Personal development books for women
Mindset & Personal growth

9 best personal development books for women

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Looking for the best personal development books that will help you achieve your goals, up-level your life, and accomplish your biggest dreams?

When searching online, you’ll quickly realize that there are thousands of books to choose from and it can be daunting to pick one. Some are inspirational and others are not. That’s why I’ve come up with my top 9 best personal development books that every woman should read. 

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I consider myself a self-improvement junkie who has read 100s of self-help and personal development books in the last 20 years.

I’ve always been interested in ways to improve my life, improve my career, improve my happiness and I’ve always loved reading. So naturally, combining the two just made sense.

Reading personal development books gives me a sense of growing, of moving forward.

Some have inspired me, made me completely rethink my life, my habits, and the way I view the world, and others not so much. Some have come at exactly the right time in my life and others were hard to finish.

To inspire you, I have put together a list of personnel development books written by women, for women. Narrowing these to just 9 books wasn’t easy! These are all books that I’ve read and that have had a profound impact on my life and helped me become the person I am today and I hope they’ll do the same for you. Some of these are oldies but goodies, while others are more recent but all of them are powerful!

So here is my list (in no particular order)!

9 personal development books that every woman should read

9 best personal development books to read

You probably know Elizabeth Gilbert as the author of Eat, Pray, Love. But in this book, she focuses on unleashing the creativity that lives in you. She discusses the habits and the attitudes you must put in place to live your most inspired and creative life. Put aside fear and trust yourself and the Universe to achieve greatness.

My takeaway: You have to give yourself permission to pursue your creative endeavors, don’t wait for outside sources to give it to you. Follow your dream and your passion.

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

9 best personal development books to read

I recently stumbled upon this book while listening to a podcast and I instantly fell in love with it.

We all have that little voice inside our head that repeats nasty things to ourselves. Things like “I’m not good enough”, “I’m too old or too young”, “I’m too fat” and the list goes on! Melissa Ambrosini calls this voice your Mean girl and this book is all about how to squash her and move past your self-limiting beliefs to live the life you dream of. Melissa has a way of delivering her message in a kind, often funny, and very relatable way that makes this book enjoyable and impactful.

My takeaway: Pay attention to what your mean girl is saying and find examples in your life to disprove her. Choose love instead of fear in any and every situation.

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

9 best personal development books to read

I grew up thinking you had to be strong, to persevere no matter what, and hide certain parts of who you are and how you feel. But that couldn’t be further from the truth and Brené Brown backs that up through years of research and this book.

In Daring greatly, Brené Brown teaches you to embrace your vulnerability and to be courageous in your life. She tackles subjects like lack of self-worth and doubts and this really resonated with me.

My takeaway: you are not alone in your feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness. Vulnerability is not a weakness but a powerful way to lead a more engaged and meaningful life.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”― Brené Brown

9 best personal development books for women

I must admit I love Marie Forleo. She has a no-nonsense style of talking and writing that I love. So when she came out with her book, Everything is figureoutable, I had to buy it. And I was not disappointed!

This book is about how to find a solution to any situation or challenge you are faced with. Whether you want to change careers, buy that house, go on that trip to Italy or just have more free time in your day, you are capable of achieving it. 

It’s full of actionable steps and tools you can use to change your mindset and implement the everything is figureoutable philosophy as well as real-life examples of people who used this approach in their own life.

The takeaway: No matter how difficult a situation seems, it’s all a matter of perspective and there’s always a solution. You just have to look for it. 

“Nothing in life is that complicated. You can do whatever you set your mind to if you just roll up your sleeves, get in there, and do it. Everything is Figureoutable.” – Marie Forleo

9 best personal development books for womenOne day, Gretchen Ruben realized that her life was passing her by and that she wasn’t focusing on what was important. She decided to spend a year on what she called her happiness project and devote a theme to each month. She chronicles her experiences in this fresh and lively book.

My takeaway: everyone’s “happiness project” will look different but it’s important to take a step back and take time to focus on what truly matters to you, what brings happiness to your life.

“One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.” ― Gretchen Rubin

9 best personal development books for womenRachel Hollis was able to go from a small-town girl to an entrepreneur at the head of a multi-million dollar business and she’s been through it all. In her book, Girl, wash your face, she goes through 10 lies she used to believe and that were holding her back. She then proceeds to dismantle each of them and gives concrete examples of what helped her overcome her limiting beliefs. Her goal is to help each woman tear down these lies we believe and live the life we were meant to.

My takeaway: Don’t let others dictate how you should live your life. Take a good look at the lies you’ve been telling yourself and that simply are not true. This will help unlock your potential to do awesome things in your life.

“You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are.” ― Rachel Hollis

9 best personal development books for women

How can Michelle Obama not be on this list? She has become one of the most influential women of our era. The first African American First Lady in history, Michelle Obama has been an advocate for inclusion, has worked to change the lives of American families to be more active and healthy (we all remember her dance moves on The Ellen Degeneres show, right?).

In Becoming, she describes all of the experiences that shaped her life. From her childhood living in Chicago to becoming the First Lady and balancing her work and motherhood. 

My takeaway: Our experiences, the good and the bad, shape who we are and help us become the best versions of ourselves. Follow your own path, make mistakes, learn, and grow.

“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.” ― Michelle Obama

9 best personal development books for womenTara Schuster seemed to have it all. She was a sought-after TV executive who had worked with Jon Stewart and launched Key & Peele to viral superstardom. But underneath the surface, she was a mess. She struggled with depression, anxiety, and shame. Through her book, she tells her journey of learning to love herself, of understanding her feelings, and how to navigate life the best way she can. This is a funny, candid, and refreshing read!

My takeaway: Stop the negative self-talk!

“We spend so much time concerned with what other people think of us when other people are generally not thinking about us at all.” ― Tara Schuster

9 best personal development books for womenWe all know Shonda Rhimes as the producer of some of TV’s best shows but did you know she also wrote books?

I was so excited to read this book after watching her TED talk and I’m glad I did! 

Shonda Rhimes realized that she was saying no to a lot of things in her life. Why? Because as an introvert (crazy, right?), she didn’t have anything new to fear by saying no. But how many things did she miss out on, how many opportunities did she turn down? So for a year, she decided to say yes to opportunities and invitations that came her way and chronicled her experiences. 

My takeaway: get our of your way and say yes to life! I tend to say no a lot and this book made me open my eyes to that fact. I realized I also had to say yes more and see what can happen when I open myself up to new opportunities. 

“Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.” ― Shonda Rhimes

9 books taht every woman should read

There you have, my top 9 best personal development books for women you need to add to your 2020 reading list! Each of these books has positively impacted my life and I’m sure they’ll do the same for you.

Reading personal development books is wonderful and is a big part of your self-growth journey. However, knowledge isn’t power, it’s potential power. It becomes power when you put in practice what you’ve learned.

Once you finish your book, take action, and implement some of the methods, tools, or ideas you’ve learned. When you get to a chapter with practical exercises, don’t skip over them! Do the work, apply the principles, and see how you grow and how your world-view changes. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

So pick the ones that interest you and start reading! Your journey begins now.

Which of these have you read and what did you think? What books are you your list? Let me know in the comments so that I can add them to my 2020 reading list!

Till next time,

XO, Calie

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4 thoughts on “9 best personal development books for women”

  1. I love reading self-development books. A good book can change lives, it happened to me many years ago. I will have to check some of these books that you listed and buy some more, is the best investment ever.

  2. Really great picks! I haven’t had the chance to read any as yet, but I’m definitely planning to do so. Lots of inspirational ladies on this list

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