The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance,What women should know
Claire Shipman and Katty Kay
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.
In their book The Confidence Code, journalists and authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman examine confidence—what it is, why it’s important, and why women seem predisposed to have less of it than men. While the book focuses on confidence in women, much of the confidence-building advice applies to men too.
Top 20 Insights from the Book
1. Absence of confidence, implies being dubious of whether our endeavors will be fruitful – a vulnerability that makes us terrified to try and attempt.
2. At work place, male qualities like aggression are valued more highly in the workplace than typical female qualities, because – as a majority – men define the standards.
3. It is vital to understand, however, that women can act with their softer side and still be confident.
4. Women don't have to act exactly like their male colleagues in the workplace. Instead, they can take pride in their own unique approaches.
5. The business world is serious and without a solid portion of confidence, it’s incomprehensible for one to flourish there.
6. Confidence is not always based on competence. Many women feel incompetent and unprepared, even if they are totally competent at their jobs.
7. Having low confidence means that we can’t even envision what we want, and so we don’t work for it. If you look in the mirror and don’t see a pilot, you will never take flight lessons!
8. Our environment, determines 50 percent of our confidence. This is partly because our environment actually influences our genes.
9. Girls are traditionally rewarded for good behavior and, in wanting to live up to this, they can become perfectionists and less likely to take risks. And, in order to be confident, we must be able to take risks.
10. Through confident idea designs, we can cause an actual change in our minds.
11. On the off chance that you regularly beat yourself up about not having the option to play out the entirety of your errands impeccably, have a go at feeling that you are a great multi-tasker.
12. Instead of worrying whether your paper is good enough for a contest, just submit it. You’ll likely be more confident about the next contest, because you won’t concentrate on doing things perfectly. Besides, you won’t have a chance at winning it if you don’t submit anything.
13. Failing can have a positive effect on confidence. By taking more action, you’re bound to fail at times. But you’ll also learn that failing isn’t life-threatening and, therefore, you won’t be as afraid to try next time.
14. “Failures” should be seen as opportunities to better yourself
15. Idealism – the demeanor that everything will be alright – is diverse to confidence, which alludes to making a move
16. Because of an absence of confidence, ladies will in general acknowledge more awful work conditions than men do.
17. Without confidence, we stay quiet, which brings about botched freedoms, like advancements.
18. It’s crucial to distinguish between confidence, the belief in our abilities in general, and competence, the knowledge of our qualifications in a certain field.
19. Genetics, upbringing and society’s double standards are all factors in influencing our personality and our confidence level.
20. Instead of worrying whether your paper is good enough for a contest, just submit it.
Chapter 1 – Confidence is the dextension among considerations and activities.
How regularly have you thought back on discussions or openings in your day-to-day existence and thought “I wish I had said/done that”? Maybe it wasn’t so much as a serious deal, yet something little that was inside your ability to accomplish, yet you didn’t feel sufficiently confident to attempt it.
The vast majority of us have felt this way on various occasions for the duration of our lives.
Lamentably, on the off chance that we need confidence, we like to remain inert, and, unfortunately, this is by all accounts especially articulated for ladies.
Confidence implies having sufficient faith in our capacities that we become dynamic. Absence of confidence, thusly, implies being dubious of whether our endeavors will be fruitful – a vulnerability that makes us terrified to try and attempt.
A reasonable illustration of this can be found in an examination by educator Zach Estes, who had understudies tackle convoluted riddle tests. From the start, it appeared to Estes that the male understudies had performed better compared to the female understudies. In any case, after looking into it further, Estes saw that a large number of the ladies had left a ton of the inquiries unanswered.
Thus, Estes requested that the understudies retake the test and, this time, to ensure they answer every inquiry. The outcome? The ladies performed similarly just like the men
In any case, for what reason did the ladies decide to not endeavor a response to a significant number of the inquiries? The focal issue was the ladies’ absence of confidence: they liked to leave a clear space instead of hazard offering some unacceptable response.
In the present circumstance, having confidence would have taken them to take the jump and attempt.
Yet, imagine a scenario where hopefulness assumed a part, as opposed to confidence.
