TOP 5 books for self-development that every woman should definitely read

Greetings! Self-development is the most powerful trend in recent years. We enthusiastically “pump up” different areas of life. Learning to communicate correctly with teenage children.

Monetize blogs and Facebook groups. Meditate on money, success and luck. Create slideshows in Photoshop. Moreover, modern people without complexes do this both at 20 and at 50 years old.

You can develop yourself in different ways. For example, going to Thailand for two weeks to work in a live group. Or download recordings of online courses on torrent and take lessons at home. But the most popular format among fans of self-development is still books.

According to statistics, they are more often read not by men, but by women. Women often have neither the time nor the energy for self-development courses and trainings.

And today I want to recommend cool books for self-development and self-improvement for girls. So, what should a woman read for self-development?

1.Charles Duhigg “The Power of Habit” self-development book

Charles Duhigg “The Power of Habit”
A list of the best self-development books for women, including 2 books about habit formation. First, the right habits can change your life 360 ​​degrees. And secondly, your brain doesn’t care whether your habits are right or wrong. They are formed identically.

So, let's turn to the book by C. Duhigg “The Power of Habit”.

Habit is an unconscious action. Therefore, until you consciously begin to fight it, you will not be able to eradicate it!

C. Duhigg describes the scheme for the emergence of a habit. In order to develop a good habit, you need to use the habit cycle.

The Habit Cycle

The habit cycle consists of: a routine (a new action, a habit), a signal (what precedes the routine) and is accompanied by a reward.

You can reward yourself with pleasant sensations, for example, at the end of a workout. Or you can focus your attention on the signal. For example, decide for yourself the following: you will introduce exercise as a mandatory ritual. Time - morning; place - room; the preceding action is awakening.

Standard signals:

  • time
  • place
  • emotional condition
  • environment
  • previous action

You can improve or introduce cues or rewards, creating a lasting habit instead of beating yourself up for your lack of discipline.

Choosing between good and bad habits

People are not able to eradicate a bad habit, but they can replace one with another. For example, you reach for a cookie while working. Perhaps you just want to relax.

Procrastination is also a negative habit.

The secret to productivity is having good habits. Having formed healthy habits, you will not need to talk to yourself about eating a healthy salad or a bun, your hands will reach out for a healthy snack.

Agatha Christie "Autobiography"

For whom

: A wonderful book for everyone.

About what

: Agatha Christie was born at the turn of the century, she still saw the patriarchal way of life with governesses, butlers and devoted maids, she describes it so vividly that you regret that you will never be able to visit that time. Reminds me a bit of Downton Abbey. This is the time of her happy childhood.

Then the death of his father, a Parisian boarding school, art classes, balls and first loves. Then the First World War, work as a nurse and pharmacist, first marriage and first detective, the birth of a daughter. Realizing the uniqueness of the opportunity, she leaves her daughter for almost a year and goes with her husband on a trip around the world, which he was offered for work. Infidelity, divorce, second marriage to a man 15 years younger than her, a trip with her husband to excavations in Iran and new detective stories. World War II, working as a pharmacist and then rebuilding the country after the war. Her life is an incredible series of events, adventures and washing dishes, this is her favorite pastime, during which she came up with her own intricate plots.

The book is easy to read; an unusual, extraordinary, great writer writes with humor and a great love for life.

How to read

: Although the book is weighty, it is easy to read, and she later used many moments of her life in her detective stories. You will enjoy it.


“It’s simply amazing how much pleasure you can get from almost everything that exists in life. There is nothing more delightful than accepting and loving all that exists. You can enjoy almost any food and any way of life: the quiet of the countryside, dogs, country roads; from the city, the noise, the crowd, the roar of cars. In one case, you will find peace, the opportunity to read, knit, embroider and care for plants. In the other there are theaters, art galleries, good concerts and meetings with friends whom you would otherwise rarely see. I'm happy to say I love almost everything."

