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4 Self-Help Books You Should Read — In This Order

And finally, how do you apply this to everyday life?


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Sara Budhwani

3 years ago | 7 min read

No matter whether you believe in luck or chance, the final decision is from yourself.”
Stephen Richards

If you’re still unsure if self-help books can help, then maybe it’s not the right time to read one. If you’ve tried to read self-help books and it didn’t really work, it could have been the wrong one for you, or perhaps you weren’t prepared. They only really work if you are ready for it.

Self-help or self-improvement means that you are learning exercises and perspectives that can help make you feel better, and precisely heal. Which means it involves work. You have to work towards healing, it takes time.

It also takes an open mindset to realize that there’s room in your life for change.

I’m someone who constantly lives in my head and I thought that was a good thing. I was proud to be such a visionary. But what I realized from reading these books is if you think the way you are is already enough, then you’re missing the point of life. There is always room to grow.

So you need to first ask yourself what your mission is. Are you ready to explore the truth? Are you ready to find purpose? Are you ready to heal? Are you ready to get really deep with yourself and find meaning?

I’m sharing the 4 books that helped me become more of a positive, healthier person. The order is important because it helps you build yourself up for it.

Sometimes the content can be way over your head, which won't make you retain any of the information, let alone act on it. So it’s important that you prepare yourself for the big transformation — the ‘AHA’ moment.

Firstly, let’s start with your brain.

Image from Amazon
Image from Amazon

1. The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
Did you know that you actually have more control over your confidence than you think? Are we born with our confidence or is does it grow with experience? Or is it both? This book answers those questions and many more.

Confidence is one of the first things others see in you, and you have control over it. The more you understand that the more you’re able to use it. This book is geared towards women as they are known for having less self-confidence than men.

Why is this? If you're a man, I still highly recommend reading this as it provides equal amount of insight and knowledge on how the brain works.

Combining cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition — with examples from their own lives and those of other successful women in politics, media, and business — Kay and Shipman go beyond admonishing women to “lean in.”

Instead, they offer inspiration and practical advice to close the gap and achieve the careers people want and deserve.

This book teaches you to become an observer of the relationship between your thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and energy. That’s step one.

This book helps you understand why you think the way you do. How your brain works to understand you and influence your daily choices, which is needed to understand the ego (you’ll learn more about this later).

“In the most basic terms, what we need to do is start acting and risking and failing, and stop mumbling and apologizing and prevaricating.”
Katty Kay

Next, let’s look at our place in this world, in life.

Image from Amazon
Image from Amazon

2. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein
First of all, Gabrielle is amazing and has so much to teach. She’s a “spiritual activist” who’s been named “a new thought leader” by Oprah Winfrey. And this book will open your mind to the kind of life we really live in.

The universe, something that is more powerful than anything we’ve ever known, literally has your back.

Life is not working against you, it’s working for you. Sometimes we get so caught up in our lives that we don’t realize how many doors we close ourselves. This book teaches readers how to transform their fear into faith in order to live a guided life that you're aware of.

It’s a guide on how to clear your direction for ultimate happiness and to stop chasing life. It teaches you that you have the power and to stop feeling powerless.

Gabrielle says, “My commitment with this book is to wake up as many people as possible to their connection to faith and joy. In that connection, we can be guided to our true purpose: to be love and spread love.”

You will begin to find strength and energy, synchronicity and support, safety in the face of uncertainty, and joy. Follow the secrets revealed in this book to unleash the presence of your power and know always that The Universe Has Your Back.

This book helps you realize that you are a part of something much larger than yourself. This will help you realize how to look more inward than outward, and see the answers that rely within. This is needed to understand how to remove yourself from ego, and lead with purpose.

“When you make this type of commitment to the Universe, it’s important to be aware of any sneaky, fear-based story that can hook you back in. This is the story that pain has purpose.

We live in a world that supports drama, terror, separation, and hardship. We’ve been guided to believe that without pain we have not accomplished or achieved. I’m here to bust that myth now.

Pain does not equal purpose. Your purpose is to be joyful. Your purpose is to live with ease. Your purpose is to surrender to the love of the Universe so you can live a happy life. Accept the purpose of love, and your life will radically change this instant.”
Gabrielle Bernstein

Now, we need to understand the ego and the power of the present moment to really dive deeper into ourselves.

Image from Amazon
Image from Amazon

3. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
If you feel ready for a full transformation then this will be the largest undertaking. We live in a very fast and chaotic world. When we get a chance to slow down we really get to see the truths and the power of the present moment.

Eckhart Tolle is an extremely inspiring teacher in the power of peace and reflection. A truly inspiring book that has a powerful message. In order to really understand it, you may need to read it a couple of times over. But this book teaches you how to be more you.

How to find your authentic self. How to look at the world from a completely different perspective. We constantly look for fulfillment, appreciation, and guidance through accomplishments, relationships, experiences, material possessions, etc.

This book teaches you how to look inward instead. Our endless thoughts often focus on the past or the future.

However, we have no control over either — the past is over and the future isn’t here yet — so we are in an endless cycle of wasting our mental and emotional energy on things we can’t control. The only moment we can impact is the present.

As you learned already about manifesting what you want and putting in the power of the universe, now you can discover the universe within you.

“‘Large-scale waiting’ is waiting for the next vacation, for a better job, for the children to grow up, for a truly meaningful relationship, for success, to make money, to be important, to become enlightened. It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.

Waiting is a state of mind. Basically, it means that you want the future; you don’t want the present. You don’t want what you’ve got, and you want you haven’t got.

With every kind of waiting, you unconsciously create inner conflict between your here and now, where you don’t want to be, and the projected future, where you want to be. This greatly reduces the quality of your life by making you lose the present.”
Eckhart Tolle

And finally, how do you apply this to everyday life?

Image from Amazon
Image from Amazon

4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Now that you feel a sense of transformation, you need to remember to live it and put it into modern society. We don’t live in caves.

So this book teaches you how to deal with people because dealing with people is what we do every day. And now that we feel a little better about ourselves, we need to remember that everyone has a story.

How you deal with people teaches you more about how you feel about yourself. I love the way this book is written because it gives many practical examples of how to live by simple rules.

At the end of each chapter, Carnegie summarizes what each lesson is, so in the end, you have a powerful list of actionable lessons to fulfill in your everyday life.

And to be honest, it’s so simple once you actually think about it. There is a reason this book has been around for so many years, but yet is still relevant today.

Putting your learnings into action is the hardest part. That’s why this book is extremely important to ground you back to the world we live in today, but with your fresh and new perspectives.

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”
Dale Carnegie

In summary, these 4 books teach you to start with yourself. The answers are not out there, they are in you. And many people spend their whole lives waiting for the moments or the people to impact them.

This is wrong and won’t get you very far. Start making impactful changes in your life today, and let’s make this world a more appreciated place.

If you have read any of these books, please comment below with your reviews.

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Sara Budhwani

Brand and creative strategiest focusing on building brands with purpose. www.sarabudhwani.com


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