3 Self Help Books for Forward Motion
So it's officially February. If you started your New Year's Resolutions on January 1st maybe you're realizing, "oh shit I forgot," or you're super proud of yourself because you figured it out and have kept up with your resolution. If you're more like me and you thought, "oh shit I forgot," then I have some books that will help transition your attitude towards new routines that help you reach your goals. Sometimes our goals and resolutions are set really high and even though we know that we're asking too much of ourselves we keep biting off more than we can chew anyway. I think baby steps are the most helpful. Instant success isn't a realistic concept. The only thing close to instant success that I've ever seen is squirting Mio into a water bottle so that you're no longer drinking unflavored water and even then you still have to shake it up, you know what I'm saying? Like one of my friends is always saying, "Nothing worth having ever came easy."
YOU GOT THAT RIGHT
So here is a list of books that I read while stuck in a slump. These books helped me crawl out of my own head, fears, and worries - one chapter at a time.
1. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
"You Are a Badass," could be too cheesy and not your cup of tea, but reading a chapter of Jen Sincero's book every day was like having an extra best friend in my ear telling me that slumps don't propel you forward, you're the one with legs so get the fuck up and get going. With each chapter she walks you through dropping all the negative things that never bothered you, that you suddenly find, have so conveniently turned into your excuses for why you "can't do anything." She coaches you through the pages of a book and you won't regret it unless you're already traveling at the speed of light and don't need any encouragement.
2. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
This book is a very specific book, but has potential to help Introverts and Extroverts. I don't know how many people from high school are reading this blog right now, but if there are people from high school reading this they can definitely vouch for how socially awkward and randomly sweaty I could get at any given time. I hated when people gave me more attention than I could handle and to be honest it was a good day when I could make conversation one on one with any single person. If I ever had a successful conversation with you then you should know that by the end of it I was so pleased that I was doing cartwheels in my head. I am a true blue introvert who has put a lot of work into coming out of my shell. Most days I still find myself completely burned out on social energy and have to shut up or leave. Nothing against anyone, it's just how I work. Another friend of mine (my friends are quite wise) once explained it as, "It's like you only have so many tokens, like when you're at the arcade and suddenly you can't play any more games because you ran out of tokens." An unusual analogy I will admit, but it makes sense. Sometimes it literally just feels like I've run out of tokens - or social energy, whatever you want to call it. This book helps you understand what is happening to your body and what is happening in your mind if you're an introvert and it even dives into the way that extroverts feel about their social behavior as well. After reading this book and gaining perspective on my own social situation I suddenly had a lot more tokens for the arcade called life. Not too many though, one social thing at time, let's not get crazy.
3. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
This puppy I recently read and it's quite helpful as well. This book is for those people who have the energy for the goals they set, but can't seem to stick to a schedule. It's another social study. It's similar to the book I just mentioned, Quiet. However, Better Than Before dives into the different types of people as far as habits are concerned. Gretchen Rubin breaks down, chapter by chapter, your behavioral responses to responsibility based on who you identify as a person of habit. Whether you're an Upholder (you meet everyone's expectations), Questioner (resists other people's expectations, but meet your own), Obliger (meets other people's expectations, but not your own), or a Rebel (resists other people's expectations and your own expectations), Rubin can break it down for you and help you gain perspective on your habits and give you ways to better them and set a system for yourself.
"The greatest of empires, is the empire over one's self."
Knowing myself to the best of my ability has helped me tremendously. I was never one to be overly concerned with what people thought, regardless of social anxiety. I still have managed to do whatever I feel is best for myself or filled my own interests. However, there came a day when I wanted more tokens for the arcade and better things for myself than what I was able to get with what I was working with. These books have all contributed to my forward motion. Reading a chapter of a self help book every day, I've found, is a great way to keep myself on track. Plus, I really love non-fiction reads like Quiet. It's my favorite.
I definitely encourage you to not be afraid to search for self help books that are better tuned to your interests, and get started. If you're looking for books more directed toward career advice specifically, then keep an eye open. I will have another blog post soon on three career books that helped me pinpoint a destination and get going.