All things considered, idealism – the demeanor that everything will be alright – is diverse to confidence, which alludes to making a move. Being idealistic aides, however, can prompt activity that improves confidence.
We know at that point, that trust in our capacities is urgent towards turning out to be practitioners. Presently we will investigate how our confidence levels frequently vary, contingent upon our sexual orientation.
Chapter 2 - Women’s confidence can be different to men’s.
There have been countless books about the difference between men and women, and most of us agree the differences arethere. It’s no surprise, then, that when it comes to confidence, we find that women display this in a different manner to men.
Particularly in the workplace, men are dominant, so their characteristics of confident behavior, such as acting aggressively, are sought and even expected.
In fact, men are perhaps even more dominant in the workplace than most of us realize. For instance, did you know that a mere four percent of Fortune 500 companies have women as CEOs?
The way men demonstrate their confidence tends to be more aggressive than the way women display it. Men are quicker, more energetic and determined at expressing their opinions, while women tend to collaborate with others and be more humble.
Furthermore, typical male qualities like aggression are valued more highly in the workplace than typical female qualities, because – as a majority – men define the standards.
It is vital to understand, however, that women can act with their softer side and still be confident.
For example, as long as you stand behind your opinions and defend your point of view, it doesn’t matter if you do it aggressively or not. Active listening and cooperating with other like-minded colleagues – often viewed as more feminine strategies – can also be a demonstration of strength.
On the other hand, some women act with fake confidence, by acting tough. But there is a downside to this approach: the artificiality of it is easily perceived by others and doesn’t benefit us in the way that real confidence does.
So, women don't have to act exactly like their male colleagues in the workplace. Instead, they can take pride in their own unique approaches.
Chapter 3 – Ladies’ absence of confidence assumes a negative part in the business world.
Living in a man’s reality is hard, however, working in a man’s reality is significantly harder.
Because of an absence of confidence, ladies will in general acknowledge more awful work conditions than men do. Numerous ladies essentially don’t feel adequately sure to put themselves out there: for example, regardless of whether they have smart thoughts, they are more outlandish than men are to propose them to the chief.
The business world is serious and without a solid portion of confidence, it’s incomprehensible for one to flourish there.
To just enter the labor force, we should have the option to introduce ourselves in the best light – which necessitates that we see ourselves in this light too.
One way we see a distinction in how people introduce themselves is in the arrangement. A financial aspects teacher at Carnegie Mellon University deduced in a progression of studies that men arrange their compensation multiple times more regularly than ladies. Furthermore, in any event, when ladies do arrange, they hope to get 30% to a lesser degree a boost in compensation than men do.
Also, the business world requires a specific measure of self-advancement and self-activity, which are unthinkable without confidence. Rather than the school homeroom, where accomplishing quality work is sufficient to get you seen, in the business world we can’t depend on our work to justify itself with real evidence. So, we need to get ourselves taken note of.
However, without confidence, we stay quiet, which brings about botched freedoms, like advancements. This is particularly the situation for ladies.
For instance, a Princeton research group found that ladies talk up to 75 percent less frequently than men do, when there are a larger number of men than ladies in the room. Along these lines, regardless of whether a lady has the best business thought, she’s undeniably more averse to propose it in a room loaded with male partners. You can perceive how this may block her advancement!
At this point, it ought to be confident that confidence is a significant apparatus throughout everyday life. Yet, we should investigate what confidence means for us in our positions.
Chapter 4 - Being confident is just as important for getting the job done as competence.
Even when women are absolutely capable, they often don’t feel confident. This not only interferes with their attitude, but it also prevents them from progressing.
It’s crucial to distinguish between confidence, the belief in our abilities in general, and competence, the knowledge of our qualifications in a certain field.
Confidence is not always based on competence. Many women feel incompetent and unprepared, even if they are totally competent at their jobs.
One example is Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and, thus, one of the most influential women in the world. Nevertheless, she admits in an interview with the authors that she not only had confidence problems while working her way up the hierarchy, but even now still has moments of insecurity.
Low confidence prevents us from aiming high enough to progress. It not only makes us uncomfortable, but is a condition that makes us aim for less than we actually want because we don’t think it’s possible to achieve our goals.
Having low confidence means that we can’t even envision what we want, and so we don’t work for it. If you look in the mirror and don’t see a pilot, you will never take flight lessons!
