23 best books on self-awareness to improve your reflection

Are you trying to become more self-aware? Do you want to learn more about yourself and discover your values, beliefs, or preferences?

Then reading self-help books about self-awareness might help you to improve your reflection and become confident in who you are.

Books about self-awareness remain one of the most popular types of self-help books nowadays. Indeed, who doesn’t want to realize their strengths and weaknesses? Reading books about self-awareness actually works and helps people identify their thoughts, beliefs, and emotions.

So, here are the 23 best books on self-awareness that will help you get to know yourself.

Top 23 books on self-awareness in 2021

1) Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

You probably know a lot about IQ (Intelligence Quotient). But have you ever heard anything about EQ or Emotional Intelligence?

If you’re aware of the field of positive psychology, then EQ is probably familiar to you. In fact, emotional intelligence is an integral part of positive psychology. And self-awareness is one of the main factors of EQ.

Today, there are three major models of emotional intelligence, and one of them belongs to Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and an author of the New York Times bestseller, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.

The main idea of the book is to help us understand how important it is to understand our emotions and control them. As the author believes, emotional intelligence is much more important than IQ.

Did you know that recognizing your emotions might help you become more successful? Do you understand the significance of emotions in your life?

If not, reading this book by Daniel Goleman might help you to handle stress and anxiety, understand the influence of emotions and become more self-aware. After reading this book, you will have a better understanding of your emotions and others’ which might help to improve social relationships too.

2) The Art of Talking to Yourself by Vironika Tugaleva

How often do you talk to yourself throughout the day?

Many people refuse to admit that they enjoy talking to themselves. However, talking to yourself is normal, and even better, it’s good for your mental health. Why is it good?

Because talking to ourselves helps us realize what we need and what we don’t. As a result, we become more self-aware. That’s exactly what Vironika Tugaleva tries to prove in her self-help book called The Art of Talking to Yourself: Self-Awareness Meets the Inner Conversation.

The book is about grinding the most important voice anybody could ever listen to. And that voice is your own. However, the author believes that people just don’t know how to use this voice. That’s why she tries to teach us the art of listening to ourselves.

The Art of Talking to Yourself is a guide to becoming self-aware and realizing your inner dreams and desires. After reading the book, you’ll realize that you are the only one who can figure out what’s best for your self-development.

3) ME: A Self Awareness Journal for Women by Nancy Richardson

If you feel that just reading self-help books isn’t enough for you, if you’re looking for something that will push you to take real actions and become more aware of yourself, getting a self-awareness journal for women by Nancy Richardson could be a great idea.

Richardson is a mental health therapist who helps people deal with anxiety, depression, substance use, and other conditions. She struggled with depression and anxiety herself before she found out how to become self-aware.

Later, she created a journal for women and called it “ME” in order to highlight the importance of self.

This 12-month journal includes a daily mood tracker and a space to write about your daily achievements. In the process of reading and filling out the journal, you’ll learn more about your feelings, thoughts, and moods throughout the day.

A Self Awareness Journal for Women will help you find out how to set goals, be grateful, and how to feel better about yourself.

Since the author realizes that creativity doesn’t have any boundaries, she left some places completely blank in order to let the readers write or doodle anything that comes to their minds.

4) So, Can You See Me? So, Can You Hear Me? by Michelle Schofield

Have you ever noticed that you blame other people for your mistakes?

Whether you admit it or not to yourself, we all have. Putting our blame on others is a natural tendency of humans. In psychoanalysis, this tendency is called “projection” and it’s a defense mechanism when we attribute our unacceptable feelings and actions to other people.

Michelle Schofield,  a psychiatrist from Atlanta, Georgia, believes that covering our mistakes instead of realizing them and learning from them is a problem. That’s exactly the main topic of her book, called So, Can You See Me? So, Can You Hear Me?: The steps to enhance overall self-awareness with the goal of achieving mental well-being.

According to Schofield, not realizing our feelings and thoughts is a problem that exists within ourselves. The book helps us to follow specific steps in order to increase self-awareness, which will eventually lead to better mental well-being.

