10 Best Reads for Personal Growth

September 16, 2018

There are lots of ways to learn new things. To gain new perspectives and stretch your imagination, get underneath the things you believe and get outside your comfort zone. One of these beautiful ways is reading.

I would love to share with you the pivotal books that have supported really big transformations and learning in my life over the last few years. To be honest, this list feels very sacred! The authors are like invisible comrades in the wings, supporting and encouraging me in my journey. I’m so grateful for these people who have been brave enough to share their big message. It would be remiss of me not to let you know about them too.

Every single one of these reads came as a recommendation, a gift, or a wisdom offering when I needed it most. I feel blessed, because an opportunity to grow is a very special thing to receive from someone. So without further ado (and in no particular order, I could never rank them!) please find my list below, and some recommendations what each is really great for.

My top ten

  1. Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

I draw quite strongly on the beautiful wisdom of Brene Brown, in my work and life. Her practical, research-based writing reminds us that we are all human — we’re all in it together, and yes, we all struggle. This book allowed me to recognise my perfectionism, and release the strangle-hold of expectations.Great practical steps for dealing with perfectionism, shame (it’s so pervasive!), and building the courage to live whole-heartedly and with vulnerability.

  1. Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

This book is incredibly courageous and highly motivating. Brene calls on us to step even bigger into love – especially when things go very wrong. She calls us to be fiercely truthful and in integrity with ourselves, even if that means standing alone in the wilderness.

I recommend this read for anyone ready to go to the next level with their sense of belonging in the world, and belonging to themselves.

  1. Meet Your Soul by Elisa Romeo

I believe that all things that happen in our lives are in a beautiful sequence, so it’s difficult to attribute life leaps to specific moments. But reading this book was one of them. It is a highly spiritual read (it brought up lots of limiting beliefs!) and has the potential to open you up to a new way of living in true alignment.

A must read for deepening your relationship with your intuition (your Soul’s voice).

  1. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

I first listened to this book on audible, and then I bought it in hard copy so I could digest it again! It is a dense philosophical and spiritual read, which presents a radical new way of looking at our existence.

Beautiful for gaining broad perspective on life, and remembering that life only ever happens in the present moment (I understand The Power of Now is also wonderful for this, but I’m yet to read it!)

  1. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

In this beautiful guide, Miguel Ruiz shares four agreements to live by, based on the ancient wisdoms of the Toltec of South America: be impeccable with your word; don’t take anything personally; don’t make assumptions; always do your best. The opening can be a little confusing, but it’s worth it to keep going because the agreements make so much sense! A beautiful guide to live your life by.

I recommend this for anyone who would like to judge less (others and themselves) and make interacting in the world with ‘challenging’ people and circumstances feel a whole lot lighter.

  1. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

I have to admit I resisted reading this book for a while! Although Gabby Bernstein is a very popular author, I wasn’t sure if she would be for me. But I’m so glad I dived into this! Her personal anecdotes are real and relatable, and her recovery story is very moving. I found the advice in the book incredibly helpful for navigating big leaps last year.

A wonderful guide with practical steps and lessons for surrendering your fears and trusting the universe is always supporting you.

  1. The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Now this book (it might be obvious…) has been incredibly pivotal. For anyone who knows me, I’m always talking about taking leaps, and it’s all because of Gay Hendricks! I remember a vivid moment when I read it the first time about 3 years ago. Gay poses the question: Are you willing to feel good and have your life go well all the time? I burst into tears. The book helped me realise that there was an internal cap on the happiness I thought I deserved, and gave me a way to deal with the limiting beliefs.

A must read for recognising core limiting beliefs, identifying self-sabotage in situ and ‘zoning in’ on your zone of genius.

  1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This is an uplifting, delightful read bound to help you feel so good about your creativity. I’ve gone back to this book so many times for inspiration and encouragement, and the stories shared are both moving and hilarious. Liz Gilbert is a huge reason that I’m doing the creative work I’m doing, and not worrying about where it goes.

This book isn’t just for writers and painters, it’s for anyone who wants to create anything their life, and embrace the whole process. If you use audible, download this one because Liz reads it herself. Very soothing, any time of the day (as is her podcast Magic Lessons!).

  1. War of Art by Steven Pressfield

This is a lovely complement to The Big Leap because it also deals with self-sabotage, ‘upper limiting’ and resistance. Steven does an excellent job at helping us recognise and name the resistance (fear) that gets in the way of leaping, and is also very imaginative and funny!

This is a great read for anyone who wants to rise above their limiting beliefs, and get on with the project, the business or personal milestone.

  1. The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte

I’m the most excited to share this one, because I just finished reading it on New Year’s Day! This is a divine, Soul-led read designed to help you tune into your deepest intuition. At the end, you will have created your own desire map – allowing you to navigate your life and plans based on your core desired feelings. This beautiful book feels so good to read, and I am massively excited about my desire map!

I recommend this gorgeous book for anyone looking to live their life guided by positive feeling states.

So that’s my top 10!

Up next on the wish list:

  • Earth is Hiring by Peta Kelly (personal hero!)
  • Judgement Detox by Gabrielle Bernstein
  • Mask of Masculinity by Lewis Howes


Your list of best reads:

I recently put out a call on social media to find out your best personal growth reads! Here is a divine list of books – so many that I’m excited to read myself!

  • Discover Atlantis, Diana Cooper
  • Only Love is Real, Dr Brian Weiss
  • The Evolving Soul, Dr Linda Blackman
  • You’re a Badass, Jen Sincero
  • Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda
  • The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle
  • Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield
  • Many Lives, Many Masters, Dr Brian Weiss
  • You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay
  • Iron John, Robert Bly
  • Raise Your Vibration, Kyle Gray
  • The Course of Love, Alain de Botton


When you have read something really life-changing, you just want to scream from the rooftops: YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK! I feel like that about all of my top ten. But that means it can get a little overwhelming. My take is, that there are so many wonderful creative works in circulation right now, and the right book will come to you at the right time. So don’t stress, because it’s all perfect. Just choose reads that feel good right now.

Happy reading and growing!

Love & magic,

Nikkola Xx