The 30 Best Books on Confidence and Self-Esteem to Read in 2018

Did you know that low self-esteem and lack of confidence can make you feel unsafe and lonely?

The same goes the other way around as well. Feeling lonely or unsafe can lower your self-esteem and confidence. These four things (self-esteem, confidence, feeling unsafe and lonely) are interconnected, decreasing or increasing one another.

You see? Building (up) your confidence and self-esteem can solve, automatically, many other things about which you’re not happy.

Wait no more! Make the first step into a blissful and content life; find out (from the experts in the field) how you can increase your self-esteem and confidence.

Check out below the best books on confidence and self-esteem:

1. The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: The Definitive Work on Self-Esteem by the Leading Pioneer in the Field - Nathaniel Branden

As the title says, in this book, you'll discover the fundamental principles and building blocks for increasing your self-esteem.

This book can make you say "Aha!" at almost every page. You'll understand yourself better, offer yourself more compassion, and by the time you finish reading it, you'll see the good in you, your value and worth.

This book is for you if you're willing to commit and dive deeply into the subject of building your positive self-esteem.

I say "commit" because you'll benefit fully from this book if you see it as a study material (taking notes, making personal observations, putting into practice the exercises, and open your mind to the fact that you're a much better person than you think).

2. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are - Brené Brown

"The gift of imperfection" is one of those books that can change your life and the way you feel about yourself.

In this book you'll discover:

  • How to feel good enough 
  • Your major do's and don'ts to become happier and like yourself as you are
  • How to avoid labeling yourself with things detrimental to your well-being, self-esteem, and confidence
  • Tips to keep your soul in a good mood 

If you want to lead a whole-hearted life, be more thoughtful, develop a positive mindset, and feel better about yourself this book is for you.

3. What to Say When you Talk To Yourself - Shad Helmstetter

If you suffer from low self-esteem and lack of confidence most likely you're beating yourself up mentally or verbally.

You might not even realize you're doing it because putting yourself down might have become a habit; it might seem to you the natural way of being, especially if you've been mistreated as a child.

This book is teaching you how to be more disciplined about the way you think and be aware of how your thoughts translate into your behaviors and actions.

If you feel stuck in nagging, self-doubting thoughts, talking yourself down, and lack of courage to pursue your dreams, this book is for you.

Learn how to speak to yourself the way you deserve, reminding yourself that you are your own best friend.

4. Ten Days to Self-Esteem - David D Burns M.D.

"Ten Days to Self-Esteem" can teach you how to:

See life more objectively

  • Avoid jumping to faulty conclusions about yourself, your experiences, and others 
  • Keep the peace and harmony in your relationships (especially in the most important one - the relationship to yourself)
  • Make the difference between what people say or think about you and who you, actually are
  • Sort out what you feel about yourself based on facts and what is based on subjective opinions 

This book is for you if you want to know how to recognize and change the distorted thinking patterns that caused you to feel unhappy about yourself.

"Ten Days to Self-Esteem" might take a bit more than ten days to change your perception of self. Yet, once you put the book down, your life will be changed for the better forever.

5. What's Right with Me: Positive Ways to Celebrate Your Strengths, Build Self-Esteem, and Reach Your Potential - Carlene DeRoo,‎ Carolyn DeRoo

This book is, probably the most positive challenge for your self-related thoughts. It helps you see your strength, positive character traits, skills, talents, and gain a new perspective about yourself.

Can you see yourself in a dirty mirror? Not really. Right? Clean the mirror in which you look at yourself and see your true self; see what is right about you!

If you tend to remind yourself mostly your faults, flaws, and shortcomings, neglecting what is impressive about you, this book is for you.

6. Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! - Tony Robbins

If Tony Robbins has something to teach you, that something is how to change yourself and take control of your life.

Change happens even when you stay still. Therefore, it's only logical to embrace change and lead its direction instead of abandoning yourself at the will of chance.

This book will take you on a pleasant journey of self-discovery and self-esteem building. It helps you become more aware of your strengths and how to use them to reach your potential.

Yes, change is not easy to accept, but this book will show you the right way to change: No struggle, no resistance, no doubt, no regrets.

This book is for you if you suffer from low self-esteem, lack of confidence, motivation, and negative self-beliefs.

7. The New Psycho-Cybernetics - Maxwell Maltz,‎ Dan S. Kennedy

This book teaches you how to revive your natural guiding system to excel at everything you do, be happy, and see yourself in a more positive light.

You are not born with low self-esteem or lack of confidence. Therefore, your pre-installed program is a driver to reach the sky.

Maxwell Maltz talks (in this book) about how your imagination can make you or break you; how to use it to your advantage instead of putting yourself down.