Steven Guys “MINI-habits - MAXI-results” motivation book

S. Gaiz “Mini-habits - Maxi-results”
The main idea of ​​the book on self-development: “Doing something a little bit, but every day is better than doing something a lot, but once every 2 weeks.”

When you perform an action frequently, neural connections are formed in your brain. Subsequently, you begin to instill in yourself the desired action using a mini version of your new positive habit.

If a person expects difficulty in performing a new action, it can be difficult for him to tune in. But if he tells himself “I’ll just put on a tracksuit and do a plank for 5 seconds,” it’s easy to agree to it.

Forming mini versions of good habits

So, choose 2-3 habits that you want to form in yourself. Now create a mini version of a good habit. Meanwhile, it must be a ridiculously small habit. For example, you want to form habits:

pump up your abs every day

drink water in the morning

eat fruits and vegetables daily

Then mini versions of these habits would look like this:

do abdominal exercises – 1 time

drink 1 sip of water (place a glass of water near the bed)

eat 1 piece of apple or other fruit (vegetable) before lunch

Examples of good habits

You also need to think about a reward or encouragement, then the habit will form faster.

At the same time, willpower is a limited resource. People often overestimate themselves!

For greater efficiency and clarity, write down separately those habits that you want to acquire (mini-versions of them) and those that you would like to get rid of!

3.Tony Robbins “Awaken the Giant Within”

T. Robbins “Awaken the Giant Within”
The author of the book is an NLP specialist and he successfully programs people for success.

NLP in simple words is a set of psychotechniques, verbal and non-verbal techniques that can “introduce” certain information into a person’s brain in order to change not only his thinking, but also his behavior.

The author's main ideas

Goal setting method

Tony Robbins has his own method of setting goals. To start, you need to write down your goals in 4 different areas. Then choose the 2 main ones - they are a priority for a period of time (for example, a year). Every day you ask yourself the question: “What can I do today to achieve my goal.”

Since you have identified your goal, you will notice that the subconscious begins to help you. It will begin to notice opportunities that will become larger every day. Thus, you are “doomed to success.”

10 day mental detox

Start living without negativity. Try to live 10 days without negative thoughts. Meanwhile, if you catch yourself in anger, resentment or fear and hold on to this emotion for more than 1 minute, start counting 10 days again.

success modeling

Look for people who inspire you. Watch them. Copy their beliefs!

open targets

As you approach your goal, you must clearly understand “what next?”

For example, a girl really wants to get married. Since childhood, I imagined myself in a wedding dress, the joy of the process. Once she got married and her goal was achieved, she doesn't know what's next. There are no goals. Thus, the girl continues to live her life poorly.

focus on goal

Focus on the goal, not the obstacles. The book gives an example with racers. If a rider sees that he is flying into a wall, then he needs to look not at it, but in the direction of the correct trajectory. Otherwise he will simply kill himself!

"Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert

By the age of 32, Elizabeth Gilbert, the author and main character of the book, seemed to have received everything she dreamed of. There is a career, a home, a husband, sleepless nights and the first signs of depression. Divorce and a relationship with another man did not bring happiness either. This means that the time has come for global changes. Elizabeth plunges into self-discovery, studying the cultural traditions of other countries.

For several months, the main character took refuge in an ashram - a Hindu abode of wisdom. She learned to be silent, listen and accept herself. At the end of a long journey through Italy, India and Indonesia, Elizabeth found not only her own self, but also the love of her life. The book perfectly motivates not to give up even in the most desperate moments.

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Stephen Covey “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

7 Habits of Highly Effective People
This book was named one of the most effective business books in 2011. Still popular to this day! We also decided to include this book in the list of self-development books for women.

There are 2 groups of people:

  • Reactive people are those people who always focus their attention on what they cannot change. Thus, blaming circumstances for their troubles.
  • Proactive people are those who focus their attention on things they can change. They pay their attention exclusively to what they are able to change and influence.

Our brain does not like to work, striving for easy solutions and laziness. Therefore, people avoid asking questions: “What can I do in this situation,” so that they don’t have to work or strain themselves anymore. It is much easier to blame circumstances, the state, the authorities, abdicating responsibility.

