books to help you pursue your passions

Should You Follow Your Dreams? 6 Books To Help Decide If You Should Pursue Your Passion

books to help you pursue your passionsWe all want to follow our dreams, but sometimes a better question is this: Should you follow your dreams?

Sometimes deciding to pursue your passion can be intimidating, scary, and downright reckless. So often, there are a million different things standing in the way: mouths to feed, responsibilities to cover, and fear. A whole lot of fear.

For me, deciding to pursue my passion took many years, as I was in the same boat as many of you reading this. I couldn’t quit my job and follow my dreams because I had too many responsibilities that couldn’t be neglected. I’m sure you can relate.

Should You Follow Your Dreams?

After many years of hemming and hawing, many years of deliberating, and many years of straight up fear, I decided to take a big step and pursue my passion. I wrote my first children’s chapter book (The Cowboy and the Unicorn), and I no longer had to ask myself “Kristyn, should you follow your dreams?”

It wasn’t easy, and it took a long time to get there. Along the way, I read a plethora of encouraging and inspirational books. Of course, I won’t pretend that it was the books alone that gave me the courage to pursue my passion, but I have to say, they certainly helped. Perhaps they will help you take the plunge and pursue your passion, as well.

Below, you’ll find a list of six books that helped inspire me, encourage me, and make me stop asking “self, should you follow your dreams?” In no particular order:

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own PersonYear of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

Now, I know you know Shonda Rhimes. If you’ve ever watched a moment of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, or How To Get Away With Murder, you’ve likely seen one of Rhimes inspirational speeches spouted by the main character of the show. Yes, Rhimes is the creator and writer of these three shows, and despite the fact that she is a veritable titan when it comes to TV, Rhimes also deals with fear. She’s a self-proclaimed introvert, she doesn’t like to make public appearances, and she is afraid of the first impressions she makes.

Year of Yes is all about getting over those fears. For one year, Rhimes decided to quit saying no, and instead said yes whenever she humanly could. This book tells of Rhimes’ journey to becoming a yes woman. If Shonda can’t answer “should you follow your dreams?” then no one can.

Read a full review of Year of Yes on our sister site, Novel Mom.

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle

Love Warrior: A MemoirLove Warrior: A Memoir

When I read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle, I kept asking myself one question: “Why does Glennon keep telling everyone my deepest secrets?!” In so many ways, Love Warrior is deeply relatable for any woman who has ever had to overcome an insecurity. And let’s be real. That’s all of us.

With Love Warrior, Doyle shares a message of perseverance and forgiveness, fresh beginnings and strong decisions. In reading Love Warrior, you’ll learn that success comes when you stay true to yourself, and for me, that is inspiring.

For the Love by Jen Hatmaker

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible StandardsFor the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards

On the surface, Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love doesn’t seem like a book that would inspire you to pursue your passion. Hatmaker is a well-known Christian blogger who is known for her trademark wit and humor, but For the Love gives the reader so much more than just Hatmaker’s personality. Hatmaker gives the reader entire chapters on finding your calling, giving your fears to God, and pursuing that calling despite the natural desire to flee from challenges.

On Becoming Fearless by Arianna Huffington

On Becoming Love, Work, and LifeOn Becoming Fearless…in Love, Work, and Life

On Becoming Fearless by Arianna Huffington was one of the first motivational books I ever read, and it completely changed my views on success and accomplishment.

Huffington approaches the topic from her own personal experience and from the eyes of her teenage daughters. As she began to notice that her daughters were dealing with fears and insecurities, Huffington began to reflect on the fears that plagued her throughout her life. In writing this book, she demonstrates how she moved past some of those fears. In doing so, she shows other women how to do the same.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and LeadDaring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

When it comes to finding courage and facing fears, Brené Brown is a leading voice in the impacts of vulnerability, shame, and fear. Brown is a research-oriented social worker who studies the ways in which vulnerability manipulates our actions.

And frankly, vulnerability is a huge by-product of the decision to pursue your passion. When you make a decision to follow your dreams, you are opening yourself up—making yourself vulnerable—for the possibility of failure. Luckily, with Daring Greatly, Brown has given us a blue-print for working around that vulnerability and finding success.

Playing Big by Tara Mohr

Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and LeadPlaying Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead

Tara Mohr is a women’s leadership expert and a round speaker who aims to help women fulfill their goals in every area of their lives.

This isn’t just a book for big business women, it’s a book for every woman who feels that there are holes in their lives. With Playing Big, Mohr has created a program that encourages women in all walks to live life to the fullest.

Are you still thinking about if  you should follow your dreams?  Pick up one of the books above for some inspiration.

Or, have you read any books lately that have encouraged you to pursue your passion? Let us know what’s good in the comments below.


  • Heather November 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Found and love this list Kristyn! Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your book!!!

    • MyBookLists December 18, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you so much, Heather! 🙂


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