Feeling stuck? Self-help books that shifted my perspective

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With the chaos of the world and the never-ending stress of online college, my mental health deteriorated quickly. I found it hard to find the motivation to do anything — my days seemed to just repeat themselves on an endless loop. Going into the second semester, I knew I had to make a change, or my mental stability would slip too far away. I found out from TikTok that there are tons of self-help books that seemed like they could benefit me, but for some reason, I was immensely skeptical they would actually help me out. But I kept seeing the same few books pop up on my “For You” page and decided it was a sign I should try it. 

“You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero 

The first book I tried was “You are a Badass.” Its bright yellow cover drew me in, and even before I even read one page of the book, I felt better. I was actually taking action to better myself, something I hadn’t done previously. This book made me feel extremely valid in my downfalls and shortcomings, but at the same time, it began to make me feel unhappy with my lack of drive. I didn’t feel judged or scolded for my feelings and decisions but instead felt as if Sincero herself was guiding me on a better path. The book covers topics I typically don’t relate to such as energy attraction from the universe, vibrations and meditations, but it does in a way that feels relatable and understandable. Additionally, the book includes tons of tools to help you change the way you think and made me laugh a bunch along the way!

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson

The next book I endeavored to read was “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.” This one definitely has a different energy and attitude about life than “You are a Badass” and is much more reality-focused than belief or energy-centered. One of the most important takeaways I got from this book was in chapter four, which discusses the value of suffering and how it would be almost impossible to achieve anything if we didn’t at one point suffer. This book doesn’t sugarcoat anything; it made me become brutally honest with myself and my shortcomings (definitely a harsher vibe than the previous book) but in the best way possible. It made me take responsibility for my situation and stop blaming the world. In retrospect, that was a really important step in regaining control of my own life.

“Atomic Habits” by James Clear

After reading the two books above, my mentality had totally shifted. What had once bogged me down, I was now able to accept and find a way to use it to propel myself based on the lessons I learned in each book. I felt rejuvenated in a way. I had motivation again, and I was bouncing off the wall ready to achieve things. But along the way of feeling mentally stuck, I had lost a lot of the discipline necessary to achieve goals. That’s where “Atomic Habits” came in. This book perfectly outlines how to create new habits successfully and remove habits that are holding you back. Clear breaks it down in a way that completely makes sense, so it feels doable, not overwhelming. 

Whether it be one of these three books or any motivational book of your choice, I highly recommend adding just 10 minutes of reading like this to your day. Find something that applies to your life and your goals, and commit to it. There are endless amounts of knowledge and ideas to be absorbed! 

Contact Jackie Amendola at [email protected].