Written by Karl Perera, MA, DipLC
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There is no need for me to tell you how big the self-help book industry is. I’m sure that if you’ve visited a book store or searched online you’ve seen just how many self-help books there are on the shelves. What I do want to talk about is my experience reading, and differing opinions of the top books on self esteem. Can they help you?
Reading books on self esteem can help you become more confident and motivated. According to my research, 37% think self help books are a waste of time. However, books such as those by Dale Carnegie, Louise Hay or Stephen Covey can positively change your behaviour and thinking improving self esteem.
In the above, the research I refer to was an analysis of a huge discussion on the topic of how effective self help books are. You can read my research here.
I’ve recently connected with Bookshop.org who sell books and support local bookstores. Check out my list of books on self esteem from my Help You Bookstore:
Top 10 Best Sellers in the Self Esteem & Motivation Category
The following are my top 10 best sellers in the Self Help Category which can also help you to build your self esteem:
1) The Power of Positive Thinking: Choose Your Attitude Vincent Peale
2) Timothy Ferriss’ The Four Hour Work Week
3) A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club Selection, April 2007)
4) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
5) How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
6) You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay (Oprah’s Book Club Selection, November 2006)
7) Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
8) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey (self esteem book)
9) The Mindset of a Champion by Dr. Mike Joyce: “Based on over 20 years of coaching and research with top athletes, this book outlines the mental skills that lead to success.”
10) The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra: “This is an allegory that demonstrates how following these seven laws―the principles underlying every religion and philosophy―can be used to attain happiness and fulfillment.”
Can Books help You Improve Your Self-Esteem?
Books give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different world seen from another person’s perspective. If you are reading about someone else’s hardships, it can improve your own self-esteem, while reading about someone else’s success will make you feel better about your own life.
The way that books can change your life is unpredictable because it all depends on what kind of book it is and what kind of person you are.
I suffered greatly from low self esteem, lack of confidence and depression. Did self help books help me? I have to say yes, but why? The main reason was that each book provided hope. This is the enemy of depression. In addition to this, I figured that if I could just make one positive change from each book I read, no matter how small, the overall effect would be enormous! That’s how it worked for me.
I’m not going to deny that it is not easy to improve yourself, no matter how good the book you read may be, it is up to you to take any useful advice and apply it consistently. Some just read and after a day or two of putting the book down, go back to their normal behaviour and nothing changes. Don’t be like that, be determined to make books on self esteem work for you, choose the best, such as those available from my bookshop, and a positive long term boost in your self esteem will be the result.
Some think books on self esteem can help, others don’t believe in such self-help books. You can take a look at why I believe self help is the best help and you’ll also be able to check out my research which discovered that despite negative attitudes towards the helpfulness of self help books approximately 6 out of ten believed they did help.
3 Ways Books Can Help You To Develop a New Concept of Yourself
With a book’s help, you can get insights into new concepts and can see yourself in a new light.
Books are not just text, they are something that we can use to explore our minds and understand different perspectives. Books are also great for self-reflection and for developing a new concept of yourself.
Books should be used as an escape from reality because through them we can see ourselves in a different light with the help of the author’s imagination.
5 Books that Helped Me Build Self-Esteem
1. “This I Believe” by Jay Allison
Jay Allison’s “This I Believe” is an essay that tells the story about his life as an author and how he came to discover what it means to be a good writer. He talks about how he was born into poverty and raised by an alcoholic father who would often beat him. This made him see how people suffer in their everyday lives, which is what led him to write about people’s pain and suffering in his stories. It is evident from this essay that being able to identify with others’ pain makes for better writing because it allows the writer to put more of themselves in the story without feeling embarrassed or ashamed.
2. “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown
Brené Brown, instead of telling people to stop being so hard on themselves, she offers the idea that we should “celebrate the struggle”. (Get this book from my bookshop).
3. “You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero
This book is about self-empowerment. It is a book for the rebel, the rule breaker, the believer in anything they can dream up or accomplish. It does not hold back on what it takes to live an awesome life and achieve any goal you want.
This book tries to make one thing clear: You deserve a fulfilled life and your deepest desires.
4. “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl
“Man’s Search for Meaning” is a book written by Viktor E. Frankl that talks about how people find meaning in their lives. In the book, he explores the possibilities of finding meaning in the midst of suffering.
The book starts out with a question: “What can man do when he realizes that, despite all his activities and accomplishments, his life is ultimately meaningless?”
Frankl discusses ways in which people try to find meaning through things that are outside of themselves and illusory. And then finally decides to focus on what is inside themselves – discovering meaning through suffering.
The book sheds light on how we can search for meaning even in pain and misery, but not only there. Meaning can be found everywhere you go if we look for it with our minds open to all the
5. “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a book that presents an ancient Toltec wisdom that can lead to personal freedom. The agreement is that when someone does something or says something, it’s because they want to; there are no mistakes, no accidents and nothing is just a coincidence.
The four agreements are not only about what we do but also how we deal with other people. One of the agreements is never taking things personally which means we need to stop projecting our own fears and insecurities onto other people or situations.
These agreements can be used as a guide for creating better relationships, leading happier lives and achieving personal freedom.
Website Author and Your Guide
Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA), and author of the book Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run More-SelfEsteem.com since 1997 since suffering from low self esteem for more than 25 years overcoming it in his thirties.