Overcoming life’s struggles requires us to take matters into our own hands. Reading the right books teaches us the skills and strategies necessary to propel ourselves forward and make positive changes. This list of the best personal growth books provides you with inspiring stories and actionable advice on everything from improving your relationships to overcoming low self-esteem.
Whether you’re looking for something to keep you motivated or need help creating lasting change, pick up one of these books and start your journey toward self-improvement.
22 Best Self-Improvement Books of All Time
Atomic Habits An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones – James Clear
Atomic Habits is one of the best self-improvement books with detailed and practical guide to creating lasting, positive change in your life. It explains how small changes can add up to make a significant impact and how focusing on the process instead of the goal can help you achieve your objectives. The book contains actionable advice that can be easily incorporated into daily life.
This self-improvement book is a must-read to make lasting changes in your life and create better habits. Whether trying to break bad habits or create good ones, Atomic Habits provides a comprehensive system for helping you reach your goals. With its easy-to-follow advice and practical tips, this book can help you gain control over your life and create positive change.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg
This self-improvement book contains an eye-opening argument about why regular exercise, weight loss, personal development, and success can be achieved by understanding the power of habit. The combination of scientific data along with engrossing narratives creates an intriguing exploration into the biological forces that shape our lives.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
Do you ever repeatedly feel stuck in the same routine, unsure how to escape? Finding no success in the mundane cycle of life? It is time for a change. With The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you can unlock secrets that revolutionize how you live your life.
This personal development book will teach you how to manage your time, communicate effectively, and delegate tasks to get things done. It will also help you develop the mindset needed to make decisions that propel you further toward your goals. By understanding these good habits, you can be more productive and effective.
Take control of your life today and create the creative modifications needed to drive yourself toward a more rewarding future!
Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
This masterpiece analyses how we can use the past to help shape our future, teaching us how to equip ourselves with strength and courage during challenging times by creating powerful stories from our own experiences.
After spending three years in brutal conditions of Nazi concentration camps, thinking that every day could be his last day, Viktor E. Frankl demonstrates how finding what motivates us can lead us to uncover our truth – even when faced with traumatic circumstances overwhelming adversities. Man’s Search for Meaning is the perfect guide for those who want to explore self-reflection and discovery.
With this book at your side, you will learn how to endure and even embrace the unexpected obstacles that come with life. This book is more than just a quick read; it is a comprehensive guide to help you find the inner strength within you.
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success – Adam Grant
Give and Take offers a unique approach to success that does not rely on talent alone. It will show you how to become an effective leader by understanding the power of collaboration and engaging with others meaningfully. It will also help you develop your success networks that allow you to transform workplace dynamics into something more productive.
It offers a fresh perspective on our success networks that can turn workplace dynamics into something productive rather than paralyzing. If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, look no further than Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant!
The Self-Esteem Workbook – Glenn R. Schiraldi Ph.D.
Healthy self-esteem is foundational to living a good and entirely satisfying life. This book will provide the tools and guidance to help you better understand yourself, improve your self-esteem, and develop healthier relationships. You will learn practical skills to help you identify destructive thoughts and behaviors and strategies for improving your self-image.
The workbook also offers valuable skills, such as mindfulness, to help you be more aware of the present moment and recognize your true worth. No matter who (or where) you are, it’s possible to cultivate better self-confidence with the guidance of this workbook. With actionable, practical, purposeful steps and activities encouraging growth, you can start loving yourself more and become any version of “the best” you want.
The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be – Jack Cranfield
With over ten years of success, Jack’s book has helped thousands achieve life-altering transformations. Inside, you’ll find motivational stories and strategies proven throughout history by CEOs, premier athletes, famed celebrities, and everyday people.
Now revised and updated for our modern times, this self-help book will help you identify the blocks holding you back and empower you to take control of your life and create the success you desire.
Whether it is career advancement, financial independence, or personal growth and development, Jack Canfield will teach you the tools to achieve everything you want. So if you’re looking for the tools to advance your potential towards the highest levels of success, look no further than The Success Principles — your key to unlocking a brighter future!
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life – Mark Manson
Are you living the life that you want to live? Do you lack purpose and motivation? The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is here to help. It will show you how to stop worrying about other people’s thoughts and instead focus on what matters in life.
Through his frank and candid advice, Manson illustrates that there are some things we cannot control and offers guidance on understanding our strengths, weaknesses, and limitations – as humans, we aren’t perfect, and it’s okay.
Rise above mediocrity with The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck!
Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
This book presents an innovative yet accessible way to uncover how these different systems drive all our decisions, from big to small, rational to emotional.
Through Kahneman’s illuminating research and expertise, you will get an insightful perspective into how these two systems can inform our financial endeavors, such as investing in stocks or planning vacations.
Step inside this groundbreaking tour of the mind and explore with Thinking, Fast and Slow. Let your learning take off like never before!
