Length: 272 pages
Audiobook Length: 6 hours and 45 minutes
First Published: 2014
Study after study shows that women are less confident than men, with far-reaching social and economic impacts. In a thought-provoking book about women’s empowerment, Kay and Shipman explore the nature of confidence. What exactly is confidence? How much of it is genetic and how much of it is learned? Interviewing notable scientists and leaders, they teach women how they can overcome their self-doubt, be more confident, and take more action.
The Confidence Code is an interesting book, looking at confidence through genetics and brain physiology, and comparing nature vs nurture vs the hard knocks of life. Kay and Shipman have some good takeaways, yet I think I’d have preferred to read a long article on the subject instead; The Confidence Code was more in-depth than I needed. My biggest takeaway – it’s okay to feel nervous and process a situation. Confidence doesn’t need to be blustery or brash, but you do need to take action and make decisions.
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 choose 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.
Quotes from The Confidence Code
Confidence is the purity of action produced by a mind free of doubt.
Confidence, ultimately, is the characteristic that distinguishes those who imagine from those who do.
Having talent isn’t merely about being competent; confidence is actually a part of that talent.
When a man walks into a room, they’re assumed to be competent until they prove otherwise.
About Katty Kay
Katty Kay is a journalist and broadcaster. She is the anchor of BBC World News America. Kay is also the co-author of Womenomics and The Confidence Code, both with Claire Shipman. Kay grew up in the Middle East, the daughter of a British diplomat, and has worked in Africa and Japan before settling in the United States. She currently lives in Washington, DC.
About Claire Shipman
Claire Shipman is a journalist and broadcaster, with regular appearances on “Good Morning America” and other national broadcasts. She is also the co-author of Womenomics and The Confidence Code, both with Katty Kay. Shipman grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and currently lives in Washington, DC.