There was a long period in my life where I told myself I didn’t have time to read books. There was always something else I had to do……but the reality was that simply wasn’t true. I was making excuses for myself, and missing out on a lot!
I am a completely different person than I was 2 years ago, one of the biggest reasons for that is because of books. I have learned so much about myself from reading…….the way I do things, the way I let people treat me, the way I view the world. My perception of everything has changed, how I interact with people, what I tolerate from others and one of the biggest things is walking away from people who don’t serve a purpose in my life.
Now you may be reading this and thinking come on, your telling me a book did all of this for you? No it wasn’t one book, it was a series of books I have read over the last couple of years. When my thought patterns changed, when I let people go, it allowed me to open up space for new people and experiences, which altered my life completely. I believe we are meant to meet everyone we do, that each and every person in our lives is there for a reason good or bad. It’s the lesson you take from the bad that helps you shift towards the better.
Not all of the books I read are about personal growth, some of them are about marketing too! Since I am in the marketing industry I gravitate towards these kinds of books as well, they help me grow as an entrepreneur and a person. They help me see things in a different perspective, they help me learn and grow my business. They also teach me the kind of people I do not want to work with.
I have always been a people pleaser, I like when people are happy with me. There are some people out there that you simply cannot please. It doesn’t matter what you do, or what you say, its their way or the highway! I am grateful to have worked with these types of people, it has helped me to identify their personality types in others, and I now know what to avoid. Because working with someone who gives you anxiety everyday about what they are going to pick apart is hardly worth the money. I didn’t see it then, but I see it now……thanks to some great books I have read.
I’m sharing some of the titles I have read over the last few months with you. You might be surprised but the one that is talked about the most with the best reviews I actually didn’t like! If you are looking for a new book to read, check out my reviews.
The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown
I have always been a perfectionist, if I don’t get something right away I don’t want to do it because I can’t make it perfect. This book has helped me identify my traits and is also helping me let go of my perfectionism. I now realize that not everything in my life can be perfect, and I shouldn’t stress so much if it isn’t. I will make mistakes, I will hold myself accountable for them and I will learn from them, and all of this is ok because nobody is perfect! “Let go of who you think you are supposed to be and embrace who you are”. The first step to change is admitting you aren’t always right, and that things can’t always be perfect. This book came highly recommended to me by many and I would definitely recommend to others. One of the best books that I needed to read in 2018.
Judgement Detox – Gabrielle Bernstein
We are ALL guilty of judging others, I don’t care who you are. The first step is admitting that you do, the second step is changing your thinking pattern with the Judgement Detox. This book offers a 6 step practice to heal your judgement. Compassion will replace attacking others (even if it is just thoughts), petty resentments will disappear, and you will feel more peace and happiness than you have ever known. I will admit I found some of the practices she gives you to be a bit hoaky but I did take away a lot from this book including letting things go. When you hold on to grudges, you take away from your own happiness. While you may not forget how someone treated you, forgiveness is for your own peace of mind. When you judge others, it’s usually because of something you don’t like about yourself. These could be subconscious thoughts and situations you don’t remember but once you start to connect with it, it becomes more clear. Your thought patterns will change, you will accept people for who they are. If someone is bothering you that much, whether it be a stranger on the internet or a family member, it is ok to let them go.
You are Here – Thich Nhat Hanh
Life is flying by and people are always onto the next thing, prepping for what is upcoming, wishing away the days to get to the next vacation or big event. Sometimes we all need a reminder to live in the present moment. “Being truly here is very important – being here for yourself and for the ones you love.” If we are always focusing on whats upcoming, we don’t spend the time to live in the moment. This book focuses on mindfulness – being here, present and totally alive. I noticed a change in my thinking after reading this book, and identifying when I am getting too far ahead of myself. I’ve taken on the practice of breathing to bring me back to the moment I am in, even if it is just enjoying some downtime with a cup of coffee. For someone in marketing like myself I always am focusing on the next big thing, this book has brought me back to enjoy my current space I am in.
The Conscious Parent – Shefali Tsabary
I was laying in bed on Sunday morning and turned on the tv to find Oprah talking with this author about her book. It really got me thinking, what if we are communicating in the wrong way with our children? I went out the next day to pick up the book and dove right into reading it after hearing what she had to say. We have had a shift in society from when I was a child. Now it seems kids don’t listen, they are entitled and they get away with whatever they want. I do not want to raise my kids to be little assholes so I want to make sure I do the right things, even when it comes to how I speak to them. We need to know that our children are not us, they have their own personalities and yet we as parents try to shape them to be the way we want them to be. We need to pay more attention to the signals our children are sending us if we want to raise well-adjusted, responsible children. We need to allow them to make mistakes so they can learn from them, we need to speak to them at their level to form a bond of deeper communication. Our relationships with our kids need to be mutually respectful. But most of all we need to remember that they are children and we need to allow them to be, they are only little and under our care for such a short period of time.
This is Marketing – Seth Godin
From the moment I picked up this book I could not stop reading it. Seth Godin has a way with words that captivates his audience wanting to read more. His approach has me looking at marketing in a different perspective, and it is always great to change up the way you see things. It’s about doing what works, but not being afraid to try something new. It’s about focusing on the customer that brings you value, the one who has been a consumer for many years because of the personalized service you provide them instead of always looking to bring in more people. Building trust with your customer is so important but it is often overlooked. With the era of social media, businesses have so many opportunities to tap into this, they now have direct access to their customers. Yet so many businesses drop the ball, waiting a week to reply to an inquiry or not responding to negative feedback because what does the customer even know anyways? “The only way to make a difference is to truly see and understand the people you seek to influence.” This book has changed the things I notice about marketing campaigns I see and it has opened my eyes to different possibilities.
Girl Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis
There is a lot of things I liked about this book, but there are a lot of things I didn’t like about it either. Let me start with the things I liked….the open dialogue that we too often hold ourselves back from living our best life because of lies we tell ourselves. Think of the times you’ve looked in the mirror and told yourself I’m so fat, my hair is terrible, my teeth are awful, you name it we say it about ourselves. We say it so much that we start to believe it. This book helps you identify the lies you tell yourself and how you can move past them. The goal is to “get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.” What I didn’t like about this is how much she relies on God for the answers. Praying is not something I practice so I didn’t find this to be a relatable source for answers. I believe identifying your problems is the first step, and also the most important. From there focusing on things individually and how you can change your thoughts and behaviors is the next step. The problem is is most people don’t want to take the time to do this. Only you can help yourself but first you have to admit to your problems and stop blaming others for everything.
I have read many books over the last 2 years that have completely changed my life. Check out my other book reviews on the blog here and here.