If you know me, you know that there aren’t many things in the world I love more than reading. My favorite picture of me ever is me at three years old, sitting cross legged in a rocking chair reading a book out loud in Harbor Town on Hilton Head Island. My most relaxed state is me, in Colorado or on a beach, reading quietly. My favorite part of my morning routine is the 10 minutes of reading I gift myself each morning. OK, I think you get the point! I love reading!
If you know me, what you might not know is that I have struggled with self-talk for as long as I can remember. If I appear self-confident and full of self-love, it’s not a façade … it’s a result of decades of work that I’ve done on myself. I’ve read more books on self-talk, listened to more podcasts, gone to more conferences, and learned from any other medium possible. All to help my clients, of course, but even more deeply, to help myself. And you know what? IT WORKED.
Are there days when I still struggle? Of course. Anyone who says they have 100% positive self-talk 100% of the time is either lying to themselves or has found some magical elixir that I haven’t yet found. But is it far more natural for me to speak kindly to myself now? Yes. Does it happen instinctively without me even being aware. YES – something I never would have guessed! And does it feel so much better to live in this mental world than my previous one? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
In this post, I talk about several strategies to improve self-talk, and I recommend all of those. But in today’s post, I want to share the top 10 books on self-talk that have helped me (and hundreds of my clients) improve self-talk. Let’s dive in!
Top 10 Books to Improve Self-Talk
- Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It. My most recommended book of 2020, and one that changed how I start every day (because I added an affirmation from the author to my own affirmations). Author Kamal Ravikant is a former CEO who went through burnout, hit rock bottom, and pulled himself back up by loving himself. Yep, it’s as cheesy as it sounds, because it WORKS. He makes it feel a lot less cheesy and wraps in even skeptics to the whole “self-love” thing. If you struggle with your own self-talk, READ. THIS. BOOK.
- Good Morning, I Love You. A verrry close second on my recommendation list. It’s basically the same as #1, but written in a more feminine and soft tone complimented with plenty of scientific research to back it up. Dr. Shauna Shapiro, the author, teaches us how to rewire our brains for positivity, clarity, and joy through simple practices that actually work.
- You Are a Badass. My most commonly gifted book. I believe most people need to hear this and could use the push to stop getting out of their own way with self-doubt and negativity. You’ll laugh and feel inspired (but, as the title would imply, there is some adult language)!
- Brave, Not Perfect. Perfectionists, listen up! Reshma Saujani, CEO of Girls Who Code and author of this book, not only tells her story in an artful and compelling way, but also helps readers realize how their perfectionism is a disservice to their success. I needed to hear this, and if you do, too, pick it up!
- The Universe Has Your Back Gabrielle Bernstein has a way with words that makes me feel reassured and at peace. If your negative self-talk includes a lot of “what if __ (fill in the blank with the worst possible scenario ___” thoughts, and you think you need a reminder that things will all work out, I recommend this one. For those who love control (like me!), it’s a challenging but welcome exercise to realize that releasing your grip of (pseudo-) control is helpful.
- Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One. If you ever wondered what it would be like to have me as your coach, in Paris, with access to the Louevre, Jean Paul Gaultiere, and ferris wheels (I mean, obviously you’ve wondered that!), this book lays it out exactly. It’s a novel, but the lessons the Claude (the coach) teaches Camille (the student) are applicable to every single human life. If you want a light-hearted way to self-reflect, pick this one up!
- Untamed. If you ever feel like “wow, my life is a chaotic disaster and I want to love it … and myself … anyway,” this book is for you! Told in short stories of a few pages each, it’s an easy read, and Glennon Doyle (who is amazing on Instagram!) is a captivating and fun story teller.
- Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day. I just adore Jay Shetty, a former monk and host of the #1 podcast in the world, and his lessons always hit home. Because I listen to nearly every podcast episode, I didn’t learn anything new in the book, but if you aren’t going to be an avid podcast fan, check this one out for tips on how to train your mind to make life a bit smoother and more pleasant.
- Girl, Stop Apologizing. There’s nothing groundbreaking in Rachel Hollis’ advice for being confident, but the way she writes is as if a great friend is speaking to you directly. It’s a quick, easy, and empowering read if you’re looking to believe in yourself and amp up your confidence.
- The Confidence Code. If you struggle with self-confidence, this book will open your eyes as to why (genetics? Habit? Both?), and help you overcome it.
Now it’s your turn … Have you read any great books on self-talk that you would recommend? Which of these are you most excited to read?
🎙️ Want to hear about this topic in audio format? → Check out the podcast episode here!
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