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  • Clarissa Martinez

My Favorite Self-Improvement Books

Updated: Jan 4, 2019


Nine times out of ten if I'm reading a book, its a self improvement book. In my opinion, they're the most rewarding books to read. Every time you finish one, you gain knowledge to carry out through your life. I have read a lot of self improvement books in the last couple of years, but these are my favorite!


Grace not Perfection by Emily Ley


"Have you been told you can have it all, only to end up exhausted and occasionally out of sorts with the people you love? Are you ready for a new way of seeing your time? Learn to live a little more simply. Hold yourself and those you love to a more life-giving standard in Grace Not Perfection,and allow that grace to seep into your days, your family, and your heart."


Grace not Perfection is all about being easier on yourself and letting go of the standards society has created. This was one of the first self-improvement books I read and it really stuck with me. I struggle with setting high standards for myself and becoming frustrated when I feel like I have fallen short. I feel like a lot of other people struggle with this as well, and whenever someone is expressing that to me I always recommend this book or use a quote from this book to give them advice.


Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick


"Yet everything changed when I began to realize God has given us the ability to choose the dialogue we believe and respond to. And once we learn how, we can switch from lies to truth as deliberately as we can choose the Beatles over Miley Cyrus on satellite radio."


Crash the Chatterbox is for anyone looking to overpower the lies of insecurity, fear, condemnation and discouragement with the promises of God. There are a lot of voices that we hear in our mind and hearts but the one we decide to listen to will determine the way we choose to live our life. In the book Steven explains, "this book is built on four confessions... meant to function like noise-cancelling headphones for your mind, heart, and soul." He goes on to tell us that they are:

Confession 1: God says I am. Confession 2: God says He will. Confession 3: God says He has. Confession 4: God says I can.


The book goes into great detail about each of these and expands on why the confessions are important, but also why the thought behind each of them is important.


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky. "Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself."

I found this book in a Juiceland right after my brother was telling me how great it was. It was the only copy there and the 25th anniversary edition, which was the perfect sign that I needed to read this book. I am so glad I listened to that, because I could read this book over and over again. Many people probably would not categorize this book as self-improvement, but there are so many important lessons in it for it not to be. The Alchemist is the story of Santiago, a shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and above all, following our dreams.


Friends of Sinners: Why Jesus Cares More About Relationship Than Perfection by Rich Wilkerson Jr.


"We are sinners, but He came to call us to repentance. In Him there is grace, there is wholeness, and there is life. Love, peace, joy, freedom and other internal transformations are far more significant than dropping fewer F-bombs or kicking a cocaine habit. But when we miss the message, we start to think that actions and behavior are the goal."

This is another book that has helped me not be so hard on myself. We are human and we

make mistakes. Friend of Sinners showed me that despite my mistakes, God showers me with grace and loves me. The reality is that Jesus calls us friends not because of who we are or what we have done, but because of who He is. While He was on earth, He knew that people needed to belong before they would want to behave. He understood that the power within Him was greater than the darkness around him, so he loved fearlessly. Rich Wilkerson shows us that as we strive to live more like Jesus and as we develop a real relationship with Him, we will develop the heart for people like He has.

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