Self confidence – it’s something that we all want. The unshakable belief that no matter what we do, it’s all going to work out.
A majority of the problems that you’re currently facing in your life, personally and professionally, usually come down to a lack of self-confidence.
Failing to ask your boss for a raise because the conversation is too intimidating.
Avoiding the conversation with that cute girl or guy at the bar because you’re worried you’re gonna come across like an idiot.
Aligning your words and actions to match those of the people around you because you’re afraid to be different and stick to your own beliefs.
All of these actions, repeated daily, slowly drain your self confidence – which in turn negatively impacts your ability to achieve your goals and live a fulfilling life. Reading some of the best self-confidence books ever written is a great start to re-building your self-esteem and developing unshakeable confidence.
Success doesn’t guarantee confidence. Sometimes, you can get so good at one thing that it doesn’t matter that you can’t hold a conversation for longer than 20 seconds.
However, I’m guessing that’s not why you’re here. If you’re reading this, I’m assuming that your goals are two-fold.
First off, you want to achieve success and financial freedom so you have the luxury of doing what you want. But second, and perhaps the more important goal, is you want to become confident enough to have difficult conversations, be comfortable with risk, and shatter your comfort zone so that you become the best version of yourself.
Achieving both of these outcomes comes down to your belief in yourself. Here’s a list of the 12 best self-confidence books that will help you foster that belief and guide you towards building unstoppable self-esteem.
Best Self-Confidence Books to That Will Help You Cultivate Self-Worth
This list is going to be broken up into two categories.
The first nine books will focus on improving overall self-confidence. The last three books on this list will focus specifically on increasing the level of certainty and confidence you have in your chosen profession.
#1 – ** TOP PICK ** The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear And Self-Doubt By Russ Harris
It’s only right to kick this list of the best self confidence books with my all-time favorite. The Confidence Gap is a book that I’ve read several times, and new insights come flooding in with each subsequent read.
Harris explains that the monkey-mind is the biggest obstacle that stops most people from living the life they want. All day long, our mind is busy coming up with a million different reasons why we’re never going to achieve our dreams and why we shouldn’t take action.
In this book, Harris lays out a simple but effective strategy for controlling mental chatter and creating a more positive dialogue with yourself.
He concedes that it’s impossible to stop negative thoughts completely, but also explains that you have 100% control over whether or not you choose to listen to them. This book includes practical exercises that you can use to become more mindful and present in your day to day life.
You’ll also be given a simple framework for turning any negative thought you have into a minor annoyance. Harris teaches you how to recognize your thoughts for what they are – small blips on the radar that often don’t have any basis in reality.
By learning to manage your internal dialogue and lessen the blow that negative thinking patterns have on your actions, you’ll have the foundation for becoming the confident person that you’ve always wanted to become.
If you feel like the biggest obstacle stopping you from creating unstoppable confidence lies between your ears, this book will be incredibly valuable to you.
#2 – You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
This is one of those books that gives you the kick-in-the-ass wake up call that you need to start living the life you deserve.
You Are A Badass points out everything wrong with the decisions we make on a daily basis. Sincero explains where limiting beliefs come from and how they actively sabotage our decision-making process.
As Sincero puts it, it’s time to wake up from the “Big Snooze.” It’s time to gain power over your subconscious mind and listen to the strong, quiet voice – not the inner bitch that you’ve let dictate your life up to this point.
Sincero has decades of experience helping people become more confident and transform their lives, and she shares the strategies that she’s implemented with others in this book to help them develop their inner badass.
Through hilarious stories and no nonsense writing, you’ll learn to confront the beliefs and behaviors holding you back and replace them with effective strategies for achieving your goals and living life on your terms.
#3 – The Art of Extraordinary Confidence: Your Ultimate Path to Love, Wealth, and Freedom by Aziz Gazipura
Moving along on our list of the best self confidence books, we have this awesome read from Aziz Gazipura.
The main theme of this book is that in order to develop unstoppable self-confidence, you need to stay close to fear and discomfort. These two emotions tell you that you’re exactly where you need to be.
Gazipura points out that by asking yourself power questions like, “What would I do if I had all the confidence in the world?”, you can start imagining and designing a life that coincides with your deepest values.
He also talks about the fact that our brain conjures up stories that we choose to believe about who we are, which can hinder us from living a life that is guided by this question. The only way to overcome these stories about our ability and our identity is through action.
This book will give you the blueprint for enjoying true self-confidence in your health, relationships, love-life, careers, and any other area of life you can think of.
Through several fear-busting challenges and action steps that Gazipura provides in the book, you’ll know exactly how to start shattering your comfort zone and destroying your fears.
#4 – Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: Dynamic Techniques For Turning Fear, Indecision, And Anger Into Power, Action, And Love by Susan Jeffers
Every day, you really have two choices – give in to your fears or take action to overcome them.
If you have low self-confidence, you don’t need to experience a life or death scenario to feel fear. It can be triggered by simple, everyday experiences:
- Seeing an attractive girl at the bar
- Feeling the urge to speak up in a meeting
- Wanting to call a friend who you haven’t spoken to in awhile.
