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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.
Top customer reviews
Worthwhile read but I think there are some sections that are too clinical and not practical. I liked Lean In better
Apart from making you feel good, why is confidence important? According to the authors, ..."there is evidence that confidence is more important than ability when it comes to getting ahead," on the job and in life generally. Good compensation, happiness, and professional fulfillment may depend on confidence. Not born confident? Don't worry. "The newest research shows that we can literally change our brains (to make us) more confidence prone."
There's a lot of wisdom in the Confidence Code. One nugget is this: "Most people believe they need to criticize themselves in order to find motivation to reach their goals. In fact, when you constantly criticize yourself, you become depressed, and depression is not a motivational mindset." Also, "...Of all the warped things that women do to themselves to undermine their confidence, we found the pursuit of perfection to be the most crippling...you'll inevitably and routinely feel inadequate."
But most of us are perfectionists. How do we overcome these behaviors?
To get answers, Shipman and Kay interview and cite many thoughtful and engaging experts, who are quoted throughout the book, but the short course is this: Stop overthinking everything. Have courage, take action, congratulate yourself for trying regardless of outcome, and move on. Engage in self-compassion. Practice / do the work. Mastery in one thing spills over into other areas. Meditation can shrink your amygdalae (the region of the brain that amps up fear) and stimulate your prefrontal cortex (the calm, rational area). If that's too much work, concentrate on how you present yourself physically. Practice power positions. Spread out. Take up space. Keep your chin raised. Don't use "upspeak" (i.e. sound like a Valley Girl when you talk).
There's so much more, but here's the thing I want you to remember: the development of confidence is volitional - a choice. Or as Shipman and Kay put it: "Our biggest and perhaps most encouraging discovery has been that confidence is something we can, to a significant extent, control." What an important life skill for women of all ages to learn, and to teach their daughters and granddaughters.