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My top 5 books this year

As many of you will know, I am a bit of a self-development geek, and I’m at my happiest when cosy-ed up with a book and something good to drink (currently, salted caramel fake-Baileys from M&S!).

It’s been a really great year for books and so I thought I’d share a few of my favourites with you – and I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading too!

So, in no particular order, here are 5 of the best personal development books I’ve read this year:

1. Everything is Figureoutable – Marie Forleo

I have to say I’ve always been a bit scared of Marie Forleo, the multimillionaire coach, but reading the book I was surprised by how relatable it felt. The idea of not knowing what to do, or how to go about it, and the feeling that we aren’t ready for things is something that I think most of us recognise. The core advice “everything is figureoutable” may not make the process of figuring things out any easier but it does provide a mantra – just keep going, and you’ll get there, even if you can’t see how right now. It’s a nice easy read, and great for that motivational boost we all need occasionally.

2. The Comparison Cure – Lucy Sheridan

At work, and especially when I first started my coaching business, I would regularly disappear down comparison rabbit holes, and even as a mum, it’s hard not to compare yourself to others, whether it’s in the park, on the school run, or on social media.

Talking to others, I know that lockdown brought so many challenges for all of us, and the pressure to be doing everything was overwhelming. Adding in the images of perfect wholesome home-school activities, or perfectly sour dough loaves or banana cakes was enough to make me want to through my phone at the wall.

So this book, which focuses on freeing yourself from the comparison trap, has been amazing, and has really helped me step back and evaluate my habits, and create new, more beneficial ones that focus on what I am doing, rather than what I think I ‘should’ be doing.

I was lucky enough to meet Eleanor at an event earlier in the year, and she kindly spoke at the Kingston Work Life Festival back in May. This book is borne out of her own experience of redundancy and provides a great framework for approaching redundancy from a new angle – what if redundancy is a positive thing, rather than the negative thing most people assume it to be? It takes you right through the feelings of shock and anger to the thoughts of ‘what’s next?”. It’s a great read for anyone facing uncertainty and looking to make a positive next step in their working lives.

4. Untamed – Glennan Doyle

This book. Just read it. It’s often uncomfortable, but the lightbulbs that came on while reading it were just incredible. I have never recommended a book to so many people in such a short space of time. The quote “Who was I before I became who the world told me to be?” says all you need to know about the book. If you are going to read one book this year that will change your perspective on what’s right for you – make it this one.

5. The Squiggly Career: Ditch the Ladder, Discover Opportunity, Design Your Career – Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis

The launch of this book back in January was one of the most fun evenings I’ve had this year – chatting to a room full of people who were as interested in careers, work and self development as I am! And this book is amazing – another that I recommend regularly. It’s great for people not only thinking about a career change, but also for those people thinking about how to make the most of the career they are in, and how to build the career they want in the future. It’s packed full of exercises, and useful nuggets of info, and is a great book to dip back into whenever you feel like you’re at a crossroads, work wise.

So there you go, a few stocking fillers for you – enjoy! And do let me know what you’ve been reading this year – anything you’d recommend?

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