Here is a series of  book list about different aspects of self expression that will support you on your journey to greater self confidence.  You will see my comments on each book. Most of the books I have read or have been recommended to me by others. I hope you will find them helpful.

You can click on the button which will take you to the Amazon website.

There are four categories:

  • books about confidence and self expression
  • books to help you with a career change
  • books to help you with challenging people
  • books on relationships
  • books for uncovering the deeper causes of low confidence

Books about Confidence and Self Expression

From Wallflower to Sunflower – the quiet person’s path to natural self-confidence

by Claire Schrader (Paperback – 13 March 2017)

My new book tells my story of how as a wallflower, I stumbled by chance on a very simple and effective way to build a natural and lasting confidence.

It explains how the Sunflower Effect (the confidence-building system I have developed using an adapted form of drama),  can move from “Wallflower to Sunflower” – to becoming naturally self-confident. 

The book is highly practical, grounded in psychology and offers a step-by-step guide with proven strategies, practical tips, exercises and free online resources.

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The Chimp ParadoxThe Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness

by Prof Steve Peters (Paperback – 5 Jan 2012)

I recommend this to all my clients because half the problem is the Critical Voice – that is constantly undermining your confidence and self esteem. I refer to this extensively in my book: From Wallflower to Sunflower

He calls this primitive part of our brain, “the Chimp”, which is a much more accessible way of understanding this part of ourselves.

In very simple terms, he helps you to understand how the different parts of your brain function,  and how you can manage and overcome the Chimp/Critical Voice  and create a more positive way of thinking.

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QuietQuiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

by Susan Cain (Hardcover – 29 Mar 2012)

The best book I’ve read about being an introvert. Susan Cain has taken the world by storm with her books and given hope to so many introverts. She’s done an enormous amount of research to deepen your understanding of what it is to be an introvert.

Essential reading if you are an introvert. She started The Quiet Revolution  encouraging introverts to take their place in the world – and raising awareness of the unique qualities of introverts.

You may also want to check out Jackie Cann’s website Inspiring Introverts. Jacqui lives in Brighton and has set up this website to support other introverts break out of their box.

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Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic and Worry

by Catherine M Pittman and Elizabeth M Kale

This book is highly recommended if you suffer from anxiety in any form. It helps you to understand how anxiety is triggered through the amygdala in your brain, and offers exercises that will help you to overcome this. I am delighted to discover that their key strategies for overcoming anxiety is practiced and built on in my courses which is why tehy are so effective.

Combined with my courss and practicing these exercises when your anxiety response is triggered, will help you to take control of anxiety in your life – and eventually get rid of it!

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Goodbye to Shy: 85 Shybusters That Work!

by Leil Lowndes (Paperback Aug 2006)

If shyness is on your radar, this book has lots of very helpful information and tips.

Combined with the Breakthrough Group, (I don’t believe that shy people stop being shy through reading a book), Leil will help you to understand how you are getting in your own way – and how you can get out of it. I really like what she says about the importance of eye contact.

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Highly Sensitive PeopleThe Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You

by Elaine N. Aron (Paperback – 16 Aug 1999)

Are you highly sensitive? Most of my clients are. When you are that sensitive it means you haven’t got that tough skin that will enable you to survive the knocks that are an inevitable part of our social interactions with other people.

Understanding your sensitivity and how you can manage expectations, will help you to take charge of your life.  Many people’s lives have been changed by reading this book.

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The Charisma MythThe Charisma Myth: Master the Art of Personal Magnetism

by Olivia Fox Cabane (Paperback – 4 Apr 2013)

This an excellent book for helping to build charisma. It is the core text for the Charisma course.We drew on it also for the Mega ME Charisma workshop.

Olivia Fox shows us that we all have the capacity to nurture charisma, and drama is of course one of the most powerful ways of developing it. There are a number of fabulous exercises to help you develop more “presence”.

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

by Chris Anderson

I find this guide to public speaking so very approachable. I have the audio version because Chris Anderson’s voice is so encouraging. He makes you believe that anyone can do it.

A really great companion if you are doing the Finding Your Voice Course 

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Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds

by Carmine Gallo (Paperback 2017)
Even if you don’t have aspirations to ever do a TED talk, there are some great tips in this book to put you in the right mindset if you need to do any kind of public speaking. Much of what is talked about in this book is reinforced in both the Finding Your Voice Course and the Charisma course.

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action

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Free Play

Free Play: Power of Improvisation in Life and the Arts

by Stephen Nachmanovitch (Paperback – 1 Oct 1993)   

A lovely book about the importance of play and creative expression in our lives. This is how the Sunflower Effect works. Without play and creativity, the process would not achieve such powerful effects.

