Only 13% of Britons feel “very confident” about themselves and their personalities nowadays.
…What about you?
Are you a confident person? Or could your self-esteem, like mine, use a boost at times?
If your answer’s the latter, this post might help.
I’ve compiled a list of the best confidence books you can read to develop a more positive self-image.
There are books to build confidence in men and women, students and professionals, adults and kids, and everyone in between.
Read on for an ultimate list of books on building self-confidence.
Heads up, this post contains affiliate links.
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- 100 Quotes About Smiling Through Pain
- 100 Unforgettable Quotes about Happy Vibes
1. The Gifts of Imperfection (Brené Brown)
Let’s face it: There’s a lot of pressure on all of us to look and act a certain way.
Many of us create unrealistic expectations for ourselves (or have them placed on us by others) when it comes to relationships, financial success, or other personal goals.
Brené Brown’s book is a breath of fresh air for anyone who struggles to become what they’re “supposed” to be.
As a seasoned professor, public speaker, and bestselling author, Brown offers unparalleled insight into what she calls “wholehearted” living.
Brown guides the reader through 10 guideposts with titles that include:
“Cultivating Creativity and Letting Go of Comparisons”
“Cultivating Authenticity and Letting Go of What Others Think.”
By learning to live from a place of worthiness, you can gradually learn that it’s okay not to be in control (or wildly productive) every second of the day.
2. The Self-Love Workbook (Shainna Ali, PhD.)
In America, 1 in 4 young adults admit they don’t like themselves “most or all of the time.”
If you’re in this demographic who struggles not only with confidence but also self-worth, add this book to your reading list.
As its name suggests, The Self-Love Workbook is more than a passive read.
Dr. Ali provides readers with actionable steps they can take to work through feelings of low self-esteem (or even self-hatred).
It’s full of not only thought-provoking advice but also interactive exercises and prompts for self-reflection.
Ultimately, this workbook aims to make you more aware of your own unique strengths and needs.
By the end, you’ll have a whole new (and much healthier) perspective of yourself.
3. The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem (Nathaniel Branden)
You’ll find this title on every list of the best confidence books, and it’s not hard to understand why.
It’s one of the premier texts that dives into research studies and clinical findings related to human behaviour.
Through its pages, Branden offers invaluable insight into cultivating healthy relationships and achieving personal happiness.
He also discusses psychological health (and how it relates to self-esteem and confidence) in a down-to-earth, easy-to-understand way.
Readers walk away with a deeper understanding of themselves, as well as the ability to recognise and value their own self-worth.
There are also sections dedicated to parents, teachers, and counsellors whose goal is to help others build self-esteem.
4. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Live an Awesome Life (Jen Sincero)
If you find traditional self-help advice to be, well, a little cheesy, this could be the best self-confidence book on our list for you.
Sincero is a New York Times bestselling author and life coach who stays away from the cheesy prose and keeps it (very) real.
For example, you’ll find sections in the book entitled:
“How to Embrace Your Inner Badass”
“How to Get Over Your B.S. Already” and
“Your Brain Is Your Bitch.”
There’s also an eye-opening discussion that helps you understand how you became the person you are today.
Along the way, you’ll analyse your views on money, spirituality, self-image, purpose, and meditation, among other topics.
Sincero’s writing is easy to read with plenty of actionable how-to’s.
As one reader put it, “It’s like having ‘real’ talk with a self-loving, well-educated girlfriend.”
5. Ten Days to Self-Esteem (David D. Burns)
Looking for the best confidence books that yield fast results?
While your journey of self-development will never truly end, you can jumpstart the process with this insightful read by David Burns.
This book is ideal for anyone struggling with productivity on a day-to-day basis.
It’s also helpful for those who tend to be hard on themselves and what they’ve accomplished (or failed to accomplish) in their lives so far.
After helping the reader to acknowledge where they’re at, the book takes them on an inspiring journey of self-discovery.
The main pillars of the text are acceptance, compassion, and innovation, along with evidence-backed ways to use these tools to build a strong self-belief system.
6. The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt (Russ Harris)
Have you ever missed out on a major opportunity because you doubted your own abilities?
Would you like to make sure that never happens again?
If so, The Confidence Gap could be one of the best books to build confidence in yourself.
Harris tackles common scenarios ranging from public speaking and corporate leadership all the way to dating and personal relationships.
First, he helps readers understand and accept their own fears.
Then, using mindfulness techniques as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), he helps the reader come up with actionable solutions for things like shyness, doubts, and insecurities.
7. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself (Shad Helmstetter)
We all have an “inner voice” we use to speak to ourselves.
The tone of your inner voice depends on many factors, specifically the way you were raised (and the way your parents spoke to you).