Liminal Thinking: Create the Change You Want by Changing the Way You Think – Dave Gray
We all know change is hard, but do we often understand why? The answer is our belief systems. Liminal Thinking teaches us about understanding positive thinking, shaping and reframing beliefs to create lasting change. It delves into a deeper level of why we act certain ways and how this affects our motivation levels and ability to persist with complex tasks.
This self-love book gives you insight into challenging your pre-existing thoughts and provides strategies for exiting the limbo between ideas of what change looks like now versus later.
You don’t have to fall victim to society’s grand schemes, allowing fate or others around you to decide your future. You can determine your destiny without being held back by set limitations. Take on your aspirations, reach greater heights than before, and be proud of every step along the way.
So if you’re prepared to start making positive changes in your life, grab yourself a copy of Liminal Thinking by Dav today. It could be the best decision you ever make!
Deep Work – Cal Newport
Do you feel like your productivity levels are at an all-time low? Are you struggling to stay focused and achieve your goals? If you answered “yes,” then Deep Work – Cal Newport’s best-selling book is just what you need.
Deep Work provides an in-depth and actionable blueprint on how to focus intensely and work smarter. It explains the power of deep work, a unique skill set that enables one to become more productive and successful in their chosen field.
From simple tips on eliminating distractions to strategies for mastering the art of focus, Newport unpacks what it takes to become an expert in deep work. Ultimately, this book serves as a potent reminder that if you want to be successful and reach your full potential, you must prioritize deep work – both in your professional and personal life.
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life – Bill Burnett & Dave Evans
Through design thinking, Burnett and Evans demonstrate how each of us has the power to design our lives and create lasting joy. This great read is loaded with practical exercises that can help transform your career and life into unending creative expression and possibility.
By using the simple yet powerful tools introduced in this book, you too can craft a life that is uniquely yours, one which you not only enjoy but are proud to live. Give yourself the gift of Designing Your Life today! It’s sure to be an investment that will last for years.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth
Have you ever considered that it may not be natural talents or a stroke of good luck that has gotten you where you are today but instead your drive and persistence? GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth is here to show us all how grit is the ultimate key to success.
Grit offers readers insight into how both demanding high standards of ourselves and compassionate encouragement won’t work on their own—we need a healthy balance to reach career success.
By reading Grit, you’ll learn tips for developing an ‘I don’t give up’ mentality, so your dreams become achievable realities. Stop letting life pass you by due to hesitations fuelled by a lack of talent or luck. Pick up Grit now and plant your seeds for success.
Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrows Success – John C. Maxwell
Success isn’t reserved for the lucky few. It’s attainable by anyone with the proper training and dedication. In “Today Matters,” esteemed life coach John C. Maxwell provides a comprehensive guide to making every day count and living a fulfilled life.
By mastering just 12 daily decisions and disciplines- or, as he calls them, his “daily dozen”- you can start steady progress toward your goals without fussing over perfectionism or feeling overwhelmed. Learn how to build better habits to increase your productivity and self-esteem so that today will become the foundation for success tomorrow!
With simple and easy steps in this book, you can look forward to an upswing in confidence, clarity of purpose, and critical insights on wellbeing from Maxwell’s decades of experience as both practitioner and scholar. Start living every single moment of your life with the intention of beginning with your next breath so that each day truly does matter!
Personality Isn’t Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story – Benjamin Hardy
Have you ever felt trapped in an uncomfortable box or under an unyielding label? You know, the one where people try to tell you who you should be and how to act? The narrative is wrong. We are not forever-stuck versions of ourselves, as Dr. Benjamin Hardy explains in Personality Isn’t Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story.
Hardy did amazing research to prove that it’s possible to rewrite our personal stories and achieve our desired goals, no matter what preconceived notions may judge us for trying.
Combining his power of expertise with a flourish of perspective, Hardy breaks down the barriers of living life without intention and hope—by exploring topics such as self-determination through building better habits, staying focused on your direction instead of your circumstance, and understanding the brain’s patterns.
With these practical tips, including real-world examples, unlocking yourself from limiting beliefs can become a reality. Nearly all achievements start with faith in ourselves—something that this escape from illusions preaches! Claim responsibility for your story and reap the rewards you deserve!
Actualization – Scott Barry Kaufman
Actualization by Scott Barry Kaufman is a revolutionary framework designed to help everyone find purpose and fulfillment. Most of us understand the importance of “self-care” but forget that it must be a two-way street – integral to fully reaching our highest potential includes serving and connecting with, too.
Kaufman reframes these two concepts as indivisible, illustrating what he calls “Transcendence” – the full actualization of human potential through creative expression connected with meaningful relationships.
As he shares valuable lessons and compelling stories from notable intellects to everyday people on their self-actualization journey, we get a roadmap for reaching authentic contentment.