We all need to play – not just artists. If you are in a career that doesn’t allow you to play, it is important that you find a way to play in your life  – your way of playing using your skills and interests. If you don’t find it, it will find you!

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Impro (Performance Book)Impro (Performance Books): Improvisation and the Theatre

by Keith Johnstone (Paperback – 31 Jul 2007)

This book is aimed at performers – but will help you understand why improvisation is such an important skill in your life. 

I was very fortunate that I was exposed to Keith Johnstone’s work at a crucial time. It enabled me to reverse the effects of being far too much in my analytic brain – and to discover the creative potential that has been buried inside me. It freed me up is so many way – one of which was to rid me of social awkwardness – the “I don’t know what to say” improvisation course is based on what I discovered.

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Molecules of EmotionsMolecules of Emotion: why you feel the way you feel

by Candace Pert (Paperback – 1 Mar 1999)

This is an excellent book to understand how your emotions run you and what you can do about it. Candice Pert is a neuroscientist also gets across scientific ideas in a way than even I can understand!

I wrote an article inspired by her ideas, which will help to understand why working through the Sunflower Effect is so effective at dissolving the power of negative emotions. Article: The Curse of Emotions  overcoming negative emotions

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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

by Byron Katie (Paperback – 27 Jun 2002)

Fantastic book if you are stuck in anger, resentment and any of those overpowering negative emotions. This book will show you a pathway out of this.

The method is very simple but the effect profound – giving you a way of freeing yourself from these negative states.

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Books for when you’re looking for a new job or a career change

The Work we were born to doThe Work We Were Born To Do

by Nick Williams (Paperback – 1 Jul 2010)

Doing work that really inspires you is so important for your confidence. You will excel in this and so your confidence will flourish.

I have met Nick many times and he is a great man. Essential reading if you are at a career crossroads.

What colour is your parachute - WorkbookWhat Color Is Your Parachute? Job-Hunter’s Workbook, Fourth Edition

by Richard N. Bolles (Paperback – 14 Aug 2012)

This workbook is great buy for putting the parachute book into practice.

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Be your own life coachBe Your Own Life Coach: How to Take Control of Your Life and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams

by Fiona Harrold (Paperback – 6 Dec 2001)

This is a great book – if you are at a turning point in your career or not quite sure what you want to do with your life, or find yourself blocked or stuck.

There are some lovely exercises for building self-confidence and seeing yourself in a different light. She says we may not all be beautiful but we can be gorgeous!

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The Solution Focus BookThe Solutions Focus: Making Coaching and Change SIMPLE

by Paul Z Jackson, Mark McKergow (Paperback – Dec 14, 2006)

This will enable you to look at your problems in a completely different way. Instead of looking at what wrong in your life, start to look at what’s working – and build on that.

I’ve met Mark McKergow – and was inspired by his approach.

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Books that will help you to manage the Difficult/Challenging  people that can make your life a misery

Dealing with PeopleDealing with People You Can’t Stand, Revised and Expanded Third Edition: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst

by Dr Rick Brinkman & Dr Rick Kirschner (Paperback – July 2012)

This is a fantastic book to help you deal with the really testing people that work in most organisations. I use this book as the background for the Dealing with Difficult People course. I wish I’d known about these strategies years ago.

This is the latest version with extra material for dealing with difficult family members so well worth

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Dealing with difficult peopleDealing with Difficult People (UK Edition): 24 Lessons for Bringing Out the Best In Everyone

by Dr Rick Kirschner & Dr Rick Brinkman (Paperback – 1 May 2007)

This is actually a much simpler book, much clearer and much easier to grasp the basic principles, and adapted for our UK sensibilities. But the book above is more comprehensive.

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Dealing with Relatives (Even When You Can’t Stand Them): Bringing Out the Best in Families at Their Worst Paperback

by Dr Rick Kirschner & Dr Rick Brinkman  – 1 Nov 2002

This book supplements their other books – but focuses on the difficult people you can find in families: meddlers, martyrs and judges.

The patterns you set up in your family tend to get repeated in other relationships. So this is why it is so important to resolve the issues with your family so you can walk free.

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 Dealing with Difficult People (Creating Success)

 by Roy Lilley (Paperback – 3 Aug 2016)

This covers some of the same material but in a slightly different way. Also gives you some help with dealing with difficult bosses, colleagues, staff and helps you manage difficult cyber situations

I also use this book as the background for the Dealing with Difficult People course.

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Books on Relationships

Romantic relationships can be the primary cause of low confidence. But problems in your relationship can equally be unconsciously caused and promoted by you. And so they are opportunities for deep growth.  If you are in an unhappy relationship, alongside identifying whether your partner’s behaviour falls into categories described in the Dealing with People You Can’t Stand books, see if any of these book can help.

