The 6 Best Life Coaching Books for 2023

african women during therapy session with best life coaching books

Life is full of challenges and opportunities. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind or forced on a particular goal, forget to pay attention, and experience the life around us.

If you want to break free from limiting behaviors and beliefs, gain better self-awareness, and develop new habits and skills to support your professional and personal growth, working with a life coach can help you get there. Reading life coaching books can give you a taste of what to expect if you want to explore the benefits of life coaching.

What Is Life Coaching?

You might come to a crossroads where you think, “What is my purpose?” or “What should I do with my life?” Transformational life coaching is a goal-oriented and collaborative process that enables you to clarify and achieve your life goals, whether personal or professional.

Life coaching empowers you to improve your life by making positive changes. It typically involves a one-on-one session between a coach and a client.

As a life coach, I help you identify your values, strengths, and goals. As we collaborate, I provide deep questioning, support  and accountability as you take action toward achieving your goals.

What Is the Difference Between a Life Coach and a Therapist?

People may use life coach and therapist interchangeably, and while these professionals both help improve quality of life, they have distinct roles. For example, a licensed therapist focuses on treating mental health conditions and helping people work through trauma and other issues from their past.

On the other hand, a life coach focuses on helping you deal with issues like managing a better work-life balance, enhancing creativity, achieving greater financial security, improving communication skills, building stronger relationships, and so on. A life coach does not treat addiction, anxiety disorder, mood disorder, or other mental health issues.

Benefits of Reading Life Coaching Books

The social science research and personal experiences in many life coaching books can help you learn more about yourself and the life-coaching process. Below are some benefits you can gain from reading these books.

Build better self-confidence

A good life coaching book lets you identify areas where you want to improve. For example, this kind of book can educate you on how to surround yourself with positive people, avoid comparing yourself with others, or take care of your body, which can help boost your self-confidence.

Growth mindset

Life coaching books can help you shift your perspective and expand and nurture your mind to embrace challenges gracefully. When you have a growth mindset, you know you can change over time, so you’re more able to face life’s challenges and see them as learning opportunities. Learning about the success and failures of others can motivate you to make changes in your own life.

Improves self-awareness

Many successful people think they are self-aware, but an honest self-evaluation isn’t easy. If you see something you don’t like in yourself, your first reaction might be to defend yourself or make excuses. Reading life coaching books can help you become more curious about yourself. When you start to question why you do what you do, you can improve your self-awareness.

Improves communication skills and relationships

Communication skills are essential in almost every aspect of life, from your career to your family life. Life coaching can benefit your relationships as it can help improve your communication skills.

Better clarity and purpose

Reading life coaching books can help you live with more clarity, purpose, and passion. If you need help clarifying your vision, identifying obstacles preventing you from achieving your goals, and creating action plans, these books can help. And when you’re ready to connect for a season with a real live coach, I look forward to hearing from you!

Top 6 Life Coaching Books to Read in 2023

These life coaching books provide inspiration, guidance, and practical tools to help with personal growth. Here are some of the best life coaching books you should read in 2023.

1. Conscious Coaching

Conscious Coaching

Written by Brett Bartholomew, Conscious Coaching: The Art and Science of Building Buy-In is a comprehensive guide offering insights into a leadership coaching model.

Bartholomew draws on his extensive experience working with pro athletes, olympians, military special forces and business leaders  to help readers learn concrete strategies to apply communications skills in their day-to-day lives. This book will support those who want to build trust, communication, and motivation.

Where to buy:

2. Helping People Change

Helping People Change

In Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth, Richard Boyatzis, Melvin L. Smith, and Ellen Van Oosten present physiological responses to problems to inspire sustained learning and positive change.

They use rich, moving, real-life stories to elaborate their points, making it a go-to book for readers looking for positive energy to support change and navigate difficult times. As it says in the subtitle, they emphasize compassion as a way to connect, learn and grow.

Where to buy: Harvard Business Review

3. Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits is a New York Times best-selling life coaching book by James Clear that elaborates on how tiny changes can lead to remarkable results. It offers a proven framework for improvement; James Clear reveals practical strategies to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to change.

Where to buy:

4. Coach the Person, Not the Problem

Coach the Person

Many coaches rely on asking open-ended coaching questions – that’s certainly how I was trained! – which is a terrific way to help clients open up to new thoughts and ideas. In Coach the Person, Not the Problem, Marcia Reynold, a founder of ICF, reminds coaches that their job isn’t to problem solve, but to support the human in front of them, their client, as THEY problem solve. It’s a little inside baseball, a real book for coaches but non-professionals can benefit from the concepts too.

This book offers five essential reflective inquiry practices: focusing on the person, unwrapping the desired outcome, identifying underlying beliefs, summarizing what is heard and expressed, and articulating insights and commitments. It’s one of my favorites.

Where to buy: Penguin Random House

5. Measure What Matters

Measure What Matters

Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how goal-setting systems of objective and key results (OKRs) have helped many in the industry achieve explosive growth. This book shows how tech giants like Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation rock the world with OKRs, elaborating on proven approaches for profound benefits. Over the last few years, many of my corporate clients are using OKRs as part of business objective settings. This OG book is where it all started.

Where to buy:

6. Playing Big

Playing Big

Playing Big by Tara Mohr is a leadership book designed for women to help them learn how to voice and implement the changes they want to see. It allows readers to overcome self-doubt, identify their callings, unlearn counterproductive good-girl habits, and begin to take bold steps forward.

Where to buy:


Life coaching has numerous benefits, including providing individualized support. To unlock your full potential, read these books, or invest in a personal life coach. Reading these books can help you get unstuck, and implementing the knowledge from these books can help you make more thoughtful choices about your life, and determine an intentional path forward.

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