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50 Best Books on Building Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

Lack of self-esteem is a serious problem in today’s world. This issue affects both adults and children and can seriously damage your life. For example, children with low self-esteem may struggle to make friends. Adults with this problem will have difficulty advancing in their careers.

If this is something you need help with, then the following books from the below categories will help you build higher self-esteem and self-confidence.

Books for Adults with Low Self-Esteem
Books for Adults with Low Self-Worth
Books for Adults with Poor Self-Image
Books for Kids with Low Self-Esteem
Books for Kids with Low Self-Worth
Books for Kids with a Poor Self-Image
Books for Teenage Girls
Books for Teenage Boys

Books for Adults with Low Self-Esteem

1. The Six Pillars of Self-esteem (Nathanial Branden) — 368 pages
This book is probably the definitive work on self-esteem. Written in 1994, it provides the reader with a comprehensive approach for building their self-worth and living a good life. According to the author, these “six pillars” include:

  • The practice of living consciously
  • The practice of self-acceptance
  • The practice of self-responsibility
  • The practice of self-assertiveness
  • The practice of living purposefully
  • The practice of personal integrity

Should you buy it?
If you buy only one book on this list, it should be this one. Why? First of all, unlike many self-help writers, Nathanial Branden was an actual psychologist. Not only that, he was at the forefront of the 1970s self-esteem movement and probably knew more about this subject than most of the authors on this list.

2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson) — 152 pages
Don’t be put off by the name. A New York Times bestseller and publishing phenomenon, this book preaches a simple message: positive thinking is neither healthy nor constructive. Instead, the author advises you to accept your struggles and failures. Only by doing this can you become a better person and overcome low self-confidence.

Should you buy it?
Many people are skeptical of self-help books, and rightly so. A lot of these books are filled with simplistic or clichéd advice (which is part of the reason why they have such a bad reputation.) On the other hand, this book is a breath of fresh air, and perfect for those who are looking for something more serious.

3. Unf*ck Yourself (Gary John Bishop) — 224 pages
As mentioned above, the success of Mark Manson’s book led to dozens of copycat versions.
And while most of these were written to cash in on the craze (and are therefore junk), this book is different. Written in the same take no prisoners style as the subtle art of not giving a f*ck, it’s all about overcoming what most often holds people back from success…themselves.

Should you buy it?
Once again, this book is written for people who are sick to death of the usual positive thinking rubbish. If you’re tired of listening to so-called “self-help gurus” who are often nothing more than snake oil salesmen, then this book is for you.

4. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance (Katty Kay and Claire Shipman) — 256 pages
This book is a practical guide that shows women how to overcome their self-esteem issues and live an awesome life. It contains the latest scientific research from the fields of cognitive-behavioral therapy, body language, and even genetics. Using this research, the authors show why it’s possible to change our thought patterns and truly alter the way we feel about ourselves – no matter what age you are or where you’re starting from right now.

Should you buy it?
This book was written by a pair of highly successful women. Both work in broadcast journalism and have appeared on outlets such as BBC, NBC, and Good Morning America. What they’ve written comes directly from their own experience, making this the perfect book for women who want to get ahead in the world.

5. Awaken the Giant Within (Tony Robbins) — 544 pages
Filled with practical exercises, this text is widely regarded as one of the best self-help books ever written. It provides readers with a scientific approach for controlling their emotions and building high self-esteem. In addition to this, you’ll also learn how to influence people and create plans for your future that are actually achievable.

Should you buy it?
The biggest reason to buy this book is simply that it’s written by Tony Robbins. There’s a reason why he’s the world’s top motivational speaker. This is probably one of the most inspirational books you’re ever likely to read. Tony has an energetic and infectious style that cannot help to motivate you – no matter how difficult your challenges.

6. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself (Shad Helmstetter) — 224 pages
People underestimate the power of self-talk. The thoughts in our heads, and by extension what we say to ourselves, play an enormous role in the quality of our lives. If you’re constantly thinking negative things about yourself, you’re more than likely going to have poor self-esteem. This practical book provides a roadmap for people who want to overcome this problem.

