If you didn’t already know this, I am a book lover. I really enjoy reading and it’s one of my daily “to-do’s” that keep me from going crazy. In high school (and even beginning of college), I wasn’t reading as much and I found it difficult to focus on reading when I had A THOUSAND other things I needed to be doing. In the past two years, I have tried really hard to create a positive morning routine that revolves around reading instead of being on my phone. I work in the Public Relations and Marketing industry which consists of A LOT of screen time and actively thinking/creating all day. I needed a morning routine that was the complete opposite of my 9-5 role because I found myself getting frequent headaches from my screens. I notice a big change in how I start my day and how I feel when I keep up with my morning routine. If you want to read more about my morning routine, check out this blog about how I found the perfect morning routine for me: https://bit.ly/3vb533M
I am currently transitioning from being a full-time student to my new career, so this is the perfect time for some self reflection, positive motivation, and personal growth! I want to constantly be learning and growing now that I am out of school, and books are an amazing way to keep both of those things in my life outside of work. I have mentioned this before in many past blogs, but you can’t just have work (aka your 9-5 or whatever that equivalent might be) as your motivator and only thing pushing you to grow in life. If you only focus on work and put all your energy into work then when you retire or can’t work anymore, what will you have? When you go home or shut the laptop at 5pm, what do you have that just purely makes you happy and a better you? Again, I’m not talking about kids or your work… I’m talking about your side hustle or something that you do just for you. You shouldn’t wait to create something that is 100% yours or work on something that you always wanted to work on. You need to have something that is purely just for you outside of work to balance your stress and daily routines. That could be reading and setting new goals, working out more, getting outside more, painting, writing, or anything you want that doesn’t involve your day job. I think reading is the perfect way to get this train rolling. Why not learn from professionals who have dedicated their lives to growth or individuals who have experienced change and want to help others?
I hope this motivates you to put down the phone, put away the laptop and shut off the TV and just read for 30 minutes a day. Read something that speaks to you and inspires you! I put together a list of books that I think are amazing support for a journey of growth, personal development, and self-love. These books are all focused on a woman’s perspective and for individuals who identify as a woman, but honestly I think they could be read by anyone who wants to learn and grow. Just put a personal twist on the stories shared and the advice shared.
I really really loved this book because it was funny, raw and real! Tara did not censor herself or try make herself look better to the reader. She was super honest about her experiences maturing in today’s society, finding herself in adulthood, and being a little messy. Tara shares her daily rituals and advice for “re-parenting” yourself through self-love. The tips she gave were super simple and something that a lot of people do to support themselves through change! This book would be amazing for someone who loves comedy, swearing, honest stories, some messy realities and positive but realistic advice on loving ourselves.
I loved this book but also got a little bored of it. The reason I still wanted to include it in this list, even though I got a little bored halfway through, is because the content and advice is golden! I just have the attention span of a 5 year old. This book written by Amber Rae shares a journey of choosing wonder and growth over worry and fear. She aims to help the reader “move beyond fear and doubt to unlock your full potential.” I personally think this is a really good book for anyone who struggles with confidence, overthinking and anxiety. She shares stories of fear overcoming her and her battle with addiction to becoming vulnerable and open to just being happy. Her stories were really touching and honest which helps the reader better understand her personal journey and how this advice helped her. I love when authors get personal because it creates a better connection with the reader and I want to know where they are coming from in their journey of whatever. Amber uses every excuse we tell ourselves in moments of worry and fear and turns them into a “meet…” moment. For example, my favourite chapter is called “Who the hell am I to do this? Meet Imposter Syndrome.” Every chapter approaches a new excuse and calls it out for what it is…. anger, jealousy, fear, anxiety, addiction, loss, etc. This book is on my list to re-read because I know that the advice is really solid and comes from a place of real experience.
Obviously I had to put a Brené Brown book in here…. the queen of vulnerability and courage herself! This is the first Brené book I have read and I enjoyed it but didn’t love it. This book is a bit more serious (with some Brené twists, humour and personal stories) and very based out of research. If you want something that is backed with research and real studies instead of just personal stories, then this book is for you. On the contrary, if you are someone who can’t focus when reading case studies and needs humour, then maybe pick one of the other books on this list. Brené wants all of us to embrace who we truly are and own “wholehearted living.” She share tens guideposts to help us get there from defining moments to gratitude, connection and digging deep, etc. Brené Brown is still a very funny person and that shows in her writing, but a 21-year-old student who wants to learn about bouncing back after some messy choices may not find what they need in this book. This is for someone who is in a rut and wants those cold, hard facts for living whole-heartedly.
I ALSO had to include Oprah in here! There is no better example of growth, confidence, finding yourself and self-love than Oprah Freaking Winfrey. I just recently read this book and wanted to include it because it is super easy to read. I finished it in one day! For anyone who likes to read but doesn’t love to read and is in need of some inspiration…. this is for you. Each chapter is a step to creating the life you want for yourself and doing what you were created to do! I believe that we all knew exactly who we were and wanted to be as kids, but lost it along the way as society molded us. Oprah knew she wanted to be a teacher or someone who helped people through learning when she was a little girl playing teacher with her cousins. She lit up when she helped others learn and guided them to growth. Look at her now! A personal example: I have always loved to write as a kid, I’m talking like as soon as I could hold a pencil, I was writing stories in notebooks. When I was nine, instead of playing with friends or doing normal kid things I was in the office/computer room at my home and writing the craziest stories. Grammar and punctuation was not a thing yet (my love for commas has still followed me 13 years later). HOWEVER, I wrote a “real” novel with 30 chapters that each consisted of five to seven pages about a young girl from New York City who was starting at a new boarding school far way from her old life. It was a story about finding her way around mean girls, finding confidence and growing up! I lost my spark for writing once I got to high school and didn’t write anything other than essays for a good six or seven years. But now that I am graduated, I have started writing again and it feels amazing. I truly believe that you just know what you’re created to do. I think we all have that calling and little voice whispering what we truly want in our ear, we just ignore it. That is exactly what Oprah discusses in this book and shares amazing quotes from talented people to back up her advice (The book is mostly a collection of quotes and advice with beautiful photography, but that’s why it’s an easy and inspiring read for beginners). I cannot recommend this book enough!