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Confidence: Overcoming Low Self-Esteem, Insecurity, and Self-Doubt Hardcover


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Confidence: Overcoming Low Self-Esteem, Insecurity, and Self-Doubt + Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results + Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hudson Street Press (October 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594631263
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594631269
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Confidence nails it—if you want to achieve great things, you are better off being your own worst critic than your own biggest fan. Read this book and you will never look at the concept of self-esteem the same way again.”— Laura Vanderkam, author of All The Money In The World and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast
 
“Chamorro-Premuzic has rethought confidence – shattering myths about what generates confidence but also reassessing low confidence as a positive attribute. A fresh, more balanced, approach, presented in a well-researched, accessible, and, indeed, enjoyable format. I like this book: a lot.”—Robert Kelsey, author of What’s Stopping You?
 
“I can't remember the last time I finished reading a book and wanted to applaud.  Confidence is a life-changing book - it will convince you, through brilliant arguments and an abundance of compelling evidence, that much of the advice you've been given on how to be successful is worse than useless.  In fact, it's been holding you back.  Before you read anything else, read Confidence.”—Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD author of Focus and Succeed
 
“Maybe you have always intuited, as most sensitive people do, that all the talk about boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem is not the answer to success or happiness.  This charming and thoroughly fact-based book will give you the evidence to back your wisdom, that being kind and competent works best.”—Elaine Aron, PhD, author of The Highly Sensitive Person and The Undervalued Self                                               

About the Author

TOMAS CHAMORRO-PREMUZIC, PhD, is a professor at University College London (UCL) and visiting professor at New York University. He is the author of six books (most recently, Personality 101) and also writes regular blogs for Harvard Business Review and Psychology Today. He lives in London and New York, and frequently appears in the media.

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Customer Reviews

I realize this story isn't science but it helped me believe the ideas in book more.
C. Groves
I'm sorry, but I think the author needs to get his definitions straight her, it's too confusing and that's a shame because his message is otherwise great.
Reader2.0
From my observation over my business career, I think the reality is you can be quite successful by being confident and not highly competent.
Peter Baugh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In this thoughtful and thought-provoking book, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic observes, "The main difference between people who lack confidence and those who don't is that the former are unable (or unwilling) to distort reality in their favor. That's right, the successful distortion of reality is the chief underlying reason so many people don't experience low confidence when they should. Whereas pessimism leads to realism, optimism promotes the fabrication of alternative realities -- lying, not to others, but to themselves."

In this context, I am reminded of Bud Tribble's comments about Steve Jobs, quoted by Walter Isaacson in his biography of the insanely great innovator: "Steve has a reality distortion field. In his presence, reality is malleable. He can convince anyone of practically anything. It wears off when he's not around, but it makes it hard to have realistic schedules." According to Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, "His reality distortion is when he has an illogical vision of the future, such as telling me that I could design the BREAKOUT game in just a few days. You realize that it can't be true, but he somehow makes it true." Debi Coleman recalls, "He reminded me of Rasputin. He laser-beamed in on you and didn't blink. It didn't matter if he was serving purple Kool-Aid. You drank it." Isaacson adds, "At the root of the reality distortion field was Jobs's belief that the rules didn't apply to him." In this and in countless other respects, Steve Jobs was indeed one-of-a-kind.

For most of us, Chamorro-Premuzic asserts -- and I agree -- that we should not aspire to have high confidence, but to have high competence. If we focus on achievement, it will increase self-confidence naturally diminishing low self-esteem, insecurity, and self-doubt.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Groves on October 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really needed to hear this message. I always thought that high confidence was a key to success, and sometimes i would end up faking it to try to succeed. They say the truth will set you free, and so it does. This book proves that overconfidence is detrimental to success, and in most cases underconfidence aids success and improvment. The author also acknowledges that you need to appear confident for others to think you are competent, but says not let that communication of competence go to your head.

Its been 4 days so far since i read the book, and I will say that my social interactions have much improved since taking a humble/low confidence approach to my interactions. I make less social mistakes and when I am not confident or nervous it no longer flusters me because i know that my underconfidence might actually be benifiting me, as opposed to feeling like it is hurting me.

I also tested low confidence vs faked high confidence attitudes on some brain games i have. The scores while acting humble were almost twice as high as focusing on being supercondident. Maybe this happened because focusing on confidence was distracting and may have also keptme disengaged. Also acting humble/lowconfidence got me some of the highest scores i have ever gotten on these brain games (see luminosity). I realize this story isn't science but it helped me believe the ideas in book more.

The only drawback is that the book can be redundant at times and a 2 out of the 8 chapters were uninteresting to me.(health and dating chapters) It gave some vague advice on these topics compared to other books dedicated to the subjects.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By NYC Reader on October 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
In this excellent book, the author draws upon his deep knowledge of, and strong foundation in, personality psychology while also drawing on his real-world experience as the head of research at the world's most successful and prestigious assessment firm. Linking the personal with the professional, and individual examples with statistical patterns, Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic has written an accessible text that is all at once a self-help book, an other-help book, and a team- and organizational-help book wrapped in one seamless package. Because it is filled with interesting stories, relevant but not widely-known research, and counter-intuitive results and approaches, I plan to confidently recommend this book to my coaching and consulting clients, as well as to my students.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By W. P. Gardner on November 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You must change the title. I will tell you what the title should be: _Competence Beats Confidence_. That is the book's central message, which it delivers very clearly.

I wouldn't have read this book if I had not read about it in Lucy Kellaway's column, because it sounds like a self-help book for salesmen, and there are a thousand in that genre. What the book will NOT tell you is how to have more confidence. It will tell you that low confidence is actually valuable and that people with low confidence are more likely to be competent, and to be continually improving their competence, than people with high confidence.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DexterM on February 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for an inspiring self-help book on how to gain that confidence you've always wanted, then look elsewhere. This book will change your viewpoint on confidence but won't necessarily help you achieve more of it. The only part that I found useful was the influencing others section on page 141. This section actually had some great tips on how to build relationships and be more likeable. This is an easily forgettable book with a title that is somewhat misleading.
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