4 Personal Development Books For Women (Must-Reads for 2020)

When I became an entrepreneur in 2016, I suddenly became obsessed with reading personal development books.

I’m not ashamed to admit it wasn’t top of my radar before, but since then I’ve consumed a lot of materials on personal development and advancing my business. 

And I don’t know if you’ve felt the same way but there are so many options, seriously, deciding on the next book was always so hard, which is why I’m such a sucker for a good list.

The following four books have shifted my life in ways, some other books have not, even though they were HIGHLY recommended, so what allowed these four to make the list?

  • They had to grab my attention right away and keep me engaged. I’m really good at focusing, but if I’m not engaged I’m pretty much out!
  • They had to address an important part of my personal development journey. For me, that looks like topics around perfectionism, habits and wanting more out of life.
  • They had to be actionable! I’m a sucker for a great action step and want the books I’m reading to do more than just give me some sweet quotes and sit on my shelf.

So here we are. 

If you’re looking for a new book to help in your personal development journey I can’t recommend these four books enough.

4 Personal Development Books For Women

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

Brené Brown – I mean I seriously love this woman. She’s changed my life with the resources and insight she provides through her work and this book, Daring Greatly was the first book I read.

For my entire life, I’ve struggled with deeply-rooted perfectionism, but it wasn’t until I started diving into her books that I realized how this had been holding me back for years.

From the very first five pages of Daring Greatly I was sobbing, I felt like she was speaking directly to me. If you, like me, struggle with perfectionism I encourage you to check this out first. 

Daring Greatly supported me in truly embracing my vulnerability and empowered me to start sharing my story with the world.

Find it at a local bookstore near you.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own

This was one of the first books I read when I started my business because, if we’re being honest, I needed a little motivation to keep going.

Sonda Rhimes takes us along as she dedicates an entire year to saying yes! I mean can you imagine? It’s a beautiful book on facing your fears and really starting to embrace your authenticity.

Bonus: Listen to this book if you’re able to. Shonda is amazing at narrating her own story and work and made me feel like I was watching one of her shows on ABC #tgit

Find it at a local bookstore near you.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

I’ve always been a goal setter, it’s something I’ve been doing since I was a little girl when my mom would have me write my yearly goals on a notecard.

However, despite my 20+ year dedication to writing goals I’d not given much time and attention to Habits. When I read Atomic Habits by James Clear in early 2020 I was freaking blown away.

I love the combination of science and research with actionable steps (see a theme yet) and the work I implemented from this book has allowed me to live my most aligned year to date. 

I’ve transformed the way I run my business, my personal health, my mental health and my relationships because of daily habits and I have this book to thank.

Run, don’t walk to grab this book and thank me when you’re done.

Find it at a local bookstore near you.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Seriously, what do I say about this book? I’ve never read a book so freaking fast, seriously I’m a slow reader, but I flew through this book.

Every other page, I’d stop and share with my husband Ben something I read because I wanted to invite him along for the journey. The beauty of this book, in my eyes, is the lack of structure. It feels like pieces in time, with no clear flow, but all tying back to the central theme.

Reading Glennon’s story of wanting more out of life and releasing outside expectations to fully love and accept herself is breathtaking. Where I feel most writers shy away from some of the real and raw stories, Glennon embraced them fully.

And don’t worry if you’ve heard the book will make you want to divorce your husband after reading, I’m still happily married, but it did open up a healthy conversation on the type of woman I am and the woman I choose to be in our relationship. I can’t recommend it enough!

Find it at a local bookstore near you.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

I have to close out this list with another one of my favorite’s from Brené Brown. While I think every single book is a gift, I’ve truly gravitated to the two most centered around perfectionism.

In this book, Brené introduces the idea of Wholehearted living and addresses the shame, authenticity and worthiness that comes from struggling with perfectionism.

If you are a recovering or current perfectionist and you read one book, let it be this one. Through Brené work I was able to start fully stepping into my worthiness and authenticity and as a result my business and the trust I was building within my community expanded.

Find it at a local bookstore near you.


After you grab your next book, be sure to let me know how you like it over on Instagram. I’m hanging out @michelleknightco and would love to connect.


P.S. Download the FREE Productivity Guide! I am a BIG fan of using the time we have on this Earth to our full advantage. Learn how to increase your productivity with this free guide.

Jun 19, 2020

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