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The 50 Greatest Self-Help Books

Best Self Help Books







































Self Esteem and Self Confidence
Self Help Books

To feel good about oneself is a wonderful thing! Nagging self-criticism, self-doubt, and self-loathing are dark clouds many of us struggle with. Solid self esteem brings with it a sense of self-confidence and empowerment, and grants us the ability to move through the world to grapple with life’s challenges, difficulties, and setbacks.

Assertiveness is the ability to confidently and non-aggressively put forth what one needs and wants. It also includes the ability to draw lines and enforce boundaries where needed.

Self esteem, self-confidence and assertiveness are behaviors that are learned – and it is never too late to learn and practice these positive aspects of self-care. The self help books listed below offer step-by-step approaches to learning and strengthening self esteem.

See also: Success and Personal Effectiveness; Creativity; Spirituality; Prosperity Consciousness

Best Self Help Books on Self Esteem and Self Confidence

Self-Esteem by McKay and FanningTen Days to Self-Esteem by David Burns"These are the Self Esteem and Self Confidence self help books I recommend most frequently to my clients who wish to feel better about themselves, improve their self image and develop a more positive outlook on life."
David Yarian, Ph.D.





More Recommended Self Help Books on Self Esteem and Self Confidence

The Alchemy of Peace & Love (Audio 2-CD Set) by Sandi Anders and David YarianThe Alchemy of Peace & Love: Magical Meditations to Calm Your Mind and Lift Your Spirit (Audio 2-CD Set)

This 2-CD guided meditation set is a delicious combination of evocative words, original music and the soothing voice of Sandi Anders. Learn to deeply and fully relax using the Deep Rest Meditaion, a guided body scan relaxation. This meditation will help you to create the Relaxation Response which combats the ravages of chronic stress.


The Assertiveness Workbook by Randy J. Patterson, Ph.D.The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships

Effective communication is an essential skill that impacts your professional success, the stability of your family life, and your personal happiness. Your ability to communicate effectively is significantly hampered if you can't assert yourself constructively. If you've ever felt paralyzed by an imposing individual or a powerfully argued opposing viewpoint, you know that an absence of assertiveness can leave you feeling marginalized and powerless. The Assertiveness Workbook contains effective, cognitive behavioral techniques to help you become more assertive. Learn how to set and maintain personal boundaries without becoming inaccessible. Become more authentic and open in relationships without fearing attack. Defend yourself when you are criticized or asked to submit to unreasonable demands. New Harbinger


Chicken Soup for the Soul by Canfield and HansenChicken Soup for the Soul: Living Your Dreams

This collection of 101 stories is based on the belief that true testimonies of goodness and loving transformations can nourish us to the bone and heal the cynicism in our hearts. The short, simple stories tell about an event, a person, or an everyday miracle that exemplifies the best of the human spirit. This multi-million selling self help book reminds readers that dreams really do come true for those who dare to believe that obstacles can be overcome with persistence, patience, and belief in oneself. HCI


The Courage to Be Yourself by Sue Patton ThoeleThe Courage to Be Yourself: A Woman's Guide to Emotional Strength and Self-Esteem

Sue Patton Thoele continues her mission to help readers improve their self esteem and make use of their core emotional strength. Geared to women who all too often find themselves satisfying the desires of others at the cost of their own needs, this self help book supplies necessary tools to help readers transform their fears into the courage to express their own authentic selves. By revealing her own journey and the journey of other women, Thoele helps readers discover ways to set boundaries, transform self-defeating behavior patterns, communicate effectively, and become a nurturing and tolerant friend to themselves. This tenth-anniversary edition contains 30 percent new content, which includes a new introduction. Conari Press , 3rd edition


Emotional Intelligence by Daniel GolemanEmotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

In this fascinating self help book based on brain and behavioral research, Goleman argues that our view of intelligence is far too narrow. He suggests that emotional intelligence -- defined in terms of self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation, empathy and the ability to love and be loved -- is the strongest indicator of human success. People who possess high emotional intelligence are the people who truly succeed in work as well as play, building flourishing careers and The 50 Greatest Self Help Bookslasting, meaningful relationships.  Bantam


Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life by James HollisFinding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up

James Hollis states in this compelling self help book that the feeling that you've been living the wrong life, that you're lost and confused, is "an insurgency of the soul," which "overthrows the conscious conduct of our lives." This mental suffering presents an opportunity to embark on a journey transcending expectations foisted on us by others, such as parents, and to find true self knowledge. This book is a helpful guide to this journey. Gotham


The Gay and Lesbian Self-Esteem Book by Kimeron HardinThe Gay and Lesbian Self-Esteem Book: A Guide to Loving Ourselves

This personal growth self help book is specifically aimed at helping gays and lesbians deal with the very particular issues they have in their lives. Hardin examines feelings of shame left over from childhood; discusses how careers, relationships and lifestyle choices are affected by self-doubts; and suggests a variety of proven healing strategies. New Harbinger


Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Steven C. HayesGet Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

This self help book offers a five-step plan for coping with painful emotions such as anxiety and depression. You can learn to engage with painful thoughts and feelings through step-by-step acceptance and mindfulness-based techniques, discovering how to let go of control, and develop compassion and flexibility. New Harbinger


The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene BrownThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Dr. Brown shares ten guideposts on the power of Wholehearted Living — a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness and self esteem. She engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, And to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging. Hazelden


Healing Your Emotional Self by Beverly EngelHealing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame

In Healing Your Emotional Self, Engel presents her remarkably effective Mirror Therapy program to enable you to reject the distorted images your parents either intentionally or unintentionally projected onto you. This innovative step-by-step self help system gives you the skills you need to construct a positive self-image, separate emotionally from your parents and discover who you actually are. Become skilled at self-nurturing and overcome your tendency toward self-blame, self-hatred, and self-destructiveness while you come to love who you see in the mirror. Wiley


Health Journeys: A Meditation to Help You Improve Self Confidence and Reach Peak Performance by Belleruth NaparstekHealth Journeys: A Meditation to Help You Improve Self-Confidence and Reach Peak Performance

Naparstek fashioned this dynamic guided imagery audio CD to help the listener place a bit of distance between themselves and any kind of stress, anxiety or fear of failure, while opening the heart and mind to recalling the delight of merging with an activity and flowing with it. Positive images pump up self esteem, confidence and focus, producing a vitalized, peaceful sense of mastery. Health Journeys


Lovingkindness by sharon SalzbergLovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

Salzberg focuses on the Buddhist meditation practice that emphasizes feelings of love, happiness and compassion and offers practical guidance in performing this type of meditation.  Shambhala



The 50 Greatest Self Help Books



Radical Acceptance by Tara BrachRadical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha

Brach offers the reader a rich collection of stories and techniques designed to help people awaken from what she calls “the trance of unworthiness.” She asserts that the sense of self-hatred and isolation afflicting so many people in western culture can be transformed with the steady application of a loving attention infused with the insights of the Buddhist tradition.  Bantam


Self-Esteem (Audio) by David IlligSelf-Esteem (Audio)

This CD is designed to enable you to boost your self-esteem, value and appreciate yourself, and do everything you can to take care of yourself. Self-doubts and feelings of guilt related to success frequently keep us from achieving -- or taking pleasure in that which we do achieve. This CD will encourage you to enjoy the tranquil feeling that comes with loving, honoring and valuing the priceless gifts that you as a unique individual bring to the world. Dr. Illig's voice is trustworthy and soothing, in this exquisite CD with hemi-sync musical tones and simple, subliminal affirmations. Successworld


Self-Esteem Affirmations (Audio CD) by Louise HaySelf-Esteem Affirmations (Audio CD)

This subliminal affirmation CD is an extraordinary method for encouraging self-esteem and confidence. The first segment is the sound of soft music accompanied by a tranquil woman's voice saying positive affirmations, such as "I feel good about my life" and "It is easy for me to stand up for myself". In the second section are hidden subliminal affirmations beneath soothing music which is playing to encourage relaxation. Play it while you are sleeping -- when you wake up each morning, and you will become aware of a more positive mental outlook! Hay House


The Self-Esteem Guided Journal by McKay and SutkerThe Self-Esteem Guided Journal: A Ten Week Program

The Self-Esteem Guided Journal uses guided journaling to help readers teach themselves to vocalize their feelings, conquer self-doubt, discover their strengths—and generally change the way they think and feel about themselves for the better. This ten-week program of writing exercises will help you shift your focus from the things wrong with your life to the things that are right. Through a combination of exploratory self help questions, comprehensive writing exercises, and short inspirational anecdotes, The Self-Esteem Guided Journal  helps readers learn to build a strong sense of self-worth. New Harbinger


Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques by McKay and FanningSelf-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem

Since its first publication in 1987, this self help book has been the first choice of therapists and savvy readers looking for a comprehensive self-care approach to improving self-image, increasing personal power, and defining core values. This book has helped millions of readers feel better about themselves, achieve greater success, and enjoy their lives to the fullest. New Harbinger, 3rd edition
The 50 Greatest Self Help Books

 


The Self-Esteem Companion by Matthew McKay, et.alThe Self-Esteem Companion

The authors teach readers how to deal with overly high self-expectations and mistakes, handle criticism, and feel more self-confident in their personal relationships. Step-by-step instructions are included for over sixty exercises, including strategies for talking back to the inner critic, making a realistic inventory of personal strengths and weaknesses, and practicing self-compassion.  New Harbinger


The Self-Esteem Workbook by Schiraldi, McKayThe Self-Esteem Workbook

The Self-Esteem Workbook presents a course in self-esteem based on new research and sound principles. Checklists, fill-ins, and exercises show readers how thoughts, emotions, physical health, and behavior impact their self esteem. Periodic check-ups help them gauge their progress, and final sections offer strategies for preventing relapse. New Harbinger


