9 Best Books For Self-Awareness To Help You In Your Life’s Journey

Developing self-awareness is a crucial ingredient in living our lives consciously and healthily. 

We live in a world full of distractions, so cultivating self-awareness is more important than ever. 

When we lack self-awareness, we are led by our prejudices and preconceptions about ourselves and the world around us, which can lead us away from reality. 

In this article, we’ve included nine of the best books for self-awareness to help you on your journey of self-discovery.

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Nine best books for self-awareness

Below you’ll find 9 of the best books on self-awareness. These all may be considered self-help books because anything that leads to self-improvement and greater self-esteem, as these books can, can be regarded as ‘self-help.’

1. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ – Daniel Goleman

Author, psychologist, and science journalist Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ redefines what innovation means. 

A high IQ may be something to boast about, but IQ alone does not guarantee success. It also doesn’t ensure fulfillment or contentment in life. 

In his bestseller, Goleman explores the concepts of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, empathy, and self-discipline and how these qualities help us move forward personally and professionally in life.

“People with well-developed emotional skills are also more likely to be content and effective in their lives, mastering the habits of mind that foster their own productivity; people who cannot marshal some control over their emotional life fight inner battles that sabotage their ability for focused work and clear thought.”

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ – Daniel Goleman

Based on extensive psychological and neuroscientific research, Goleman outlines five core components of EQ:

  • Emotional self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social skills

Goleman shares his findings from decades of professional experience and explains that emotional intelligence is something we can also cultivate and develop in our lives. 

It is not fixed, but something we can develop with practice.

2. The Art of Talking to Yourself by Vironika Tugaleva

Vironika Tugaleva’s The Art of Talking to Yourself is not just another self-help book. It does not ask you to change to become a ‘better’ version of yourself. 

Instead, it guides the reader toward a more profound knowledge of oneself. This deeper knowing, according to Tugaleva, is how we can fully embrace ourselves on our life’s journey. 

Self-knowing, self-acceptance, and self-love are how we cultivate a healthy self-relationship that helps us show up in our other relationships with presence and authenticity.

We can develop deeper self-knowledge by slowing, stepping back, and learning to listen to the voice within. When we understand that this inner voice hugely influences our lives, our relationship with it becomes incredibly important.

“Your inner conversation is more than the sum total of thoughts that roll around in your head from day to day,’ explains Tugaleva. ‘It is the relationship you have with yourself and how that relationship connects you to the rest of existence. It is the lens through which you perceive reality. Thus, it defines the world you think you live in—a place that may be radically different from the real world.”

“No tree tries to become a certain kind of tree. No flower tries to become a certain kind of flower. The tree and the flower open up to the sun and soak up water. Thus, they grow into themselves. No judgment. No expectations. No commentary. Your task is the same. If you can stop trying so hard to become who you think you should be, and instead commit to understanding and nourishing yourself, you will bloom into whatever kind of person you are.”

The Art of Talking to Yourself – Vironika Tugaleva

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

Present moment awareness. 

This is where life is, in the here and now. 

Many of us spend too much time in our memories or the past or visions of the future, forgetting to pay due attention to what’s happening in the here and now. 

Yet psychologists, neuroscientists, psychotherapists, and Buddhist monks understand that present-moment awareness is key to a life of fulfillment and well-being. 

In The Book of Awakening, author, poet, and spiritual advisor Mark Nepo shares his insights and discoveries about living in the present moment. 

He encourages us to cultivate this awareness in our lives and see how being in the here and now is key to much of the happiness or fulfillment we may seek elsewhere.

In addition to Nepo’s insightful and honest personal story shared throughout the book, he also offers exercises we can practice daily to increase our present-moment awareness and, as a result, cultivate a healthier, more honest, and understanding relationship with our true selves.

“It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.”

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

4. Alchemy 365: A Self-Awareness Workbook by Brenda Marroy

In Alchemy 365: A Self-Awareness Workbook, author Brenda Lightfeather Marry offers readers an engaging self-awareness book to be completed over a year. 

