The Confidence Code Book Summary - The Confidence Code Book explained in key points
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The Confidence Code summary

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

The Science and Art of Self-Assurance: What Women Should Know

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18 mins

Brief summary

The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman is a thought-provoking book that explores the reasons behind women's lack of confidence and offers practical strategies for boosting self-assurance.

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    The Confidence Code
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    Confidence is the bridge between thoughts and actions.

    How often have you looked back on conversations or opportunities in your life and thought “I wish I had said/done that”? Perhaps it wasn’t even a big deal, but something small that was within your power to achieve, yet you didn’t feel confident enough to try it.

    Most of us have felt this way a number of times throughout our lives.

    Unfortunately, if we lack confidence, we prefer to stay inactive, and, sadly, this seems to be particularly pronounced for women.

    Confidence means having enough belief in our own abilities that we become active. Lack of confidence, therefore, means being uncertain of whether our efforts will be successful – an  uncertainty that makes us scared to even try.

    A clear example of this can be seen in an experiment by professor Zach Estes, who had students solve complicated puzzle tests. At first, it appeared to Estes that the male students had performed better than the female students. But, on closer inspection, Estes saw that many of the women had left a lot of the questions unanswered.

    So, Estes asked the students to retake the test and, this time, to make sure they answer every single question. The result? The women performed just as well as the men.

    But why did the women choose to not even attempt an answer to many of the questions? The central problem was the women’s lack of confidence: they preferred to leave a blank space rather than risk giving the wrong answer.

    In this situation, having confidence would have made them take the leap and try.

    But what if optimism played a role, rather than confidence?

    Well, optimism – the attitude that everything is going to be okay – is different to confidence, which refers to taking action. Being optimistic does help, though, as it can lead to action which improves confidence.

    We know then, that confidence in our abilities is crucial towards becoming doers. Now we will explore how our confidence levels often differ, depending on our gender.

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    What is The Confidence Code about?

    The Confidence Code explains how, in comparison with men, women lack confidence. It also explores the impact such lack of confidence has on women in various spheres of life, especially the business world, and offers advice on how women can increase their confidence.

    The Confidence Code Review

    The Confidence Code (2014) explores the correlation between confidence and success, offering insights and strategies to help readers cultivate their self-assurance. Here's why this book is a must-read:

    • It delves into the science behind confidence, providing a deeper understanding of its importance and how it can be developed.
    • Through real-life stories and interviews with successful women, the book illustrates the impact of confidence on professional and personal growth.
    • With its practical tools and exercises, the book empowers readers to take tangible steps towards building their confidence, making personal growth an engaging and rewarding journey.

    Best quote from The Confidence Code

    Confidence is no longer the sideshow, its the main event.

    —Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
    example alt text

    Who should read The Confidence Code?

    • Women who want to increase their confidence
    • Parents of young girls who want to nurture confidence in them
    • Women who want to go far in business

    About the Author

    Katherine Kay is a journalist and anchor for BBC World News America in Washington, DC. Claire Shipman also is a journalist and correspondent for ABC News and Good Morning America. In addition to The Confidence Code, together they also co-authored Womenomics.

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    The Confidence Code FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Confidence Code?

    The main message of The Confidence Code is that confidence is key to success, and women can learn to cultivate it.

    How long does it take to read The Confidence Code?

    The reading time for The Confidence Code varies, but it can take several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Confidence Code a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Confidence Code is a worthwhile read for anyone seeking to understand and build confidence. It provides valuable insights and practical tips.

    Who is the author of The Confidence Code?

    The authors of The Confidence Code are Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.

    What to read after The Confidence Code?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Confidence Code, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Perfectly Confident by Don A. Moore
    • Resilient by Rick Hanson with Forrest Hanson
    • The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden
    • The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
    • Make Self-Confidence Your Superpower (single sourced article) by The Blinkist Team
    • Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel
    • Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff
    • Start Where You Are by Pema Chödrön
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • Rising Strong by Brené Brown