The shelves of self-help books are bursting. You can find books on finding inner peace, becoming a millionaire in 3 years, conquering your fears, fixing your social life, becoming a great leader, mastering your own fate, and thousands upon thousands of other topics. What very few of these books tell you, however, is that all of this – every improvement plan you make to achieve all that you want – begins with self-confidence. Nothing works until you have it. And self-confidence really boils down to trust – trusting yourself more than others. So, if you are going to that self-help section today, here are 10 books that will begin your journey.
1. BARTON GOLDSMITH – 100 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE
This is probably the most practical of all books on building self-confidence, and such an easy read. Goldsmith has it nailed with his descriptions of people who lack confidence. He has prescriptions for getting rid of all of those thoughts, behaviors and habits that tell yourself and others that you are – well – kind of wimpy, and that you are letting events and others control you. His tips range from intellectual behaviors (educating yourself), to physical style (new clothes and grooming) to embracing your flaws.
2. STEVEN R. COVEY – 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE
Most people have the impression that this book is written only for the career professional who wants to get ahead. Yes, it is. But the principles apply to anyone and to any aspect of one’s life. And, each of the 7 habits that Covey has described begins with self-confidence. It’s all a matter of practicing certain behaviors until they become habitual – once they do, you have changed your mindset. The overriding principle is really “act as if” you are highly successful and you will be.
3. GARY VURNUM – INSTANT CONFIDENCE: 92 TIPS
This book does not have amazing new insights to give. It is literally 92 tips for everyday action that can project you as a self-confident person. (e.g., change the focus away from you). The basic idea is this – use the tips, others will see you as self-confident, and you will respond to that be being even more self-confident. It’s a good book to have around to remind yourself of the behaviors you need to be exhibiting.
4. ANTHONY ROBBINS – AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN
This is not a book you will want to read quickly. It addresses how you become the master of your own destiny, step by step – from the decisions you make, to the vocabulary you choose. The book is filled with challenges for you to take up – even a 7-day master plan to get control and become the self-confident giant you should be.
5. SAM HORN – WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK?
How about walking into a room full of strangers and being able to walk up to any of them and begin a conversation? This book is a 30-day diet of learning how to be more powerful in all settings (work, social, home), to stop comparing yourself to others (a true killer of self-confidence), and to never worry again about the impression you are making. Each chapter is a day of the 30. The best way to read this? One chapter a night before you go to bed with the commitment to follow through the next day.
6. BRIAN ROET – THE CONFIDENCE TO BE YOURSELF
If you have never heard of cognitive-behavioral therapy, you will understand it after you read this book. The basic principle is that once you change your thinking, your behaviors will change to match that thinking. This book will teach you how to change those low self-esteem thoughts into thoughts of confidence, based on who you are, and then you can watch the transformation that occurs on the outside.
7. KEVIN LEMAN – HAVE A NEW YOU BY FRIDAY
An inspirational read but also one that has wonderfully practical advice about becoming self-confident. You begin by accepting the truth about yourself (Monday), and move on from there to identifying the lies you tell yourself (Wednesday), and so on. This is a great read, because Dr. Leman is so funny while he literally shows you how to transform yourself into a confident person in 5 days.
8. MARK GOULSTON – GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY
We are our own worst enemies – this old saying comes to life in Goulston’s great book. Even though it is a fun read with lots of examples we can see in ourselves, it is packed with loads of practical advice for overcoming fear, anxiety, and a host of other emotions and thoughts that cause our lack of confidence. Once we slay those dragons, one by one, we emerge triumphant and confident.
9. ADAM KHAN – SELF-HELP STUFF THAT WORKS
Short chapters, easy to read, spliced with humor and advice for everyday situations. Khan doesn’t spend any time on deep philosophical or psychological meanings for our lack of confidence – he nails the behaviors and how to change them. 350 pages of golden nuggets!
10. RICHARD MACHOWICZ – UNLEASH THE WARRIOR WITHIN
Machowicz was a Navy SEAL in his former life and has now translated all of what he learned to very practical steps for everyday people to gain self-confidence and realize their goals. For example, you complete every task on time, no matter what the conditions and your approach is always based on a single thought – failure is not an option. And it’s all about the weapons you choose – knowledge, attitude, and commitment. The analogy to being a warrior on the battle field and being a warrior in life is really quite stunning.