3 Must Read Books for Personal Growth

In my last blog post I talked about how I spent roughly the last 2 years working on personal development. It was a tough and thrilling process. One of the ways I worked on bettering myself was reading every self-help/personal growth book I could get my hands on.

Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash

In my last blog post, I talked about how I spent roughly the last 2 years working on personal development. It was a tough and thrilling process. One of the ways I worked on bettering myself was reading every self-help/personal growth book I could get my hands on. 

I need a no-nonsense approach when it comes to stuff like this. I spent too many years making excuses for why I couldn't better myself or why I put up with things that didn't serve me or weren't in line with my values. I can't handle the "fluffy" self-help way. I'm lucky enough to have friends and family that fill me with all the positive feels. They make me feel valued and loved. What I need from a book about personal growth is someone telling me to cut the shit and get real for once. 

Here are 3 books I HIGHLY recommend if you're looking for some personal growth of your own.

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

This book is amazing. I really enjoyed how this was a how-to guide instead of one of those self-help books that just repeat the same uplifting message in ten different ways.

Sincero actually gives you action steps in 5 parts. 

Part 1: How you got this way

Part 2: How to embrace your inner badass

Part 3: How to tap into the motherlode

Part 4: How to get over your B.S. already

Part 5: How to kick some ass

One of the key steps in each of these parts is to LOVE YOURSELF. That got me in the feels. No matter what else you’re working on, loving yourself takes priority — it can’t be overlooked. 

The subtitle of this book is “How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life”. This backs up what I’ve said in multiple posts on this blog. Get out of your own damn way. You have to deal with whatever kind of nonsense beliefs are holding you back and be your own cheerleader. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book.

“Growth ain’t for weenies, but it’s nowhere near as painful as living the life you’re living right now if you’re not really going for it.”

“We throw a wet blanket of ho-hummery over our lives when we live in fear of what others might think, instead of in celebration of who we are.”

“The people you surround yourself with are excellent mirrors for who you are and how much, or how little, you love yourself.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

I love Mark Manson. His no B.S. policy is my favorite thing! After reading this book I also went on to read his articles which are equally as incredible.

I strongly believe that everyone needs to read this book. It’s so helpful. At first when I tell people to read this book they say something like “Oh, I wish I could stop caring about things”. That’s not really the point. You’re allowed to care. You’re going to care, regardless. The point is: you have to choose your values and if you come across things that have little to no impact or encouragement towards those values then let them the hell go. 

Manson is brutally honest in this book so if you can’t take a real deep look at yourself, this book isn’t for you.

One of my favorite chapters is titled “You Are Not Special”. 

This does not mean you are not valuable, it just means that you will not be excused for your behaviour or your attitude and you don’t deserve special treatment. This chapter talks further about how people feel entitled for one of two reasons — because they feel they are better than everyone else, or because they feel they are worse off than everyone else. 

My second favorite chapter is titled “The Importance of Saying No”. In this chapter Manson talks about rejection and how important it is in your life. He explains that, in order to value something you need to reject everything that isn’t that thing. Capiche? 

If you’re avoiding rejection, confrontation, or conflict because you want to keep the peace, this is a form of entitlement. You’re avoiding rejecting anything because it might make you or someone else not feel that great...but in turn this makes your values valueless. Get it? Just read the book!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

“The key to a good life is not giving a f*ck about more; it’s about giving a f*ck about less, giving a f*ck about only what is true and immediate and important.”

“The secret sauce is in the solving of the problems, not in not having problems in the first place.”

“You are already choosing, in every moment of every day, what to give a f*ck about, so change is as simple as choosing to give a f*ck about something else. It really is that simple. It’s just not easy.”

“Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering.”

“Once you become comfortable with all the shit that life throws at you (and it will throw a lot of shit, trust me), you become invincible in a sort of low-level spiritual way. After all the only way to overcome pain is to first learn how to bear it.”

The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

I’d recommend listening to the audiobook if you can because this is one of those books I mentioned earlier where it’s the same self-help principle explained over and over in different ways. 

It doesn’t make the principle any less valuable, it just makes it easier to absorb if you’re listening to it rather than reading it.

I love this book because the 5 Second Rule is a rule you’re going to use to get out of your own damn way. Robbins explains that “there is a window that exists between the moment you have an instinct to change and your mind killing it. It’s a 5-second window. And it exists for everyone.”

This is how you’ll push yourself to do those things that you’re too afraid, or nervous, or anxious, or lazy to do. 

You have all these dreams, these goals, these gut feelings. They are things you want to do or know you should be doing but when you spend too much time avoiding them your brain is going to convince you not to do it. It’s literally its job. Your brain is meant to keep you safe and when you have feelings of fear, anxiety, or uncertainty about doing something (even if it’ll lead to something positive) your brain is going to try and protect you from feeling those things. That’s why you have to move within the first 5 seconds before your brain gets a chance to tell you otherwise. 

Let me give you an example from my life. I want to be a life coach. I have training I need to do in order to make this happen but my brain keeps talking me out of it. Why? Because starting my own business and reaching my goal is scary. I could fail. So, when I think to myself “I should do my online training” I get anxious thinking about failure and my brain talks me out of it. 

What I’ve started to do instead when I have the opportunity to do some training, is count backward from 5 and when I get to 1 I get off my butt, grab my notebook and laptop and open the training course. I don’t give my brain the opportunity to talk me out of it. I distract it by physically getting up and getting started. 

It’s a really simple concept but it’s hard to do. The good thing is, you can practice all the time. Need to get out of bed but want to watch TikTok videos instead? 5 Second Rule. Want to make that new recipe but getting take-out would be faster? 5 Second Rule. Dogs need a walk but Netflix and the couch are calling your name? 5 Second Rule.

Get out of your own way and make it happen!

Some of my favorite quotes from the book are:

“You can’t control how you feel. But you can always choose how you act.”

“Hesitation is the kiss of death. You might hesitate for just a nanosecond, but that’s all it takes. That one small hesitation triggers a mental system that’s designed to stop you. And it happens in less than—you guessed it—five seconds.”

“Passion is not a thing, it's a state of mind.”

“I have a hard time finding the balance between not beating myself up when it doesn’t happen as fast as I’d like it to, and not wasting time while I wait for it to happen.”

“It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.”

These books have helped to change my life! What personal growth books would you recommend?

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