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The 50 Best Self-Help Books of 2019

We have compiled a list of the best self-help books that are making waves in 2019. Some of them have been picked over and over again for their sheer power to change the readers’ lives and influence them. Others are relatively new to the scene but are generating a lot of interest in the modern reader.
Our research has taken us through top sites like Amazon, Goodreads, Google, Good Housekeeping and Blinkist. We have also visited several influencer sites to see what books they are recommending at the moment. The subject matter is diverse and range from productivity, speaking, fear, psychology, confidence to many others. The books are simply listed and not ranked. They are all awesome and unputdownable.

#50 Girl Wash Your Face

Rachel Hollis

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A New York Times bestseller, Rachel Hollis’ book came out in 2018 and has continued to rule the charts for over a year. Each of the 20 chapters in the book point to 20 lies we tell ourselves that hold us back. Hollis uses her own life as an example to show that the ultimate control lies within us. A mix of motivational tips and common-sense girl states how we can live a more joyful and productive life.

#49 Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals

Rachel Hollis

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Rachel Hollis’ second bestseller continues to give us solid tips on surging ahead with confidence. She touches upon six no-nonsense skills and behaviors that have helped her break through barriers and succeed both in her professional and personal life. The book teaches us how to look at ourselves as an asset, how to feel worthy, stop second-guessing and being authentic.

#48 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

Sean Covey

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Considered one of the best books for young adults, this book is a spinoff version of the famous Stephen Covey book that has changed many lives. The book is filled with stories from real teens, brainstorming ideas, quotes as well as text with cartoons that make it downright fun to read. Some of the topics covered are body image, relationships, friendships, goal-setting, bullying, peer pressure and internet safety among others.

#47 Grit

Angela Duckworth

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Angela Duckworth’s book shares real-life incredible stories that show how grit forms the basis of sustainable success. She gives readers some solid ideas about the cultivation of tenacity and how to develop grit which she describes as a combination of passion and perseverance. She interviewed personalities from various backgrounds like cadets at West Point, CEOs to Spelling Bee champions, all of whom showed how grit helped them succeed.

#46 The Four Agreements

Don Miguel Ruiz

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The Four Agreements is one of the classic self-help books that has helped transform lives over decades. A native elder from Mexico, Ruiz based his teachings on Toltec wisdom which touched upon simple things like speaking positive truths, being true to oneself, looking at oneself through the eyes of the world and so on. He questions us to delve deep, speaking things into existence and asks would our life change if we followed these simple rules?

#45 What Are You Hungry For?

Deepak Chopra

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Chopra is the self-help guru and a known motivational speaker. In this book, he talks about how good health leads to better focus, success and simply living a better life. The book is a guide to help with weight loss but more than anything it is a guide to seeking fulfillment and self-transformation. The book makes readers revisit their relationship with food in an entirely new light.

#44 The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho

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The Alchemist has changed many lives, there is no doubt about it. This delightful book by Paolo Coelho is both inspirational and life-changing. It tells the story of Santiago, a shepherd boy who travels the world looking for treasure when it was right where he was. The journey leads to spiritual enlightenment and self-understanding not just for Santiago but for the reader as well.

#43 You Are A Badass

Jen Sincero

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Jen Sincero’s book is a feisty, semi-abrasive and funny and goes straight to the point. She is the badass coach who will teach you how to cut through the unnecessary and focus only on things that will help you succeed. She is not like any other self-help coach who will mollycoddle you to a state of peace. She will motivate you to act and change your life for the better, the amazing thing is that you will do it all by yourself.

#42 Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person

Shonda Rhimes

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Shonda Rhimes is known for her hit shows like Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder. This book gives us a glimpse of the person behind the success and the power of saying yes. The poignant yet hilarious memoir shows how an introvert can come out of her shell and in doing so motivates millions of readers to do the same. The power of yes, of positive affirmations and determination, lay a strong foundation for success.

#41 The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World

Melinda Gates

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Melinda Gates’ compelling narrative is a glimpse into her travels and her mission to help people with the most urgent needs. She touches upon real issues like gender inequity in the workplace, child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives around the world. She also introduces us to remarkable women; shares inspiring lessons she’s learned from them and ultimately shows us the power of connecting with one another. For healthy social growth, women needed to be lifted first.