Should you buy it?
If you’re someone who’s constantly plagued by negative thoughts (such as self-doubt and self-criticism), then this book is worth reading. Remember, everything we do first starts as a thought. What this ultimately means is that if you want a better life, you first need to change your thoughts.

7. Ten Days to Self-Esteem (David D. Burns, M.D.) — 336 pages
Need to make rapid improvements in your life? This is the book for you. Ten days to self-esteem lays out a step-by-step plan for improving your self-regard. It’s filled with helpful information as well as worksheets. This is what really distinguishes this book from others. Instead of simply reading, you actually have to do some work.

Should you buy it?
What’s great about this book is that it’s based on cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a proven method for treating psychological issues and really works. This book is actually a lot better than most self-help books because it’s essentially a textbook that teaches you CBT. With this tool, you can identify the issues which are holding you back and live life in a happier and more productive way.

8. What’s Right With Me? Positive Ways to Celebrate Your Strengths, Build Self-Esteem and Reach Your Potential (Carlene DeRoo and Carolyn DeRoo) — 192 pages
Every person has strengths and weaknesses. The problem is that most people tend to focus only on their weaknesses. In addition to this, we also tend to fixate on our failures, mistakes, and regrets. This book invites you to see things differently. It encourages the reader to develop a better view of themselves and thereby increase their self-esteem and self-worth.

Should you buy it?
What’s Right With Me is an excellent choice for people who are doing well but know they could improve. Working through this book will help you gain a better perspective of yourself. You’ll learn how to identify your strengths and focus less on the negative aspects of your life.

9. Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame (Beverly Engel) — 272 pages
An unhappy childhood can affect your entire life. In fact, the reason why many adults suffer from low self-esteem is because of an abusive childhood. Most often, this is because of some kind of emotional or physical abuse. You may also have suffered through a traumatic episode. The key to overcoming this is learning how to make peace with the past and heal. Only then by you truly start to live.

Should you buy it?
This book is specifically aimed at people who went through an abusive childhood. If you’re one of these people, then you’ll already know how much damage this can cause. What you probably don’t realize is that this trauma can be overcome – provided you’re willing to put in the hard work.

10. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World (Admiral William H. McRaven) — 96 pages
This book starts with a simple idea: by taking care of the little things, the big things take care of themselves. For example, making your bed in the morning is the first step to having a successful day. While this may seem over-simplistic, it really does work. Remember, self-discipline is one of the foundation stones of self-esteem, and doing little things like this really does help.

Should you buy it?
This is actually one of the better books on this list, and we highly recommend it. In case you don’t know, William H. McRaven is a former U.S. Navy Seal and four-star admiral. With this type of pedigree, you’re guaranteed to find rock-solid information in this book.

11. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (Don Miguel Ruiz) — 163 pages
The Four Agreements is based on several spiritual beliefs practiced by the Toltec people. Applying these beliefs can help you overcome the limitations in your life, as well as increase your self-esteem. These beliefs (or “agreements” as they’re called in the book) are as follows:

  • Take responsibility for your actions
  • Do not rely on other people to make good things happen in your life
  • Do not make assumptions about anything or anyone
  • Always do the best that you can

Should you buy it?
People who are looking for something a little more “spiritual” will enjoy this book. The advice is simple yet powerful and provided you put it into action, it can have a revelatory effect on your life.


Books for Adults with Low Self-Worth

12. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (Dale Carnegie) — 322 pages
How to stop worrying and start living is filled to the brim with practical advice for building self-confidence and overcoming worry. This book contains timeless wisdom along with simple lessons for killing the worry habit.

