Books have litereally changed my life.
Before I got into personal development books (in 2016), I was self destructive, depressed, and had no idea where life was taking me.
And since then, I consistantly work towards my vision, actualize my goals, and love myself.
As soppy as that might sound, to truly go after the life you want with passion, commitment and intention, you need to fully love yourself.
With that in mind, these books will help you develop a healthy mindset, rewire your thoughts, form a positive self-image, find peace, and overcome resistance to be your creative true self.
Table of Contents
8 Best Personal Development Books That Completely Changed My Life
You can get a free month with audible here or if you want to save time, I highly recommend Heroic to get summaries of the best non-fiction books of our time.
1. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
This tiny book is jammed packed full of wisdom. I’ve read it no less than 10 times and always turn to it when I need some encouragement and inspiration, (currently multiple times per year).
It’s main message is that man is the sum total of his thoughts.
It published was in 1903 so the language is somewhat ye’old albeit strikingly relevent even to this day.
The amount of wisdom per each centence is nothing short of genious.
Thought and character are one, and as character can only manifest and discover otself through environment and circumstance, the outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state.James Allen
The author inspires us to take responsibility with our thinking and encourages us to become the maker of our vision.
If you want to blame your problems on others and your circumstances, then this book will either make you angry or it will wake you up.
Either way, you’ll know deep down that it’ message is extremely profound and life changing.
You can read my full As a Man Thinketh Review here.
2. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter Ph.D
This book is all about changing your subconscious programming with the way you talk to yourself.
We get stuck in trying to make changes in our lives and often repeat the same patterns over and over again.
If that sounds like you then it’s likely due to the way you talk to yourself, be it your thoughts and even the language you use when talking out loud to yourself and to others.
The book explains that most people’s self-talk is negative, coming from our subconscious mind which has been programmed from an early age.
By the time we get to adulthood, the way we talk to ourselves is so deeply rooted into our mind that we don’t even know we are doing it, and wonder why we feel so crappy about ourselves.
I highly recommend this book if you want to learn the correct way to talk to yourself.
If you want to become a deliberate creator of your life and achieve your goals, then this book is a must.
3. Mindset by Dr. Carol S. Dweck
If we have a fixed mindset, any form of sabotage and negative self talk are designed to keep us safe and this can show up in our lives in many different ways.
Perfectionism, fears of being judged, insecurities, procrastination, imposter syndrome, self-doubt all have elements of a fixed mindset and this book helps us understand why this is detrimental and how we can shift into a growth mindset.
A certain level of intelect and talent aren’t fixed traits. They’re learned patterns of thought and beliefs that prevent us from stepping outside our comfort zone.
With a fixed mindset, we don’t want to be seen as “not having everything figured out”, in the fear that people confirm our fears and insecurities.
These beliefs also show up in our minds disguised as truths that we’re unable to see objectively.
A growth mindset, on the other hand, is when we don’t judge ourselves based on what we know but based on our potential and ability to improve.
The science behind a growth mindset is based off of neuroplasticity, whereby we can literally change our brains neuropathways and it’s physical structure.
Mindset is required reading for anyone wanting to make consistant progress in life.
After reading this book, you will come to realize that mindset is everything.
4. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a guide to inner peace and self discovery through spirituality and living in the present moment.
Most of our suffering only happens when we’re consumed by our thoughts.
We can still experience adversity and the ups and downs of life but it’s only when we hold onto the pain that it causes us to suffer unessecarily.
The Power of Now has sold over 3 million copies in the US alone as of 2009 and it has been translated into 33 languages.
When I first started reading personal development books back in 2016, I got into the habit of purchasing any new book I heard of that might help me.
I would either head straight over to Amazon and order it to receive it the next day or download the audio version on Audible.
I did the latter with The Power of Now because I had heard a few people mention it over the course of a few days. I specifically remember someone saying something about how it helped them with their anxiety.
Now, just to note that The Power of Now isn’t a book on anxiety but nonetheless I headed straight over to my Audible app and bought it with a credit.
When I started listening to it, it didn’t take me long to understand why it could help people with things like anxiety or feeling self-conscious.
It does go into some simple concepts of why people suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression which I found very eye opening.
However, it took me longer to realize that this book is about Spirituality or more specifically, Spiritual Enlightenment.