#40 Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Dr. Carol Dweck

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Dr. Carol Dweck’s book describes two types of mindsets – fixed and growth. The former is rigid and averse to change which makes them live in a rut. The latter believe anything is possible and this gives them more confidence in their skills and actions, they are dedicated and work hard to achieve the goals they have set. Even talented people will go nowhere with a fixed mentality.

#39 Rising Strong

Brené Brown

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Rising Strong tells us that everyone has a story, and everyone is vulnerable. It doesn’t matter whether one is a young mother, a CEO or a social worker, going through life means that one will fall. She tells us how we have to learn from our mistakes and failures and develop courage. Readers are encouraged to dig deep into their own stories, take a hard look at what they want to change and then act without fear.

#38 The 4-Hour Workweek

Tim Ferriss

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Tim Ferriss’ book shows us that it is possible to get out of the rat race without quitting. Readers learn how to work less but do more of what they love to do, which is the success of productivity. There are practical tips and case studies, including his own, for readers to follow and see how they can double or increase their income. This bestseller is highly recommended for business readers.

#37 Best for the Soul: The Wisdom of Sundays

Oprah Winfrey (and Guests)

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Oprah and her show have changed our lives. This book takes us through some of her best conversations at the show she has had with guests, which she has combined into one uplifting read. Organized into ten chapters, the snippets are life-changing insights that help the reader find their purpose through intention and mindfulness. The deep and meaningful conversations between Oprah and top thought-leaders teach us the healing powers of love and connection, forgiveness and spirituality.

#36 I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition)

Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick

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Everyone knows the Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai’s story, yet this book has drawn millions to know it better. Malala’s story takes us through the harrowing times when a peaceful place changed into a terrifying one and girls lost their right to education or even freedom. Malala fought for her right to be educated and nearly lost her life when she shot point-blank for it. No one expected her to survive but she did and then continued to fight for her cause. Her story is an inspiration for all of us, who believe in hope and courage.

#35 Own Your Everyday: Overcome the Pressure to Prove and Show Up for What You Were Made to Do

Jordan Lee Dooley

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Dooley’s empowering book makes us question where we are in life and how to get out of the rut. She shares some important lessons about living a purposeful life despite all the wrong turns, accidental hiccups, mistakes made, wasting time and worrying about what others will think. She is like the best girlfriend you have; she will comfort you and kick your butt at the same time. The book is full of actionable and practical tools to follow.

#34 The Obstacle Is the Way

Ryan Holiday

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Ryan Holiday’s book shows us how successful people overcome difficult obstacles through applied stoicism. It is a collection of true stories which inspire others to look beyond failure and frustration and look for ways to move on despite them. He draws his philosophy from the Geek Stoics who ensured adversity and pain with resilience and perseverance. That focused on things they could control instead of stressing on things they can’t which helped them improve.

#33 Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

Elizabeth Lesser

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Elizabeth Lesser’s book shows us how difficult times, transition and change help us become what we are. It shows us that our choices in the face of challenges and how we look on the other side will define our future. Facing challenges head-on and embracing change has the rich potential to heal and grow, instead of staying stuck in grief and misfortunes. stories about ordinary people who have done this and now lead deeper and fuller life further inspire us.

#32 Slay Like a Mother: How to Destroy What’s Holding You Back So You Can Live the Life You Want

Katherine Wintsch

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Slay Like a Mother is a feisty take on modern motherhood which involves conquering boardrooms to changing diapers at the same time. It is an inspirational guide for mothers to crush self-doubt and use their newfound power and happiness to slay every day. Instead of the “never enough” mentality, she asks moms to find humor in dark corners and begin self-love. Though addressed to moms, it is enlightening and encouraging for all.

#31 Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting

Lynn Grabhorn

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Lynn Grabhorn’s book focuses on the power of feelings to change lives. She tells us not to ignore or suppress our feelings. Instead, deal with them, embrace and learn from them because all feelings have a profound impact on our lives. She makes us cry and laugh, and often at the same time and helps us begin the process to heal. She has been an inspiration to millions with her simple philosophy for happiness.