The author dedicated the book, especially to those people who receive mental health treatment and try to feel comfortable about themselves. The main purpose of this book is to help you find your voice, instead of changing you.

5) Lifestyle Mastery Emotional Intelligence by Jacob Fitzgerald

Do you know how to manage your emotions? Do you want to free yourself from feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions? Do you want to fully understand what emotional intelligence is?

If your answer is yes, then reading LifeStyle Mastery Emotional Intelligence: Master your EQ (Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management) might be a good idea.

Jacob Fitzgerald is a MA in Health Administration who writes self-help books about Lifestyle Mastery. As he says, his mission is to improve others’ lives and to empower a freedom-based lifestyle.

The book features a great amount of information about the concept of emotional information. Basically, you can find everything in this book about the models of emotional intelligence, the way people manage to control their emotions, and dealing with stressful situations.

The author equates emotional intelligence with self-awareness and provides a step-by-step guide for readers to improve their personalities and recognize their own and others’ emotions. The easy-to-read writing style makes it even easier to understand some complicated things about emotional intelligence.

6) The Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday

What is your association with the word “ego”?

Most of the time, ego carries a negative connotation. People often connect ego with “egocentrism” and believe that people with big egos are selfish. However, actually, ego also has a positive meaning, which is a healthy sense of self.

Therefore, ego can be a synonym of self-awareness. However, Ryan Holiday, the author of many of Amazon’s best-selling books, believes that people shouldn’t let their egos define them.

Holiday considers ego to be the enemy of any individual. To him, ego is something that defines us and allows us to do bad things. The author discusses the cases of world leaders and important political figures such as George Marshall, Bill Belichick, and Eleanor Roosevelt. As he believes, they all gained power by defeating their own egos.

Ryan Holiday teaches people how to deal with their impulses, conquer their own egos, and develop strategies to achieve success. The book is about increasing self-awareness, realizing your real desires, and refusing short-term desires in order to accomplish long-term goals.

7) The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo

Living in the here-and-now moment is another understanding of self-awareness. Positive psychologists often point out the importance of being in the present moment. Besides, this idea is an integral part of several modern psychotherapies, such as mindfulness.

The Book of Awakening is a book by Mark Nepo that is exactly about living in the present moment. The main purpose of the author is to convince people that being aware of who you truly are is the key to success and happiness.

Nepo is a philosopher and poet who survived cancer. Based on his experience, he discusses reasons for feeling various emotions like love, pain, or wonder. Throughout the book, he encourages the readers to love their lives and find their own voices.

The book is accompanied by specific exercises that help readers understand how to feel the beauty of life and what it means to be alive at all.

The interesting fact about the Book of Awakening is that it’s Oprah Winfrey’s favorite. As she says, the book is enough to stay inspired all year and consider it a perfect present for yourself and your friends.

8) Leading Yourself: A Guide to Increasing Self-Awareness, Self-Alertness, and Self-Leadership by Zebulan Hundley

Self-awareness is also considered a way of guiding yourself on the path of becoming a leader. Zebulon Hundley shares this understanding of self-awareness.

Hundley, a Ph.D. in Church Leadership, wants to connect with like-minded people and change the world with them. His book, Leading Yourself, is a clear sign that he believes focusing on self-awareness is important to becoming a better leader of others.

The book includes a lot of practical tasks and exercises in order to help the reader understand their emotions, become more self-aware, and inspire others.

The main purpose of the book is to provide a practical path of personal growth and development. During the process of reading this book, you may realize that you’re a different person from what you thought you were.

After reading the book, your viewpoint of the world might not change, but you’ll highly likely achieve self-awareness and realize your true aims and purposes.

9) StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Every person has their own unique strengths. However, sometimes we find it hard to see our strengths. The reason is that we often focus on our weaknesses instead, and consider our strengths as something natural.

