My Five Favorite Mindset Shifting Books
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Do you ever stop to think about how the thoughts you’re thinking affect your everyday life?
That sounded trippier than I intended. Stick with me here.
What I mean is this... we see everything in our lives through our own lens, filtering everything that happens through a mashup of all our thoughts, beliefs, and past experiences.
Aka, our mindset.
But how often do we question if our mindset is helping or hurting us?
We’ve all met that person that can take any situation and put a negative spin on it, no matter how innocuous it is. It’s frustrating to us, but to them the negative experiences they keep having are just ‘how things are’, not a result of any negative lens they’re viewing the world through. That's the thing about lenses, sometimes you don't even realize they're there.
But here’s the tricky bit...
We learn a lot of lessons about ‘how things are’ when we’re little kids operating from a place of pure emotion without any logic to filter out the healthy, true beliefs from the damaging ones.
We hear or see adults say things about money, or work, or relationships, and just assume that’s the way things are. We have no way of knowing that those adults are filtering the world through their own beliefs - no matter how healthy or unhealthy they are.
We develop beliefs passed down through generations too. Things like “You have to work really really hard to hopefully make a little bit of money”, which was far more likely to be true a generation or two ago, but not so much in 2018 with the internets being a thing.
We absorb these ideas and thoughts and run with them as if they’re fact though.
That's where beliefs like these come from:
“You can’t make money doing what you enjoy”
“There’s never enough money to go around”
“When things are going too well something will always happen to screw it up”
“Love looks like X, Y, and Z; or it's not really love”
There’s plenty more. All sorts of beliefs are floating around in there that you may have never even stopped to think about. You likely just accept them as non negotiable truths, because we all do.
Over the last few years I’ve really started paying attention to my beliefs. I can’t remember what started it, likely an article or a book or the fact that entrepreneurship is just one continuous experiment in personal growth. Who knows now.
Whatever it was, I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole of uncovering these wonky thoughts and getting rid of them. I’d find one or two and try to squash them, which would uncover 15 more. Like mindset wack-a-mole.
The interesting thing was that when I would find an unhealthy belief and manage to shift it to something healthier, I would see an actual change in my reality.
I started believing I could easily attract the types of clients I wanted to work with, and they started showing up more regularly and from places I wouldn't have anticipated.
I started believing I actually had some control over my unpredictable income and had the skills to grow a business, and my income (which was stuck at just barely enough for several years no matter what I did) finally started to creep up a bit.
I believed it was possible for me to quit smoking and start working out more regularly - and over the last two years I've done exactly that.
I’m not perfect at this by any means, and having a healthy mindset is an ongoing practice - there are days I fall back into my old thoughts, but I’m able to use tools I’ve learned to help me get back to a good place more quickly.
I’ve done a lot of different new things to shift my mindset over the last year, and I can honestly say each one has made a huge difference.
I took Denise Duffield’s Money Bootcamp, which works on your limiting beliefs around money. I worked with my business coach to get past my limiting beliefs about running a business and being a professional creative.
And I’ve read lots and lots of books, obviously.
Over the last few years a few books have stood out to me in a big way, and I really think reading about the thing you want to work on is a great place to start. I basically always have a self-development book in progress and a pile of reading material waiting.
With that in mind, I thought I’d recommend a few books that I think are must-reads if you're interested in learning more about shifting your mindset and shining some light on your limiting beliefs.
1. You are a badass
By Jen Sincero
If you haven’t already seen this book everywhere, you’re not paying attention.
I’ll be honest. I didn’t want to love this at first. I thought the name was a bit cheesy, and I didn’t have high expectations. A few friends mentioned it though, so I read it.
I LOVE THIS BOOK.
Jen’s honest, hilarious, motivating storytelling will have you looking at your beliefs in a whole new way and feeling like you can do anything. Highly, highly recommend reading this one if you need a quick boost.
2. You are a badass at making money
By Jen Sincero
Yes, yes, yes.
You would be amazed how much you unintentionally sabotage yourself when it comes to money. Our brains cling to these limiting beliefs about what we’re allowed to earn or have, which shockingly can actually affect how much you earn or have.
Women especially seem to struggle with knowing our own worth, as do entrepreneurs. This book is a fantastic kick in the pants to get you doing the things you need to do to be the badass you already are and make more money. Plus, it’s just incredibly fun to listen to. Always go audiobook for Jen Sincero.
3. The Big Leap
By Gay Hendricks
I had never heard the phrase Upper Limit when my business coach recommended this book to me. I grabbed it on Audible and listened while I was walking dogs as a side gig sometime last year, and I really feel like the concept could be life changing.
Basically, the book talks about how we all have an internal upper limit for what we’re allowed to have, whether it’s happiness, peace, money, or something else. When we feel like we’re approaching our upper limit we’ll start to wonder when something is going to come along and ruin it. This can become a self fulfilling prophecy when we sabotage ourselves, even in ways we don’t realize, to avoid having more than we feel like we’re worth.
If you’ve never heard this concept you’re definitely going to have a mindset shift reading this.
4. The 5 Second Rule
By Mel Robbins
This is another really simple concept that can make a big difference if you incorporate it into your life. The 5 Second Rule essentially helps you train your mind to act faster instead of overthinking and becoming paralyzed with fear and indecision. As she says in the book, it’s not about knowing what you need to do, it’s about knowing how to make yourself do it.
If audiobooks are your thing I’d recommend going that route with this one - I listened while cleaning and side hustling and I like the energy the author brings.
5. Scary Close
By Donald Miller
This one feels a bit different than the other books on the list, mainly because it’s about authenticity, intimacy, and being yourself in relationships. It dives really damn deep too.
I feel like there’s a huge mindset shift to be had here though, and when I read it several years ago after a really tumultuous time in my life it was game changing.
The author tells stories from his own life and talks about how we show up in our relationships with other people. He talks about finding the freedom to be unapologetically yourself, and the damage that not being yourself causes. It sounds overly simple, but this is one I would recommend everyone read - and likely one I’ll add to my reading pile again soon.
I hope these books help you make even the smallest of mindset shifts, because those can snowball into something wonderful. They’re just a handful of tons of great resources out there on limiting beliefs, mindset, and how our thoughts shape our reality.