The 33 Best Books on Confidence & Self-Esteem

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Anyone who goes looking for the best books on confidence quickly learns two things:

The first is that there are so many self confident books out there that the search can quickly become overwhelming.

The second is that sifting through the self-help section sucks.

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend hours pouring over reviews, studying star ratings and wading through the thousands of titles available in Amazon’s Self Esteem section in order to find books that will help you think and feel better – because I already have. (I don’t get out much.)

In this post I’ve rounded up some of the very best books on confidence building that I’ve come across in my own quest to become a more confident man, and combined them with some of the most interesting-looking self-confidence books that I haven’t read yet, but are high on my reading list.

I’ve also included five of the highest-rated self-confidence courses on Udemy, for those who might find more interactive forms of media helpful in their quest to strengthen your self esteem.

Best Books on Building Self Confidence

The (Absolute) Best Self-Confidence Books

Rounding Up the Best Books on Confidence and Self-Esteem

Best Books on Building Self Confidence

Recommended by Me:

 Best Books on Building Self Confidence
The Six Pillars of Self Esteem

Author Nathaniel Branden was a psychologist, considered one of the world’s leading authorities on self-esteem. This book is essentially his magnum opus and is considered by many to be both the definitive works on self-esteem and one of the best books on building self confidence.

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Best Books on Building Self Confidence
The Psychology of Self-Esteem:
A Revolutionary Approach to Self-Understanding that Launched a New Era in Modern Psychology

This book actually preceded The Six Pillars of Self Esteem. Where Six Pillars breaks down the essential elements that self esteem consists of, this book explains the critical role that self-esteem plays in living a healthy, fulfilling life.

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Best Books on Building Self Confidence
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This is one of the most influential self confident books of all time, and with good reason. In it, author Stephen Covey outlines a clear path to ensure your work and actions are consistent with your most deeply held values. Following his advice has been one of the most confidence-boosting experiences of my life.

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Best Books on Building Self Confidence
You Are a Badass
How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

You Are a Badass is author Jen Sincero’s attempt to convince us, the readers, that there is an inner badass in each of us waiting to be released – if we can just get passed the pre-programmed bullshit that holds us back.

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(shameless plug alert!)

Best Books on Building Self Confidence
Man in Command
How to Go From the Most Self-Doubting Guy in the Room to The Most Confident Man

With my first book, which became an Amazon #1 best-seller (in Canada, but still!), I set out to write the definitive guide for going from insecure self-doubter to self-assured achiever. Man in Command is a roadmap for overcoming obstacles and building a better you.

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(yet another) shameless plug alert!

Highly Confident Habits
Learn How to Build Confidence in Yourself with 23 Proven Practices That Make You Feel Formidable

Are you sick of feeling like you’re not living up to your full potential? Do you find yourself wondering how to raise your self esteem – and make it last? Have you ever looked at one of life’s confident go-getters and wondered how you can compete? In Highly Confident Habits, I’ve written a short, actionable guide that shows you how to overcome all of these obstacles.

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Recommended by Others:

Best Books on Building Self Confidence
How to Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs and Achieve Your Goals

What is self-efficacy? What are the main four sources of it? How can you develop more confidence in your abilities? These are some of the questions answered in this short book. The advice in this book is based both on scientific research and…

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Best Books on Building Self Confidence
Not Nice
Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, Feeling Guilty…

If you find it hard to be assertive, directly ask for what you want, or say “no” to others, then you just might be suffering from too much niceness. In this controversial book, world-renowned confidence expert, Dr. Aziz Gazipura, takes an incisive look at the concept of…

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Best Books on Building Self Confidence
Wire Your Brain for Confidence

Do you ever wonder why you are confident in some areas of your life, yet in other areas you have so much fear and self-doubt? The good news is scientists have discovered the formula for how you can wire your brain for a more action-oriented kind of confidence that…

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Best Books on Building Self Confidence
The Confidence Gap
A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self Doubt

Russ Harris offers a surprising solution to low self-confidence, shyness, and insecurity: Rather than trying to “get over” our fears, he says, the secret is to form a new and wiser relationship with…

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Best Books on Building Self Confidence
Overcoming Low Self-Esteem, Insecurity, and Self-Doubt

With this engaging, practical study of our minds and emotions, we can become more capable in every facet of life. Confidence will shatter every myth you’ve ever believed about self-confidence and its effects on us—ranging from the very personal to the…

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Best Books on Building Self Confidence
Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

From the author: “In December of 2011, I gave a talk to an audience of scientists, Pentagon officials, politicians, and CEO’s on the secret of life and how I’d figured it out the previous summer. Afterwards, people came up individually and told me how much what I’d shared meant to them. This book is based on…”

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Best Books on Building Self Confidence
The Art of Extraordinary Confidence

Confidence is the doorway to success in all areas of life. Whether you want to excel in your career, triple your income, create an amazing relationship, or just feel happy and satisfied with who you are, self-confidence is…

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Best Books on Building Self Confidence
How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking

Drawing on Dale Carnegie’s years of experience as a business trainer, this book will show you how to overcome the natural fear of public speaking, to become a successful speaker, and even learn to enjoy it.