These include ideas like:

  • Realistically analyzing the situation
  • Accepting the worst that can happen
  • Getting the facts about a situation
  • Forgetting about the past
  • Counting your blessings
  • Not accepting criticism personally
  • Doing the best you can in any situation
  • Getting adequate rest and relaxation

Should you buy it?
Dale Carnegie is a legend in the world of self-help. First published in 1948, this book has truly stood the test of time. The reason for this is simple: the advice in this book really works. Yes, the writing style may seem “old school” to modern readers, but with this stuff, almost anyone can transform their life.

13. How to Develop Self-confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking (Dale Carnegie) — 258 pages
Getting up in front of an audience takes enormous amounts of self-confidence. This is why public speaking is one of the best ways to develop confidence. The problem is that most people have a natural fear of public speaking. If you’re one of these people, then this book is highly recommended.

It’s packed with dozens of tips that will help you overcome your fears as well as develop rock-solid confidence.

In this book, you’ll learn things like:

  • How to practice your speeches
  • 3 outlines for great speeches
  • Important things to remember when delivering your speech
  • How to improve your memory
  • The secrets of good presentation
  • The principles of natural speaking
  • How to have personality and presence when speaking

Should you buy it?
The problem with most self-help books is that they focus on theory and exercises, which are usually done alone. What makes this book different is that it instead concentrates on getting out into the real world and doing something. This makes it an excellent self-help guide for people who are sick to death of reading and aren’t afraid to take action in the real world.

14. Unstoppable Self-confidence (Andrew Leedham) — 438 pages
The premise of this book is simple: most people go their entire lives feeling bad about themselves. As a result, very few people achieve even a fraction of what they are capable of. The good news is that it’s possible to change this predicament.

Should you buy it?
This book is great for people who don’t like the idea that something is “wrong” with them. You see, unlike other self-help books, Unstoppable Self-Confidence starts the premise that nothing is wrong with you. Instead, the message behind this book is that all of us are basically fine. The key to improved self-confidence is simply undoing your negative programming and beliefs.

15. Gifts of Imperfection (Brene Brown) — 160 pages
This book presents the reader with a revolutionary idea. You see, the reason why we suffer from low self-esteem is simple: we care too much about what other people think of us. Instead, we need to be open about our vulnerabilities and imperfections. We need to stop living for others and start living life for ourselves. Only by doing this can we overcome the shame that holds us back. For example, this book covers ten areas of our lives where we need to care less. These include:

  • Letting go of what people think
  • Letting go of perfectionism
  • Letting go of numbing and powerlessness
  • Letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark
  • Letting go of the need for certainty
  • Letting go of comparison
  • Letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth
  • Letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle
  • Letting go of self-doubt
  • Letting go of being cool and always in control

Should you buy it?
There are dozens of reasons to buy this book. To date, it’s sold more than 2 million copies. Not only that, it’s received rave reviews from places like Forbes and the New York Times. Brene Brown has also been interviewed by people like Oprah, and with these types of credentials, this is a book worth checking out. Most importantly, she’s actually qualified to talk about this subject. According to the author, she’s dealt with a multitude of addictions, including alcohol, smoking, and emotional eating. It’s this real-life experience that allows her to offer unique insights into the topic of self-esteem and the reason why this book is so popular.

16. You Can Heal Your Life (Louise Hay) — 274 pages
Over the years, much has been written about the mind-body connection. It’s said that our minds and bodies are intimately connected. If you believe this, it also means that all ailments first start in the mind. Any disease or physical problem we have is caused by negative beliefs and thought patterns. In this book, Louise Hay explores this topic further. She also provides a number of techniques for eliminating negative thoughts and ultimately healing your body.

Should you buy it?
This book is aimed at people who are suffering from physical issues. If you’re dealing with a long-term disease (such as chronic pain) and haven’t found relief, then it may be worth reading. Yes, some people may be skeptical that this could actually work, but there are enormous amounts of evidence that prove the mind-body connection.

