The Confidence Code

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I was kindly asked by my Lean In Circle leader to run a session for the circle. I was honoured and put together a list of books for the group to vote on and the winner was The Confidence Code.

Written by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, The Confidence Code sets out to discover whether people are born with confidence or it is something you can acquire.

The reason behind the book is they believed that women lacked the confidence of men and “When we aren’t confident, we don’t succeed as we should”.

The belief is women are not succeeding in careers are they should be because they aren’t confident. They have the necessary talent, but without the confidence in themselves they just aren’t moving forward as they should. The research project led the duo to meeting NBA basketball stars, women in the armed forces and even having their DNA tested.

They also explored what they coined ‘the confidence cousins’: self-esteem, optimism, self-compassion and self-efficacy. To see how essential these skills were to supporting someone’s confidence.

Now I hoped there would be a clear definition of confidence, but instead throughout the book they suggested multiple meanings. Two that I particularly liked were:

Confidence is the stuff that turns thoughts into action

Confidence, ultimately, is the characteristic that distinguishes those who imagine from those who do

Essentially, confidence is the what makes you do something!

I found the journey through the book really interesting, but was slightly disappointed with the chapters with tips on how to be more confident.

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