Path to LovePath To Love: Spiritual Lessons for Creating the Love You Need

by Deepak Chopra (Paperback – 6 Jan 2000)

Your relationships can often be the source of low confidence. Are you in the right relationships for you? Most people are programmed to think about relationships in a very narrow way – according social or family expectations. Or they are afraid of leaving a relationship that’s toxic to them because it will upset other people or because they feel they will have failed.

Wonderful book about relationships which helped me see relationships in a different way.

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I need your loveI Need Your Love – Is That True?: How to find all the love, approval and appreciation you ever wanted

by Byron Katie (Paperback – 7 Apr 2005)

As humans most of us are wired to take too seriously the opinions of other people. Do you take to heart the judgments and criticisms of others.

Byron Katie say quite simply “What other people think of you is non of your business.” This book will really help you to move out of neediness, and enable you to hear other people’s opinions without taking them too personally.

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The Relationship Handbook: A Simple Guide to Satisfying Relationship

This book comes highly recommended from a Making Moves participant.

He says: “The context of the book is relationships in life, whether partners, friends etc. However, for me personally, the value of the book is really found in the chapters on moods, emotions and compassion for others.”

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Books for Uncovering the Deeper Causes of Low Confidence

Awakening the Heroes withinAwakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform the World

by Carol S. Pearson (Paperback – 7 Jan 2016)

This is another book that I recommend to many of my clients. It has been a kind of bible for me to help me to understand what makes us tick and where we can get stuck though “Archetypes” – the cast of characters that live within us.

Carol Pearson is a Jungian – so you may find some of her language a little difficult but don’t let that put you off.  Do her questionnaire in the back of the book which will help you to understand the archetypes that are most prominent in your life, right now. Then look up the archetype descriptions.

Good sections to look at are the Innocent, the Orphan, the Caretaker, the Destroyer, the Fool and the Magician.

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Soul's Code BookThe Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling

by James Hillman (Paperback – 2 Oct 1997)

James Hillman’s amazing book will help you to look at some of the blockages and problems in your life in a completely different way. He turns upside-down the proposal that our early life experiences have blocked us from fulfilling our potential. He suggests that these blockages are actually just what we need to fulfill our deepest potential.

Hillman examined the lives of individuals who achieved amazing feats in their lives and how they overcame their initial disadvantages. The book will inspire you to move beyond blame into possibility.

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Women who run with the wolves bookWomen Who Run With The Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman (Classic Edition)

by Clarissa Pinkola Estes (Paperback – 7 Feb 2008)

This is a book I recommend to many of my clients. Each chapter is inspired by a story and delves into each story to find universal truths. So although a book written for women, essentially it about claiming your “wild side” as a way of freeing yourself from the things that keep you living a “small life”.

The two chapters I return to again and again is the on about the Ugly Duckling and importance of finding your “tribe”, and the chapter about intuition.

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Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma

by Peter Levine (29 Sep 1997)

Fantastic book if you’ve been through traumatic life experiences – even small ones.

Traumatic events are often the root of low confidence. Peter Levine shows you how animlas in nature deal with trauma. They shake. But through the process of becoming more civilised, most humans repress and shut down these traumatic effects – resulting in a wide range of symptoms and effects that are very hard to release. He shows you how these effects can be reversed.

A woman's worth - BookA Woman’s Worth

by Marianne Williamson (Paperback – January 1, 2003)

A wonderful book – in which the famous quote that is often attributed to Nelson Mandela, was taken: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate….” 

This is a great book for women.

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SynchrodestinySynchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles

by Deepak Chopra (Paperback – 7 Jul 2005)

Fascinating book about synchronicity – something that many people start experiencing when they do my courses. Suddenly someone walks into their lives, or something happens that enables them to revaluate thier priorities and find a much more fulfilling path.

This book will show you how and why this works – and help you to tap into the power of intention – bringing left and right brain together. I speak about the importance of intention in my courses – as opposed to goals. Intention is magical because its an on-going process, but also

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The Endorphin EffectThe Endorphin Effect: A breakthrough strategy for holistic health and spiritual wellbeing

by William Bloom (Paperback – 3 Nov 2011)

Releasing endorphins is something that happens automatically in my course and workshops. This  because when  you express yourself powerfully in the spirit of play, you naturally generate endorphins.
But what about when you are no longer around that supportive atmosphere? How do you deal with the negative emotions that surface. This is a book I recommend to many people – to help them shift negative states and bring out self healing.

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Sacred Contract BookSacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential

by Caroline Myss (Paperback – 5 Aug 2002)

Why has your life been so difficult? Have you had more than your fair share of disasters.

Caroline Myss is a medical intuitive. She suggests that maybe you set up a “contract” to live this life. By exploring the nature of the contract, she helps you to understand a way forward through the difficulty to triumph.

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