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Best Books on Building Self Confidence
Bulletproof Confidence
The Art of Not Caring What People Think and Living Fearlessly

Stop making decisions based on fear of failure, rejection, anxiety, and judgment. Break out of your shell and live boldly. All the goals you have, all the people you are jealous of, and the life you want to live are unlocked by one simple key: Bulletproof Confidence. Everybody wants it, but how do you get it?

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Ten Days to Self Esteem

In Ten Days to Self-esteem, Dr. David Burns presents innovative, clear, and compassionate methods that will help you identify the causes of your mood slumps and develop a more positive outlook on life.

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A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem

If you struggle with low self-esteem, or you’re seeking positive and effective ways of building a healthy sense of self-worth, this much-anticipated fourth edition of the best-selling classic by Matthew McKay is your go-to guide. This fully revised edition features an innovative application of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to self-esteem, and utilizes updated cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help you create positive change and thrive.

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Building Self-Esteem
How Learning from Shame Helps Us to Grow

Challenging widely-accepted views within the self-esteem movement, author Joseph Burgo argues that self-esteem does NOT thrive in the soil of non-stop praise and encouragement, but rather depends upon setting and meeting goals, living up to the expectations we hold for ourselves, and finally sharing our joy in achievement with the people who matter most to us.

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Unstoppable Self Confidence
How to create the indestructible, natural confidence of the 1% who achieve their goals, create success on demand and live life on their terms

There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re not broken and you don’t need fixing.Here’s the bad news: 99% of people go through almost their whole lives never really feeling good about who they are, never really liking themselves and never thinking that they are enough. And as a result, they live a life that is a tiny fraction of what it could be, the life they have settled for instead of the life they dreamed of.

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13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do
Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success

Increasing your mental strength can change your entire attitude. It takes practice and hard work, but with Morin’s specific tips, exercises, and troubleshooting advice, it is possible to not only fortify your mental muscle but also drastically improve the quality of your life.

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Love-Yourself Book Cover

Love Yourself
31 Ways To Truly Find Your Self Worth & Love Yourself

From the Best Selling Self-Help Author, Randy Young, comes Love Yourself: 31 Ways To Truly Find Your Self Worth & Love Yourself. This book will improve your life, bring you more joy, and help you get motivated.

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Daring-Greatly Book Cover

Daring Greatly
How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

From thought leader Brené Brown, a transformative new vision for the way we lead, love, work, parent, and educate that teaches us the power of vulnerability. Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on twelve years of pioneering research, Brené Brown PhD, LMSW, dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.

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Make Your Bed
Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university’s slogan, “What starts here changes the world,” he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better.

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Embrace the Suck
The Navy SEAL Way to an Extraordinary Life

During the brutal crucible of Navy SEAL training, instructors often tell students to “embrace the suck.” This phrase conveys the one lesson that is vital for any SEAL hopeful to learn: lean into the suffering and get comfortable being very uncomfortable. In this powerful, no-nonsense guide, Navy SEAL combat veteran turned leadership expert Brent Gleeson teaches you how to transform every area of your life–the Navy SEAL way.

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Meditations on Self-Love
Daily Wisdom for Healing, Acceptance, and Joy

Loving yourself is the key to happiness, fulfillment, and hope―and a positive meditation practice can help you get there. This beautiful book features meditations and affirmations you can do every day throughout the year to get in the habit of thinking positively about yourself and find greater peace and joy.

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The Power of Discipline
How to Use Self Control and Mental Toughness to Achieve Your Goals

Self-discipline is what will keep you focused when all hell is breaking loose and it looks like you are one step away from failure. It will give you the mental toughness required to dismantle the limitations you have placed on yourself and break through all obstacles standing in the way of your goals.

How would you feel if I told you that your inability to achieve your goals does not arise because you are lazy or lack drive, but rather it’s a problem because you have never been taught how to practice self-discipline?

People are not born with self-discipline. Like driving or playing tennis, it’s a skill that you learn. In The Power of Discipline you will gain access to easy-to-read, scientific explanations about self-discipline

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The Ultimate Secrets to Total Self Confidence
A Proven Formula That Has Worked for Thousands

This is no way to live! Like so many others, you can now enjoy your own personal success story by mastering the principles of total self-confidence. Here Dr. Robert Anthony reveals the secrets he has taught in seminars and workshops that have changed thousands of lives. Executive businessmen, star athletes, and celebrities know how total self-confidence can make you soar. And now you can, too.

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The Power of Self-Confidence
Become Unstoppable, Irresistible, and Unafraid in Every Area of Your Life

Why are some people more successful than others? Self-confidence!

What one great goal would you set if you knew you could not fail? What wonderful things would you want to do with your life if you were guaranteed success in anything you attempted?

Your level of self-confidence determines the size of the goals you set, the energy and determination that you focus on achieving them, and the amount of persistence you apply to overcoming every obstacle. In this powerful, practical book based on work with more than 5 million executives, entrepreneurs, sales professionals, and ambitious people in more than sixty countries, you learn how to develop unshakable self-confidence in every area of your life.