Habits of Highly Effective People

Be proactive

Know in advance what we want to achieve as a result of our actions

Put what's really important first

If family and health are important to you, and you spend the whole evening in front of the TV, answering family and friends in a dismissive tone, what will you end up with?

Think about winning 2 sides

Don't assume that someone else's loss means you win! After all, to win it is not necessary for someone to lose!

Try to benefit someone so that they can benefit you.

Applies to any interpersonal relationships, but only at work!

Ability to create synergy

Synergy is the combined effect of factors, characterized by the fact that their combined effect significantly exceeds the effect of each individual component and their simple sum.

In other words, if you have a project and you need a designer, then you have 2 options for solving the problem. You can teach yourself design and all the intricacies. However, this will take you 5-10 years of your life. And time, remember, is a limited resource. Or you recruit an experienced and talented designer to your team who successfully copes with the assigned tasks.

The ability to “self-renew”

Develop yourself, exercise, do what is really important and what will bear fruit.

Alena Doletskaya “Not life, but a fairy tale”

For whom

: for women who create their own fairy tales.

About what

: The most heartfelt and touching pages of the book are memories of parents and childhood. Alena talks with gratitude about her father, an outstanding pediatric surgeon, about her mother and her roots.

Then, after an intelligent Moscow childhood, years of rebellion began, conflicts with parents, about which the author writes with bitterness. A living story with frank details about first sex, marriages, miscarriages, and the passing of loved ones.

In the second half of the book there are other stories related to work in the Russian version of Vogue magazine. About the appointment to the position of editor-in-chief, about the launch of the best glossy publication. Stories about unique meetings with writers, musicians, models. Conflict with Karl Lagerfeld, friendship with Naomi Campbell, discovery of Natalia Vodianova, acquaintance with Anna Wintour. A painful parting with the magazine after 12 years of life, new projects and an active life. And a special all-forgiving love for huskies.

Alena Doletskaya has a rare gift of storytelling, so this book was made up of stories told to friends and guests at her dacha gatherings.

How to read

: I strongly recommend not reading, but listening to an audio book. Alena makes herself some tea, lights a cigarette, makes herself comfortable in a chair and starts a conversation. No studio or monotonous reading. You are at a party where you are welcome, and the conversation will drag on until the night.


"Nothing is impossible. And it's not about the money. Not in husbands. Not in contact. And in a timely and accurate understanding of your purpose. And in honest service to your choice.”

Stephen Covey “7 Habits of Highly Effective Families”

7 Habits of Highly Effective Families
Another book on self-development and self-improvement for women is “7 Habits of Highly Effective Families.” This book's main idea is intertwined with the previous book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” The author of the book, Stephen Covey, knew what he was writing about, because he was the father of 9 children and grandfather of 52 grandchildren.

Stephen touches on such an important topic for every woman as family, its unity and well-being. Covey claimed that the definition of the family mission was a significant event in his family's history.

In this book, the author says that the most important task of a person is to support his family. But happy families do not arise by themselves. This requires maximum energy, desire and determination.

To make relationships in your family stronger and friendlier, apply the 7 skills from Stephen Covey. These skills are very similar to the ones he listed in the first book. However, they are “sharpened” for a family.

Stephen Covey family

Habits of Highly Effective Families

Be proactive

Proactivity is conscious activity. A parent or spouse, when doing something, is aware of his action or inaction. His actions and decisions are deliberate and voluntary.

For example, the son broke a plate. The proactive action of the parent is to find out what he wanted to do and direct the child's energy in the right direction. The parent's reactive action is to punish the child and not allow him to touch the dishes without permission.

Start with the end goal in mind.

Every family should have a common goal, its mission. There is no single template for its development, because... All families are different with their own lifestyle, traditions and values. So, the family, in a general council, develops a mission, as well as how each family member can help to achieve a common goal.

Focus on the main things

There are important and unimportant things, urgent and non-urgent things. It is very important to spend enough time with your family for its effectiveness and well-being. After all, family is the most important component in life.

