Since I’ve read so many self-help books over the last few years, I thought it was about time I share my list of the best personal development books for women in their twenties. These are the books that have had the biggest impact on my life and are the first I recommend to my friends – I hope you find them as helpful as I have!
I believe every book in this list will be able to help you, no matter where you are in your personal growth journey. Having said that… I wanted to make this list as helpful and practical as possible so I’ve categorised each of my favourites into beginner, intermediate and advanced.
If you decide to pick up one of (or all of) these personal development books, I recommend checking out this blog post on my tips to make the most of self-help books.
And I just want to let you know that I’ve used some affiliate links in this blog post. This just means that if you make a purchase through one of the links below, I’ll get a small commission for helping you find something you’ll love. I just wanted to be upfront about that (but you guys know I’d be recommending these books regardless – I’m obsessed).
Before we get into it, I want to let you know that I’m running a giveaway for the month of September!
The lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of each of the personal development books I talk about in this blog post as well as lifetime enrolment in my online course Dream Habit: A 28-Day Habit Bootcamp For Perfectionists (valued at $197)!
If you want to take your personal growth to the next level, make sure you enter the giveaway before 30 September 2017 for your chance to win – it’ll only take a minute and entry is open worldwide. Click here to enter now!
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
I was recommended this book by some of my lovely readers in the Smart Twenties Community Facebook group. And it literally changed my life.
I have to admit I didn’t read it when I was a beginner in the personal growth world (though if you haven’t dipped your toe in before, this is probably the best place to start!) but it was one of those books that came to me at exactly the right time.
When I read You Are A Badass, I was in the process of figuring out how I could quit my full-time job for blogging (you can read more about that process here). So when the book briefly mentioned that an actor could work part-time as a waiter to support himself while pursuing his dream job (or something fairly obvious like that), I had an epiphany. I could go back to part-time work so I could pursue blogging. Fast forward two weeks and I’d handed in my resignation at my full-time accounting job and had a part-time job lined up and ready to go!
Life-changing epiphany aside, Jen Sincero has nailed the real talk vibe whilst being as practical as she is motivational. You’ll likely find some chapters more helpful than others, but it’s a great introduction to the personal development world – especially for those who feel it’s all a little too woo-woo for their liking!
It’s a favourite among my readers for a reason, you can check it out here!
The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr David Schwartz
I heard about this book on Tim Ferriss’ podcast, as he repeatedly recommends it. But I have to admit I was hesitant to read it – the title made me think I already knew everything the book was going to say.
But I was SO wrong!
The Magic of Thinking Big is full of practical advice, exercises and reminders to help you make the most of your twenties. Yes, it can be a little cheesy (it was written in 1959 after all) but this book is so helpful that it’s easy to look past that (and sometimes it’s actually quite good for a laugh)!
As you can tell from the photo (and the fact that I have a million tabs in this book) I thought there was quite a lot to learn! Here are a few quotes I love and live by:
- “Action cures fear”
- “How much I do depends on how much I think I can do”
- “Always give people more than they expect to get”
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
If you’ve spent a little time in the self-help world, you’ve probably already heard of this one. But Brené Brown is a queen when it comes to shedding some much needed light on shame – a feeling that most of us spend a lot of time carrying around but never talk about.
The reason I’ve put this book in the intermediate section is because it won’t give you a broad introduction to the self-help world in the way as You Are A Badass and The Magic of Thinking Big. But it’s amazing if you want to learn more about courage, shame and vulnerability so you can get out of your own way and make the most of your twenties!
I also love the way Brené talks about perfectionism (i.e. fear of judgement) as it’s something I’m constantly working on. She has so much to teach and I’m so thankful for her work!
Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck
If you can relate to a lot of what I share on Smart Twenties, there’s a good chance you’re a perfectionist (even if you’ve never thought of yourself as one). As I mentioned before, perfectionism is fear of judgement. So if you’re scared of what other people think, abandon a habit or goal as soon as it’s ‘ruined’ and procrastinate on everything you might not be good at – t’s likely you’re a perfectionist!
When I first started Smart Twenties, I didn’t know I was a perfectionist (I thought perfectionists had to be neat and organised haha). But it was actually starting my blog that made me realise I was one – I was terrified of what other people would think. So much so that I didn’t tell anyone about this blog for a long time (I’m talking years).
Since then, I’ve come to understand more about perfectionism. But it wasn’t until I stumbled upon Dr Carol Dweck’s work (thanks to this YouTube video from Tom Bilyeu) that I really started to understand perfectionism and make significant progress towards ‘overcoming’ it.
Mindset is the book I wish I had when I first started my blog. It’s one of those gems that’s based on scientific research but doesn’t read like it is. And will help you truly understand what perfectionism (the fixed mindset) is and how to get yourself out of it.
It was Mindset that helped me see that creating effort-based goals is one of the most important things I can do to get myself out of procrastination and perfectionism and that it’s all just a mindset – one that can be changed.
Please do yourself a favour and read this book (or at least watch this amazing speech she did – the first minute is a little weird, just skip past it).
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
Apologies in advance if you’re a regular reader of mine, because I know I haven’t shut up about this book this whole year!
This book has literally changed my life (thanks to this journaling exercise). And even though I’ve put it in the advanced section, I believe anyone could read it. I just put it here because it’s so damn big!
Don’t let the size of Tools of Titans put off you though. It’s divided into three sections: healthy, wealthy and wise. And all of the easy-to-read chapters refer to each other, so it’s basically a pick your own adventure and you can read as much or as little as you like (I’ve only read about half).
This book contains the best pieces of advice from each of the interviewees on Tim Ferriss’ podcast The Tim Ferriss Show. I’m obsessed with this podcast and have been listening to it for years, so I knew I’d love this book before I even read it (you can find out more about the podcasts I love here). But trust me when I say that you don’t need to know who the eff Tim Ferriss is, or that he has a podcast, to find this book crazy helpful!
If you’re ready to take your life to the next level, please read this book. And I especially recommend this book for every #girlboss (or future #girlboss) out there!
Win these books!
If you’d love to read these books, don’t forget to enter my giveaway before 30 September 2017 for your chance to win a paperback copy of them all as well as lifetime enrolment in my online course Dream Habit.
Just click here to enter – it’s super simple and only takes a minute!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITES?
What do you think are the best personal development books for women in their twenties? Please let me know in the comments below!