I have been dealing with self-esteem issues my whole life, and it took me a very long time to do anything about my belief system. With therapists being out of my price range, I turned to the bookstore in my attempts to get rid of my negative self-outlook and turn it into a positive one. I’m still a work in progress as I’ll always be and here are my Top 10 favorite books that helped my self-esteem along the way.
The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem – Dr. Nathaniel Branden
External validation via social networks in on the rise. Self-love is a long forgotten art these days. The six pillars include living purposefully and consciously while practicing self-acceptance and not adhering to peer pressure. I felt terrible about myself after my big relationship breakup as I was constantly checking out my EX and anyone who likes or comments on her Instagram. I’ve pitted myself against females I’ve never even met. I needed this reminder that her love can be replaced with self love and to focus on my own lane.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin Sharma
This book taught me a five-step method for attaining goals (with a 21-day routine) and ancient rituals that should really be taught in schools. I’ve sworn by these mantras and dream books for over ten years. This is the first book I recommend to friends on a spiritual journey. I use this book when I need to radically audit my life when I’m in a funk- whether it’s a job or relationship.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Mary Kondo
My depression left me in a pile of laundry with half eaten food wrappers, and I wondered why it was so easy to stay in bed. I read this book to discover how to purge with ‘joy,’ and I’ve never looked back.
The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
Out of the four agreements, “Don’t take anything personally” and “Don’t make assumptions” hit me on a visceral level. I have a mood disorder, so I tend to take things personally when I’m depressed. I make assumptions about what the other person meant (like the person who’s currently not replying to my request for a date after a week of rapid-texting). This book reminded me that I am building STORIES about situations and treating them like FACTS and it’s damaging to your self-esteem. A must read.
Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
I was feeling in a rut for a very long time. I felt stupid and ashamed of many things, and this book helped me greatly. I’ve since moved forward with many of the lessons instilled in me and now dare to be my genuine self.
Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur
A book of poetry that’s such an easy read, and it’s so relatable that it helped me not feel so alone when I was sad. Milk and Honey is brilliantly written and drenched in empathy.
The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown
I’m a perfectionist to a fault. Eventually, I became exhausted because I tried to be perfect for everyone and this book gave me the language to better understand myself better and how perfectionism was actually stunting my ability to love myself and others.
The Mastery of Love – Don Miguel Ruiz
The story of “The Magical Kitchen“ made me realize that we accept the love we deserve, and I raised my standards. I retell this tale to anyone who will listen.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – Mark Ronson
Protect your happiness by realizing that you only have so many fucks to give. I also broke up with an EX-BFF after reading this because I gave more fucks about keeping up appearances than enjoying our (vanity-based) friendship.
The Four Hour Body – Tim Ferriss
Part of me feeling better about myself mentally had to do with having more energy, and that boils down to having a better diet/exercise lifestyle. This practical guide to getting fit and eating well helped me lose 10 pounds on a paleo diet. It’s brilliantly illustrated and works as a fabulous motivator to get started. My mood is way better for it.
If you or a loved one you know is having any mental health struggles, please do get the help you need. If you need to talk to someone now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.
Photo Credit: Jamie