Lately I have been on a bit of a self-help journey. As my kids get older, I find myself wondering if I am modeling positive mental health for them. I have always struggled with anxiety, which has manifested into negative self-talk and poor habits. I’m a worrier and I see this in my children. My son, especially, is constantly worried about something. Whether it’s a school test, cross country meet or what we are having for dinner, he worries.
I hate that he gets this from me.
I think many of us close our eyes and envision the life we want. We imagine what steps we will take to get there, we create a plan, and plot a course. And then… life derails. It may be a divorce, getting fired, a cancer diagnosis, or an abusive relationship. We all struggle. Over the last year, I have had many changes in my life—specifically my career. The changes have made me question my value and self-worth. And, even though I have an amazing support system of family, friends, and other professionals, I still struggled to dig myself out of a dark place.
So, I started reading.
Some friends had recommended a couple of books. I heard the title of others at conferences and seminars. I began making a list of books that might be inspiring, then began reading (and listening)!
Here are some of the books that have helped me:
If you don’t know who Sheryl Sandberg is, you should. She is the COO of Facebook and is generating a new narrative for women in the workplace. This book dives into work-life balance and speaking out for gender equality in the workplace. It’s a great read for anyone interested in getting ahead in her career, but who is worried about coming across as too overbearing or a big you-know-what. My favorite quote from this book is: “We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in.”
Gabby Bernstein is a self-proclaimed Spirit Junkie. She may be a little rah-rah for some, but her words in this book really spoke to me. It’s all about energy and faith and knowing the that Universe has your best interest in mind. That you are on the right path and that you must trust that you are being guided in the right direction. It’s through this faith that one can find true joy. I am often reminding myself that yes, the universe does have my back.
May Cause Miracles is a 40-day guide book that implores you to make subtle changes in your mindset and outlook. While there is some daily work – reflecting and journaling – I found that the time I took to make subtle changes to the way I was thinking about my life was worth it. Her guided meditations have led me to spend time each day in reflection, which has significantly lowered my stress levels.
This book came recommended through a friend, who heard about it from the principal at our kids’ school. Dr. Dweck compares and explains the difference between the growth and fixed mindset. Understanding your own mindset (and for me, the mindset of my children) is so valuable. This book shaped the way I react to setbacks and situations outside of my control. And, it’s allowed me to better understand my children.
This book is amazing, and it seems that everyone is reading it. If you haven’t, I suggest you get on the Rachel Hollis train. In this book, she examines the lies we, as women, tell ourselves, and what helped her to overcome the lies to live her best life. My favorite quote is: “Never break a promise to yourself.” Her guidance in moving past the noise and believing in yourself is life changing.
Bobby Bones is a country radio host, who grew up in a small town in Arkansas and never thought he’d have success. This is his second book and he writes about embracing your failures. He highlights celebrities who have struggled and failed, but had the grit to pick themselves back up, tweak a few things, and try again. I have found that his formula – fight, grind, repeat – has been helpful as I set goals in many areas of my life.
These are just a few of my favorite reads that have helped shape a positive and joyful mindset for me. Through these books, I have found reassurance, tips and tricks, and motivation to live out each day with a mindful and thankful attitude.
What are some of your favorite inspirational books?