#30 Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

Gretchen Rubin

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Gretchen Rubin’s book teaches how to get rid of clutter and create order in our lives. It provides an easy-to-use illustrated guide for decluttering which will help us take control of things around us as well as our lives. She offers a tailored approach since our clutter and our problems differ from one individual to the other. With essential questions like what we don’t use, don’t love or need, what we truly value we can achieve that optimal decluttered space.

#29 Best Self: Be You, Only Better

Mike Bayer

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Mike Bayer’s book makes us question where we are in our lives are right now, what we want, what we can change and if we are truly living each day as our best self. The questions will lead to answers and action plans to help us discover our true selves. It has the power to change the lives of readers, the same way Bayer has impacted lives as a coach. When we ask ourselves these questions, we can get more clarity and better perspective about our lives.

#28 The Greatest Salesman in The World

Og Mandino

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Og Mandino’s book has been impacting lives for decades and is still ruling the charts in 2019. The book contains ten scrolls which act as a how-to-manual and share secrets to becoming the greatest salesman. Readers learn that failure is not an option and they get deep insight through the laws of success outlined in the book. Persistence is the key to success and at the end of the book, we learn how to make that a key characteristic.

#27 How Happiness Happens: Finding Lasting Joy in a World of Comparison, …

Max Lucado

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Max Lucado‘s book asks readers if they are happy and then offers a plan for a life filled with lasting and fulfilling joy, based on both research and biblical tenets. Happiness is a cherished goal for all and yet only a fraction of us are really happy. Lucado says that we can personalize the plan per our individual needs and goals and achieve that lofty mission. His book does not offer advice but shows us the practical path to living a fuller life.

#26 The War of Art

Steven Pressfield

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The War of Art has inspired people for years to overcome the resistance, the quick need to no, and all barriers that stop us from growing. There are naysayers and we have to learn to ignore them, but the book also looks at internal enemies which lay within each of us. We have to stop fear and self-doubt from ruling us, unlock some form of creativity and reach for our fullest potential. Laziness, inertia, rationalization, and procrastination have been outlined as the key enemies to overcome.

#25 The Power of Habit

Charles Duhigg

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The Power of Habit looks at the science behind our habits, how they are created, changed, and sustained. The book lists some actionable steps to break away from harmful habits. Duhigg asks us to delve deep and reflect on habits that are ingrained in our subconscious and those we identify as our nature. Once we break away, we can start creating new habits and start afresh. Changing habits could go a long way to change outcomes and for the positive.

#24 The Magic of Thinking Big

David J. Schwartz

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The Magic of Thinking Big has been inspiring readers for years to accomplish great things. Schwartz teaches how to set high goals and how to think big because that’s what sets the successful people apart. The book offers practical tools for the readers to apply, to plan and measure outcomes. It also teaches us not to be afraid to fail and to overcome that fear to accomplish our dreams.

#23 Big Magic

Elizabeth Gilbert

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Big Magic is known as one of the best inspirational books for creative minds. Gilbert shows us the process and explains the mystery of inspiration by sharing insights about various aspects of life. We are advised to let go of our fears and uncover the creative process within like discovering a hidden gem. This will help the creative process to flow naturally, help one succeed and in the long run make life more meaningful.

#22 Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life

Brian Solis

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Solis’ book wakes us up to the fact that life gets in the way and we get distracted. In the age of digital distraction this gets worse we face shortened attention spans, lack of sleep, self-doubt, declines in critical and creative thinking. It takes us through a path of self-discovery and growth, teaches us to take control and reclaim our lives. Solis shares the et of techniques, exercises, and thought experiments that have helped him deal with distraction and remaster his destiny.

#21 The One Thing

Gary W. Keller And Jay Papasan

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The One Thing is one of the top business books to read which teaches us how to focus our energy on one thing at a time. The simple but powerful narrative teaches us how to be more productive, how to focus instead of multitasking and doing more is having fewer distractions. packed with sound advice and actionable tips, the book teaches us how to cut through the clutter, dial down stress, achieve better results in less time, and achieve what matters most.

#20 Ripple Effects: Discover the Miraculous Motivating Power of a Woman’s Influence

Pam Tebow

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Pam Tebow’s book is a reflection of her life which has been quietly influencing those around her. She has faced trials and tribulations of life as a mother and wife, went on mission work and served others as well as she could. All her actions were steeped in faith and her deep belief inspired not just her actions but all those around her. The book tells that we can all be influential, and every woman has the power to influence for good.