17. Soul Without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within (Byron Brown) — 310 pages
Shame is often the biggest stumbling block when it comes to increasing our self-worth. You may feel shame for a multitude of reasons. It can be because of things you’ve done in the past (and more often because of things which were done to you.) This sense of shame often manifests itself as a harsh inner critic or judge, and it’s this voice that holds us back.

Should you buy it?
This book explains where the inner critic comes from, how it works, and also how to subdue it. You’ll also learn about positive life skills, which help to lessen the power of your inner judge. All in all, it’s a great book for anyone dealing with guilt or shame.

18. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself (Dr. Kristin Neff) — 320 pages
It goes without saying that most people are far too hard on themselves. We set unrealistic goals and standards and beat ourselves up when we fail to achieve them. In this empowering book, you’ll learn why it’s so important to be kind to yourself. You’ll also see why self-forgiveness is such a powerful and transformative tool.

Should you buy it?
Setting high standards can help you become a better person. The downside of this is that failure to achieve these goals can turn you into a person who hates yourself. If you’re dealing with these issues, then this book should definitely be on your reading list.

19. Feel the Fear…and Do It Anyway (Susan Jeffers) — 214 pages
Self-confidence isn’t something you can build by reading books. You have to go out and try new things. The more successes you have, the more confident you’ll feel. Sadly, most people never get off the starting line. Instead, they allow themselves to be crippled by fear and never do anything.

Should you buy it?
This book will help you overcome this problem. It provides the reader with a step-by-step approach to dealing with negative emotions. Doing this allows you to go after your goals, regardless of how you feel. As this book promises – you’ll feel the fear…and do it anyway.

20. The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence (Robert Anthony) — 240 pages
The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence is acknowledged as a self-help classic. In fact, this book was actually the inspiration behind the multimillion bestseller The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. It’s easy to see why. This book provides a comprehensive guide to improving almost every aspect of your life, including self-confidence.

Should you buy it?
If you liked the secret, you’d love this book. It’s mostly filled with visualization exercises and tools for creating positive affirmations. And while that may sound unoriginal, Robert Anthony provides a new approach for applying these tools to your life.

21. 10 Man in Command: How to Go From the Most Self-Doubting Guy in the Room to the Most Confident man (David Bowden) — 164 pages
Aimed at men, this book promises to turn you into the type of guy who can do anything. This is achieved through a step-by-step roadmap that shows you how to deal with negativity, self-doubt, and lack of belief in yourself.

Should you buy it?
As mentioned and pretty obvious from the title, this book is mostly aimed at guys. If you need to be inspired to get in shape or ask that special girl out on a date, then it may be worth a look.

22. Wire Your Brain for Confidence: The Science of Conquering Self-Doubt (Louisa Jewell) — 258 pages
What’s different about this book is that it’s mostly based on science. The author is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has a degree in something known as Applied Positive Psychology. This is essentially a field that studies the science of well-being. This means that, unlike many self-help guides, everything in this book is backed by scientific research.

Should you buy it?
This book is recommended for people who are tired of the usual self-help fluff. As we’ve said, the techniques and information you’ll find in this book are science-based. This makes Wire Your Brain a great book for people who want something a little more serious.

23. Why Do I Do That? Psychological Defense Mechanisms and the Hidden Ways They Shape Our Lives (Joseph Burgo) — 242 pages
This book asks an interesting question: why do we do what we do? As it turns out, much of our actions are down to psychological blocks. It’s these blockages that prevent us from taking action to improve our lives and thereby raise our self-worth.

Should you buy it?
Are you one of these people who suffer repeated failures in life? Do you feel stuck despite trying your hardest? If that’s the case, your failures could be down to mental blocks. This book will help you identify and remove these blockages, allowing you to finally live a fulfilling life.

24. How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People (Les Giblin) — 204 pages
Confidence is important in all areas of our life, but it’s especially important when it comes to dealing with people. This book focuses on building confidence in your interpersonal interactions. It’s jam-packed with techniques for handling the people in your life and how to communicate more confidently with them.