In these situations, doubt and uncertainty tend to creep in and prevent us from taking action. In Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Jeffers proposes that we can better manage our fears so that they no longer sabotage our efforts to change. By developing our resilience muscle, we can become confident in our ability to handle anything life throws at us.
The reason that this book is one of the best self-confidence books out there is because it dissects fear in incredible detail. Jeffers outlines that we typically have four different types of outcomes that we fear:
- We fear things that will happen to us such as aging, illness, inevitable pain, etc
- We fear the specific action we need to take to forward with our goals.
- We fear an ego attack such as rejection, failure, or feeling helpless
But out of all the things that we fear, Jeffers says that the biggest fear that we have is the belief that we simply can’t handle whatever the situation is. This fear is made up of all of those other fears wrapped into one fear cyclone.
Once you understand where your fears come from, why they exist, and the different triggers that influence them, Jeffers then dives into actionable strategies you can implement to start overcoming them.
By practicing positive thinking, mastering the art of “no-lose decisions”, and taking extreme ownership of your life, you’ll gradually build up your resilience muscle and become the type of person you want to be.
#5 – How to be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety by Ellen Hendriksen
(This book recommendation is specifically for people who think they lack confidence in social situations or struggle with social anxiety)
For years, social anxiety was my biggest demon. Even though I knew lots of people, and had a decently engaging social life, I was never quite comfortable in my own skin around other people.
The best way to describe social anxiety is that it constantly feels like you’re going to get “exposed” in social interactions. During every social encounter, it felt as if the person I was talking to was going to realize all of my social faults and judge me because of them.
It took me a long time to get control of my social anxiety, and the work is far from over, but this book from Ellen Hendriken was crucial to helping me reframe my beliefs and silence my inner critic.
Why is a book that focuses on social anxiety on a list with the best self-confidence books? Well, because one of the pillars of self-confidence is being able to have engaging conversations with people, including those you don’t know.
People want to be around charisma and charm. We’re always drawn to the people who can tell great stories, make others laugh, and seemingly say the right thing at the right time in every situation that they’re in.
The first step to becoming that kind of person is understanding your inner critic and how it holds you back.
#6 – The Unlimited Self: Destroy Limiting Beliefs, Uncover Inner Greatness, and Live The Good Life by Jonathan Heston
This book attempts to help people conquer the one thing that no one is invulnerable to – limiting beliefs.
We all have things we want to do, but what often gets in the way of these wants is our perception of the outside world, other people, and even our own capabilities.
The Unlimited Self looks to give you advice that shatters limiting beliefs and helps you realize how much of your true potential is being wasted. The message is powerful – if you look at all of your problems, the common denominator is you.
Heston believes it’s important that we face reality before we start making a plan to turn things around. With this book, you’ll deal with both sets of circumstances.
You’ll first identify the limiting beliefs that are holding you back in each area of your life, and then work through a plan for shattering each and every one of them. It’s wonderfully written, and it’s certainly a book that I’ll be coming back to in the near future.
#7 – The Power of Self-Confidence: Become Unstoppable, Irresistible, And Unafraid In Every Area of Your Life by Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy is one of the most respected speakers, authors, and coaches in the world, so it’s no surprise some of his work has a place on a list of the best-self confidence books ever written.
Tracy bluntly tells his readers early on – It doesn’t matter how much talent you have, you’ll get nowhere if you don’t believe in yourself.
Your amount of self-confidence determines the size of the goals you set, the energy and focus you put into achieving them, and the level of persistence you deploy in the face of every obstacle.
With step-by-step guidance, Tracy will help you build the foundation for attaining life long self confidence that transfers into every area of your life. You’ll learn how to minimize your weaknesses and maximize your strengths, and completely reprogram your subconscious mind to welcome challenges and overcome obstacles.
Since much of Tracy’s advice is business focused, this is one of the best self-confidence books that you can buy if you’re an employee looking to take control of your career.
Does it seem like you’re shrinking from opportunities that you know you need to seize? This book will show you exactly why you continue to default to bad habits and low-value behaviors that impact your self-confidence.
Alkon considers her books to be more of a “science-help” book, poking fun at the abundance of self-help advice that isn’t grounded in science.
She pulls together concepts from neuroscience, behavioral psychology, and evolutionary psychology and simplifies them into language that’s easy to digest. You’ll learn how your brain is holding you back from true greatness and the science behind why fear is such a potent factor in your life.
Alkon has spent decades researching these concepts, so she knows the best strategies to tackle low self-confidence and shatter limiting beliefs.
These are the strategies that she passes onto you Unf*ckology, which will teach you how to attack fears with behavior and reshape habitual thinking patterns.
# 9 – The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, And Confidence With Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins
Even though this book doesn’t technically focus on improving confidence, it’s emphasis on helping you find daily courage is what makes it one of the best self-confidence books of all time.
Robbin’s classic is essentially a how-to-guide for getting what you want out of your life, backed by cutting edge science.