#19 Daring Greatly

Brené Brown

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Brené Brown is known for being a master motivator and in this book, she tells us how to interpret vulnerability which is a sign of courage and not weakness. She teaches us to face fear instead of avoiding situations that make us more vulnerable. By facing uncertainty, discomfort or rejection head-on we become stronger in the long run. By being our true selves, we not only lead a fuller life but build a stronger trust in our communities and ourselves.

#18 The Time Is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage

Joan Chittister

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Sister Joan Chittister, a known social activist, and beloved nun, pairs scriptural insights with true narratives to teach us how to combat complacency. Her compelling book energizes readers to participate in the greater good and help create a world of justice, peace, freedom, and empowerment. As a fervent proponent of personal faith and spiritual fulfillment, she advises action through spirituality and outlines practical and powerful steps for us to follow.

#17 The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life

Kevin Simler, Robin Hanson

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The Elephant in the Brain offers a revolutionary way to be introspective, to admit our inner failings and truly look at ourselves. The book explains how primates are designed to excel socially and professionally which makes us adopt any route that seems feasible. But we do not admit that to ourselves and this is where we create a disconnect with ourselves. We have to change the way of introspection and only then can we truly change things around us.

#16 Think Big, Act Small: How America’s Best Performing Companies Keep the Start-up Spirit Alive

Jason Jennings

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Jennings’ book reveals the true secret of success for corporate America – creating a great work culture. He and his team screened hundreds of Amer­ican companies to narrow the list down to 9 companies that practice this philosophy. They think big but act small – a simple precept where the start-up mentality combines with great ideas to fuel business and serve customers. At the same time, they focus on the work environment so that employees genuinely want to belong.

#15 Time to Think

Nancy Kline

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Nancy Kline’s book shows us that there is a better way to work and live. Thinking, introspection, and listening are the key components of self-improvement and for improving our relationships. Few of us are truly great listeners and this book shows how we can engage in the act of genuinely listening. The key communication skill is to listen. The “how-to” approach teaches us to give quality attention to people is the best way to help people and to help oneself.

#14 Conquering Toxic Emotions-Workbook and Self-discovery Journal

Rhonda Favano

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There are hundreds of stories regarding toxic corporate America and in her book, Favano tells us how to step away from that and begin the journey to emotional wellness. The journaling workbook acts as a guide and companion to help the reader conquer these emotions by storing their feelings and thoughts. By documenting all the negative issues, influences and thoughts, people can have an objective viewpoint and work through them to achieve emotional stability.

#13 The Science of Getting Rich

Wallace D Wattles

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The Science of Getting Rich gives us a glimpse of the works of history’s greatest philosophers and shows us how to live a better life by following their example. Through philosophy, spirituality, self-help and a new way to look at prosperity one can not only achieve wealth but truly succeed in what they love to do and inspire others. The book teaches us how ow to embrace a new way of thought that will boost our self-confidence and equip us to face any obstacles that come our way.

#12 I’m Fine and Neither Are You

Camille Pagán

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We have probably lost count of marriage counselors and motivational coaches that preach that honesty is the best policy for everything in life, especially in marriage. Pagan’s realistic book tells us that it is exactly otherwise. The story of two women, one whose life is falling apart and the other’s seemingly perfect one shows the truth behind the facades. As we read through the book, we realize that honesty like everything else should come in small doses.

#11 It’s Great to Suck at Something: The Unexpected Joy of Wiping Out and What It Can Teach Us About Patience, Resilience, and the Stuff that Really Matters

Karen Rinaldi

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Rinaldi’s eye-opening book forces us to see the truth – failure is ok and we should not be afraid to try new things. We are so focused on ticking off things of our daily to-do lists that we have forgotten to take risks. We want to be productive but in reality, we confuse that with the mundane and keep chasing the ephemeral dream for perfection. Rinaldi talks about her own failures which lead to trying something new because sucking at something can be a wakeup call and it rewires our brains to cultivate grit, find positive ways to experiment and also enjoy that process.