Overcome a negative self-image by cleaning up your beliefs, behaviors, and thoughts. These are things past down or imposed on you by others that you've used to hypnotize yourself to believe and take them as the natural order of things.

This book is for you if you feel stuck in self-negative thoughts, low self-esteem and lack of confidence that created a distorted (negative) self-image in your mind.

8. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind - Joseph Murphy

Your subconscious mind is like a sponge that takes in all the information available in your environment. Then, it sorts out what to keep in, based on your filters (beliefs, values, perspective, and personality traits).

You'll discover in this book how to:

  • Take advantage of the power of your unconscious mind 
  • Rediscover yourself, your potential, and value by understanding why you think and behave the way you do and make the necessary adjustments
  • Change and improve the perception of yourself 

There are some religious references in this book but at its core are mainly secular ideas, principles, and views of the world.

9. Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) - Steven C. Hayes,‎ Spencer Smith

How hard or how easy is it for you to let go of the past?

In this book you will find out how to:

  • Make the difference between unavoidable pains as part of being human and avoidable pains caused by lack of mental toughness, negative thinking, or distorted perceptions of yourself 
  • Improve your self-image, self-esteem, and confidence by accepting yourself as you are
  • Change your vocabulary to be more in line with what you want to achieve in life
  • Stay in the present moment and be more mindful
  • Accept the fact that some painful experiences are useful to your personal growth and you must live through them, instead of avoiding them

This book is for you if your lack of confidence and low self-esteem cause you pain you don't know how to deal with and feel stuck.

10. Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame - Beverly Engel

We develop most of our defense mechanisms in childhood.

Most people who suffer from low self-esteem are carrying this pain from the time they were unable to:

  • Protect themselves
  • Bring logical arguments as to why they are different than what others might think or say

As children, most of us didn't have a voice, didn't dare to stand up for oneself, didn't even have the knowledge we can refute others opinions and judgment. Because of these facts, our defense mechanisms can be faulty, ineffective, and cause further grief and pain.

In this book, you'll discover how to leave the past behind, feel better about yourself, understand that whatever happened to you it was not your fault.

This book is for you if you live as an adult with the consequences of an unhappy upbringing:

  • Being bullied 
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect
  • Or, by no one's direct fault, as a child, no one taught you how to deal with life and accept, love, and respect yourself

11. Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem - Matthew McKay,‎ Patrick Fanning

This book is a comprehensive approach to increase your mental toughness, define more accurately who you are, your value and worth.

If you suffer from low self-esteem this book is for you:

  • It contains exercises and examples you can use in your recovery 
  • It's easy to digest and put in practice
  • It helps you avoid sabotaging yourself
  • It shows you how to deal with the internal voice (pathological critic) responsible for low self-esteem
  • It's teaching you how to break the cycle of self-judgment

12. 10 Simple Solutions for Building Self-Esteem: How to End Self-Doubt, Gain Confidence, & Create a Positive Self-Image (The New Harbinger Ten Simple Solutions Series) - Glenn R. Schiraldi Ph.D.

In this book, you'll find out ten practical ideas on how to build your self-esteem, complete with examples and exercises. It helps you re-evaluate yourself and discover your true self, value, and worth.

The tone of the book is easy to understand, kind, compassionate and well researched.

This book is for you if you struggle with self-esteem, or if you want to understand better and help a loved one (your child, a friend) to increase their self-esteem.

13. Soul without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within - Byron Brown 

Do you have days upon days when your inner voice seems unable to find good things to say to you and about you? Then this book is for you.

You'll discover in  this book ("Soul without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within"):

  • The reason why you may have developed the habit of judging yourself harshly 
  • What are the mechanisms behind this habit
  • How come you never found (until now) a way to change it
  • Become aware of your judge within that, instead of lifting you up, puts you down
  • Ways to make your internal dialogue pleasant and useful
  • How to heal your soul of the pains you suffered for years caused by low self-esteem and lack of confidence

14. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself - Michael A. Singer

Suffering from low self-esteem can make you feel as if you're in a constant war with the world and yourself.

This book shows you the way to end the war and bring peace and harmony into your life, gently caressing your soul, compassionately healing your old wounds.

It will make you feel free, helping you to let go of nagging, cynical, and self-doubting thoughts.

This book is for you if you want to learn more about:

  • Finding your happiness within 
  • Ways to relax and be more tolerant of yourself no matter what happens
  • Understanding that those voices living inside your mind (torturing you day in and day out) are not your voice, you are a mere listener
  • Preventing unfortunate events and experiences from the past to tint your present and future
  • How to make peace with yourself 

15. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself  - Dr. Kristin Neff

We can't talk about self-esteem without talking about the need to offer yourself compassion. Compassion and being kind to oneself helps you understand:

  • Yourself better
  • Why you do what you do
  • You don't need to be perfect to be loved (perfection is not required, nor useful) 

In a society where you're pushed and pushed to compete, succeed, be your best at all times, this book is a breeze of fresh air that allows you to breathe and recognize your real value and worth; see yourself in a more objective light and appreciated more the good things about you.

