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In a world full of distractions, it's so easy to spend time on things which don't actually bring us any benefits. If you're ready to spend your free time creating a 'better you', here are 11 self-help books every woman should read.

Following on from my blog post 9 Brazen Women You Need to Know, what better way to follow up with a list of 11 Self-help books every woman should read – all by female authors!

No matter what you’re going through in life, you can guarantee there’s another woman who’s been in the exact same position.  So, instead of concluding you are alone in your circumstance or thinking you have to work it out by yourself, the ladies in my list below will surely confirm there’s always a way forward.

You don’t have to re-invent the wheel and spend years trying to figure out the moves you have to make to change you mindset, relationships, finances or general life experience.  I can offer testimony to the power of finding the right book, at the right time, to spark your own revolution. 

Whether you’re seeking solace, motivation to take action or just need some ideas of how to start making a change, take your pick from the list below and start getting distracted by focusing on your own personal promise.  

11 Self-Help Books for women -- pinterest

11 Self-Help Books Every Woman Should Read

Do you ever suspect that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t have a clue? If so, Rachel Hollis has something to tell you: that’s a lie.

If you have ever said any of these things to yourself . . .

  • Something else will make me happy.
  • I’m not a good mom.
  • I will never get past this.
  • I am defined by my weight.
  • I should be further along by now.

. . . then you could benefit from the unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity Rachel Hollis has in store for you. In this challenging but conversational book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.

Rachel is real and talks about real issues. More than that, she reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be. Because you really can live with passion and hustle – and give yourself grace without giving up.

Every time we are faced with change, no matter how great or small, we also face risk. We feel uncertain and exposed. We feel vulnerable. Most of us try to fight those feelings – or feel guilt for feeling them in the first place.

Daring Greatly is the culmination of 12 years of ground breaking social research, across every area of our lives including home, relationships, work, and parenting. It is an invitation to be courageous; to show up and let ourselves be seen, even when there are no guarantees.

In a powerful new vision Dr Brené Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability, and dispels the widely accepted myth that it’s a weakness. 

She argues that, in truth, vulnerability is strength and when we shut ourselves off from vulnerability – from revealing our true selves – we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.

This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly.

Lisa Nichols shares her journey from scarcity to abundance, outlining steps everyone can take to create abundance in career, relationships, self, and finances—while creating a legacy for others to follow.

Twenty years ago, Lisa Nichols was a single mother dependent on public assistance and jumping from one dead end job to the next. Determined to break out of the defeatist mindset, negative behavior, and bad habits that were holding her back from success, she resolved to change her life. Today, she leads the life of her dreams.

In Abundance Now, this icon in the field of personal transformation shares her secrets to creating a life that is rich in every way possible. Focusing on the four areas of life that must be refined to bring true abundance, or the 4 E’s—Enrichment, Enchantment, Engagement, Endowment—Nichols identifies the framework upon which a fulfilled existence is built. 

Abundance Now offers provocative lessons, actionable plans and real-life case-studies, and makes clear what we must do every day to attract abundance, how to act as if we are already leading abundant lives, and how to open the door to a life of richness in our work, our relationships, our finances, and in our view of ourselves.

In this poignant, hilarious and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of BridgertonFor the People and How to Get Away with Murder , reveals how saying YES changed her life – and how it can change yours too. 

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say no when invitations arrived. 

Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No. 

And to an introvert like Shonda, who describes herself as ‘hugging the walls’ at social events and experiencing panic attacks before press interviews, there was a particular benefit to saying no: nothing new to fear. Then came Thanksgiving 2013, when Shonda’s sister Delorse muttered six little words at her: You never say yes to anything. 

Profound, impassioned and laugh-out-loud funny, in Year of Yes Shonda Rhimes reveals how saying YES changed – and saved – her life. And inspires readers everywhere to change their own lives with one little word: Yes

Whether you long to write a book, create art, cope with challenges at work, embark on a long-held dream, or simply to make your everyday life more vivid and rewarding,

Big Magic will take you on a journey of exploration filled with wonder and unexpected joys.

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process – and showing us all just how easy it can be.

By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear.

Do you ever have trouble finishing what you start? Do amazing ideas come to you all the time but after the initial excitement wanes you struggle to follow through? If you’re creative and ambitious, the answer is likely yes.

The problem isn’t you. It’s not that you’re not hardworking, intelligent or deserving, but that you haven’t yet installed the one key belief that will change everything: Everything is figureoutable.

