Maximising your potential
Self-help books on Maximising your potential
There are so many popular psychology texts in the shops that it can be difficult to know where to begin. This set of book-lists was compiled by staff of the University Counselling Service to respond to those students who have asked us what they might read on this topic.
Our selection is not intended to be the 'final word' - we are sure that there are many other good and helpful books out there; in any case we recognise that what is helpful is very subjective and depends on personal circumstances.
Books are listed in alphabetical order by author. Copies of some of these books are available to borrow on a weekly basis from the University Counselling Service.
The descriptions given are intended to provide a summary of the contents but should not be taken to imply that the Counselling Service endorses the opinions expressed.
Maximising your potential
Date of information: Jan 2006, updated Feb 2010
When Perfect Isn't Good Enough
M Antony & R Swinson, New Harbinger, 2009
Perfectionism becomes a problem when it interferes with completing a task, impairs relationships or otherwise interferes with life. This book explores the causes and offers cognitive behavioural strategies for overcoming it and helps to challenge unrealistic expectations.
Overcoming Anger and Irritability
William Davies, Robinson, 2000
A CBT self-help book to help you manage the way that you respond to provocation.
Just Do It Now: How to become the person you most want to be
Lynda Field, Vermillon, 2001
Just Do It Now is about how to create the reality you want, overcome obstacles and realise the powerful effects of your own thoughts. It shows how you can overcome a natural fear of change by going ahead anyway and doing whatever you would secretly love to do.
Daniel Goleman, Bloomsbury, 1996
In this book, the author argues that our IQ-idolising view of intelligence is far too narrow. He makes the case for self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation, empathy, the ability to love and other emotional attributes as being stronger indicators of human success.
The Nice Factor Book
Jo Ellen Grzyb & Robin Chandler, Pocket Books, 2000
Explores techniques to help people choose a different way of behaving than they are used to; intended to put them back in control of their lives.
Gael Lindenfield, Harper Collins, 2000
A self-help guide attempting to reveal what it is, how exactly it can help us and why it is so often elusive. Aimed at encouraging the reader not to procrastinate.
Success from Setbacks
Gael Lindenfeld, Harper Collins, 2000
The author sets out to show how this skill is something that can be developed, and how apparent disasters might be converted into opportunities for success and personal growth.
Block - Getting out of Your Own Way
Abigail Lipson & David Perkins, Lyle Stuart, 1990
Seeks to answer to some common questions such as "Why can't I get out of bed in the morning?" or "Why can't I get my work done on time?" This book doesn't offer instant solutions but provides a framework for changing some of the failures of will-power many of us face.
A Life of One's Own
Marion Milner & Joanna Field, Virago, 1986
How often do we ask ourselves, 'What will make me happy? What do I really want from life?' Marion Milner, the author of this remarkable book, first published in 1934 under the pseudonym Joanna Field, set herself to grapple with this problem. Written in the spirit of a detective story searching out clues, the reader quickly becomes involved in the chase.
The Road Less Travelled
M Scott Peck, Vintage/Ebury, 1999
Suggests ways in which facing our difficulties might enable us to reach a higher level of personal understanding. The author discusses the nature of loving relationships: how one might recognise true compatibility, distinguish dependency from love, and become one's own person.
Isn't It About Time: How to overcome procrastination and get on with your life
Andrea Perry, Worth Publishing, 2002
Full of useful ways to overcome procrastination, and to create a more satisfying, exciting and productive life. Andrea Perry shows how to identify how you block your natural tendency to be effective and creative, and how to build on your strengths and give your tendency to procrastinate something better to do.
It's About Time: the six styles of procrastination and how to overcome them
L Sapadin & J Maguire, Viking, 1996
Understand why you procrastinate and how to change! Through self-diagnostic quizzes, this book can help you define your procrastination style(s), be it Perfectionist, Dreamer, Worrier, Defier (including passive-aggressive), Crisis-Maker or Overdoer, and give you ideas about how to motivate yourself to stay on track, no matter how discouraged you may feel.
Life and How to Survive It
Robin Skynner & John Cleese, Hutchinson Children's Books, 1996
Seeks to act as a "map" to guide people through their everyday lives and help them retain their individuality while co-operating in joint endeavours. It also explores the nature of competition and sportsmanship, of humour in relation to health, and of change and how to except it.
Change For The Better
Elizabeth Wilde McCormick, Sage Publications Ltd, 2008
Presents an easy-to-follow programme that helps to develop insights into the old patterns that govern our choices. It shows how to identify unhelpful patterns of behaviour and how to go about changing them in a realistic way.