If you too feel tired of trying to satisfy those around, living by their standards, and need a gentle nudge to give a hug to your soul, accept yourself as you are, this book is for you.  

16. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges - Amy Cuddy  

The aim of this book is to help you improve your self-esteem and confidence in social gatherings, presentations, and public speaking. That is an important skill to learn because (willingly or not), almost every day you have to speak in front of more than two or three people. Is it not?

Amy Cuddy based this book on a lot of scientific research, stats and figures. Therefore, the book is filled with practical advice, tips, and techniques to use to present yourself in public in the best light possible.

You'll discover in this book:

  • The power of (your) personal story 
  • How to overcome being too self-conscious and heal yourself of the Imposter syndrome (" I don't deserve to be here")
  • Body postures that make you feel and look confident
  • The impact the way you carry yourself has on your mood and how you feel 

17. The Psychology of Self-Esteem: A Revolutionary Approach to Self-Understanding that Launched a New Era in Modern Psychology - Nathaniel Branden

In this book, you'll discover how to:

  • Evaluate yourself fairly 
  • Understand yourself better
  • Stop blaming yourself
  • Feel worthy to be alive
  • Live your life by your own standards
  • Protect yourself from the negative influence of others 

If you're searching for a tool to stop others to manipulate your thoughts and emotions to make you feel less then your real value, this book is for you.

18. The Self-Love Experiment: Fifteen Principles for Becoming More Kind, Compassionate, and Accepting of Yourself - Shannon Kaiser

This book will help you develop a deeper and meaningful relationship with yourself, love yourself more, accept yourself as you are (with the good and the less good- no one is perfect).

You'll discover in this book almost everything you need to know about how to make your relationship with yourself pleasant enjoyable and loving:

  • The magic of self-care, compassion, trust, and acceptance 
  • How to let go of the past
  • Appreciate yourself, where you are, and how you get got there
  • Be more present for yourself and determine the course of your life 

If you want to know what are the principles (and how to apply them) of self-love and self-acceptance to increase your self-esteem this book is for you.

19. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life - Jen Sincero 

This book will help you become uncompromisingly true to yourself and stop being afraid to show to the world the real you.

You see? Self-esteem is not limited to what you believe about yourself but also having the courage to present to others the best you possible and standing up for oneself, determining the course of your life.

If you suffer from low self-esteem and lack of confidence, most probably, the words you're saying most often are "I'm sorry." Don't you? If that's true for you, decide today to change "I'm sorry" with " This is who I am and how I am, and I will not apologize for it".

If you want to find out how to stop relying on others opinion to validate your value and worth, this book is for you.

I guess you already discovered you couldn't satisfy everyone no matter how much you try; in the end, you must strive to be yourself, please yourself and those who matter to you.

20. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ - Daniel Goleman 

Low self-esteem and lack of confidence are the product of your mind based on incomplete (or erroneous) information.

You don't suffer from low self-esteem (or lack of confidence) because you're not good enough, but because you developed the habit of choosing to see mostly your negative points rather than the positive ones.

Even though this book is not strictly talking about self-esteem and confidence, it's one of the most excellent tools you can use to build them up.

In this book, you'll find the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence:

  • Self-awareness (here are self-esteem and confidence)
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social skills 

This book is for you if you want to increase your self-esteem and confidence, develop the ability to handle better difficulties and setbacks, pressure and anxiety. In other words, make a step up and become the master of your emotions so that you can use them to your advantage.

Best Self-Confidence Books:

21. Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway - Susan Jeffers 

Discover in this book what the fear is, how you might develop fears, and how to overcome them.

Most times, lack of confidence comes from fears that stop you from even trying. You can't be confident about a skill until you prove yourself that you can do it.

We all have fears, from the most successful ones to the lazy couch potato. Yet, the successful ones use their fears to build a doable plan of action, to sort out what's achievable from unrealistic desires and dreams.

If you want to know how:

  • To go from victim to creator 
  • How it happened to you to fear the things you're afraid of
  • Make great decisions in spite of feeling afraid (e.g., Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection, fear of being judged) and determine the course of your life based on your values, desires, and dreams and not your fears
  • Know what are your valid objections (for not doing something) and what are excuses caused by fears 

If you want to know all of that and a bit more, this book is definitely for you. Conquer your fears and become more confident.