Being self-aware means being equally aware of your strengths and weaknesses. At least that’s something Tom Rath tries to prove in his book StrengthsFinder 2.0.

This book is an updated version of Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment, which aims to measure personal strengths in order to maximize employees’ potential at work.

Rath has been researching human health and well-being for decades already. In this book, he aims to provide strategies to help people find and use their personal strengths.

The book includes a unique code to access the new version of Gallup’s assessment. After reading the book and doing a questionnaire, you’ll change the way you look at yourself and the world around you.

10) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Most people who read self-help books have heard something about Stephen R. Covey’s the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This book has been the Wall Street Journal best-seller in leadership, success, and self-help categories for years already.

Interestingly, the author, Stephen R. Convey, is considered one of the most influential Americans by Time magazine.

The book isn’t directly about self-awareness. However, the author considers realizing your own emotions, thoughts, and beliefs a characteristic of highly effective people. Therefore, you’ll likely get insights about self-awareness and learn a lot about yourself.

The author helps the readers develop positive mindsets and achieve not only self-awareness but also self-improvement. In the process of reading the book, you’ll encounter a lot of relatable stories about successful people.

11) Insight: The Power of Self-Awareness in a Self-Deluded World by Tasha Eurich

Tasha Eurich, an organizational psychologist and researcher, calls our modern world “a self-deluded world.” But how are we deluding ourselves?

As Eurich states in her book called, Insight: The Power of Self-Awareness in a Self-Deluded World, most men and women today lack self-awareness. The author tries to explain the power of self-awareness in our everyday lives by using various practical examples.

The book is completely based on research, which makes the storytelling relatable to your life. And maybe that’s one of the main reasons why Insight was regarded as the best book on self-awareness by the New York Times.

The author dedicated the book to both beginners and advanced readers. How? The stories in this book are written in an easy-to-read manner. However, scientific facts help people who are already self-aware to get to know themselves even more.

So, if you want to discover scientific ways to recognize your behavior, realize your strengths and weaknesses, and become more self-aware, Insight might be a perfect choice for a self-help book. During the process of reading, you’ll learn how to deal with a self-deluded world and become more aware of your inner self.

12) The Resilience Journal: 100 Days of Mindful Gratitude by Dr. Kathleen Green

We all face difficulties, traumas, or hard times at some point in our lives. Resilience is a skill that helps us overcome pain and deal with emotional suffering efficiently. However, being resilient isn’t possible without recognizing our inner thoughts and emotions.

Kathleen Green, the author of The Resilience Journal, wants to help people become more mindful. The journal includes 100-day prompts to express your gratitude towards everyday experiences.

As a result, you’ll get to know your emotions more deeply and develop resilience. And as the author believes, resilience helps us to maintain balance in our lives even when we’re facing various types of stressors.

13) Discover Yourself: A Personal Development Workbook by Jessica Blalock

Sometimes reading self-help books about self-awareness isn’t enough to actually gain insights into our emotions and beliefs. If you feel that you need something else, something that will push you to discover the truth about who you are, you should definitely consider the workbook called Discover Yourself.

Jessica Blalock is a Doctor of Experimental Psychology who studies personal development. She dedicated this workbook to anyone who wants to increase self-awareness and become more confident about their inner selves.

This workbook changed the lives of more than one million people around the world. Why is it so influential?

The main reason is that the book covers everything you need to know about self-awareness, including emotional intelligence, taking care of your physical body, becoming more mindful, and, in general, increasing the quality of life.

‘Discover Yourself’ allows the readers to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses in their daily journal and focus on their development.

14) Self-Awareness: The Hidden Driver of Success and Satisfaction by Travis Bradberry

Now you might wonder, why do you need to develop self-awareness at all. Is that really so important? What if you don’t recognize your own thoughts and emotions? Will something change?

Actually, the answer is yes. Becoming self-aware changes a lot of things in your life. And first of all, self-awareness helps you make better decisions and leads to success, and improves your career. But most importantly, being aware of yourself enhances your quality of life and leads to self-confidence.