If putdowns, nagging, and criticism were common in the environment where you grew up, you might unknowingly have adopted those habits when you talk to yourself.
If you often think things like, “I’m such an idiot,” or “I’ll never be able to do that,” add this book to your self-confidence reading list.
Dr. Helmstetter helps readers identify those deeply ingrained patterns of negative self-talk.
The goal is to help you be more aware of and disciplined in the way you think about yourself.
It also helps the reader to see how any thoughts (negative or positive) translate into actions and behaviours.
8. The Happiness Project (Gretchen Rubin)
Looking for a different slant on those build self-esteem books?
Rather than being told what to do, see what New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Ruben did to focus on personal happiness.
Follow Ruben through her year-long journey, where she focused on different goals for each month of her ‘happiness’ project.
For example, she set the goal of feeling more energetic in January, then took actionable steps like going to bed earlier and doing meaningful exercise.
Although this looks different from your traditional self-help book, it offers readers plenty of food for thought.
It allows each reader to pause, reflect, and create their own plan for happiness and self-improvement — with plenty of unique and interesting ideas along the way.
9. Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! (Tony Robbins)
Could any discussion of confidence be complete without mentioning motivational speaker and self-help guru Tony Robbins?
If you’re struggling to “find” (or accept) yourself, get your hands on this tried and true classic.
Robbins believes that the key to a healthy self is learning to master our emotions — the good and the bad.
Through the pages of his book, readers learn to understand and accept themselves, where they’ve been, and where they’re going.
If you want to become more self-reliant and truly take control of your life, this book can help you get there.
Robbins outlines an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to help readers learn to love themselves and find real meaning in their lives.
10. Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life (Steven C. Hayes and Spencer Smith)
Do you struggle to let go of bad things that happened in the past?
Do you carry around the burdens of your younger self?
If this sounds like you, check out this inspiring workbook.
In the beginning, you’ll learn to differentiate between the unavoidable pains of being human and avoidable pain that comes from negative thoughts or a “lack of mental toughness.”
The book helps readers to learn and accept the fact that we can’t avoid all negative experiences.
In fact, we can use them to grow, become more mindful, and find the motivation to achieve our goals.
If you feel stuck in the past and unable to move forward, this is the title you’ve been looking for.
11. The Self-Love Experiment (Shannon Kaiser)
Are you the type of person who struggles to put yourself first?
If you’re trying to find the balance between self-care and your other responsibilities, try reading The Self-Love Experiment.
The great thing about this book is you can use the outline and advice to achieve any personal goal.
Whether it’s finding true love, landing a promotion at work, getting out of debt, or overcoming addiction, Kaiser gently helps readers uncover their strengths and value themselves.
The book gives readers a simple plan that focuses on relatability and compassion — specifically, towards yourself.
As you work through each section, you’ll gain a new perspective and take strides towards changing your attitude and habits.
12. Soul Without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within (Byron Brown)
This book is ideal for anyone who struggles to find something nice to say about themselves.
Brown guides readers on a journey of self-discovery that helps them to understand how and why they judge themselves so harshly.
In this book, you’ll learn the mechanisms behind this unhealthy habit, as well as why it’s so hard to change.
It helps you gain awareness of your inner “judge” that always seems to put you down.
Then comes the good part — actionable steps you can take to make your internal monologue positive, pleasant, and helpful.
There are also sections to help you recover and heal from years (or maybe even a lifetime) of low self-esteem.
13. Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life (Gary John Bishop)
Are you the type who responds best to tough love?
If so, buy this book from Gary John Bishop that has served as a serious wake-up call for millions of readers.
As the title shows, the author isn’t afraid to tell it like it is!
The thing that’s standing in your path isn’t other people, your past mistakes, or less-than-ideal circumstances.
Rather, it’s negative self-talk that’s standing between the person you are now and the person you want to be.
If you’re ready to be the hero of your own life story, this book will give you the (figurative) kick you need to get there.
It will help you take control of your life and get out of the negative mindset so many of us find ourselves stuck in.
As one reader put it, “I feel like I am finally awake after an extended nap!”
Get Your Hands on the Best Confidence Books Today
Even the most confident person struggle with self-doubt sometimes.
No matter where you fall on the spectrum, these books to build confidence are sure to fill you with inspiration!
Remember, the best self-confidence book for you is the one that addresses your unique personality and needs.
Bookmark this list and refer back to it anytime you’re facing a crisis of confidence. You’re sure to find just the title you need to get back on track.
Now that you know the best confidence books, what’s next?
Stay right here and keep the motivation flowing with more advice to help you achieve your goals and ambitions.
These affirmations for reducing anxiety could be the perfect place to start.