22. The Power of Self-Confidence - Brian Tracy 

Brian Tracy's writing style is liked by many people because it's simple, unpretentious, straightforward, and contains a lot of wisdom. Reading this book might give you the feeling that the author knows you personally like he knows what you're going through, your challenges and obstacles.

If you want to become more confident, have the courage to pursue your dreams and aspirations, this book is for you.

23. The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt  - Russ Harris,‎ Steven Hayes Ph.D.

This book shares many of my ideas about confidence.

Confidence starts with action, proving to yourself what you can do and what you need to improve; it doesn't come about in a vacuum; it doesn't just happen to you; it comes from your successes, small and big.

You'll discover in this book:

  • What is the mental gap that can prevent you from even trying to move forward 
  • How to jump over that gap
  • Understand why you (sometimes) have negative thoughts and emotions that can (actually) be useful to you
  • How to be more objective about what success means
  • Move from fear and become more courageous
  • How to evaluate your options objectively and become confident and successful

24. Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living with Guts and Confidence - Amy Alkon

This is a helpful and entertaining book on how to improve your self-confidence based on scientific research and discoveries about the human mind.

Reading this book, you'll feel challenged but also inspired to change those things that keep you on the spot and preventing you from reaching your potential.

This book is for you if you want to become more confident and learn it in a relaxed and fun way. (If someone is in the room with you when you read this book, they will ask “What is so funny?” because you’ll laugh a lot.)

25. Reach Your Mountaintop: 10 Keys to Finding the Hidden Opportunity in Your Setbacks, Flipping What You've Heard on Its Head, and Achieving Legendary Goals - Jeff Davis  

In this book, you'll discover how to gain confidence and become a leader:

  • It makes you feel motivated and inspired 
  • Helps you define what success means for you and how to achieve it
  • Gives you the blueprint of how to become an expert in your field
  • Introduces you to the core principles of time management
  • Tips to improve your emotional intelligence 

If you're searching for a change in your career, or you need a gentle push in the right direction to become confident and lead a happy and joyful life, this book is definitely for you.

26. Ultimate Confidence: The Secrets to Feeling Great About Yourself Every Day - Marisa Peer

The aim of this book is to help you reactivate your innate confidence; the confidence you were born with, and then increase it to the levels you need it to be to achieve your dreams and aspirations.

If you're searching for a book that can change the way you feel about yourself, this is that book.

You might be amazed how your life is changing for the better with every page because, with every page, this book is working on you.

It's written in a hypnotic style that makes easier to acknowledge and accept the need for change. After reading this book, you'll be left with just one question: "Why haven't I picked it up sooner?" because everything about your confidence will be in the right place.

27. The Art Of Extraordinary Confidence: Your Ultimate Path To Love, Wealth, And Freedom - Dr. Aziz Gazipura PsyD 

Does it happen to you to have a lot to say but you had no confidence to get up in front of people and speak? Or feel terrified that you must talk when you're asked a question for which you know very well the answer?

Self-confidence is less about what you believe you can do and more about having the courage to put one foot in front of the other and march forward, self-assured that no matter what happens you'll find ways to deal with it.

This book is for you if you want to build the courage the put in practice your great ideas, share your knowledge, and feel better about yourself.

28. The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence: Revised Edition - Robert Anthony

In this book you will discover:

  • How to use creative imagination and become more confident in your abilities 
  • Build your mental toughness by overcoming your fears, worry, and guilt
  • How to connect with others
  • Simple ways to set goals 

Why you should celebrate your uniqueness instead of feeling less compared to others just because you're different

29. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know - Katty Kay,‎ Claire Shipman  

This book is touching you how to develop the skill of being confident. It's based on scientific research about how our mind and genes work when it comes to confidence and self-esteem.

Get to know yourself better by reading this book so that you can take the appropriate action for your personality and become successful in life.

If you're a man, this book is great to offer it as a gift to women you know and suffer from lack of confidence. It's for you, if you're a woman and had enough of feeling stuck, lacking the courage to take advantage of your talents and skills; and after you've done reading it, you too might feel that is the best gift you can offer to your friends.

30. The Unlimited Self: Destroy Limiting Beliefs, Uncover Inner Greatness, and Live the Good Life - Jonathan Heston 

Do you know what separates the most a good movie from a bad one? Is not the A-list actors paid humongous sums of money, but the people who work behind the scenes: screenwriters, technicians, editors, and musicians.

For example, without the background music that gives the tone and the mood of the scene, no matter how well an actor may play, can't give you the feeling you're in the movie.

Your beliefs and values are your background music, technicians, editors, and screenwriters.

This book is for you if you want to change those things that are running in the background of your mind and limit your success instead of promoting it, taking you towards it, making possible for you to achieve your dreams and aspirations.

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