Mind your mind: Self-help books are an inspiring source of motivation

If you’re like me and are looking to improve your leadership and relationship skills, go ahead and browse the self-help aisle in Chapters or your favourite book store. Perhaps you’ll discover that self-help books can be the perfect tools to help you manage different areas of your life. They are a form of self-improvement and therefore reading them contains a lot of advantages.

Here are a few benefits of reading self-help books:

Self-help books are empowering: The reason the genre is so popular is perhaps because self-help books are all about uplifting words that will inspire you to change your life. They can make you feel in control of your life, giving you advice and useful tools to help you change your behaviour, and cultivate a better attitude towards life — no matter the circumstances.

Self-help is all about inner growth: Self-help is all about self-directed learning and gaining knowledge as well as wisdom. By reading self-help books, you’ll not only gradually cultivate self-acceptance, but also a greater sense of self-trust. There are books on different topics that will suit different readers' tastes and overall, most books have the potential to guide you towards self-reflection.

Self-help books can give you inspiration and spiritual guidance: They can help you heal. By inspiring you to make better choices and take positive action, self-help books can help you re-evaluate your life goals, nurture your inner child or change your negative thought patterns.

Self-help books can help you solve personal problems or learn new skills: They can act as good motivators, and give you tons of tips and tricks. They have the power to help you develop a different mindset and awareness so that you can learn to change perspective.

As silly and tacky as they sound, self-help books are all about enhancing your life and overall level of happiness in the end. I would strongly encourage you to give them a chance.

Personally, I’ve found self-help books to be uplifting. With their help, I’ve learned to respect my own limitations, solved conflicts and cultivated hope. Mostly, self-help books have helped me develop meaning and purpose in my life.

Examples include:

The Art of Happiness — 14th Dalai Lama & Howard Cutler

Self-compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself — Kristin Neff, PhD

The Gifts of Imperfections & Rising Strong — Brené Brown

Reasons to Stay Alive — Matt Haig

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things — Jenny Lawson

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith and Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith — Anne Lamott

The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion, and When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times — Pema Chodron

My Year with Eleanor — Noelle Hancock

Writing to Change the World — Mary Pipher

Mindfulness Solution: Every Day Practice for Every Day Problems — Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD

The Book of Forgiving — Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu

Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow — Elizabeth Lesser

The Happiness Project — Gretchen Rubin

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking — Susan Cain

The Alchemist — Paulo Coelho

Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness — Sharon Salzberg