Whether you want to leave a dead-end job, heal a relationship, grow a business, master your money, or just find two free hours in your day, Everything is Figureoutable will train your brain to think more positively and help you break down any dream into manageable steps.

Inside you’ll learn:

– How to deal with criticism and imposter syndrome
– Why it’s crucial that you strive for progress not perfection
– How to bounce back from failure
– How to overcome a lack of time and money

You’ll also hear triumphant stories of everyday people using the everything is figureoutable philosophy to transform their life. Everything is figureoutable is more than just a fun phrase to say. It’s a practical, actionable discipline. And it’s about to make you unstoppable!

Ride the swell of your energy and true power to find strength when you are down, synchronicity and support when you are lost, safety in the face of uncertainty, and joy in what might otherwise be pain. Bernstein has secrets to reveal, and she is determined to unleash the presence of your power with the comforting knowledge that the Universe has your back.

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. These words can no longer be cute buzz phrases that we merely post on social media. Rather, these words must be our mission. 

The happiness, safety and security we long for lies in our commitment to love.’

Through acceptance, surrender and a commitment to her continually evolving spiritual path, New York Times bestselling author and international speaker Gabrielle Bernstein has been transforming her fear into faith. Her stories and universal lessons provide a framework for releasing the blocks to what everyone most longs for: happiness, security and clear direction. 

These lessons can help us relinquish the need to control in order to relax into a sense of certainty and freedom – to stop chasing life and truly live.

Women live in a state of constant guilt: that we’re not doing enough, that we’re not good enough, that we can’t keep up.

If we’re not climbing the corporate ladder, building our side hustle, preparing home-cooked meals, tucking the kids in at night, meditating daily, and scheduling playdates, date nights, and girls’ nights every week, we feel like we’re not living our best lives. Yet traditional productivity books–written by men–barely touch on the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list.

Now, Erin Falconer will show you how to do less–a lot less. In fact, How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest. 

As the founder of two technology start-ups and one of Refinery29‘s Top 10 Women Changing the Digital Landscape for Good, Erin has seen what happens when women chase an outdated, patriarchal model of productivity, and now she shows you how even the most intense perfectionist among us can tap into our inner free spirit and learn to feel like badasses.

Packed with real-life advice, honest stories from Erin’s successful career, and dozens of actionable resources, How to Get Sh*t Done will forever reframe productivity so that you can stop doing everything for everyone and start doing what matters to you.

Louise L. Hay, bestselling author, is an internationally known leader in the self-help field. Her key message is: “If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed”

The author has a great deal of experience and first-hand information to share about healing, including how she cured herself after being diagnosed with cancer.

An excerpt from You Can Heal Your Life: Life Is Really Very Simple. What We Give Out, We Get Back What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Every thought we think is creating our future. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings.

The thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences.

Put a stop to self-sabotage and overcome your fears so that you can gain the confidence you need to reach your goals and become your own best friend.

Too many people seem to believe that they are not allowed to put themselves first or go after their own dreams out of fear of being selfish or sacrificing others’ needs. The Self-Love Experiment rectifies this problem. Whether you want to achieve weight loss, land your dream job, find your soul mate, or get out of debt, it all comes back to self-love and accepting yourself first. 

Shannon Kaiser learned the secrets to loving herself, finding purpose, and living a passion-filled life after recovering from eating disorders, drug addictions, corporate burnout, and depression.
Shannon walks you through her own personal experiment, a simple plan that compassionately guides you through the process of removing fear-based thoughts, so you can fall in love with life. 

If you want to change your outcome in life, you have to change your daily habits and perspective. Shannon takes you on this great journey into self-love and true self-acceptance.

It’s time to stop self-sabotaging and start living your best life.

How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t is a straight-shooting approach to self-improvement for women, one that offers no-crap truth-telling about the most common self-destructive behaviours women tend to engage in.

From listening to the imposter complex and bitchy inner critic to catastrophizing and people-pleasing, Andrea Owen–a nationally sought-after life coach– crystallizes what’s behind these invisible, undermining habits. 

With each chapter, she offers practical advice and kicks women’s gears out of autopilot and empowers them to create happier, more fulfilling lives.

Powerfully on-the-mark, the chapters are short and digestible, nicely bypassing weighty examinations in favour of punch-points of awareness.

Let me know below if there’s a book I should add to the list.

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