Should you buy it?
A lack of confidence can ruin your life. Without enough confidence, you’ll struggle to date, make friends, and get ahead at work. For people who are struggling with these problems, this book is highly recommended.

25. Ultimate Confidence: The Secrets to Feeling Great About Yourself Every Day (Marisa Peer) — 256 pages
Are you looking for something different? Marisa Peer is a certified hypnotherapist with more than 20 years of experience. In this book, she provides you with a wide range of techniques for altering the way you think about yourself.

Should you buy it?
If you’ve always wanted to explore hypnosis as a personal development tool, then this book is a great introduction. The exercises are simple and easy to implement. Not only that, you’ll start seeing results in only a matter of days.

26. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun (Gretchen Rubin) — 368 pages
An international bestseller, this book was inspired by one women’s quest to learn what really makes people happy. What followed was a year-long quest to find the true meaning of happiness, fulfillment, and fun.

Should you buy it?
This book is highly recommended for people who are looking to get more out of life. Unlike other books on this list, it’s not just a bunch of self-help techniques. Instead, we follow the author as she recounts twelve months of her life in which she attempts to solve the eternal problem of happiness.


Books for Adults with Poor Self-Image

27. The Magic of Thinking Big (David J. Schwartz) — 238 pages
Why do people have a difficult time achieving success? According to the author of this book, it’s mostly because they fail to “think big.” What this means in practical terms is that most people are completely consumed by negative thinking. They concentrate on failure, set goals that are too small, and fail to take action. But what you have to realize is this: you are what you think you are, and only by improving your thoughts can you finally achieve success.

Should you buy it?
The magic of thinking big has sold more than 6 million copies and is considered a self-help classic. If you’re someone who struggles with negative thinking, then this is a must-buy. You’ll learn how to change your negative attitudes and turn defeat into victory.

28. The Confidence Gap (Russ Harris) — 292 pages
Many people try to build self-confidence by “forcing” themselves through things. For example, you force yourself to ask for a raise or to speak in front of a crowd. But according to author Russ Harris, this is a recipe for disaster. It’s a far better idea to learn how to transform those feelings of fear. The way to do this is with something called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). This is basically a form of therapy where you accept negative thoughts and feelings instead of trying to fight them. By doing this, you can close the gap between thinking about what you’d like to do…and actually having the confidence to do it.

Should you buy it?
Far too many books about confidence tell you to do things like “push yourself out of your comfort zone.” Unfortunately for most people, this simply doesn’t work. This is what makes the Confidence Gap such a great book. Instead of building confidence by gritting your teeth and pushing through things, you learn how to transform fear into courage

29. The Power of Self-Confidence (Brian Tracy) — 192 pages
Brian Tracy is a legend in the field of personal development. Known primarily as a business expert and sales trainer, he’s also written on the topics of time management, as well as self-confidence and self-esteem. In this book, he provides the reader with some effective ways for increasing their self-confidence. You’ll also learn concepts such as:

  • Using positive self-talk
  • Creating written affirmations
  • The practice of visualization and mental rehearsal
  • The end of the movie exercise
  • Learning to act “as if.”

Should you buy it?
Many books about building confidence are filled with abstract information. This often includes spiritual and esoteric ideas about building your self-concept. Quite often, there’s a lack of real work and practical advice. This is what makes the power of self-confidence different. It’s filled with good, solid advice and practical ideas which you can implement immediately.

30. The Power of Positive Thinking (Norman Vincent Peale) — 218 pages
This is probably one of the best self-confidence books ever written. First published in 1952, it contains dozens of stories that demonstrate the power of thinking positively. Along with this, it lists 10 rules to follow for enhanced confidence in every area of your life. These are as follows:

  • Picture yourself succeeding
  • Down out negative thoughts with positive ideas
  • Remove obstacles
  • Avoid copying others
  • Seek help from people more confident than you
  • Develop a healthy sense of self-respect
  • Believe that you’re being helped by a higher power

Should you buy it?
Maintaining a positive attitude is one of the easiest ways to improve your self-image. The problem is that too many people focus entirely on the negative side of things. This can be draining over time and take the joy out of life. If you’re one of these people, then this book will be a tremendous help.

