People say you are what you eat, but at House of Coco, we believe you are what you read. A good book feeds our brains, whether that’s with some much-needed escapism, an inspiring autobiography or self-development.

When it comes to books that help us improve our lifestyle, there are tons to choose from – so where should you start? We asked an expert, award-winning Career Coach Brooke Taylor, about the books she rates for self-development and boosting fulfilment. Invaluable reading incoming!

1. Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny by Martha Beck

This is the first book I recommend to every one of my clients that I work with. Equal parts science and spirituality, psychology and practicality, this book outlines the practical tools for finding what Beck calls “your stargazer self” or your internal guidance system and instilling in you the bravery to follow it wherever it takes you.

A message I believe wholeheartedly is that success is an inside job and true fulfillment can only be found by following your internal guidance system. This book is perfect for anyone who feels lost or needs some help discovering what’s next.

2. The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control by Katherine Morgan Schaffler

Perfectionism is a superpower to be harnessed, not a weakness to be overcome. As a psychotherapist and former on-site therapist at Google (and also my former therapist!) Schaffler helps us to see perfectionism as a power to be harnessed and embraced.

Men are never called perfectionists disparagingly; rather they are celebrated for their pursuit of excellence and high standards. So too should we celebrate rather than pathologize female ambition.

This book is laced with compassionate reframes, actionable insights and endless gold nuggets that every woman needs to embrace her ambition and her power.

3. The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leaders: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, Kaley Klemp

This book is required reading for anyone who wants to lead. We have a crisis of unconscious leadership on our hands- leaders who are operating from fear, scarcity, greed, and selfishness, mostly completely unaware they are doing so.

Conscious leaders, on the other hand, practice 15 powerful commitments, or behaviours, that can radically change how our organizations and teams operate.  I love how this book presents truly paradigm-shifting lessons in very simple language while providing specific actions all people can take to lead and live better.

4. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

This book has radically changed how my clients pursue success. The core idea is that by focusing only on what is most essential at work (and in life) we can enjoy greater success.

For example, choosing only one-two primary objectives for the quarter, doing those exceptionally well, and then adding another priority or goal.

This eliminates the noise, focuses the mind, and allows for rigorous prioritisation. I especially recommend this for working moms, or people with portfolio careers who are juggling multiple priorities.

5. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

This list wouldn’t possibly be complete without Brené Brown. Too often the fear of failure keeps people stuck and separate from their dreams. Brown boldly asserts that it is only through vulnerability that we can become whole, create authentic connections, and live the lives we were meant for. 

My clients who read this book often see failure completely differently and take a new approach to living “in the arena”.  In its namesake quote, Brown cites Theodore Roosevelt in saying “It is not the critic who counts… the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena… who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Award-winning Career Coach, Brooke Taylor, is a global speaker and transformational career coach supporting conscious female leaders and the globe’s leading tech and financial organizations.

Brooke was awarded LA Weekly’s Career Coach to follow for 2023, and The Top Career Coach by The Australian Business Journal. She has helped elevate and transform the lives and careers of over 5,000 women across the globe

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