However, the author, Travis Bradberry, believes that most individuals have no idea of their real desires and aims. He argues that our identity is developed by external factors, and as a result, we’re not aware of our true desires.

The book Self-Awareness: The Hidden Driver of Success and Satisfaction introduces the idea that success is just being who you want to be. In this book, Bradberry provides a guide towards real success and provides unique access to the DISC personality assessment.

15) Alchemy 365: A Self-Awareness Workbook by Brenda Marroy

Alchemy 365 is one more influential workbook that introduces the techniques of enhancing self-awareness. Brenda Marroy, the author, has taught hundreds of women how to become more self-aware.

Marroy believes that self-awareness is something that constitutes human existence. She combines her own faith with science, which makes her writing style unique. The book is based on the author’s own experience of the journey of developing self-awareness.

The most unique part about this workbook is its 365 stories that you should read throughout the entire year. The author explains how much it matters to free ourselves from society’s influences and search for our inner selves.

16) The Rewired Life: Creating a Better Life through Self-Care and Emotional Awareness by Erica Spiegelman

When we talk about self-awareness, most of the time, we automatically connect this concept with feelings and emotions. But have you ever thought about how much self-awareness is connected to our brains?

In her book, The Rewired Life, the author Erica Spiegelman introduces a completely new perspective on self-awareness. From her perspective, we should all train our brains in order to become more self-aware. But is training the brain really possible?

Spiegelman proves that our brains never stop growing. Each decision we make and every new thing we learn affects our brain and helps it develop. However, training our brains through self-care requires hard and dedicated work.

The book considers the strategy of self-realization as a key to improving our lives. The unique thing about this book is that the entire story is a part of the author’s self-help program. Besides, you can easily contact the author if you have any questions or want to share your perspectives.

After reading the book, chances are high that you’ll realize your past mistakes and learn how to move on to create a better life.

17) The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World by Amit Goswami

Most people writing books about self-awareness are either psychologists, motivational coaches, psychiatrists, or counselors. But surprisingly, Amit Goswami, a theoretical quantum physicist, wrote a book called The Self-Aware Universe.

Based on his research on quantum physics and consciousness, Goswami introduced a theory of “science within consciousness.” As he states, the material world is shaped by individual people and their conscious minds.

Now you might think that quantum physics isn’t something for you. But we’re going to surprise you once again because Goswami’s writing style is easier than anybody could have imagined.

The author simplest quantum physics and uses an easy-to-read manner in order to explain the importance of self-awareness for people, regardless of age and profession.

Therefore, after reading the book, you will understand how you can use self-consciousness to improve your life. And most importantly, you’ll gain a basic understanding of something as complicated as quantum physics.

18) NLP: The Essential Guide by Tom Dotz & Tom Hoobyar

Speaking of complicated things, NLP: The Essential Guide is another tricky book about self-awareness. What is NLP and what does it have to do with self-awareness?

NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. However complex it may sound initially, actually it’s just a way of personal development by promoting some specific skills. Psychologists often consider NLP to be a pseudoscientific method of self-development. Still, many people find this book by Tom Dotz and Tom Hoobyer inspiring enough.

NLP: The Essential Guide is a step-by-step handbook for achieving self-awareness and making an impact on the world. It’s indeed one of the most practical books on our list that features plenty of useful information about managing your thoughts and desires.

Aside from self-awareness, the book provides practical tips for managing yourself, understanding how you think, and improving your social relationships.

19) Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement by Tony Robbins

People who often read self-help books will probably recognize the author, Tony Robbins. He’s the author of “Awaken the Giant Within,” which is often considered one of the greatest self-help books of all time.

Robbins has a vast experience of helping people from various cultures transform their lives. The main idea of Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement is in line with his primary motivation – to help people develop personally and control their own lives.

The book contains practical tips, information, and exercises to help you use your full potential and achieve success. The topics he reviews in this book don’t directly connect with self-awareness, but he believes that becoming aware of your inner self is a starting point for personal development.

