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The Best Books to Read When You Feel Scared or Stuck

A few years ago, I was experience a lot of new lows. Hunter and I had moved to a new state and were miserable and lonely. We wanted to come home and be near family and the mountains, but we felt like leaving was an epic failure. We were processing the heartbreak of secondary infertility, grappling with some huge faith/ identity questions, and the cherry on top: my attempt at running a small business was just adding to our debt. I felt sad and so STUCK.

Maybe you can relate?

It took several months of counseling for me to realize one life-changing truth. We're never truly stuck. The choices were MINE to make... some of them were hard choices, and some of them disappointed other people. But that mindset shift set me on a new path. I chose to grieve the pregnancies we wouldn't have, so I could heal and be ready to grow our family in a new way: adoption! I chose to step back from a belief system that told me I wasn't good enough, so I could explore spirituality in a way that felt empowering and truly freeing. I chose to take what I learned from my failed hand-lettering business attempt, and keep trying... which led to Ten Thousand Cookies. It's amazing to me how it all came together to create this beautiful thing!

Throughout those years of growth and exploration, I did a lot of reading. These 3 books were the most influential in a time that needed help choosing courage over fear. I felt scared and stuck, and these amazing authors gave me a new vocabulary and inspired me to be brave.

I hope you love them as much as I do!

Can you have a book list about courage that DOESN'T include Brene Brown? She's the queen of vulnerability and bravery, and one of my favorite authors ever. I would recommend reading everything she's ever written, but that might be overwhelming. So just start here:

Rising Strong, by Brene Brown

Most of Brene's work centers around vulnerability, and the rewards we find when we're willing to take risks and lean into our fears. But I especially love Rising Strong, because it's all about how to start again, AFTER failing. Because is inevitable when we're living our best lives, but we can learn to look at the fall as chance to learn and start again stronger!

I'm sure you know her from SNL and Mean Girls. Yes, she's hilarious, but did you also know she's ridiculously inspiring? Bossypants made me laugh out loud multiple times, but it also made me feel seen and understood in a powerful way.

Bossy pants, by Tina Fey

Tina has a gift for sharing an embarrassing story in a way that makes you laugh until you're crying, and then somehow you totally relate and your empowered and you want to go make your dreams come true. It's a real gift.

You Are a Badass. If it sounds more like a pep talk from your best friend, than a self-help book... that's because it is. :) Jen Sincero is hilarious, honest, relatable, and talks about growth and courage in a way that's not weird or intimidating.

You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero

I mean the tagline says it all: How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.

I hope you love these as much I did (and still do, I'm always going back to these three). And if you're in the thick of it, and feeling overwhelmed with fear and self-doubt: You are not alone! Find a copy of one of these and just know that we've all been there, and there is SO MUCH waiting for you on the other side. :)

**PS these links are to my amazon store, so I do get a small commission if you buy through the link. But the books themselves are truly my very favorite! And if you want even MORE books to be inspired and encouraged by, check out my entire book store.