Soul without Shame by Byron BrownSoul without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within

Centering on the development and framework of the superego, Brown explains how its supposed moral guidance is more than suspect, exposing it as the harsh, purely mental, frequently untruthful critic it is. Supporting the reader through steps formulated to encourage recognition of the endless tirade of blame, criticism, and comparison heaped upon the self by the superego, he supplies 30 simple practices to increase self-awareness, reduce incessant judgment, and release this overrated mental projection's stranglehold on heart and soul. Shambhala


Talking to Yourself by Pamela ButlerTalking to Yourself: Learning the Language of Self-Affirmation

This cognitive therapy approach helps the reader to identify distortions in thinking, shed the self-defeating images of the past, and state a more realistic and workable alternative. A practical self help book which many people find quite helpful.  HarperCollins

 


Ten Days to Self-Esteem by David BurnsTen Days to Self-Esteem

Dr. Burns presents innovative, clear and compassionate methods to help the reader identify the causes of mood slumps and develop a more positive outlook on life. The book emphasizes that negative feelings do not result from the bad things that happen to you but from the way you think about these events. Burns provides a ten-step program to self esteem; the self help book is filled with logs, charts and step-by-step guides. HarperCollins
The 50 Greatest Self Help Books

 


10 Simple solutions for Building Self-Esteem by Glenn Schiraldi10 Simple Solutions for Building Self-Esteem: How to End Self-Doubt, Gain Confidence & Create a Positive Self-Image

Learn how to value yourself with these ten straight-forward options for creating self esteem. These easy-to-grasp methods for cultivating a positive sense of self distill and amplify a number of the best, most beneficial techniques from the author Glenn Schiraldi's effective Self-Esteem Workbook. They make use of techniques from Eastern and Western practices: mindfulness practice, thought-watching, strengths appreciation, plus much more. With the simple solutions in this guide and a small amount of practice, you can discover what an amazing and valuable person you actually are. New Harbinger


Thoughts & Feelings: Taking Control of Your Moods and Your Life by Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning, Martha DavisThoughts & Feelings: Taking Control of Your Moods and Your Life: A Workbook of Cognitive Behavioral Techniques

This self help book offers a simple and easy to understand discussion of how to use the principles and techniques of cognitive behavioral therapies to help control anxiety, depression, moods and build self-esteem in your life. New Harbinger


What's Right with Me by Carlene DeRoo, Carolyn DeRooWhat's Right with Me: Positive Ways to Celebrate Your Strengths, Build Self-Esteem, and Reach Your Potential

In this self help book you'll find a warm and engaging set of activities you can use to identify what's right in your life. Through guided reflection and journaling, you'll learn to find strength and self-reliance in your own best qualities. New Harbinger


What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad HelmstetterWhat to Say When You Talk to Yourself

Helmstetter describes different levels of self-talk, the most useful being universal affirmation. He outlines a number of strategies including silent self-talk, self-speak, self-conversation, self-writing and creating self-talk tapes. This self help book is especially helpful for negative thinkers and people low in motivation.  Pocket Books


When Am I Going to Be Happy? by Penelope RussianoffWhen Am I Going to Be Happy?: How to Break the Emotional Bad Habits That Make You Miserable

When Am I Going To Be Happy? shows that a large number of the negative emotional habits that make us unhappy are learned behaviors which can be exchanged for habits that are life-giving, not life-wrecking. Russianoff presents simple, basic steps in order to achieve this seemingly daunting task: first, identify your emotional bad habits, then let go of your security blanket, accepting that you can have happiness. Increase self esteem while learning how to approach negative comments. Stop devaluing yourself and learn to accept praise. Bantam


When I Say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel SmithWhen I Say No, I Feel Guilty

Dr. Smith describes “your ten assertive rights” and goes on to introduce different assertiveness strategies, including short vignettes to help the reader understand how to apply the techniques in real life. This self help book teaches practical skills that you can use immediately.  Bantam



The Woman's guide to Total Self-Esteem by Dillon and BensonThe Woman's Guide to Total Self-Esteem: The Eight Secrets You Need to Know

In this book, Drs. Dillon and Benson (a psychologist and a psychoanalyst) help women meet the challenge of building self esteem. By pinpointing and understanding destructive beliefs, women can steadily acquire (or repair) a healthy and rewarding image of themselves. Clear demonstrations with related exercises clearly show how you can develop the eight building blocks of self esteem: healthy entitlement; the courage to feel; self-objectivity; self-assertion; body acceptance; emotional balance; self-advocacy; and self-nurturing. This self help book concludes with the suggestion that attaining self esteem is a lifelong process, and that life's crises can be opportunities for growth and a more enduring sense of worth. New Harbinger


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