Favorite Self-Help Reads

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Are you into self-help books as much as I am? If so, you might enjoy these five reads (or rather Audible listens in my case) I recently finished. While I don’t consider any of these to be perfect, I took away valuable lessons and inspiration, and that’s exactly what I am looking for in a self-improvement book.

My top 5 picks:

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I recently wrote a blog post on lessons from “Big Magic.” 

While sometimes I found her writing to be flowery, I loved the wisdom she imparts.

Key among them:

  • The reward is the work, not the money. Do what you love, because it is not about the success in the form of money, it’s about doing something you enjoy for the pure joy of creating it. Also forget about how people will react to your work. As Gilbert says, “The reaction doesn’t belong to you.” The outcome does not matter. You are still worthy no matter what the reaction.
  • “Forget about perfect.” Done is better than perfect, in Gilbert’s words. There is no use in holding back your talents from the world until your work is beyond criticism. It will never be. You can’t control how people feel about your work.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero.

I have read this twice now. I was in a funk recently and one of the ways I clawed out of my dark hole of doubt and lack of motivation was listening to this book again.

I think this reiterated my belief in manifesting. It happened in small ways like finding a parking spot in front of my building or larger ways, like a huge win for our family last fall. I will continue to listen to this every once in a while. It also inspires me to give.


“When we trust that we live in an abundant universe and allow ourselves to give freely, we raise our frequency, strengthen our faith, and feel awesome, thereby putting ourselves in flow and the position to receive abundant amounts in return. When we’re in fear, we hold on to what we’ve got because we don’t trust that there’s more. We pinch off the energy, we’re scared to share, and we focus on, and create more of, the very thing we’re hoping to avoid, which is lack. We live in a universe of give and receive, breathe and exhale, live and die, suck and awesome. Each side depends on the other, and each is relative to the other—every action has an equal and opposite reaction—so the more you give, the more you receive. And vice versa.”


You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero. This new book is the follow-up to “You Are a Badass.” It is more focused on making money and what shifts in your mindset you need to start making more of it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more money because if we are realistic money makes possible a lot of what we love and need. One of the key takeaways I learned is you have to have the faith to invest in yourself in order to really see the payoff. She talks about spending thousands on a life coach when she didn’t have much money, and then shares how that decision paid off. While I am not sure about the amounts she mentions ($85,000?!), it’s a good example of ways we can take the leap in investing in what it takes to make our business/idea/project successful.


Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes.

I liked this book for the inspiration to challenge your fears and say yes more than no. I don’t agree with everything Shonda does or says, but I enjoyed this anyway. The book also talks about expectations for mothers and how mothers shouldn’t be afraid to admit when they need help (and they shouldn’t be judged for it). I completely agree with that now that I am a mom myself.  Could you go a year saying yes to every opportunity that came your way?


Get Your Shit Together: How to Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need to Do by Sarah Knight.

“Time flies when you don’t have your shit together.” Sarah Knight says swears a ton, as you can guess by the name of this book. If you’re not put off by the swearing you can learn about time management and organizing your tasks. Among the tips I plan to try: Time yourself doing daily tasks. I definitely underestimate how much time I spend on tasks, so I want to time myself, especially at work this coming week.

I 100 percent agree with some of the email etiquette rules she shares, like not replying with simply, Thank you. I also like the suggestion to not be so reactionary to reduce the number of emails both sent and received. In addition, she says to ask yourself if you really even need to email, or whether a simple phone call can save the time of reading and responding to an email chain.

While she often mentions how she lives in the Caribbean now in a house she built, this isn’t just for people who want to quit their jobs. Anyone who wants to stop feeling overwhelmed and doesn’t know how to, for lack of a better phrase, get their shit together will benefit.


What books have you recently enjoyed?