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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

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5 Weeks to Self Confidence
A Guide to Confronting Your Inner Critic and Controlling Your Relationship with Your Thoughts

Practice self confidence―produce a more satisfying life

Self confidence and self-esteem shape how we live and view the world―when balanced, our relationships, communication, and daily lives are at their best. This guide to self confidence provides supportive tools to help you take charge of your feelings and overcome doubt on your journey to self-worth, trust, and awareness.

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Self Confidence 101
How to Overcome Self Doubt and Begin to Influence Your Inner Self and Others

Stop doubting your greatness, build self confidence, and discover a proven approach to living a good life with the effective tools in Self-confidence 101.
If you dream of a better life, now is the time to turn your dream into reality. Self-confidence 101 provides the tools you need and are within your grasp, to design a life that is fulfilling on the deepest levels.

In this refreshing self-help guide you’ll be offer powerful principles of conduct that can rapidly transform your life to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. Self-confidence 101 will help you to build a healthy self-image with step-by-step guidance and easy exercises.

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Confidence Hacks
99 Small Actions to Massively Boost Your Confidence

Want to feel more self-assured and motivated in your career? Have you had difficulty speaking up for yourself or saying what you feel? Ready to feel good about who you are, how you look, and your ability to make things happen? Right now, you have goals and dreams for your life. You have many skills, talents, and plenty of intelligence. But sometimes a lack of confidence holds you back from taking action, being your best self, and achieving the success in your work, relationships, and life that you deserve. Every single day, you CAN take small actions to rebuild your confidence so that over time, you emerge as a new person — someone who knows they have what it takes and isn’t afraid to go for it. With an arsenal of small tools at your disposal, you can build a powerful confidence foundation to support you and keep you on track for ongoing success.

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Confidence: Your Practical Training
How to Develop Healthy Self Esteem and Deep Self Confidence to Be Successful and Become True Friends with Yourself

Have you ever considered how many opportunities you have missed and how many chances you have wasted by lacking self-confidence when you need it most?

Have you ever given up on your plans, important goals, and dreams not because you just decided to focus on something else, but simply because you were too SCARED or hesitant to even start, or stick up to the plan and keep going?

Are you afraid of starting your own business or asking for a promotion? Petrified of public speaking, socializing, dating, taking up new hobbies, or going to job interviews?

Can you imagine how amazing and relieving it would feel to finally obtain all the self-esteem needed to accomplish things you’ve always wanted to achieve in your life?

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Stop Checking Your Likes
Shake Off the Need for Approval and Live an Incredible Life

Your freedom’s knocking. Are you ready?

Millions of us waste huge chunks of our days checking our phones and devices, looking for just one more thumbs-up or red heart. It’s the modern measurement of how accepted, wanted, or valued we seem to be. Susie Moore is going to help you shake off the need for that hollow approval and live the incredible, confident life you were meant to live. It’s time to proclaim and celebrate your talents, fend off naysayers, and live your life with magnetism and unshakable self-confidence.

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The Best Confidence-Building Courses

Books have long been my go-to resource for self-improvement material, but nowadays there are plenty of other forms of media that can help you build self esteem.

One of the newest, and potentially most effective, is online courses.

Online courses are great because they combine text information and multimedia formats like video, which can be super helpful in bridging the gap between theory and practice, and putting the best confidence-building advice into action in the real world.

Fortunately, plenty of content creators are aware of this benefit, and have posted confidence-building courses to Udemy, the website that’s basically the Amazon of online courses.

Below are the five highest-rated confidence courses on Udemy, which have helped thousands of people strengthen their self-esteem.

Radiate Confidence: How to Create a 1000 Watt Presence

Helping you unlock your inner light, or presence, so you can easily, effortlessly connect with everyone you meet.

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The Secrets of Confidence and Communication

Learn to remove bad social programming, build expert social skills, and create a natural state of sparkling confidence.

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SELF-CONFIDENCE: 40-minute Confidence & Self Esteem Guide

Boost Your Confidence and Self Esteem, Handle Fear of Rejection, Learn Powerful Body Language, Feel Great About Yourself

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Double Your Confidence & Self Esteem – Complete Blueprint

Confidence. Self Esteem. Social Skills. Social Success. Social & Inner Confidence. Body Language. Charisma. Influence.

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How to Build Confidence in Your Abilities

Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs and Achieve Your Goals

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About Dave Bowden

Dave Bowden

Founder, Irreverent Gent
Author, Man in Command and Stop Doubting, Start Dating
Writer, Really Wordy Author Bios

Dave Bowden is a style blogger, menswear expert and best-selling author (in Canada—but still!) whose advice on how to look good and live well has been featured in New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Men's Health and more.

When not obsessing over style and self-improvement, he can usually be found spending time with his wonderful wife and two amazing sons, indulging in a hoppy craft beer, or sobbing over the woeful state of Toronto's sports teams.

Check out Dave's Style Story to find out how a chance encounter with his friend's step-dad taught him the value of looking good and living well (don't worry—it's less creepy than it sounds!), or email him at [email protected] if you want to get in touch.

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