Books That Changed My Life
Here is a list of books I often recommend to my clients.
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
THIS BOOK! It’s amazing and speaks some incredible truths. The author talks mostly about how to be effective and live a purposeful, satisfying life through means of profound changes within our psyche, and it criticizes the mainstream attempts at self help that only address “secondary traits” of success. It’s the difference between putting your focus on ethics, morals, and values (the character ethic) and putting your focus on skills like positive thinking, making routines, sticking to a diet and other common self-help strategies (the personality ethic). This book asks you to really dig deep to challenge your character, get to the subconscious beliefs you live by, and begin essential paradigm shifts.
- The Big Leap: Conquer your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks
This book describes the author’s theory that we all have a subconscious threshold of success and a tendency to self-sabotage when we near that threshold. This book challenges the reader to recognize tendencies that keep you from being as successful. I typically struggle to agree with simplified explanations for dysfunctional behaviors, but I do think this book offers an important perspective that challenges the reader to combat your fears and realize your full potential. I recommend this book for anyone feeling stuck and wanting to do more with their life.
- The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide by Ted Zeff, PhD
As an Empath and a Highly Sensitive Person, this book really helped me understand my emotional and physical sensitivities. It helped me appreciate them rather than disparage them. I recommend this book for individuals who also identify as empaths and/or highly sensitive people. This book will teach you how to cope with a sensitive nervous system, learn more about anxiety, and better manage triggers for overstimulation. Instead of wondering why I feel different from everyone, I now feel like I have incredible superpowers! This book was the first I read that helped me understand that.
- Codependent No More by Melody Beatty
The classic definition of codependency involves the dynamic that develops in relationship between alcoholic and enabler. However, a broader spectrum of characteristics describes codependent tendencies, and this book is for anyone who might have tendencies that fall in that spectrum of behaviors. These might include lacking trust in yourself, giving more than you are receiving, feeling resentment of your partner or others who are not meeting your needs, difficulty communicating, constant need for approval, poor self-esteem, and feeling the need to control others. This book helps you identify toxic behaviors, learn to trust yourself in relationships, and develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage fears of abandonment.
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
This book is written by a WWII Concentration Camp survivor and gives a relevant and moving narrative to how the author found meaning even in the darkest times. Victor Frankl was a neurologist and psychiatrist and developed an existential intervention known as logotherapy- which defines the will to find meaning in life as the most powerful motivator for human experience. This book took me on a journey of humility and challenged me in such positive ways. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk
This book has become like a bible for trauma practitioners and survivors. This author really challenged the perceptions of mental health and trauma in the medical field and dedicated his career to understanding the neuroscience and psychology behind trauma. He also identified varying degrees of trauma which broadened the definition of trauma. Van der Kolk is a trauma hero and reading this book will help you understand why your mind and body react the way they do to trauma. This is book is a must for survivors of trauma, loved ones of trauma survivors, and all clinicians.
- You Are a Badass and You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
I love these books, especially listening to them as audio books, because they are so motivating. The author inspires the reader to trust your own your greatness. Like I mentioned before, I am not a fan of oversimplification of struggles, and I definitely do not agree with toxic positivity, and this book has been criticized as both. It takes a lot more to heal from mental health struggles than false hope that if you just think positive, everything will be ok. But I do believe that filling your mind with positive messages and drawing from this author’s contagious enthusiasm and humor can be an affirmative experience. I recommend reading this, not as a guide to life, but as a positivity boost! I think there is something good you can gain from these reads.
There are many more books I love! I will eventually make additional posts to continue this list. I love to read, and I love to expose myself to new information and new ways of thinking. List some of your thoughts and book recommendations below!