31. Psycho-Cybernetics (Maxwell Maltz) — 336 pages
Maxwell Maltz was a leading plastic surgeon back in the 1960s. After working with hundreds of patients, he began to notice something strange: changing a person’s physical appearance rarely leads to an increase in their happiness and overall well-being. In fact, many people were more unhappy after their surgery. He soon concluded that it was more important to change the person’s inner view of themselves. Only by doing this could a person finally achieve satisfaction.

Should you buy it?
This book is a must for people who are suffering from self-image issues. It contains dozens of practical exercises for altering your self-image and also achieving your personal goals. In our experience, this stuff really works. Psycho-Cybernetics is also highly regarded by many writers in the self-help field, such as Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, and Brian Tracy.

32. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (Joseph Murphy) — 124 pages
The topic of the subconscious mind has been written about for centuries. Everyone from Aristotle to Freud has investigated this topic. And whether or not you believe in this concept, it’s true that our unconscious does play a huge role in shaping our lives.

Should you buy it?
This short book is basically a deep dive into the world of the subconscious. You’ll learn exactly what it is as well as how it shapes your life. Some of the information provided in this book is truly fascinating and will be useful to people who want to improve themselves. That being said, this book is quite esoteric and philosophical. If you’re looking for practical steps to change your life, you’d be better off with something else.

33. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life (Jen Sincero) — 204 pages
Self-image problems are often caused by underlying psychology, but there’s also a bigger issue. This is simply the lack of courage to show people who you really are. We apologize for ourselves, look to others for guidance, and rely too much on their opinions. This book will show you how to stop doing this and build self-confidence by releasing your inner “badass.”

Should you buy it?
Are you terrified to show people who you really are? Do your friends describe you as a “doormat?” This book can help you overcome your innate shyness and finally start acting like the person you’re meant to be.

34. The Unlimited Self: Destroy Limiting Beliefs, Uncover Inner Greatness, and Live the Good Life (Jonathan Heston) — 254 pages
This book focuses specifically on the topic of limiting beliefs. According to the author, the only real thing stopping you from becoming great is your unconscious beliefs. All you have to do to turn your life around is simply to identify and change these beliefs.

Should you buy it?
If you feel like something is missing from your life, or you’re simply not making progress, then this is the book for you. The reason why we experience failure is often that limiting beliefs are holding us back. With the step-by-step techniques provided by this book, you’ll learn how to destroy these unconscious blocks, plus how to replace them with new and empowering paradigms.

35. Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill) — 320 pages
First published in 1937, Think and Grow Rich has sold more than 15 million copies over the years. Despite the title, this book is about a lot more than financial success. The book provides the reader with a number of lessons and techniques for becoming more successful as well as increasing self-esteem and confidence.

Should you buy it?
This is an excellent primer for people who are looking for ways to transform their life. Even though it’s almost a hundred years old, the information is rock solid and can be applied to almost every area of your life.


Books for Kids with Low Self-Esteem

36. I Like Myself (Karen Beaumont) — 32 pages
This is one of the best children’s books for helping kids overcome negative thoughts about themselves. Filled with colorful pictures and beautiful illustrations, it tells a simple story about the importance of liking and accepting yourself.

Should you buy it?
Highly regarded by both teachers and parents, this book is recommended for all children. It will help to raise your child’s self-esteem and provide a great introduction to the power of positive thinking.

37. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon (Patty Lovell) — 32 pages
Molly Lou Melon is an unforgettable character created by children’s picture book author Patty Lovell. She’s not your typical little girl and has buck teeth and a voice that sounds like a bullfrog. Not only that, she’s clumsy, short, and doesn’t always fit in. Despite all these differences, Molly Lou Melon still manages to feel good about herself.

