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The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know Hardcover – April 15, 2014
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“The Confidence Code belongs in the bagof every woman in America. It combines groundbreaking scientific research and firsthand accounts from the world’s most powerful woman.” (Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief, Cosmopolitan)
“How do we make the most of our talents, skills, and interests? This book demonstrates that it’s not enough to know what we’re doing; our confidence is a key factor in our success. Fascinating reading for every woman who wants to take her life to the next level.” (Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project)
“All too often, even the most successful women have indicated that their confidence is fleeting or domain-specific. The gifted authors who were behind Womenomics prove that can change. Discover how you can specifically develop that enduring sense of self-assurance in this remarkable book.” (Marshall Goldsmith, author of the international bestseller What Got You Here Won't Get You There)
“Kay and Shipman shine a perceptive light on the crucial role that confidence plays in the ability of women to succeed. They offer women practical advice and the vision of a more hopeful future.” (Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and author of Lean In)
“Kay and Shipman provide a great blueprint for raising daughters….All of this research, as well as the authors’ own recounting of experiences with doubt in their professional lives, effectively builds into a comprehensive set of ingredients for the confident woman.” (Publishers Weekly)
“An insightful look at how internalizing cultural stereotypes can hold women back from competing with men.” (Kirkus)
“[Kay and Shipman] have written an enlightening, fascinating book that explains the relationship between confidence, resilience, risk and reward….This book can definitely help you learn to boost your confidence.” (Success)
“[Kay and Shipman dive] into tons of fascinating research and stats that are worth reading…[b]ut most importantly, the book provides some seriously actionable advice from some of the most successful women in the world (authors included).” (Self.com)
From the Back Cover
Confidence. We want it. We need it. But it can be maddeningly enigmatic and out of reach. The authors of the New York Times bestseller Womenomics deconstruct this essential, elusive, and misunderstood quality and offer a blueprint for bringing more of it into our lives.
Is confidence hardwired into the DNA of a lucky few—or can anyone learn it? Is it best expressed by bravado, or is there another way to show confidence? Which is more important: confidence or competence? Why do so many women, even the most successful, struggle with feelings of self-doubt? Is there a secret to channeling our inner confidence?
In The Confidence Code, journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman travel to the frontiers of neuroscience on a hunt for the confidence gene and reveal surprising new research on its roots in our brains. They visit the world's leading psychologists who explain how we can all chose to become more confident simply by taking action and courting risk, and how those actions change our physical wiring. They interview women leaders from the worlds of politics, sports, the military, and the arts to learn how they have tapped into this elemental resource. They examine how a lack of confidence impacts our leadership, success, and fulfillment.
Ultimately, they argue, while confidence is partly influenced by genetics, it is not a fixed psychological state. That's the good news. You won't discover it by thinking positive thoughts or by telling yourself (or your children) that you are perfect as you are. You also won't find it by simply squaring your shoulders and faking it. But it does require a choice: less people pleasing and perfectionism and more action, risk taking, and fast failure.
Inspiring, insightful, and persuasive, The Confidence Code shows that by acting on our best instincts and by daring to be authentic, women can feel the transformative power of a life on confidence.
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Top Customer Reviews
I did find one thing in the book that I am using, which is that women apologize all the time, whether it's justified or not. I've noticed that I do the same, so am trying to alter this. The response has not been great. The problem is, and perhaps the reason why, women appear to lack confidence and apologize, is because the response when they don't do that is not good. The goal is to get certain things, whether it's a job or a raise or congeniality in the office. I believe that women have learned how to win the end game through experience, and that experience has shown that the best way to do this is to APPEAR more subserviant and pleasant than you are. I saw a documentary once about how girl toddlers & boy toddlers are treated differently, and wondered why girls cry more than boys. You could see in the test that when girl toddlers cried in a child pen area, they got picked up more often than the boys did when they cried. So the girls learned that to cry is to get the result desired, and boys learned that crying did them no good. So the accomplished women in this book, for all their assertions that they attribute their success to luck or whatever, actually did achieve what they wanted, using precisely the things that this book is saying not to use.
Maybe the book changes a bit in the second half. If so, I'll update this review. Don't get me wrong...it's interesting. Just not a practical guide for the average American woman.
I am recommending the book to many of my younger women friends and clients. I am also discussing it with the men in my life too - because the men have no idea how deeply pervasive the feelings of inadequacy can be in their very capable and clearly intelligent women.
This book points out how men learn, from childhood on, how to be confident, how to fail without feeling like a failure, while women tend to back away from that. Perhaps it is changing now, but that is definitely how it was when I was growing up. And worse, it was such a part of the social fabric that I never even thought twice about it. Women who talked themselves up were haughty. Humility was more attractive for women. But this left us vulnerable in the workplace, relegated to the back as men naturally push forward, and that is what the boss sees, leaving women's contributions unnoticed or under-noticed. I experienced this myself as, uncomfortable speaking up, I would hear others say what I was silently thinking and they got credit while I appeared mute and empty of ideas. Very foolish on my part. This book helps explain a lot of the thinking behind these types of actions and shows ways to change.
Truly, I thought this would be just another flavor of the day business book but I was pleasantly surprised. It is primarily aimed at the work world but contains information useful at any point in life. I'm glad I finally read it.