Top 5 Books To Encourage & Improve Self-Esteem & Confidence
I’m a huge lover of self-help books, specifically those that revolve around matters of body image & self-esteem. I think it’s so important, now more than ever, to be reminded of how crucial it is to implement self-care & be more compassionate towards ourselves every day. We are constantly confronted by unrealistic body standards, which even though we know how unrealistic they are, still influence our self-esteem on a much deeper level. We also experience immense pressure to be successful, be involved in a number projects & constantly busy. It’s pressure from all angels thats exhausting & really starts to wear down your self-confidence & self-worth. So without further ado these are my favourite self-esteem reads to help boost self-confidence & reassure yourself that you are perfect in your imperfectness, just as you are in this very moment. A message we all need plastered on our mirror to remind us everyday!
Women, Food & God | Geneen Roth
This was one of the first self-help type books I ever read. Women, Food & God delves into the relationship we have we food (own of my personal favourite topics) & the impact it has on every other aspect of our lives. That the way we eat is inseparable from our core beliefs about being alive. It discusses how so much of our self-worth is reflected in our habits surrounding food & our belief that if we were thinner we would be happier.
Geneen Roth also discusses the idea that food (or dieting) for many has become much like a religion of choice, a core belief system that drives & defines the individuals daily choices & interactions. The religion of dieting changes their beliefs about themselves (that they are never thin or good enough to not diet, that if they don’t diet they will become “fat” & therefore a failure) & provides a strict set of rules to abide by (i.e. never eat carbs or fat), that no matter how seemingly absurd, must be followed in order to avoid punishment (guilt & self-hate). An important read for all women struggling with eating & body-image issues.
Beauty Sick | How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls & Women Dr. Renee Engeln
There really aren’t enough words to describe how much I absolutely adored this book & how necessary (I believe) it is for EVERY SINGLE woman to read. It is eye-opening, somewhat heartbreaking & undeniably relevant. I couldn’t put it down once I began. Dr Renee Engeln truly is my new found hero!
The concept of ‘beauty sickness’ comes from the reality that we have created a culture that tells women the most important thing they can be is beautiful. Not intelligent, inquisitive or creative but beautiful. That how you look, what you wear, how heavy you are or aren’t is the more important than who you are & who you become. This concern or constant pursuit for beauty becomes not only a significant distraction (think of all those hours spent shopping, grooming, worrying) but becomes a serious joy, self-esteem & confidence vampire.
Dr Renee Engeln also has a very powerful & wonderful TED Talk available which gives you a snap shot of the research & concepts found in this book. Check it out here.
Womens Wellness Wisdom | Dr. Libby Weaver
I first fell in love with Dr. Libby Weaver after hearing her speak at an event about “Rushing Woman’s Syndrome”, the term she coined relating to how woman run themselves ragged trying to be everything to everyone. What drew me so much to her was her beautiful ability to break something seemly complex, down into an easily digestible & relatable information that everyone can not only understand but remember.
Womens Wellness Wisdom is no exception. This incredible book is full of information every woman should know about her body & I do mean everything…its literally a female encyclopaedia! The book is broken down into four main categories: Eat, Body, Mind & World. Dr Weaver explains concepts from ‘Why what we eat matters’ to ‘How to figure out if you need to be gluten or lactose free - or both?’ to ‘What our body is trying to tell us’ as well as topics such as emotional eating, understanding your digestive system & time-management…just to name a few. This book is empowering because it allows you to ascertain a deeper, more comprehensive knowledge of your own body, enabling you to expand you intuition & make more informed decisions with regards to your health. Knowledge is (em)power!
The Beauty Myth | Naomi Wolf
The pressure on women to conform to beauty ideals is intense & all consuming. This pressure is inflexible, demanding & so deeply ingrained as the norm that, as a women, you are almost blind to how much time you actually (& realistically) spend thinking about your physical appearance. It’s a hell of a lot of time wasted. This book read ties in perfectly with Dr. Renee Engeln Beauty Sickness, which discusses how problematic it has become that women spend more brain energy thinking about beauty than they do about being intelligent. For women its relentless, beauty standards confront you everywhere you go from advertising, television, movies, magazine, Instagram, Facebook & now youtube. From the moment we become aware as little children we are constantly exposed to imagery that supports unrealistic & similar beauty standards…perfect skin, toned lean body, glossy hair, white straight teeth, effortless style. We take all this information in unconsciously & it influences how we feel about ourselves on the deepest level.
Be Happy | 35 Powerful Methods for Personal Growth & Well-being - Dr Rebecca Ray
I love this book for it’s practicality! Its a brilliant how-to on self-care with lots of easy techniques anyone can utilise on a daily basis in order to feel more grounded & content within themselves. Be Happy teaches you through how to choose joy, gratitude, kindness, patience, laughter, courage, self-love & flow throughout our day when confronted by any situation (external) or negative though (internal) in order to embody an emotional state we can thrive in. This is critical in order to improve our self-esteem & self-worth, gain power over our inner critic & genuinely feel good about ourselves.
In our modern lives, where we are constantly confronted by unrealistic body ideals, pressure on us to do more & be more always, to achieve, achieve, achieve whilst maintaining a perfect figure & perfect hair..all with a glossy white smile. What an exhausting life. This book is an essential protection from modern day life.