Today, she’s a multimillionaire and best-selling author who gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for speaking engagements. But just twelve years ago at the age of 41, her life was far different.
She was facing bankruptcy and a spiraling marriage, had zero self-confidence, and hit the bottle regularly before she went to sleep each night. Whether or not these struggles resonate with you, we all can empathize with feeling like you’re stuck, and that’s exactly how Mel Robbins felt.
Eventually, she realized that she could spring herself into action and overcome bullshit excuses by implementing a simple rule – The 5 Second Rule.
This rule states that whenever you feel the urge to do something, even if it’s scary, you have to count down 5…4…3…2…1.. and then take action. If you wait any longer, you’ll likely talk yourself out of it.
Neurologically, the 5 second countdown serves a purpose, it’s not just a cliche. Robbins explains that by counting down, you’re getting out of auto-pilot mode and activating your prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for decision making and moving towards goals.
The 5 Second Rule helps you make decisions that give you the feeling that you’re in total control of your life. If you listen to your inner wisdom and apply this rule into your daily life, you’ll realize how many daily opportunities there are to build up your courage muscle and improve your self-confidence.
3 Best Self-Confidence Books For Your Career
For these next three books, we’re going to be talking about some of the best self-confidence books for people who are looking to excel professionally.
Obviously, if you increase your overall self-confidence, the effects will trickle into your work. That being said, it’s still useful to know how to apply your newfound confidence to everyday situations at work.
If you look at all top-performers in industries like sales, finance, athletics, or marketing, they all were able to achieve success because of their belief in themselves, which impressed enough people to get them to where they are now.
Their career also tends to have a sense of meaning and purpose – they know exactly why they are doing what they are doing.
When you become a confident, efficient worker who feels like your work gives your life a purpose, there’s absolutely no limits to what you can achieve.
Whatever your genius is, you need to find it in order to make the most of your life. Hendricks argues that we all have that genius that lies inside of us – that inner voice that tells us what we need to focus on to be great.
For any number of reasons, we often don’t listen to this voice. Hendricks points out that we actually limit our own happiness because we don’t think that we deserve it all. This is upper limit thinking, and becoming successful and confident in yourself means replacing this mindset.
In order to build a career that you can be proud of, you need to play the game where you have the best chance to win. This largely depends on which “zone” you decide to spend the most time in.
Hendricks outlines that there are four zones of work that your tasks/jobs fall into:
- Zone of Incompetence – You suck at the task. Many people can do it better than you.
- Zone of Competence – You’re okay at the task, but others are more proficient
- Zone Excellence – You’re highly skilled and few can hold a candle to you
- Zone of Genius – You’re literally the best in the world at it
If your time flows by after working for a few hours and you feel motivated to pick up where you left off the next day, then you’ll know you’ve found the thing that you can be great at.
The more time you spend in your Zone of Genius, the more likely you are to have a fulfilling, successful career – Hendricks gives you the blueprint for making that possible.
Amy Cuddy is known for her 2012 TED Talk about body language, which happens to be the second most viewed TED talk in history.
Now, we all know that body language is important, but Cuddy suggests that we’re still underestimating it’s impact. Body language doesn’t just tell others how we feel, it also signals back to us how we should be feeling.
There’s still some controversy as to how effective techniques like power-posing are, but this book isn’t just about standing in a superman pose so you can deliver a killer presentation.
Cuddy talks about the mind-body connection in great detail so that when you’re at work, you can be more aware of how your body language is shaping who you are and how others perceive you.
Tons of valuable advice is included about how to improve your body language and feel more powerful in your day to day life.
Last but not least of the best self confidence books for work we have a great one from Simon Sinek – one of the most influential motivational speakers in the business world today.
In Find Your Why, he talks about capturing clarity around the reasons that you’re here on this earth, and the values that cause you to make life decisions. This will help you live an intentional and meaningful life, but also help you figure out what’s important to you in your career.
If you’re a part of a team, this book will help you realize the unique contribution and value that you can offer to create a positive impact. If you’re managing a team, you can apply these same principles to build a sense of cohesiveness among your team and become a better leader.
This is one of the few books on this list that I haven’t read myself, but anything that Sinek puts out related to business/career advice is worth looking into.
I hope you enjoyed this list of the best self confidence books!
Whether you’re looking to crush limiting beliefs, control your internal dialogue, or simply get over your fears, there’s books on this list that can help with each specific area – all of which are related to self confidence.
Self-confidence is not something you’re born with, you need to foster it. You need to get in the trenches and fight for it. You have to stare down demons that you haven’t yet wrestled with and tackle them to the ground.
Becoming confident is one of the most noble pursuits there is because it forces you to confront the things you’re afraid of. And when you confront the things that you’re afraid of, you get stronger by realizing that they’re not that scary.
You’ll realize that all along, the stories that you told yourself about who you were wrong, and your inner voice was right – you just weren’t listening to the right one.
Reading an article about the list of the best self-confidence books out there is a step in the right direction, but the most crucial step is that you read one or two of these books and absolutely apply them.
Knowledge is useless without action, so go take some action and build up that courage muscle, your future self will thank you.