Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review: The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Title: The Confidence Code
Authors: Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Publish Date: April 15, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the PR; however, this did not affect my review.

What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "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."

My Two Cents:

Are confident women made or born? In this well-researched book, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman look at the factors that affect confidence, specifically in women. They look at confident women like Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and how she copes with being a confident woman in a man's world. They look at scientific and psychological research to find out whether or not some of us might be more predisposed to confidence than others. They also look at themselves as two female journalists who have preconceived notions of what it means to be confident and where confidence is found.

Now that I'm a full-fledged adult in the workplace, that recurring nightmare that I had during school where I forgot about writing a huge paper until the night before it was due (this nightmare will incite fear amongst my fellow type-A friends) has been replaced by a nightmare in which I have to do any sort of public speaking in front of a crowd. While I never forgot about a paper in all of the years that I was in school, I do have to do quite a bit of speaking at work and it is scary! I know that I'm not alone in this fear but it doesn't make it any easier to drum up my confidence to say what I know I need to say! This book explores whether we are born with confidence or if it is something that we can work to develop.

This book also looks at not only how to develop your own confidence but also how to develop confidence in those you care about. There is a whole section about how to develop confidence in female children, which I thought was very interesting.

I thought this book was well-written and well-researched. I know that it is a book that I will go back to time and time again!



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