It was World Book Day at the start of March, so I thought I would share some of the books I’d recommend if you’re looking for ways to feel more confident and more content with life. Some of the skills and tools I teach my weight management clients come from some of these books among others – obviously if you’d prefer to bypass all the reading and have someone cherry-pick the skills/tools which would be best for you, then get in touch and we can talk through how I can help you. If you’d prefer to read for yourself then check out the list below – a lot of them are available relatively cheaply online.
Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway
I was never a fan of self-help books until I first started co-ordinating and delivering confidence-building courses for the NHS. This book was recommended further reading on one of our confidence-building courses and several of the course activities were adapted from the book. So, to prepare myself, I read the book and was blown away. It touched a nerve about a really difficult time in my life and how I had got through it; I was working as a newly qualified Dietitian with so much going for me, but everything in my life just felt wrong. When I look back at that time and think through what I did to change things around and how I got through that rough patch – this book really resonated with the way I had approached things back then. There were also various things the author said that improved my outlook on life and helped me get through redundancy and transitioning to becoming self-employed. So even if you’re like I was and unconvinced by the idea of these kind of books – give it a read and see what you think!
This was another book that we used to refer to on the confidence-building course as we would teach the main principles of communicating in a compassionate way. As someone with a short temper I have found this book invaluable in looking at the way that I communicate with my husband. I’ll be honest I have struggled in the past as my husband doesn’t share the same outlook as me when it comes to order around the house and cleaning. It’s not as though I’m obsessive about cleaning, it’s just that we have different standards and priorities…. Before reading this book, I would’ve described my husband very differently, however this book has helped me to recognise that we have different needs and feelings, and by recognising this and finding a compromise we can have a much calmer household. This book doesn’t teach you how to communicate in order to get your own way; it helps you to put forward your needs and make requests in a way that doesn’t come across as demanding. This process only works if you’re prepared to recognise that we all have different needs and feelings and that sometimes you need to compromise for everyone to benefit.
Living Life To The Full – little books course
This is a series of little booklets that go with a fantastic free online course that you can access here – all of the resources and videos you need to complete the course are available for free. However, if you like a nice neat little book to work through and keep everything in one place then you can buy a little booklet for each of the corresponding videos. This was one of the courses that we used to offer when I was working for the NHS and it basically teaches you the main principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in a really practical, simple way with some straightforward tools that you can use to make changes to your life. Although I am not a qualified CBT therapist, I have had some training in the main principles and I use some CBT-based tools and skills to help my one-to-one clients. I find this course and the corresponding books are a great resource for people wanting to find out what CBT is all about and how it could help them in their life.
The Art Of Asking
This book is a bit of a wildcard compared to the rest of my recommendations, as the author has often been viewed as controversial and the book isn’t specifically about self-development – although it is at the same time! This book was born out of a fantastic inspirational TED talk by Amanda Palmer after she was the first musician to raise over a million dollars through Kickstarter for a musical project. I personally have found this a useful insight into building a following and connecting with my audience in terms of what I am trying to achieve with Society Of Self-esteem. As the title suggests it is also a study of one of the things that a lot of us struggle with – i.e. communicating what we need and asking for help. If you’re in business particularly in the music industry or arts/crafts then this is a must read for you (or at least get a feel for things by watching the video of the TED talk) in terms of recognising your value and not being afraid to ask for money for your art. However, I think on a personal level you can take a lot from this book regarding self-esteem and connecting with others too.
There are so many more books I could recommend as well as these, but I thought I’d keep it to these four for now. If you give any of them a go, please come back and comment below to let me know what you thought. Or if you’ve already read them then comment below with what you think of them or what books you’d recommend.
Of course, I have plans in the future to write my own anti-dieting book on building self-esteem and breaking free from the cycle of yo-yo dieting – watch this space! For now, though, you can read my short e-book on self-motivation by clicking here.