#10 The Art of Asking

Amanda Palmer

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The Art of Asking makes us step out of our comfort zones, conquer fear and just ask. Palmer says that the fear of rejection or self-doubt holds us back and it is only by asking that we can get to the answer yes. Asking for help doesn’t mean we are weak, there is no stigma to it. She asks us to delve deeper and identify all the barriers that prevent us from reaching out, and deal with them. Her own experience shows that our support networks want to help us succeed but they can only do so if we ask.

#9 A Walking Life: Reclaiming Our Health and Our Freedom One Step at a Time

Antonia Malchik

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Malchik’s book is a different take on walking. She questions how we have lost the art of walking when at our root’s humans have been bipedal walkers for millions of years. Modern lifestyle means less walking and more driving, rushing to meet deadlines but all at a sedentary position. Our physical and mental stress continues to rise, we still ignore the fact that walking is essential because the wellbeing of our brain and body relies heavily on it.

#8 Take Control of Your Life: How to Silence Fear and Win the Mental Game

Mel Robbins

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Mel Robbins’ book helps readers to tackle the single biggest obstacle in their lives, fear. Robbins is known for her motivational books and speeches and she doesn’t disappoint in this one. In this book, she blends a personal narrative with one-on-one life-coaching sessions that offer some powerful take-aways that that reader can apply immediately. By helping us tackle the fear of rejection, change, and even pain, she shows us how to find our purpose and take control.

#7 How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can

Amy B. Scher

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Amy B. Scher’s book teaches us how to heal from emotional trauma. It is a journey of true self-help because we are the best persons to help ourselves. She shares a multi-faceted approach to address the needs of our minds, bodies, and souls. The process needs to be simultaneous because all three are interconnected and need to be nourished together. We learn how to get past blockages and cope with stress, which will help remove the negative energy from our lives.

#6 The New One Minute Manager

Ken Blanchard

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The One Minute Manager teaches readers how to increase productivity and prosperity through fast and effective approaches through the golden three management techniques followed by Fortune 500 companies. The book, based on medical and behavioral science research, is a great guide for anyone who is looking to make successful changes. The simple, pragmatic approach avoids drastic measures and makes it easy to adapt to these changes.

#5 Start with Why

Simon Sinek

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Start with Why tries to find the truth behind continual success and in the process studies inspirational leaders and innovative organizations to find not the how but the why. This is a unique take on success studies and shows the real reason for brand loyalty, the true meaning behind an inspirational organization. Why is a necessary question for any organization to understand employees and customers, act accordingly and thus achieve success?

#4 The Power of Less

Leo Babauta

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The Power of Less shows us why we are always scrambling, it’s because we are living in chaos. We have to get rid of the clutter and busy schedules, and distractions to be truly happy. Simplifying our lives will help us focus our time and attention on what truly matters. The book helps us set manageable goals, refocus our priorities and learn how to take on exactly what we can handle at a time. This is the secret to work smarter and more efficiently.

#3 You Can If You Think You Can

Norman Vincent Peale

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You Can If You Think You Can offers a timeless and practical approach to embracing change. Positive thinking, facing obstacles and sheer persistence are the keys to living a fulfilling and nourishing life. The inspirational book recounts stories of people from diverse backgrounds to show how they have embraced positive thinking and change, how that has helped changed their lives for the better.

#2 Mindset Makeover: Tame Your Fears, Change Your Self-Sabotaging Thoughts, And Learn from Your Mistakes

Steven Schuster

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The mindset makeover is just that, an effort to change our mindsets, step out of the rigid and narrow thoughts that pull us back. The reason why stress and anxiety plague us so much is that neurotic and cluttered thoughts often take over our minds and push us to make those cognitive mistakes we shouldn’t be making. Thinking critically, controlling our thoughts and by improving our decision-making habits we can lead a more productive and peaceful life.

#1 The Quiet Journal: Discover Your Secret Strengths and Unleash Your Inner Power

Susan Cain

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Susan Cain has in her quiet way influenced millions of people to introspect and change for the better, not just introverts. While it is ostensibly about how introverts see themselves and how the world sees them, her simple philosophy resonates with all. the companion journal has powerful prompts to harness one’s secret strengths, comes with an assessment quiz to gauge oneself, and teaches us how to be better communicators and nurture our best selves.

Start Your Career is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.