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If you know me you know that my favorite thing to do in the entire world (besides eat) is read. Ever since I was little, actually.. before I even knew how to read, I would carry books around with me everywhere. When I didn’t know what the words were, I would make up the stories, pretending I was reading. And then once I really knew how to do the dang thing, watch out world – there was no stopping me. I’d read entire books in one weekend, and then when I had nothing age appropriate left to read, my mom would hand over her Mary Higgins Clark books and Harlequin Romances. Yep. I got quite the education as a kid.
I’m the same to this day (although honestly, here lately my reading has really slowed – hoping I get back on track, soon – because I’m dangerously close to not finishing my 2020 reading goal if I keep up this behavior), but I’ve traded in my Harlequins for the thrillers. I try and stay consistent every couple novels I like to throw in a good personal development book to help me work on the deep stuff.
Three of my favorite books helped me in three very specific, very different, ways. And I think that’s what’s so great; because even though we all have our own deep-seeded issues we need to work through that are different for all of us, I think it’s safe to say that our mindset could use a good makeover every now and then. I’m just woman enough to admit it 😉 We all have insecurities and things we want to improve upon, and some of these books, man.. some of these books know just how to touch on those very things, however different they may be for all of us. So..if you’re in need a self-check, or mindset shift, here are 3 books that I hope bring the same value to you that they brought to me and give your mindset a makeover.
3 Books That Will Give Your Mindset a Makeover
I read Big Magic during a time in my life where I was going through a lot of unhappiness in my career. By all accounts to the outside world, I had “made it.” I was the marketing director of a well known hospital – I had both my Bachelor’s and a Master’s to back myself up, and a big paycheck coming in every two weeks. And I was freaking miserable. I hated everything about my job, the late nights and the early phone calls that left very little time spent with my family. I hated the inauthenticity that I felt came with my role; the “do whatever it takes to make the sale” mentality that had been impounded in my brain. I hated being the lunch-time-caterer for every doctor’s office in town, throwing branded pens behind me like a cloud of confetti. Truth be told, the only thing I really liked about the position was the wardrobe I was acquiring.
All my life, I’ve wanted to be a writer. And then as I got older and started figuring out how fitness was slowly becoming my therapy – I wanted to become a personal trainer. But all of that felt unattainable and downright silly. I had spent years, and thousands of dollars on these degrees – none of which had anything to do with those two paths. And the thought of “doing it anyway” felt selfish and arbitrary.
“You can clear out whatever obstacles are preventing you from living your most creative life, with the simple understanding that whatever is bad for you is probably also bad for your work.”
“Creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that—merely by being here—you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Until I read Big Magic. There are SO MANY NUGGETS in this book and I can’t dedicate the entire post to it, but it changed the way I viewed myself and my abilities – and my calling. It opened up my eyes to the fact that my only limitation in life, is myself. There are no rules when it comes to what I am capable of, and to take it a step further – I owe it to myself and the universe to follow what I have been called to do. Now that’s some powerful stuff right there.
If you have felt like you are holding back; whether it’s because of your own self doubts, or because of the limitations others have placed in your heart, then you need to read Big Magic. It will change the way you look at your life and what you were called to do. Every now and then I send a little prayer of thanks that God put the idea for Big Magic in Elizabeth Gilbert’s heart, because it was that impactful in my life.
This book. Oh this book broke my heart into a million little pieces and then taught me how to put it back together again. I first blogged about this book back in 2016, and I still consider it a must-read that needs to go on your reading list ASAP. When Breath Becomes Air is a memoir written by the late Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with in his 30’s and passed away with stage 4 lung cancer. Given his prognosis, he struggled with the concept of knowing how to spend his remaining time on earth.
“Because I would have to learn to live in a different way, seeing death as an imposing itinerant visitor but knowing that even if I’m dying, until I actually die, I am still living” (Kalanithi, pg. 149-150).
This book gave me a kick in the rear. It helped me open my eyes to saying NO to the things in my life that don’t serve me, and YES to more of the things that bring me happiness. If you’ve struggled with “the days go by so fast” I hope you can capture the beautiful message I received while reading this book, and learn how to make your days count for something meaningful in a way that fills your cup and your heart overflowing.
How cool is it to think that God created us with individual talents and gifts, and that He expects us to USE them? That it’s not indulgent to follow the path we’re GOOD AT, and that we enjoy, and that we feel called to do? Jess Connelly hits the nail on the head with this one, guys.
I can speak from my own experience that I have spent so much time (TOO much time) in my life letting my fears and insecurities hold me back. I’ve let the fear of other’s criticisms, or meanness, or judgement make me feel like I’m not good enough, or that I shouldn’t try. And Jess and I are here to tell you that is NO WAY to live the life that God intended for you.
Jess drives home the message that being the girl for the job isn’t a statement about our capacity, but about God’s capacity – and she encourages and pushes us to stop giving into defeat and disbelief and being to live a bold life filled with purpose each and every day. Even on the days it’s tough, even on the days we don’t want to, because it’s what we were meant to do. It’s time to stop tiptoeing around all the things we think we’re supposed to do, and start actually doing the things we’re meant to do.
“You are the girl for the job, but not every job.” – Jess Connolly