The workbook is based on Marroy’s findings and insights over fifteen years of deep inner work and self-discovery, such as:

  • The tendency to settle into the life that has been structured for us (society, religion, family) rather than taking the road less traveled
  • The courage required to question our life, explore new truths, and follow our intuitive direction in life
  • Our shared humanity – how we all long for understanding, authentic connection, peace, and love in our lives
  • All that we need to live our lives to the fullest is within us already, including the power of transformation and authenticity

5. 7 Mindsets to Master Self-Awareness by Elizabeth Diamond

Elizabeth Diamond’s 7 Mindsets to Master Self-Awareness is a deep dive into the body’s seven primary energy centers. 

Diamond enlightens us on how these energy centers contain deep wisdom and how getting in touch with them can help us cultivate inner peace, joy, and a love for life.

6. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle is a speaker, and spiritual practitioner. His words have helped millions worldwide realize the life-changing power of present-moment awareness and approaching life from a place of compassion and acceptance.

In The Power of Now, Tolle explores one of the four noble truths of Buddhism, that attachment is the root of suffering. We are attached to the thinking mind, and our identification with the mind and its contents lies at the core of much of our emotional suffering. 

He explores how the rational thinking mind is one of our biggest obstacles to enlightenment – recognizing that we exist beyond our thoughts and the confines of the thinking mind. The mind is not the enemy but a tool we can use for our greater good. 

When we know how to use the mind well, it serves us, but when we don’t know how to use it for good, we become its puppet.

Self-awareness is the critical factor in freeing ourselves from the mind’s control. Tolle advises us to “be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”

“If your mind carries a heavy burden of the past, you will experience more of the same. The past perpetuates itself through a lack of presence. The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future.”

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment – Eckhart Tolle

7. Lifestyle Mastery Emotional Intelligence by Jacob Fitzgerald

Sometimes our emotions get the better of us. For some of us, emotions run our whole lives. 

In Lifestyle Mastery Emotional Intelligence, author Jacob Fitzgerald teaches us about emotional intelligence. He offers practical advice on applying it to our everyday lives and gaining more control over our emotions and reactions. 

Self-awareness, self-management, and relationship-building are just three topics covered.

8. Insight: The Power of Self-Awareness in a Self-Deluded World – Tasha Eurich

Focus can be hard to find in today’s distractions and delusions. 

In her book Insight: The Power of Self-Awareness in a Self-Deluded World, author and psychologist Tasha Eurich reminds us that we can turn to ourselves for answers that we often look for in the world outside. 

We have forgotten our inherent knowing, the awareness, and the truth that lies beyond the models and concepts we’ve attached to or been conditioned into believing.

Eurich emphasizes the importance of healthy relationships and how all of our interpersonal connections influence our level of awareness. 

She offers a well-researched book full of relevant stories and scientific facts that make her work accessible to beginners and seasoned self-explorers.

‘Self-awareness is the meta-skill of the twenty-first century.’

Insight: The Power of Self-Awareness in a Self-Deluded World – Tasha Eurich

9. The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World – Amit Goswami

In The Self-Aware Universe, physicist Amit Goswami Ph.D. takes the concept of self-awareness beyond the limits of the imagination. 

A renowned researcher and speaker on quantum physics, Goswami invites us to question what we think we know about how the universe works. 

Instead of the traditional Western view that physical matter is what the universe comprises, Goswami proposes that the universe is a product of conscious awareness or self-consciousness. 

To know ourselves is thus to know the universe, and the universe, ourselves.

“Quantum physics presents a new and exciting worldview that challenges old concepts, such as deterministic trajectories of motion and causal continuity. If initial conditions do not forever determine an object’s motion, if instead, every time we observe, there is a new beginning, then the world is creative at the base level.”

The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World – Amit Goswami

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All of the books above are more than worth a read. 

Self-awareness is one of the key elements in leading a meaningful and fulfilling life, and the wisdom shared by the authors in this list is sure to help you develop yours. 

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