each valuable exactly as we are and where we are in our journey. It gives us tools to cultivate courage, compassion and connection, and to be vulnerable, which allows the true riches of life to permeate our beings and take us to a new level of feeling alive and expressing our soul’s essence.
Ready to dip into your beautiful self a little deeper and take your life to a whole new level? These books will lead you there.