3 Self-Improvement Books That Were Better Than I Expected

These actually help me improve in 3 areas of my life

photo by Nadi Lindsay

Fresh coffee next to me and a list of books waiting to be opened so they can tell me about this world. Lately, I focused a bit more than usual on reading books from the self-improvement section because I feel like there is so little time and so much to learn about yourself in order to be better than the day before. While I never expect much from any book that claims to help you with something (better surprised than disappointed) I’ve read 3 books that gave more than I thought. Each book helped me improve something in the following areas of my life:

1. Confidence

Becoming Bulletproof by Evy Poumpouras

Photo: goodreads.com

In this book former Secret Service agent, Evy Poumpouras shares lessons learned from protecting presidents and the skills you need to face stressful situations, read people, and be fearless. I mean for me the fact that the author was a secret agent made me want to read this book, but I was still skeptical.
This book actually helped me become more confident in my senses, thinking, and body. Poumpouras writes about different situations she’s been in, such as 9/11, interrogating criminals, and how no one believed in her abilities to become an agent.

She teaches you through her experience how to heighten your natural instincts and move from fear to fearlessness. For me, a big takeaway was how crucial is to trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe and you feel like you have to run, or cross the street, do it, even if it seems stupid and the other person might be offended. I think we all had the feeling at least once while walking on the streets at night and when someone was behind us. And it’s not just that learning to listen to those instincts, it will help you make better decisions from your personal life to business and career.

This book also made me understand the power of adversity and why we shouldn’t run from difficult situations. By confronting those situations, you built resilience and confidence, so that the next time something hard comes up you can deal with it easily. I recommend this book for anyone who would like to overcome a fear or to live with more confidence and courage. Poumpouras shows us that ultimately true strength is found in the mind, not the body.

2. Learning

Limitless by Jim Kwik

Photo: goodreads.com

For a long time, I had the belief that I am not a smart person, smart in the traditional sense of knowing all the answers, being able to memorize a lot of information, being really good at math and science, and being able to solve intricate equations. I knew I was not dumb and that I was creative and able to learn and get good grades, but I was never proud or confident in my brain or better-said mind.

In this book, brain performance expert Jim Kwik teaches you how to learn, how to trust your mind, how to read faster and enhance focus. He himself grew up as a kid that had major learning problems and was not considered smart until he turned his brain around. Kwik explains how the way schools teach you to memorize and read hasn’t changed, it’s the same old technique, which doesn’t work for everyone. He made me understand my limiting beliefs about my brain and how to change that. I wish I had this book in high school.
This book is for you if you are not learning or living at your true potential. If there is a gap between your current reality and your desired reality, Kiwik explains that there is a limit that must be released and replaced in one of three areas:

• A limit in your Mindset — you entertain a low belief in yourself, your capabilities, what you deserve, or what is possible.
• A limit in your Motivation — you lack the drive, purpose, or energy to take action.
• A limit in your Methods — you were taught and are acting on a process that is not effective to create the results you desire.

This was true for me and it will probably be for you too, so give it a go.

“No matter your age, background, or level of education, you can learn new ways to use your brain. If you’ve been searching for better ways of coping and growing, I’m here to help you fall in love with learning again.”

— Jim Kwik

3. Socializing

Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards

Photo: goodreads.com

Are you one of those socially awkward people? Hey, me too. I’ve been to so many events and social gatherings were because I was too stressed and very deep in my head I was not able to connect with people, I felt like an outsider many times, especially when I had to go alone.

This book actually explains strategies for different social situations and how to use your awareness to your advantage Vanessa Van Edwards researches the hidden forces that drive our behavior patterns and explains how to use these patterns to our advantage. From going to a networking event to a date to how to talk with anyone, the author covers all the scenarios, with real-life examples, tips, and exercises to try in real life.

Vanessa Van Edwards researches the hidden forces that drive our behavior patterns and explains how to use these patterns to our advantage. From going to a networking event to a date to how to talk with anyone, the author covers all the scenarios, with real-life examples, tips, and exercises to try in real life.

What helped me from this book a lot was how to deal with networking events. I am not a fan of such events, but at the same time I do want to connect with more creatives and I acknowledge their importance. Vannessa explains how important is to prepare before such an event, where is the best place to sit in order to catch someone you could talk to, and so on. I’ve never thought of such details before this book. Social gatherings are really like maps.
This one is for you if you are interested in understanding the laws of human behavior and learning how to adapt to any social event.

I am glad I’ve decided to read these books, for a long time I’ve kind of ignored the self-improvement books because I believed that none of them would have genuine, fresh information that I could apply in my life. I am happy to admit that I was wrong. These books are a must-have for anyone open to improving themselves.

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