Unlimited Power is for anyone who feels the need to build a meaningful future and accomplish all of their current goals.

20) I Know MySELf: A Journal of Social Emotional Learning in Self Awareness by Emilie Day Correa

Even though most books about self-awareness are dedicated to adults, thinking about their actions, thoughts, and emotions is no less important for kids.

In fact, the earlier we start reflecting on our thoughts, the better we understand our goals and purposes and the more likely we will achieve success.

Emilie Day Correa’s book, I Know MySELf is for 5-11-year-old school students. The author focuses on the strategy of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) which is a useful process for developing interpersonal skills and self-control.

The prompts included in the journal encourage kids to understand their inner needs and find out who they really are. So, if you want your children to become more self-aware, you should definitely read this book with them. As a result, they will understand the things that make them unique and become more mindful.

21) Finding Awareness: The Journey of Self-discovery by Amit Pagedar

Discovering your true self is an initial part of enhancing self-awareness, isn’t it? Unfortunately, sometimes many people feel lost in themselves, trapped in their own worlds.

The author, Amit Pagedar, understands this common problem in modern society. He believes that each individual has to walk their own path in order to become mindful and discover the ultimate truth about themselves. However, if you don’t know how to enter this complicated path, Pageder shows a specific way to the journey of self-discovery.

Every chapter of the book Finding Awareness feels as if the author is speaking to you directly. He understands that everyone is an individual but offers a way to start searching for your inner self. At the end of this self-inquiry, you’ll learn useful things about your ego and probably become more self-aware.

22) The Little Book of Self-Awareness: Emotions-Thought-intuition-senses by Kostas Dimitriadis

Who can imagine existing and functioning without basic emotions, thoughts, intuition, and senses? Every individual has their own unique thoughts and feelings but we rarely manage to be fully aware of our inner conditions.

Just like the rest of the authors that we have already reviewed, Kostas Dimitriadis also believes in the importance of self-awareness for our psychological well-being. He’s neither a psychologist nor a researcher. However, it turns out that a veterinarian can also create an inspiring book about self-awareness.

Recently, Dimitriadis became fascinated with cognitive psychology. Based on his knowledge in anthrozoology and ethology, he wrote The Little Book of Self-Awareness in which he shares his perspective about the ways to achieve happiness.

Although the book was published in 2021, it’s already very popular on Amazon.

23) The Power of Self-Awareness: Your Doorway to a Balanced Life by Dr. Subra Mukherjee

We all try to achieve balance in our lives. However, we rarely manage to do so. It seems like the author of The Power of Self-Awareness found a way to live a perfectly balanced life.

Mukherjee is a humble author who calls herself “a student of life”. She adores exploring the dynamics of life and observing people around her. And her insightful observations are pretty much evident in her book.

The author tells us stories about her experiences of feeling stressed, overloaded with work, and unable to make the right decisions. As she says, you can’t write about something if you haven’t experienced similar things. That’s probably why her stories are so relatable for most readers who try to become more self-aware.

Dr. Subra Mukherjee uses the technique of Mind Mapping and guides us to optimize our productivity, identify our weak sides, and gain a better understanding of ourselves. To her, all these things will lead to a happy and balanced life.

Quick Summary

If you are feeling lost or uneasy about yourself and want to reconnect with your emotions and thoughts, reading any of the books we discussed may help you become more self-aware.

Each of these books offers specific ways to get to know yourself and what makes you a unique human being. That’s why we believe that reading these self-awareness books is worth more than once!

So, start with a book that feels the most appealing to you, and don’t forget to recommend it to people you know that are trying to learn more about themselves.

Picture of Nato Lagidze

Nato Lagidze

Nato is a writer and a researcher with an academic background in psychology. She investigates self-compassion, emotional intelligence, psychological well-being, and the ways people make decisions. Writing about recent trends in the movie industry is her other hobby, alongside music, art, culture, and social influences. She dreams to create an uplifting documentary one day, inspired by her experiences with strangers.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.