4 Self-Help Books that Actually Changed My Life

I love to discover life changing self help books. Despite the hefty section of self development books in bookshops, it’s actually very rare to find one that helps.

I’m always looking to improve my life, mindset, achieve my goals and live as happily and as stress-free as possible. I actively seek out self-help books even if I’m not in a helpless, hopeless space as psychology has always interested me. Yet most of the time, I read these books as I want to feel slightly better about my life and self than I do in that moment. 

When I stumble upon a book that actually helps me, it is life changing. I genuinely believe that fiction books can also change your life, but self-help books are designed to give you practical tools to implement changes (or so they say).

I’ve read countless self-help books over the years, but there are a few that I religiously go back and re-read if I’m struggling or I’ve lost my way a little.

These self help books in particular changed my life. Sure, I’m still not exactly where I want to be, I don’t run the world or haven’t lost x amount of stone, but I’m growing and evolving into the person I want to be with the guidance of these methods. 

4 Life Changing Self Help Books 

The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi

Earlier in the year I heard Shahroo on Deliciously Ella’s podcast and I was hooked by her every word. At the time I had just gone through a break up and we were still living together, which was a nightmare.

I felt worthless and everyday was a battle as I’d started a new job, I was meeting new people, trying to make a good impression and plastering a smile on my face or at least not cry in front of them. 

After listening to the same episode of the podcast for a week, I moved on and forgot about it for a while. Then last week, I listened to it again and finally downloaded Shahroo’s book, The Kindness Method, on Audible,

As a behavioural therapist, Shahroo knows her stuff, she’s also used her own method on countless addiction patients as well as herself to lose and keep off eight stone. Her voice is absolutely captivating which is why I downloaded it as an audiobook.

The Kindness Method involves (as it suggests) being kind to yourself in order to achieve your goals. You treat yourself as thought you’ve already achieved everything you wanted to and become the person you wanted to be – as when you’re future wonderful you who’s achieved x and y you are kind to yourself as you’re proud of who you are.

Shahroo shares practical exercises including making maps to prepare for challenges ahead that will try and deviate you from your path towards your end goal. I’ve found her tools invaluable and I’m sure you will too.

The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris 

The Confidence Gap is an excellent example of a book that changed my life. I was told to read this book by my therapist when I was doing CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) back in 2017 as most of the techniques we were going to use were outlined in the book. 

Despite the title’s name, the book is about challenging and disarming negative self talk especially when that induces anxiety, depression, low self esteem or confidence issues.

Basically if there’s something you want to do but you aren’t in the right mindset to do it, this self-help book will help you change that.

It has practical advice and exercises that you can regularly do each day for a few minutes to slowly and effectively shift your mindset. The book specifically doesn’t endorse a ‘think positively’ mindset, but it provides tools to objectively observe your negative thoughts and unhook from them before they spiral out of control.

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight

I’ve written a full review of this book here but essentially Sarah Knight’s idea of a fuck budget transformed how I decide what deserves my time, energy and effort and what doesn’t – or what I don’t give a fuck about.

Sarah’s method involves considering what you do and don’t give a fuck about and how you can use a fuck budget to make sure that you’re never running out of energy for things that matter to you. It’s about prioritising what you value and declining or identifying what you don’t and avoiding being an asshole in the process. 

It’s a really valuable book that will teach you to live the life you want to, rather than the life that you feel that you have to/should lead.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book is great if you’re a creative. It discusses the process of creativity and creative thinking and how to turn your thoughts into actions and finish projects as well as relieve the pressure around producing creative work.

It changed how I view and approach my creative writing and really resonated with me. Equally as a best-selling author, Elizabeth is the perfect person to offer expert advice about the love-hate relationship with creative writing.

Have you read any life changing self help books?

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  • Hannah says:

    I have yet to actually read any of these books but I actually already own 3 out of 4 of them so will definitely need to check them out now! The Confidence Gap is the one that I am most excited to read as I have heard several people talk about how beneficial they found it. Thank you for sharing. xx

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