As a life coach and mindfulness coach, a lot of people ask me what books I would recommend them to read for their personal growth and development. I have read many books on psychology, mindfulness, spirituality and personal growth and from that I selected my 5 most influential books.
Like Personal Growth on Facebook
These books had the biggest impact on my life and I would recommend them to anyone interested in developing themselves.
1. You Can Heal Your Life- Louis Hay
This book absolutely changed my life for good. For years I have been walking around wondering why the hell I attracted all those problems in my life? Why I attracted the wrong type of men in my life and replaced one addiction for another and nothing ever seemed to work out. I always felt pretty sorry for myself, thinking I was the most unlucky person in the world and that the universe really must hate me.
After reading ‘You Can Heal Your Life’, I had this major realization that changed me forever. I finally understood where my pain was coming from, the limiting beliefs I had and especially, that I was the one responsible for creating all these problems in my life.
Okay, it wasn’t necessarily much fun taking responsibility and it maybe feels easier to just play the victim. But as soon as you take responsibility, you can take your power back and change yourself and your life around.
2. Dear Lover / The Way Of The Superior Man – David Deida
For most of us, our relationship or potential relationships with your significant other is one of the biggest sources of pleasure but also of pain. Having a healthy and long term relationship is not something that comes easily to most of us.
A lot of us have grown up seeing our parents have less than healthy relationships, but we still expect ourselves to know how to have one. It doesn’t work like that. We have to gain knowledge about relationships and put in the hard work.
Both books of David Deida, one of the most famous tantra teachers, gives you so much insight into the masculine and feminine energy. ‘Dear Lover’ is written for females and makes you understand how to really step into your feminine energy and relate to your man.
‘The Way Of The Superior Man’ is his first book, directed to men but also a great read for women. It provides valuable insights in how to reach your biggest potential as a man and also how to deal with women.
Hint: zoning out and watch sport when things get tough is not the way to go. I would definitely recommend if you have a partner to both read the books at the same time.
3. How To Win Friends And Influence People -Dale Carnegie
The title of the book was a little off putting to me since I felt like I had enough friends and wasn’t very interested in manipulating people. I am so glad I did read it and discover it wasn’t about manipulation at all. This book will make you a better friend, a better partner, a better colleague, a better business man/ woman, basically a better person in general.
It really teaches you amazing communication skills, will enhance your compassion and help you to take the perspective of someone else.
4. The Gifts Of Imperfection- Brene Brown
I am a huge fan of Brene Brown’s work, I would recommend you to read anything she writes and listen to her Tedx talks. Her book ‘The Gifts Of Imperfection’ gives insight into the power of vulnerability, being authentic, taking risks and especially, not having to be perfect.
A lot of us have a certain feeling of “never being good enough” and think we are only happy or loved when we are “perfect”. Somehow, this idea exists that perfectionism is a good trait and something to be proud of. While actually, it will always stand in the way of your happiness, success and relationships.
Because the thing with perfectionism is that it will never be good enough and life will never be perfect. And if you are waiting for everything to be perfect you might just be waiting forever.
Brene Brown describes herself as a recovering perfectionist and gives you amazing insights in how deal with the feeling of needing to be perfect. She uses her research but also her personal experiences to write her book which makes it scientific as well as very relatable.
5. The Happiness Trap- Dr. Russ Harris
The Happiness Trap’ is a book about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. ACT is a therapy that is used in combination with mindfulness and uses the same principles as mindfulness but is a little bit more action oriented. The book really opens your eyes on how we perceive happiness and that it is our idea of what happiness is, that actually makes us unhappy. It gives a very practical inside in what we do that keeps us stuck in our lives and in our head and how to change it. It makes you understand why you do what you do.
It was one of my biggest “AHA” books and changed the way I teach and the exercises I use. The book provides many practical exercises you can do to change the relationship with your thoughts, change your perspective and free yourself from the trap that you are in. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that is also interested in mindfulness and in working on a happier and healthier mind.
These 5 books are an amazing starting point if you want to work on yourself and your personal growth.