The 10 Most Influential Books for My Journey to Women’s Empowerment

The following 10 books made a significant impact on my journey towards women’s empowerment and fulfillment. All of them speak directly to a part of my journey, and many have directly inspired and shaped my coaching program.

Some of these books address very specific concerns, and some have a much wider audience and appeal. Not everyone’s journey looks the same, so it stands to reason that our bookshelves will not look the same either. (Wouldn’t that be boring?) But these books have been great companions for my journey, and the insights they contain may help you, too.

If you are struggling with shame or past hurts…
if you have been living life by default…
if you have never thought of yourself as a leader…
if you’re looking for tools to help you in professional networking and personal relationships…
if you could benefit from loving yourself as much as your neighbor…
these books may speak to you, too.
1. Shatter Shame and Shine: Transformational information and guidance for women silently struggling with their issues of childhood abuse, pain, or trauma, and for those who think they are not
by Maryalice Coleman

The author Maryalice and I share a very deep connection in our journeys from fear, doubt and shame to a life of hope and empowerment: we both grew up in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic parent.

I was with Maryalice when I had my “aha!” moment. During our conversation, she said the words I will never forget: “Sounds like you’ve had the same experiences as I had. You must be an ACOA.”

I had no idea what an ACOA was. After realizing that I did identify as an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA), I began doing research and found the courage to tell my story. I created my signature talk, “How to Heal from the Effects of an Alcoholic Family and Create the Life you Love.”
2. After the Tears: Helping Adult Children of Alcoholics Heal Their Childhood Trauma

by Jane Middelton-Moz and Lorie L. Dwinell

This is book has been a Godsend to me after determining and recognizing that I had a problem: I was in fact an ACOA and my past had influenced my future in so many ways that I wasn’t aware of. This book brought to light my many character defects. I learned that my self-confidence and self-esteem issues stemmed from growing up in a dysfunctional family and that I developed certain coping skills in order to survive my childhood trauma. I also came to the conclusion that the coping skills (my cognitive life raft) would no longer serve me as an adult. I had to make a conscious decision to deal with my past issues or face a future of mediocrity. I knew I had the desire to live a more fulfilling life and believed that there was a possibility that I could.
 3. Live Your Dreams
by Les Brown

I began my personal development and growth journey with Les Brown. I recognized that I needed to improve my communication and speaking skills, to shed the limited self-beliefs that would no longer serve me in my adult life. So, I made the decision that I no longer wanted to live my life with unfilled dreams and sought the experts in the fields of personal development, such as Les Brown.

I was drawn to Les Brown’s teachings like a moth to a flame. Why? Because he made me laugh. His book inspired me to say “yes” to life.

But his influence and inspiration didn’t stop there: I signed up for Les Brown’s Create Your Way to Greatness course and received a Certificate of Completion. It was one of the best decisions of my life. Plus, I conquered my fear of flying alone by traveling to attend his workshop in Los Angeles, California.
 4. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You
by John Maxwell

To tell you the truth, I never pictured myself as a leader until I studied under the tutelage of John Maxwell and his team. John Maxwell’s principles opened up my eyes and dispelled a lot of the myths that I had about leadership.

“Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.”
“Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

John Maxwell has written over 80 books on the topic of leadership — many of which I have read — but the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership are the principles I truly try to live my life by. If you learn, live, and apply these laws, people will follow you. If you don’t, you will struggle in becoming a leader.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t claim to have mastered all of these laws. There are some that I have learned and live out in my life, but I still have a long way to go to fully embrace all 21 of them.

After completing John Maxwell’s 6-month online course, webinar training, and curriculum — which included the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership — I became a Certified John Maxwell Team Leadership Coach. I had to make a trip to Palm Beach, Florida to receive my final training to complete my certification. I am now a Founding Partner of the John Maxwell Team, Certified Leadership Coach with only 500 members who now hold this esteemed status.

This accolade and accomplishment has opened the door and provided the platform for me to continue improving my speaking and facilitation skills to audiences who attend One Business Connection (1BC) Networking and Referral Groups Monthly Leadership/Success events. I also facilitate and lead two local referral groups for 1BC.
 5. Believe It! Become It! How to Hurdle Barriers and Excel Like Never Before
by Paula Noble Fellingham

This book has influenced me in my journey towards women’s empowerment. I first picked it up after being introduced to the Women’s Information Network (WIN). The WIN is a global network of women who, under the guidance of CEO and founder Paula Noble Fellingham, are making a difference in the lives of women worldwide by putting on Women’s Empowerment Events. I am a Colorado Event Director for the Denver Metro area, and look forward to sharing these truths with my audiences here in Colorado. I have studied the book extensively and have it to be very inspiring and life changing.
 6. Think and Grow Rich
by Napoleon Hill

This book was never even on my radar of books to read until I was invited to my first official Master Mind group of successful entrepreneurs and business owners.

It was after attending this Master Mind group that I truly learned and experienced the true power of the Master Mind that Napoleon Hill talks about in his book Think and Grow Rich.

Think and Grow Rich was given to each one of the attendees of the Master Mind group. I read it as part of the assignment, and it wasn’t long before everyone in the group started to have significant, major breakthroughs in our personal and professional lives.
 7. Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life
by Nancy D. O’Reilly, PSYD

Now is the time…

Have you ever walked into a bookstore, felt immediately drawn in by the myriad of books (particularly in the self help/personal development section), and experienced one particular book standing out and calling to you? This is that book for me.

After reading the cover and back, I was very inspired and intrigued about this book and decided to take it home and read it. I devoured the pages cover to cover in one day. I’m so glad that I did!

This book screamed women’s empowerment to me and helped propel me into my new career as a women’s empowerment life coach.

When I received the clarity and validation as to what my life’s purpose and passion was, I started my down my path of fulfilling my vision to help other women heal and transform from a life of fear, doubt and pain to a life of hope and empowerment. Then, my women’s empowerment life coach program was born, including my group workshops and one-on-one coaching sessions.
 8. The Missing Commandment: Love Yourself: How Loving Yourself the Way God Does Can Bring Healing and Freedom to Your Life
by Jerry and Denise Basel

This book was a gift from a very special friend of mine.

Growing up in a dysfunctional family, I never learned self-love; most of my time was occupied with trying to survive my childhood and taking care of the needs of other family members. My needs didn’t matter.

This book opened my eyes to how much God truly does care about me and that self-love can go a long way to heal and transform my broken life — if I allow it.
9. Beauty for Ashes: Receiving Emotional Healing

by Joyce Meyer

This book is very near and dear to me. I received it as a gift from my very close and dearest friend, a relative of mine.

I have a very deep spiritual connection with this person, as well as sharing similar life experiences. We share with each other freely and openly, as we both grew up in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic parent. We have been supportive of each other and helped each other heal and transform through the power of prayer and unconditional love. This friendship that we have developed over the past 45 years has continued to develop and grow stronger each day. The strong bond we share is like a sisterhood like none I have never known.
10. How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination

by Sally Hogshead

This book came to me through a webinar that another dear friend of mine recommended I attend.

After taking this Fascination Advantage Assessment online, I received my customized report based on Sally Hogshead’s extensive research on what fascinates listeners and I learned my top two Fascination Advantages in Communication.

This book has proven to be a valuable communication tool and resource in developing relationships in professional networking environments and social interactions with others, including my family.
Do some of these books speak to you and where you are on your journey? Are you interested in having an unbiased guide as you continue on your path? Sign up for a complimentary coaching session today, and let’s see if my coaching program might be a good fit for you.