Best Books That Will Challenge Your Negative Thoughts
Do you constantly think, “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t deserve love.”, “I’m not worthy” and etc?
Positive thinking doesn’t always work, especially when your mind doesn’t believe it.
Most of our mind is conditioned to think negatively since childhood. Not resolving this issue may hinder your progress in life. It may also lead to an inferiority complex, low self-esteem, and other mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
If you have problems with the inner critic, self-blame, and negative self-talk, below is a mixture of self-help and cognitive psychology books to help you overcome your negative thought patterns. Choose one which resonates with you the most.
Bonus: My Book on Dealing with the Inner Critic
Note: The way I look at my books will never be the same as the way I look at other books, so to be fair I rather keep them off the list.
The Disbelief Habit by Yong Kang Chan
Can’t stop the critical voice in your head? Constantly bombarded with negative thoughts?
From an early age, many of us have this critical voice in our head which we called the inner critic. This is the voice that tells us we aren’t good enough.
Instead of overcoming our self-criticism, we make the inner critic our enemy and blame ourselves for having such self-loathing thoughts. Some of us even feel that beating ourselves up is good for us. But how is that working for you?
If you have tried many different techniques to get rid of your inner critic, but nothing seems to be effective, this is the book for you.
This book is about being mindful and doubting your critical thoughts. You can reduce your suffering without silencing your inner critic.
Top 10 Books on Negative Thinking and Positive Self-Talk
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1. What to Say When you Talk To Yourself by Shad Helmstetter
If you have been reading a lot of self-help books or attending a lot of seminars and nothing seems to work for you permanently, it may be because of your mental programming.
Our internal dialogue starts early. By adulthood, as much as 75% of our programming can be negative. These negative mental programming we developed since young hinders our success.
In this classic book on self-talk, you will learn how to recognize and replace negative mental programming with positive and healthy mental scripts. Using proven strategies and skills, you will learn how to overcome negativity and become your own best support.
2. Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey Young and Janet Klosko
The way we think about events in our life determines how we feel about them.
This book helps you identify faulty patterns of thinking, also known as “life traps” in the book. The authors have identified 11 life traps which trigger strong feelings such anger, sadness or anxiety in you. Learning to avoid these traps will help you stop the cycle of self-destruction caused by your negative patterns of thinking.
If you find yourself in repeated, unwanted situations such as being stuck in abusive relationships or unable to have an intimate connection with others, this is the book for you. You may have developed some negative beliefs about yourself which you are unaware of.
3. Breaking Negative Thinking Patterns by Gitta Jacob, Hannie van Genderen and Laura Seebauer
Is your negative thinking keeping you from attaining your goals?
Based on Schema Therapy, this book first helps you understand what drives your emotion, thinking and behavior patterns. Then, it provides strategies to help your overcome these destructive patterns that are holding you back.
This book is the perfect blend of theory and practical application. If you are interested in understanding how your negative thinking patterns are formed, this book is for you.
Even though this book is like a workbook or textbook, it has a lot of relatable case studies which will help you understand the techniques easily.
4. Re-Create Your Life by Morty Lefkoe
Are you feeling a negative sense about yourself and your life? Do you find it hard to change your behavior even if you want to? Your limiting beliefs may be holding you back.
If you want to produce fundamental, lasting change in your life, this book is for you. Based on The Lefkoe Method (TLM) process created by the author himself, this book helps you to identify and eliminate negative limiting beliefs about yourself formed since your childhood. The author suggests you can’t make permanent changes in your life if don’t first unlearn your beliefs.
The Lefkoe Method (TLM) is a logical, step-by-step approach. It’s great for readers who needs something more structural and systematic.
5. Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer
This book addresses the two main problems which most people face — negative thinking and worrying too much about what other people think of them.
When you worry too much about other people’s perception of you, you are giving away your power to them. This book is also about developing self-reliance and taking back control of your life. If you are always looking outside of yourself for self-worth, this is the book for you.
This book also helps you break free from the negative thinking trap. It helps you tackle your self-image problems and overcome guilt, worry and other self-defeating behaviors. You will find a lot of practical advice in this book which can be applied to many different situations.
6. Declutter Your Mind by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport
If you are new to meditation and mindfulness techniques, this book will teach you how. The authors provide step-by-step action steps on how to perform focused deep breathing and meditation.
This book is written for someone who is overwhelmed with a busy mind, self-doubt and negative thinking. It helps you reframe your negative thoughts and declutter other parts of your life such as obligations and relationship which are taking up your mental space.
This book is straightforward, to-the-point and organized. You can quickly move to a particular problem you have and immediately begin to use the strategies presented.
7. Rejection Reset by Scott Allan
Do you feel inferior and ashamed of yourself? Do you struggle with social rejection? If so, this book is for you.
Negative thinking not only affects not your emotional well-being, it also affects your social life. Many people are unaware how their thoughts and their actions affect their ability to function optimally in the world.
This book presents a set of easy-to-use, actionable steps that you can put into use right away. Through the process, you will learn to identify triggers, understand self-defeating thoughts, feelings and behaviors and choose more positive actions.
8. Self Talk, Soul Talk by Jennifer Rothschild
Word are powerful, especially those you speak to yourself.
Warm and humorous, this book blends practicality and spirituality to address self-talk and the way women speak to themselves. Strategies are paired with complementary passages from Scripture.
If you are a Christian woman who is struggling with self-esteem issues, depression and negative thinking, this book is perfect for you. This book is written specifically for women. It also lends itself well to small group study as it includes interactive pages and Scripture passages for discussion.
9. The Power of Neuroplasticity by Shad Helmstetter
After more than 20 years since the published of What to Say When you Talk To Yourself, Dr Shad published yet another book on self-talk. This time based on the concept of neuroplasticity.
For many years, we are taught that the brain is what it is, there’s nothing we can do to change it. But now studies have shown that the brain can change itself with everything we think and experience.
If you have problems with negative thoughts and want to learn how to use positive self talk, this book is for you. It shows you how to rewire your brains to change behavior, patterns of thinking and attitudes.
10. Embracing Your Inner Critic by Hal Stone
If you are suffering from low self-esteem and self-loathing thoughts, this book is for you.
This book talks about negative thinking from an inner critic perspective. We all have this critical voice which thinks it is protecting us from harm. But instead, the self-blame actually causes shame, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Not only that, it sabotages our relationships with others too.
This book is great for those who have a noisy, judgemental mind. It helps you recognize your inner critic and change it into a productive ally.
Hey there, I’m Yong Kang, best known as Nerdy Creator. I’m an author of seven books. I write about spirituality, self-compassion, and mindfulness. I love reading books, especially non-fiction. The list above is a combination of what I have read and my research. Each year, I create a Top 10 list of my favorite books.