Should you buy it?
All children will love the story of Molly Lou Mellon, especially young readers. This book teaches children that it’s okay to be different. It also shows them the importance of self-belief and standing up for themselves.

38. On the Night You Were Born (Nancy Tillman) — 32 pages
This book has an extremely simple message: all children are born special. This is true no matter who you are or where you come from. Another thing that’s nice about this book is that it’s interactive. For example, at certain points in the text, you insert your child’s name.

Should you buy it?
If you’re looking for self-esteem books for children, then this is an excellent choice. Your child will love the charming illustrations and story of how the whole world comes together for their birth.


Books for Kids with Low Self-Worth

39. I Am Enough (Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo) — 32 pages
Everyone knows how mean kids can be to each other. This can often result in feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth. This book aims to combat these feelings. It’s all about the power of respect and why self-worth is developed by respecting yourself, as well as other people.

Should you buy it?
This book is recommended for all children, but especially girls. If your daughter is having a hard time accepting herself, then this book will really help. She’ll love the beautiful artwork and poem-like writing, plus the uplifting message of empowerment.

40. What Do you Love About You? (Karen Lechelt) — 32 pages
Each of us is special in our own unique way. We all have one-of-a-kind talents and attributes. This book makes children aware of this. It also helps them discover their own uniqueness and gives them a reason to feel special.

Should you buy it?
This book will be of enormous benefit to children who are feeling bad about themselves. It helps them realize that everyone is different and also that there is something special about everyone.

41. Where Oliver Fits (Cale Atkinson) — 40 pages
This book tells the story of Oliver, the puzzle piece, who has a hard time wondering where he fits in. Eventually, he finds his place – the moral being that no matter who you are (or how bad you feel about yourself), there is always somewhere for you to fit in.

Should you buy it?
Not knowing where you fit in is something that many children, and even adults, struggle with. This simple parable is a great tool for teaching your child that there is always a place for them to belong.


Books for Kids with Poor Self-Image

42. Old Hat (Emily Gravett) — 32 pages
Harbet, the cat, loves his woolen hat. Unfortunately, the other cats are wearing better and newer hats. Harbet sets off to replace his hat, but no matter what he does, he cannot keep up with the other cats. Eventually, he realizes that life isn’t about comparing yourself to other people, but about being happy with what you already have.

Should you buy it?
This book is an excellent tool for boosting your child’s self-image. It shows children that you should never compare yourself to other people – and that great things will happen simply by accepting what is already inside.

43. The Dot (Peter Reynolds) — 32 pages
Vashti is a girl who believes she cannot draw. The teacher tells her to start by making a single mark, which she does. In a moment of inspiration, the teacher then asks her to sign her name to this artwork and hang it on the wall. This motivates Vashti to continue as she finally realizes that she can, in fact, draw.

Should you buy it?
A big part of having a bad self-image is believing that you cannot do things. This book will demonstrate to your child that this actually isn’t true. That being able to do something is as simple as believing in yourself and then having the courage to take the first step.

44. Tomorrow I’ll be Brave (Jessica Hische) — 40 pages
In this book, children are reminded that there’s really no such thing as a “loser.” That just because you’ve failed doesn’t mean you’re a failure. That every day is a new day, and tomorrow is another opportunity to try.

Should you buy it?
Failure can devastate your child’s self-image. This incredible book teaches children that just because they have failed doesn’t mean they cannot try again. It will help them through difficult times and inspire your child to give it their all.


Books for Teenage Girls

45. The Real Rules for Girls (Mindy Morgenstern) — 134 pages
This is a basic all-in-one self-esteem manual for girls. It covers a wide variety of topics related to growing up as a girl. These include things like dealing with divorced parents, dating for the first time, menstrual and hormonal issues, plus how to manage intense or uncontrollable emotions.

Should you buy it?
Is your daughter having difficulty navigating her teenage years? This book may help. Written in simple and direct language, it contains everything needed to make it through this trying time and even come out better on the other side.