Think in the spirit of win-win

Firstly, a family is a single organism. All its members make a feasible contribution to its well-being, including children. Secondly, there should be no rivalry in the family. In a family, it should not be that one participant is a loser and the other is a winner.

First understand, then try to be understood

Be sincerely interested in the affairs of your household, actively listen and take the first step towards them. You need to talk about yourself, your feelings and experiences, and show empathy.

Achieve synergy

This means that you need to apply all the tips at the same time. Only together can we achieve maximum results. Ask for help, ask for advice! “Involve as many family members as possible in everything.

Sharpen your saw

What does it mean? To cut down a tree faster, the woodcutter should not cut the tree, but should use a sharper saw. Over time, any relationship becomes a routine, feelings become dull. However, this can be avoided. To do this, you need to invest effort in updating. Examples of such updates are traditions, dinners together, and travel. It is very important that the family unites, is united, and shows interest in each other!

family traditions

“Healthy, happy, sexy. Ayurvedic wisdom for modern women by Katie Silcox

In the whirlwind of days, it’s easy to forget about your feminine essence - you have to constantly be higher, faster, stronger. Katie Silcox, like many others, worked long and hard, experienced stress, ate fatty foods and drank alcohol, gradually driving herself into depression. She found a solution in the wisdom of Ayurveda - ancient Indian knowledge about human health and longevity. Katie shares the information received from experienced teachers with readers.

In the book you will find simple and working recipes for nutrition and self-care. The author explains in detail and clearly what doshas are, how to adjust nutrition in relation to this or that energy, and how to regain self-love in order to enjoy life and be in harmony with your inner self.

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6. Hal Elrod “Magic of the Morning”

The Magic of the Morning
The next book on self-development and motivation that I would like to talk about is Hal Elrod’s book “The Magic of the Morning”.

In this book, the author talks about how important the first hours of awakening are for a person. Hal Elrod claims that if you use his advice, your life can change dramatically for the better.

It’s not even the whole morning, but the 1st hour that determines a person’s success.

“Miracle Morning” technique

Hal Elrod introduces readers to the Miracle Morning technique. To implement it, you need to wake up 1 hour earlier. This is necessary in order to have time to do certain practices. “The Miracle Morning” consists of 6 links:

1. Silence. This could be meditation, prayer, expressing gratitude, reflection, even breathing.

2. Affirmations. These are positive statements: “I am a very successful woman,” “I am happy,” “I am full of strength and energy,” etc. in the same vein.

example of affirmation for every day

3.Visualization. A vision of the life you aspire to. What do you want to achieve? What is your dream job? What kind of house would you like?

4.Physical exercises. Morning activity is not only necessary for morning vigor, it allows you to be more active and energetic throughout the day.

5. Reading. A useful and mandatory minimum is 10-15 minutes a day. Be sure to re-read books about personal growth. As a rule, many points are forgotten or not paid attention to. When reading again, new insights emerge (“insights”)

6. Letter. Keeping a journal helps you remember important things and also helps you document your thoughts, plans, and activities.

Thus, the author suggests using all these 6 practices in any order. However, the author recommends doing them before 8 a.m.

How to increase your motivation level when you wake up

Before you go to bed, talk through your expectations for the morning. They must be positive.

Place your alarm clock away from your bed. Then you won't be able to reset the alarm.

When you wake up, brush your teeth with mint toothpaste and drink a glass of water.

Wear sports clothes.

Practice outside of the bedroom.

Treat morning as a pleasant bonus in your life.

Over time, this ritual will become a habit, and your life will sparkle with new colors!

“Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go wherever they want”, Ute Erhardt

Ute Erhardt is a psychologist, writer, and consultant. Since childhood, she, like many others, has been irritated by stereotypes about what a good girl should be. Modest, submissive, meek, liked by everyone - the list goes on and on. Women try to meet these parameters and completely lose sight of their own needs.

