It’s no coincidence that the archetype of the Wise Woman is a woman who has shared her wisdom, stories and experiences with other women. We are not all blessed with the kind of wise mothers who can be called on at any time to offer advice during difficult times. But there is good news. In this day and age, no one has to struggle alone. Amazon, libraries, or local bookstores all have self-help book shelves for people of every walk of life.
These women offer their own sage wisdom and encouragement and guidance to achieve your dreams. These women will give you the wisdom to reach your dreams and encourage and guide you to do so.
Eat, Pray and Love has been a hit with women’s clubs around the globe. You may not have heard about it, but the book is about Gilbert’s struggle to redefine success after her divorce. She uses these life lessons to create a guidebook that will inspire women and give them the confidence and support they need to be themselves. Gilbert makes a living writing and creating, but the book’s message is to embrace your own beautiful weirdness. Big Magic offers a new approach to living, focusing on finding the magic in everyday life and being curious enough ask questions. These lessons can help you write that screenplay, which you’ve had in your file cabinet for the past 25 years. They could also help you to learn how you can walk more optimistically. Gilbert’s thoughtful guidance will help you to learn new ways of thinking.
Amanda Palmer – The Art Asking: Stop Worrying, Let people Help You!
Women’s motivational books often share one common theme: they are centered on overcoming self-doubt. The Art of Asking was written by Amanda Palmer after she left her corporate label. The book opens with Amanda Palmer’s childhood as well as her experiences on the streets. She learned to be ruthless so she could make ends meet playing music to strangers. The book is primarily about Palmer’s unhappiness at working in corporate music. She also explains how she was forced to change her mind regarding who should finance her music. Palmer wanted to be able to make the music she loved, but was afraid to ask for assistance. Palmer shares her story of doubting herself as an artist and guides others who are struggling with anxiety and self-doubt to ask for help. Palmer used Kickstarter as a funding source, but The Art of Asking emphasizes the importance of learning to appreciate yourself and find your way in life.
Angela Duckworth’s Grit: Passion and Persistence in the face of adversity, 2016
Grit is a scientific study, not a self-help guide or a list of ten tips on how to improve your life. Duckworth is employed at the Positive Psychological Center of University of Pennsylvania. For the past decade, she has worked to discover how to assist children in becoming successful. Her conclusions? Basically, success is not a “secret”. This book may not be for you if your goal is to find a list that guarantees future happiness. Duckworth makes her point in the book by stating that success is a combination of traits that can be acquired over time: intelligence, kindness, humility, and hard work. Her research shows how talent does not guarantee a successful career. While it can help in building a reputation, the key to a positive future is perseverance. This book is for those looking for more than just a self-help fad. It’s for teachers, social scientists, parents and anyone else who wants to learn something meaningful.
Sheryl Sandberg, Lean in: Women, work, and the will to lead (2013)
Sandberg’s book is a source of comfort and confidence-booster for all working mothers. She offers tips and advice on how to balance work, family, relationships, and daily chaos. Sandberg offers advice and validation to working mothers everywhere. She also gives tips on how they can navigate the daily chaos, work, family, relationship and other responsibilities. Sandberg discusses how to negotiate “like a guy,” how to discuss parenting with your partner, and how she still views men as being the dominant power holders in the corporate world. Sandberg describes herself as a feminist, but offers some interesting and shockingly truthful arguments about women’s self-doubt. The book is meant to be a reassurance for working moms who want to make it in an unforgiving system. This is a book that will give anyone a sense of hope and encouragement, even when the system is broken.
Shonda Rimes’ Year of Yes (2015): How to dance it out, stand in the sun and be yourself.
Shonda’s Rimes had no idea that Grey’s Anatomy’s success would reach such heights. Shonda Rimes has been producing shows for 13 years. Private Practice is one of them. Scandal is another. Rimes, a black media professional woman who is also a TV star, has become the queen of the fictional universe she created. She wanted to live a full, complete and exciting life every day. Year of Yes focuses on a motivational autobiography with a fairly simple message – keep saying “yes” to new opportunities, and then see where they lead you. Rimes shares many stories of how she has benefited from saying yes, such as losing over 100 pounds or speaking at Dartmouth commencement. Rimes, a high-powered woman, also shares some of her simple pleasures. I liked the parts where she played with her children, even though she was going to work. This book isn’t about career success – it’s also about enjoying life and saying yes to every moment.
Heather Havrilesky (2016), How To Be A Person In The World. Ask Polly’s Guidance Through the Paradoxes Of Modern Life.
Heather Havrilesky is my absolute favorite. The Cut’s “Ask Polly” column is a breath a fresh air. Havrilesky, a straight shooter who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, is also very sympathetic towards the bizarre, impossible and strange toughness of our world. She uses her trademark blend of hard truths and empowering positivity to solve problems on identity and tragedy, work, family and much more. All of her answers come down to the same thing: learning to love and accept yourself. Finding the answers that you like, even when they are not popular with others, is the key. She’s a master at finding your own way in life. For each reader question she answers, she provides anecdotes and stories from her own crazy, complicated journey. Havrilesky’s answers to questions such as “How can I get over an ex-lover?” and “What am I going to do after my mom dies?” are kind, honest, and real.
