My Six Favorite Books for Motivation and Self-Reflection

A friend of mine is entering a transition period in her life, and she asked me for suggestions of books for motivation and dealing with change.

I didn’t answer right away, because I wanted to sit with it and revisit my favorites.

By the time I’d created my list, I realized that other people might want these book suggestions too!

Here are six books you might enjoy. Have you read any of them, and if not, which are you inspired to tackle first?

Untamed by Glennon Doyle – Glennon’s book motivated me to get more deliberate about diversifying my social media feeds, a small move that’s led to me learning so much! Her stories share her own journey. Expect lots of self-revelation, humor, with a healthy dose of intersectional feminism and inspiration in the mix. I loved it, and it really resonated with me. She’s been through a lot of change under challenging circumstances, and she gets very real and raw.

The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan – I’ve read a lot of great self-help books and advice for business, but The One Thing has had more of a lasting impact on my daily and weekly work than most others. The authors will motivate you to get clear about what matters and take deliberate steps with that in mind. Your giant to-do list is SO much less important than knowing the most important item (or perhaps two or three max) on your list for today, and for this week, and for this year. It’s very relevant for entrepreneurs and employees alike, but I’d argue it’s even more important in your personal life!

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist – In all honesty, my advice to my friend was to read this “or anything by Shauna Niequist”. This was the first book I ever read that I felt I could have written myself. I’ve read it three times, and I will keep returning to it, over and over again, because it helps me to reflect, consider what’s most important, and remember my values and current vision for my life. I found it therapeutic and challenging. She navigates changes and surprises as she transitions into a new phase of her life. Her older books are great too, though for where I am now, Present Over Perfect is key. I’ve got her next book pre-ordered and I can’t wait.

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – You know, when you were that little kid who’d happily color and explore with other little kids at preschool? If you go back far enough, almost all of us had a time where we created without judgment or expectation. If you take nothing else from this incredible three month journey into getting to know yourself better and rediscovering your inner creative, you should consider “morning pages” and “artist dates”. I continue my morning pages practice daily and love weekly artist dates whenever possible too. Trust me, if you haven’t done this yet, this is a brilliant introduction to self-help or return to creativity (or both).

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin – This is a newer book for me – I discovered it several months ago and was so impressed with it that I’m incorporating it into my coaching. There are lots of personality tests out there, but this one is both easy to comprehend quickly and also extremely actionable. And if you find it useful, she’s got lots of additional resources (and an app that lets you connect with others about it).

The Road Back To You and The Path Between Us by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile (the latter by just Suzanne) – I’ve been geeking out on Enneagram podcasts lately. If you’re not familiar with the Enneagram, it’s an ancient road map for living, basically. Think personality test, but one where you identify yourself (mainly based on what motivates you) and then can use that knowledge to help you navigate the world and become a healthier, happier version of yourself. I’m learning so much about myself through these books and podcasts that I’m actually recruiting a group of folks to do an Enneagram group program with me – basically, a book club where we’re all doing some self-reflection as we learn about the Enneagram. (I’m actively looking for volunteers, and cost is super low for the materials!)

What are you reading right now? Have you read any of these? Do you want to join my Enneagram cohort, where we watch videos and learn about the Enneagram and discuss it with other people?

I’d love to hear from you – and thanks so much for reading!

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash


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