This self-love book is an essential read no matter where you are in life – whether you feel like you’ve hit a dead end or seek clarity around what your higher aspirations could be – this journey will surely leave you inspired and empowered to take action!
The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want – Sonja Lyubomirsky
This is also one of the best personal development books today. It will transform your life with its influential contributions to positive psychology, practical strategies for a happy life, empowering exercises in new ways of thinking, and quizzes for discovering more about yourself and your unique path to contentment.
With this self-improvement book at your disposal, joy, and fulfillment are within reach –stop looking elsewhere and start taking control of your happiness today!
Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes William Bridges
Tired of feeling stuck in life’s transitions? Ready to feel hopeful about the future? Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes by William Bridges offers a comprehensive yet straightforward road map for navigating life’s complex changes.
Bridges help readers step by step understand and embrace the three difficult stages of any transition – endings, the neutral zone, and new beginnings. It’s an essential guide to making sense of even the most daunting changes while unlocking hope and emotional well-being.
Stop feeling unmotivated or like life ‘isn’t going anywhere.’ Make sense of change with this empowering read today!
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself – Dr. Kristen Neff
Life can be anything but easy at times, so we must all be able to practice self-care. However, psychologists now know that more than self-esteem, we need a healthy dose of self-compassion to help us face life’s challenges and move forward.
This read is one of Dr. Kristen Neff’s self-help books that tackle this idea head-on, offering guidance and advice on how best to tackle any emotionally challenging situation, whether it be parenting struggles, difficulty with weight loss, or simply the daily troubles of life.
Through insightful exercises and action plans that are full of practicality and real-life examples, Dr. Neff brings forth an understanding of the power of self-compassion and makes it tangible for everyone who reads her book, inspiring us all to face emotional challenges with authenticity and strength.
It’s time we all embraced being kinder to ourselves – let’s start today by picking up a copy of Self-Compassion by Dr. Kristen Neff! Here, you will discover the tools needed to not only manage whatever life throws your way but excel. Turn stress into strength and use self-compassion to push yourself further towards success!
The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron
With The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, you’ll uncover your hidden creativity and develop the confidence to unleash it! This novel approach will help guide you on your artistic journey to find what’s holding back your creative flow, allowing you to free up any areas where you may feel stuck finally.
Whether you’re a creative professional looking for a confidence boost or someone searching for a new hobby to bring joy and fulfillment into your life–The Artist’s Way is here to help you tap into your unique artistic abilities. Let yourself flourish creatively with this wonderful resource!
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear – Elizebeth Gilbert
This self-improvement book promises a deep dive into her creative processes and inspiring perspective on creativity. With empathy and positive energy, Gilbert will help you discover how to embrace your curiosity and move beyond unnecessary suffering. Plus, she arms you with attitudes, approaches, and habits so that you can unlock your very best creative self!
Big Magic synthesizes spiritual musing and practical advice that readers of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy. From finding the courage to pursue our passions to learning how to face fears — through Big Magic’s strange jewels, Elizabeth Gilbert shows us what it means to live life to its fullest potential. So don’t wait — start living large today!
HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose – John Coleman
Discover your true purpose with the HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose. It’s a must-have for anyone looking for real, actionable advice on how to build deeper meaning into their life and work. This guide helps you explore and understand why we need purpose, how to develop and recognize it, and best practices for keeping it woven into our lives.
John Coleman shines a light on the three common misperceptions about purpose: that you find it, have only one, or stay the same over time. Through compelling stories, tips, and activities, he helps us understand how our purpose evolves as current situations do—personal or professional.
That’s the essence of this powerful resource. It is designed to encourage us to cultivate our unique meaning by taking stock of what matters most to us and understanding why we feel certain ways.
With application examples from real leaders in various industries, it gives people pragmatic solutions and measures that can help them consistently bring intentionality into every aspect of their lives.
Final Thoughts on the Top Influential Self-Help Books
Growth is key to a healthy, fulfilling life. And the best way to ensure your growth is by reading self-help books. The 22 books listed above provide a great starting point for transforming your life. Whether you need to win friends, form good habits, or establish your purpose in life, these books offer invaluable guidance.
The titles listed here are some of the best personal growth books out there. Take a look and pick one that speaks to you. Then, get ready to start creating your own rules and living life on your terms!
What Kind of Book Makes You Smarter?
Books focused on personal growth and development can help make you smarter. These include books about problem-solving, communication, managing emotions and stress, and understanding the psychology of other people. Such books can help you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and environment.
What Books Give You Inspiration?
The best books for inspiration are those which motivate and empower readers to make positive changes in their lives. Examples include “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, and “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.
Can Books Improve Your Personality?
Yes, books about personal development can help you improve your personality. Reading books on topics like self-awareness, communication skills, time management, and goal setting can help you become more confident and successful. Such books can also help you build relationships, learn new skills, and become more productive.