Roxane Gay’s Hunger (2017)
Hunger isn’t really a book of self-help, but it’s still one of my favorite memoirs. Roxane is an author, professor, and reviewer who writes about obesity, plus-size women, and the struggles they face in society. Gay’s book is beautifully written, honest, and sensitive. She talks about the sexual abuse that made her turn to food for safety, as well the ways in which she struggled with weight loss, navigating the world, or accepting the reality of her larger than average body. The book’s core is about how to be a woman in the world, no matter what size you are. Hunger is an uplifting story about trauma, violence, and the lasting impact on our lives. It’s also a guide for acceptance, healing, and personal development. This book has a lot of depth and doesn’t give a simple answer. It is a guide to acceptance, positivity and total acceptance. It’s a true portrayal of a work-in progress. Roxane Gay inspires all women seeking validation, honesty and motivation to speak about difficult topics, even when they don’t think anyone will listen.
Be a changemaker: How To Start Something That Matters By Laurie Ann Thompson (2014
Laurie Ann Thompson’s Be a changemaker is a great book for girls who are idealistic and want to become the future leaders. Thompson, a child’s author and cofounder, has spent much of her adult life helping children with big goals achieve their dreams. The book is about teens who find meaningful ways to give back, but it’s also a guidebook that encourages social action. Thompson provides tips and tricks on how people of any age can use social entrepreneurship and digital tools to create their own non profit and make a change. It is also a book for children and features stories about eleven and twelve year old girls who created non-profits helping girls in Rwanda.
The Book of Awesome Women (Becca Anderson): Boundary Breakers Freedom Fighters Sheroes Female Firsts
The era in which women’s history is celebrated has finally arrived – an era when we had Malala’s story, Hidden Figures’ story, and many other stories. Becca Anderson’s The Book of Awesome Women, a non-fiction book that highlights the contributions of women both historically and today, is an addition to the collection. Anderson was always frustrated with the lack or representation of females in her classes and the whitewashing history that overlooked the achievements of black women around the world. The Book of Awesome Women sets out to correct these injustices, telling the stories of remarkable women since antiquity. Eight chapters of women’s achievements are presented in this encyclopedia, with one chapter dedicated to women of colour. However, women from all backgrounds appear in every section. Anderson’s extensive research gives new insight into each chapter. Even when writing about famous women who I am familiar with, she offers fresh perspectives. The book is great for a casual read when you are in need of inspiration. Or, you can read it all if your goal is to impress friends with gender-inclusive knowledge.
Rachel Hollis’s 2018 Girl, Wass Your Face
Instagram is a great way to see your friends living a glamorous life, and you can’t help but feel jealous of their sexy trips abroad or perfectly foamy coffee. Rachel Hollis explains in her book from the outset that, even though you feel everyone else is living a perfect and happy life, yours is not. Hollis wrote Girl, Wash Your Face as a response to the social media obsession. It was born out of her struggle to be happy and worthy while living a messy and complicated life. Hollis shares the ugly side of life, stories you’ll never see shared on social media. Hollis also discusses how she coped with difficult moments without comparing herself to other people. Hollis’ book reminds us that life is not always as easy as it seems on social media. She also offers advice to women looking to improve their self-esteem by exposing the 20 lies they tell themselves and giving them tips on how to think differently.
Andrea Owen’s How to Stop Feeling like S**t (2018)
Andrea Owen’s How to Stop feeling like S**t is formatted in a way that makes it feel almost like a manual. Owen spends his book on a list of fourteen habits people have that can make their lives difficult and unhappy. This includes things like avoiding others and setting realistic objectives. Owens provides ample opportunity and space for the reader to explore how they can apply each habit to their own lives. Owen asks her readers five or six questions that she guides them to answer in their own way. She includes other exercises, such as the square-inch-box, in which she asks her readers to draw on paper a box measuring one square inch and then fill it with names of people who have opinions they value. Owen says that if there are more names on your list than the space available, you may want to start crossing off some people. Owen’s guide is about finding and living your values. This makes it a book that anyone can use. Andrea Owen’s books may have a different impact on me than they do on you. But I’m sure we’ll feel the same way at the end.
The Confidence Code: Katie Clay & Claire Shipman, 2014.
The Confidence Code’s popularity is well-deserved. Katie Clay, Claire Shipman and others spent years researching for the book. The focus of the book is on a mystery that has plagued our culture: why are even the most successful females unable to feel confident in their careers and personal lives? Clay and Shipman travel to the worlds of neuroscience and genetics to learn about confidence genes and to perform their personal genetic tests in order to determine how their genetic histories could impact their feelings. The book is not all science. Clay and Shipman talk with leading psychologists and interview women who have overcome their own self-confidence issues. Along the way they discover some surprising facts on how to physically rewire your brain by changing your behavior. They then create a book that will help women (and girls now too!) find the confidence and motivation they need. They learn along the way some surprising facts about how we can physically rewire our brains by changing our behaviors and in the process create a motivational book to help all women (and now girls too!)
Becoming wise: An inquiry into the mystery and art of living by Krista Tippett (2016)
Download Krista’s podcast “On Being” if you haven’t already. Or, even better, start by reading this book. Becoming Wise consists of transcribed Tippett show interviews. Each chapter provides a small window into a certain master’s wisdom. The show is non-denominational, and includes interviews with meditation experts, scientists, and other spiritualists. Tippett talks to Brene, a self-help expert and confidence guru, as well as the renowned author Jon Kabat Zinn. This book is perfect for anyone who wants to get a quick read in the morning to inspire them or doesn’t want to spend a lot time reading a book. The book is also perfect for self-help skeptics who find it difficult to commit to a single philosophy. Becoming Wise may be a good starting point for those who are new to motivational writing. You can start with a chapter or two and then try another if the first one doesn’t work.