Personal Development and Mindset are becoming widely discussed topics these days, and I am a firm believer in the benefits of working and focusing on yourself which in turn helps to maintain a strong mindset. Taking time for yourself is extremely important, and it becomes an even greater practice when implemented daily into your life.
But why is personal development and mindset so important?
Firstly, personal development is a process. It’s about investing time into yourself so you can develop skills and different attitudes / outlooks to help deal with what life throws at us in a calmer way. So instead of dealing with a situation with anger or aggressiveness, we can look at it in a more considered way and not jump to conclusions.
It is a way for us to assess ourselves in an open and honest way, look at our aims and goals in life and helps us to maximise our potential.
Mindset, which is directly linked to working on our personal development, is the set of attitudes you believe in life. These attitudes primarily come from our upbringing – what our parents beliefs are will be the first and foremost set we are exposed to. But we can change these attitudes. It’s actually inevitable that as we go through life our outlook on situations will change, and that’s okay!
As they say, “we grow through what we go through”.
I briefly delve into Mindset and the initial ways you can start working and improving your life in my How to Live Your Best Life post, which I’d highly recommend you check out.
Today though, I would like to discuss 5 of my favourite personal development books which have all helped me develop a stronger mindset.
First up is The Secret by Rhonda Byrne which I’ve read about three times now! It is focused around The Law of Attraction and how you can use it throughout your day-to-day life. Some people get funny about the LOA because they don’t believe in horoscopes (or any of that “funny” business). But if you’re open minded enough to learn a little bit more about it and try it, it could genuinely change your life. I can promise you that you will be surprised by the amount of situations happening in your life right now that you have actually attracted to yourself without even realising it.
The key is to start with something small, build it into your everyday life gradually and then nurture it. I actually do this every time I go to the supermarket, completely subconsciously now, as I always get one of two parking spaces that are closest to the door.
The Chimp Paradox
Next up is the Chimp Paradox: Mind Management by Prof. Steve Peters. Peters explains how the mind works so you can understand more about how yours works personally so you can manage your thoughts and emotions.
This book to be extremely powerful, because you know those annoying little thoughts you get that are unhelpful or the opposite of what you want it to do? I used to (still do sometimes!) have this a lot which would hinder what I was doing everyday. I would overthink situations until they seemed like the end of the world – but really all that is is my chimp coming out to play! (Sorry, that will sound completely crazy to anyone who hasn’t read the book) But having read this book twice, you learn how to manage these annoying thoughts and become clear again.
A book I have read quite recently which has been hugely interesting is Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck. With over decades of research into achievement and success, Dweck discovered the powerful idea of Mindset. Through an array of case studies that build up her main research, two different mindsets can be taken from them; the growth mindset, and the fixed mindset.
It was really interesting reading this book and discovering more about the two different mindsets because you begin to analyse your own ways of thinking to see which category you fall into. In many cases you’re a bit of both because you grow up with a fixed mindset from your parents, but when you’re old enough to make your own decisions your attitude and perspective on life may change.
The great thing about this book is that Dweck shows us why it’s not all about ability or talent that brings success, but in fact whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. Constantly learning and growing as a person, seeing challenges as opportunities for growth, are just a few ways we can improve our mindset and outlook on life.
Strong Woman, the Truth About Getting to the Top by Karren Brady is a must-read for any ambitious women trying to balance their personal and professional lives. I’m nearly at the end of this book, and I have already taken a lot from it. Even simple things like the importance of hard work and not apologising for it really hit home for me because of my experience of living and working in London.
Brady is most well known for her work on the Apprentice alongside Sir Alan Sugar, but what I didn’t know before reading this book, was her incredible business experience with Football Clubs; Birmingham City and West Ham. Not only does she share in her book how she managed a personal and professional life balance, but also how she made both clubs a success from nothing.
The Universe has Your Back
Last but not least, another favourite of mine has to be The Universe has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. Her mission is to, “wake up as many people as possible to their connection to faith and joy. In that connection, we can e guided to our true purpose: to be love and spread love. These words can no longer be cute buzz phrases that we merely post on social media. Rather, these words must be our mission. The happiness, safety and security we long for lies in our commitment to love.”
The book is a pleasure to read and like all the others featured on this list, it makes you think about how you’re currently looking at and dealing with situations. It’s taught me to believe in myself more, take risks and trust the decisions I make. I’ve also learnt that music and mindfulness are key practices that should be added into your routine. View here for more.
Have you read any of the books featured in my Top 5? How did you find them?
If you haven’t read them but decide you want to, I hope you find something in each of them in the same way I have.
All the best,