Unfulfilled aspirations and desires make girls good, but very unhappy. The author of the book categorically disagrees with this state of affairs. The powerful support of Ute Erhardt and her unobtrusive but strong advice will help you understand yourself, gain independence and find ways of self-realization.

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7.John Kehoe “The subconscious can do anything”

D. Kehoe “The subconscious mind can do anything”
The author of the book is a famous Canadian writer, trainer in the field of personal growth. He showed by his personal example how you can make yourself who you want!

The book answers the questions: “What shapes our reality?”, “How easy is it to get along with the people around me?”

Book Highlights

When you believe that everything is bad or that you cannot achieve more, you are “poisoning” yourself! Therefore, form beliefs that will help you.

Make time for positive thoughts every day. At the same time, fix the thought you need in your mind as a fact that happened. “I am unique”, “I am good”, “I and only I control my life”, “I can do what I want.”

Treat yourself with love and respect. Make a list of your strengths and achievements. Minimum 20 points.

Train your creativity. Being creative is a choice, not a talent. To develop creativity:

  • try to solve ordinary problems in an unusual way
  • change your habits and rules, lifestyle, behavior
  • get out of your comfort zone more often
  • learn new hobbies

Great ideas often come when you're not busy and in a hurry!

Look for the best in every person! People feel how you treat them and respond in kind. Do not respond to rudeness with rudeness!

The main idea of ​​the book: By deciding what thoughts will be in your head, you thereby create your reality. “To change external circumstances, you must first change internal ones”

Roy Baumeister and John Tierney “Willpower”

Roy Baumeister John Tierney “Willpower”
Another great book on self-development and motivation is “Willpower”.

This book is suitable for those who really want to change their life through effort. It talks about how achieving results and self-development is impossible without willpower and self-control.

The authors of this book, Roy Baumeister, an American scientist, and John Tirley, a journalist from the New York Times, talk about how to take control of your life.

The book presents the results of many years of research by Roy Baumeister, as well as the results of scientists from Russia, Canada, and Germany. Therefore, the book is quite interesting to read.

“...about four hours a day—that’s about a quarter of their active time—people fight their temptations.”

The authors, in an accessible language understandable to the common man, talk about the relationship between psychological and physiological processes and self-control. All conclusions are supported by the results of scientific research.

“No glucose - no willpower: the more different situations and people the experimenters used, the clearer the picture became. When there is not enough energy, the body has to normalize its distribution, and the reproductive system takes priority, and willpower remains on a starvation diet.”

It is also very interesting to talk about why our many plans and expectations are not realized. This is especially true for New Year's resolutions.

The fact is that people have a limited supply of willpower, which decreases as it is spent. We use our willpower for different purposes. Thus, “diverse New Year’s resolutions come into conflict with each other, since there is only one source of the will to follow them. Every time you target one thing, you reduce your ability to accomplish everything else.”

The authors advise making one important decision for the near future and following it. This makes it more likely to happen!

Sophie van der Stap "The Girl with 9 Wigs"

For whom

: for those who are afraid of cancer and who live with it.

About what

: A girl from Holland learns at age 21 that she has a rare form of sarcoma. In diary form, she begins to describe her experiences over the course of 54 weeks. Sophie struggles with illness, loneliness, the anxiety of her friends and the fear of her family. Chemotherapy, radiation and medications - and no predictions from doctors.

The love of life and humor with which Sophie describes everything that happens makes the book special. She tries to make a game out of her hair loss after chemotherapy and try on new images - nine wigs, nine “roles” of girls, each of whom has never been sick. Each of which can flirt, dance, walk around the city, have breakfast in a cafe and drink tequila.

Cancer is a terrible diagnosis, but you have the freedom to choose how to live with it. Although this is still an example of the life of a very young European girl, quite wealthy, who has access to the best treatment and relaxation between chemotherapy courses in Nice.

Sophie van der Stap now lives in Paris and continues to be involved in literature and journalism. She is one of the founders of the international charity Orange Ribbon, which helps children with cancer.