It even states on the front of the book and audio version ‘A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’.
The reason why I’m telling you all this is because one of the first things that struck me when listening to this book was that almost every minute of my day was taken up by my thoughts.
Eckhart explains that most of us think we are living out our lives but in actual fact we are either replaying things that have happened to us in the past or we’re worrying about what might happen to us in the future, we’re in the habit of being consumed and absorbed by our thoughts everyday.
He goes on to explain that this is not life and that life only exists in the present moment – life only ever happens right now – when you stop thinking and harness your awarness of where you are in this very moment.
This is the foundational lesson of Spirituality.
Spiritual growth or enlightenment cannot be achieved without this fundimental principle.
This principle alone is life changing in itself, but there’s much more to Spirituality than that and this book is the perfect guide for anyone interested in understanding the true nature of the human experience.
5. Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
Psycho-Cybernetics is a classic that sets the standard of many modern day self-help books.
It’s timeless and a book you’ll want to revisit many times over.
A trend you’ll notice with the books in this list are that their purpose is to get us to realize that our subconscious mind holds the key to unlocking our potential.
And Psycho-Cybernetics goes deep into this topic.
It’ll help you redefine your self image and change the way you look at things, life, your friends and family and the world.
It helped me better visualize my desired future and become aware of negative thought patterns that had been keeping me stuck the whole of my 20’s.
If you want to understand human behavior, why we do the things we do, and make huge shifts in your personal growth, this book is a must.
Read this book and more importantly, do the work. You’ll be a different person after you’ve read it.
6. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
If you want to create anything substantial in this world, then this book is essential reading.
I wish I had read this book in my 20’s because it spoke to my heart and answered so many struggles I was going through.
It’s main message is to inspire us to create and recognize that when we do, there will be resistance.
This resistance is the exact thing that prevents every human on this earth from stepping outside their comfort zone and making something of themselves.
Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.Steven Pressfield
You’ll be liberated to do the work on yourself and become the creative person you know you are deep down inside.
Whatever your craft is, painting, acting, singing, speaking, designing, selling, writing, you name it, this is a must have in your personal development book collection.
If you struggle with motivation, fear, self-doubt, or simply getting your voice out there, you’ll love this book.
7. The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles
Creating wealth is one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself and others.
Apart from solving money problems, it gives us freedom to do what we want to do.
Yes, we have to work for it, but if that work is something we enjoy then we’re essentually making money by being ourselves.
Most people have a bad relationship with money, including myself which I’ve been working on for the last couple of years.
The Science of Getting Rich is one of those books I return to time and time again.
It’s relatively short, which is how I’ve managed to read it 15+ times.
Written in 1910, it is filled to the brim of wisdom and practical advise on how to think and develop a healthy mindset around money, how to become a creator instead of worrying about competition, and choosing the right vocation.
The teachings are somewhat spiritual, so if that’s not your thing, read it anyway with an open mind. Even if you ignore the spiritual aspects, you’ll still get a lot from this book.
If you are truly devoted to personal development, what better way is there than getting rich so you can focus your life on your personal growth.
8. Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
This book has a special place in my heart as it was the first book I read on productivity.
Putting my biases aside, Eat That Frog is a classic little book that will help anyone effectively manage their time.
Whether you want to become a productivity machine or find motivattion to get off the couch, you’ll get tonnes of value from this book.
It is straight to the point with a strategic approach.
It’s main concept is known by the most successful people, which is, write a list of what needs to be done and then do the toughest job first.
Your jobs or tasks are referred to as frogs, and if you had to eat a bunch of frogs, it’s best to eat the ugliest, slimiest one first as the ones that proceed it will be easier to get through.
Even if you only manage to get through one tough task per day, you’ll be ahead of anyone who got through several insignificant tasks.
Most people make themselves look busy on the outside, but feel like they’re getting nowhere and stressed out on the inside.
This form of working becomes a habit and the only way we think we’ll improve is by working harder and doing more work which only runs us to the ground.
That’s why the most successful people work the least amount of time yet get the most done because they’ve master the skill of consistantly eating their frogs.
Now, it’s over to you.
Which book in this list are you going to read first?
Let me know in the comments below.
And if you have a book recommendation for me that isn’t listed here, let me know too.
I look forward to hearing from you and wish you the best of luck in your personal growth journey.