46. Chocolate for a Teen’s Soul: Life-Changing Stories for Young Women About Growing Wise and Growing Strong (Kay Allenbaugh) — 246 pages
Based on the mega-bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, this book contains 50 uplifting and inspirational stories for teenage girls. These cover a wide range of topics such as how to deal with emotional issues, dating, and self-confidence issues.

Should you buy it?
This book is an excellent choice for girls who love to read. What’s also great about this book is that it’s based on stories. This is often a far better way to impart valuable lessons than simply presenting hard information.


Books for Teenage Boys

47. The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens (Sean Covey) — 336 pages
Written by the son of personal development guru Stephen Covey, this book outlines six key areas your teenage son will have to navigate. These include:

  • How they spend their time in school
  • How to make friends and build social skills
  • How to develop a strong relationship with parents
  • Dealing with dating and sex
  • Recognizing the dangers of drugs and alcohol
  • Building self-worth and self-confidence

Should you buy it?
If you’re looking for a general self-esteem guide for your son, then you can’t do any better than this book. It covers the “big” topics that every teenager faces and explains them in a straightforward and direct manner.

48. Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations (Alex and Brett Harris) — 320 pages
Teenagers with low self-esteem often give up on themselves. This book challenges that mindset. Instead, it calls upon teenagers to uplift and themselves to greater heights. Filled with real-life stories of teens who turned things around, this book is sure to inspire your son.

Should you buy it?
Probably the best thing about this book is that it was written by teens for teens. Even though the authors are young, they have wisdom beyond their years, and this book is guaranteed to resonate deeply with your teenager.



49. Braving the Wilderness (Brene Brown)
In this audiobook, Brene Brown argues that a sense of “belonging” is essential to your self-esteem. The issue is that our world is becoming more and more disconnected. This makes it difficult to find true connections in our daily lives. This feeling of loneliness can have a devastating effect on your self-esteem. The secret to overcoming this is to make peace with being alone (or, as Dr. Brown explains it, “enter the wilderness.”)

Should you buy it?
Are you feeling lonely and struggling to connect with others? This short audiobook will help you build confidence and self-esteem. At only 31 minutes long, it’s also perfect for listening to on your way to work or soaking in the tub at the end of a long hard day. Another reason why we recommend this book is because it’s narrated by the author. Brene Brown has an incredible speaking voice, and listening to her is like receiving encouragement from a good friend.

50. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Brene Brown)
Brene Brown is so good we’ve decided to include her twice. Continuing from her previous work, this audiobook is all about turning perceived weaknesses into strengths. This audiobook will challenge the way you see yourself and teaches that, in many cases, admitting to flaws is the best way to move forward in your life.

Should you buy it?
Many people approach self-help with the idea that they need to fix themselves, with the view that we are flawed people and that the only way to improve ourselves is by removing these flaws. This book is truly revolutionary because it challenges this commonly held belief. Instead of trying to fix yourself, you’re encouraged to make peace with your flaws. Basically, if you’re sick to death of trying to “fix” yourself, then this is the right book for you.

51. Overcoming Low Self-Esteem (Melanie Fennell)
This audiobook focuses on the self-care aspect of self-esteem. You see, these types of problems are not always due to some kind of underlying psychological issue. Quite often, the reason so many people have self-esteem issues is that they do not take care of themselves. They overeat, drink, smoke, waste their time on social media, or get into bad relationships. What you have to realize is that this is the source of your unhappiness, and unless you overcome these things, you’ll remain miserable.

Should you buy it?
If you’re someone who struggles with the negative feelings caused by bad habits, then this audiobook is worth listening to. It will help you realize how destructive these habits can be and also show you the best way to make new, healthier, and more empowering choices.


Each of these books is filled with practical techniques for self-esteem and confidence building. Put them into practice, and you’re almost guaranteed to see an improvement in your life!

About The Author
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