How to read

: It may be scary to even pick up this book at first, but Sophie coped with the disease, so don’t be afraid, everything will be fine there. And another reason why you should read this book - it’s about love for life.


«Everyone feels sorry for me, everyone wants to lend a helping hand. Sometimes I worry that it will make me forget about the life I truly enjoy. Every time I try on a new wig, I hear: “Wow, this one is cool too. How great you are coping with all this.” It sounds cynical, but cancer makes an impression on people. They think they admire the way I deal with it, but I don't “deal with anything” - I just live like that.”

9. Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson “Discipline without Drama”

The book “Discipline without Drama”
is a must read for all those who have children and even those who are planning! It can also change your relationships not only with children, but also with adults. This is a wonderful book on self-development for women.

First, the authors define the discipline.

What does discipline mean?

It is common to associate discipline with punishment for bad behavior. Initially, discipline is associated with learning. Thus, to discipline means to teach. Punishment can sometimes stop bad behavior. But it gives a short-term effect. Our long-term goal as parents is to teach our child to control himself. And also help form his internal guidelines, which will help him make decisions without the authority of his parents. How can this be achieved? Any learning must begin with emotional contact.

Secondly, they talk about 3 features of the brain.

Brain Features

The BRAIN is changeable

It can be roughly divided into 2 levels: the upper brain and the lower.

The lower brain is also called ancient or primitive. It is responsible for the basic functioning of the body, simple emotions, instincts. The ancient brain is already well developed at birth. Therefore, when a 2-year-old baby can throw something at you or throw fists at you if he doesn’t get what he wants, this is the work of the lower primitive brain.

the functioning of the primitive brain in a child

The upper or higher brain helps us make conscious decisions, show empathy (a person’s ability to empathize), and control ourselves. This brain is poorly developed at birth and is fully formed only by age 25.

The higher brain is responsible for internal boundaries. And since the child is poorly developed, he simply needs external boundaries. The parent must guide the child, set boundaries, help develop higher brain skills.

We change the BRAIN

The structure of the brain physically changes depending on experience. How does this happen? When we have an experience, certain neurons in the brain become active and form circuits. Therefore, it is not a good idea to allow your child to sit in front of the TV for hours!

formation of circuits from neurons


It consists of different parts that are responsible for different functions. When a child is naughty, his primitive brain works. Thus, if at this moment you threaten him, the reaction of defense or attack will automatically work. First of all, you need to calm the primitive brain and activate the higher one. Here you will need emotional contact: hugs, consolation.

When a child least deserves our love, he needs it most!

Many people wonder if the child will be spoiled? If you contact him every time he behaves badly? Meanwhile, you can’t be spoiled by love!

10. John Gray “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”

“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”
The author of the book is psychologist John Gray. The main idea of ​​the book is based on the assumption that men and women are so different, as if they live on different planets.

If you want to improve your relationship with your significant other or understand men better. Or maybe you don’t have a serious relationship yet, but want to build a strong family? Then the book can give valuable advice! A wonderful book on self-development, the author of which believes that men and women make 2 main mistakes in their relationships:

Women love to give advice, even if they are not asked for it. And they also strive to remake men to suit themselves.

Men insist on solving the problem without taking into account the woman’s feelings. It is important for a woman to share her emotions, to be heard, to feel supported and cared for. So it is not always important for her to describe the essence of the problem.

“Giving without expecting anything in return, being there when you are truly needed: that is true love.”

“Lovely little things. Inspirational Stories for Those Who Don't Know How to Move On by Cheryl Strayed

If it seems as if the world has turned against you and there is no light in the darkness, truthful and unsentimental advice from a woman who has learned from her own experience what loss is and how difficult the path to oneself is will come to the rescue. Author and columnist Cheryl Strayed knows more about pain, disappointment and despair than many of her readers. And she is ready to share her experiences, fears and hopes with those who desperately need a reliable, friendly shoulder.

A collection of absolutely honest stories, advice and revelations will help you survive difficult moments and resist the powerful force of destruction leading to death. A book-dialogue with a true friend motivates you not to give up and continue to search for yourself.

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