So much of the content we see on social media is a narrow view of just the glamorous aspects of someones life. I want to take a moment to be real here… up until around my second year in college I was an introvert. I still consider myself somewhat of an introvert today, but I can honestly say I’ve developed into a much more social and confident person. I had difficulty starting up conversations and wouldn’t make the effort with people out of my own sheer insecurities. People would take this as me being rude or unfriendly, which had it’s downsides but it was very much the opposite of reality. This article is going to focus on book recommendations for self development that have helped me immensely.

I started to develop myself, who I am, what I want in life, and how I’m going to get there after reading some self-development books. The books I read weren’t “How to be social” or “How to be confident”, instead they were books that gave me a good perspective on the world around me. They provided me with an understanding on how people feel, behave, and why. They also gave me the tools I needed to start achieving my goals. It just so happened that these understandings helped me understand myself better too, and it gave me what I needed to start working on myself. I was recently speaking to a colleague on this topic and she was baffled at the thought that I was ever an introvert, so I’d like to share some of these books with you in the hopes they might help you too.

Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman

This is still one of my favorite books to date. It was one of the first proper self-development books I read and it really takes you into the deep end but I couldn’t recommend it enough. The book explores human emotions, it gives you scientific information into why we act and react the way that we do. It then discusses how being able to handle our emotions better, and react to other’s emotions can actually be of greater value to our lives and careers than IQ.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen R. Covey

As suggested by the name, this book is oriented more towards achieving your goals. This is possibly one of the most popular, or at least well-known, self-development books out there. The book discusses 7 habits that you can pick up in order to start achieving your goals. At this point, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t need to take on every bit of advice a book gives you. Personally, I think it works best when you make an effort to do as many as fit into your lifestyle and work with your goals. This doesn’t necessarily mean taking on every suggestion.

Thinking Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman

This is another favorite, and I definitely recommend the read, but if you’re just starting out in this area this wouldn’t be the book to start with. I only say that because it can be a bit of an intense read which might not be where you want to start. In this book, Daniel Kahneman discusses thinking in terms of System 1 (Automatic fast-thinking, almost like a reflex) and System 2 (more thought out, logical thinking). We use both of these forms of thinking everyday, and he explores how we can make bad judement calls or muddle our thinking as a result of just an automatic reflex. You really get to explore the way your mind works in this book, which is something of great value and I think everyone should do it.


If you don’t get the time to just sit down and read during the day (which I really don’t), I would highly recommend using audio books (Amazon’s Audible). You’ll notice I haven’t supplied a picture of a stack full of these books, because all of mine are on my phone. If you commute to work or college I would highly recommend turning on an audio book during that time. You’ll be surprised how enjoyable you find it, and strangely it actually makes me not care about traffic jams because I’m happy to spend more time in the car listening to the book.

I hope some of these come in handy for you, and if you read any of them I’d love to hear your thoughts. I have plenty more recommendations, so if this proves useful I can shoot up another blog post some time on some other great books.

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