An interesting example of how self-confidence affects action can be seen in psychologist David Dunning’s experiment, which questions students about their confidence. Female students showed drastically lower levels of confidence in the rating of their abilities and achievements than male students.
Then, when Dunning invited the students to participate in a contest, only 49 percent of the female students signed up, while 71 percent of the male students did.
From this we see that negative self-perception caused by lack of confidence can cause women to miss opportunities.
So now that we have established how important confidence is, can we do anything to increase it?
Chapter 5 – Like different parts of our character, confidence is halfway foreordained by our qualities.
Today we realize that nature, just as support, decides our character. We have found that character characteristics, for example, animosity or liquor abuse are intensely dictated by our hereditary code.
Strangely, the equivalent goes for confidence. Indeed, researchers found that our hereditary make-up decides up to 50 percent of our confidence.
You’ve most likely known about the bliss instigating chemical serotonin. Indeed, how much serotonin impacts your conduct relies upon a specific quality. In case you’re brought into the world with a more extended rendition of the quality, you will create more serotonin and be less restless than if you’re brought into the world with the abbreviated form of the quality.
Exploration with monkeys has shown that those brought into the world with the long form of the serotonin-managing quality are more amiable and face more challenges – which, when converted into human conduct, implies they’re more sure.
Curiously, the inclination for confidence can be solid to such an extent that occasionally even our current circumstance can’t adjust it.
If somebody is brought into the world with qualities that propose undeniable degrees of hostility, this doesn’t mean they will essentially transform into a vicious individual. Yet, they will be bound to do as such than individuals who don’t have that quality. Also, on the off chance that somebody is brought into the world with qualities that recommend undeniable degrees of confidence, they will most likely be sure, regardless of whether raised something else.
For instance, in the monkey try referenced above, infants brought into the world with the abbreviated form of the serotonin quality, and raised by unsupportive moms, were less confident as they grew up. However, those brought into the world with the long form of the quality, who were along these lines expected to get sure, formed into confident grown-ups, in any event, when they were raised by similar unsupportive moms.
In this way, if up to 50 percent of our confidence comes from our qualities, the other 50% should be framed from individual experience.
Chapter 6 - Confidence can also be attributed to our environment.
Our environment, then, determines those other 50 percent of our confidence. This is partly because our environment actually influences our genes. Indeed, scientists have found that life experiences actually physically alter our genes’ shapes and cause them to function differently.
Upbringing in particular can be an important factor in our gene development and is therefore crucial in determining what kind of person we become.
Let’s return to the previously mentioned monkey experiment: what happens when a monkey with genes indicating low confidence is raised by a caring mother? It turns out that they are influenced by the environment. Remarkably, being raised by a good mother makes them even more confident than those born with “confident” genes!
Regarding human female and male differences, girls are often raised to be more diligent and to follow directions more often than boys, which makes them less confident.
Girls are traditionally rewarded for good behavior and, in wanting to live up to this, they can become perfectionists and less likely to take risks. And, in order to be confident, we must be able to take risks.
Our expectation of girls to be diligent and “good” is heavily influenced by society’s stereotypes and criticisms of women, and these can diminish their confidence. Girls are taught to be “good” from kindergarten, so this is how society views them into adulthood. As a result, when a woman tries to act more confidently, she is often confronted with opposition.
Furthermore, studies have shown that women who take an active role are disliked by males and females equally. For example, the few female students at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis are called DUBs – or dumb ugly bitches.
Genetics, upbringing and society’s double standards are all factors in influencing our personality and our confidence level. In the end, it’s a mixture of both nature and nurture that determines our traits.
Chapter 7 – We can encourage ourselves to be confident, regardless of whether our hereditary inclination recommends something else.
We’ve perceived how significant confidence is, and how we’re not generally in charge of how our confidence creates. However, it is feasible to break the cycle that makes ladies less confident.
Indeed, even as grown-ups, we can, in any case, modify our minds, as they have a magnificent quality called cerebrum versatility. This implies that, through confident idea designs, we can cause an actual change in our minds.
When given a decision, the cerebrum gets to recollections identified with that specific choice. In any case, we can change which recollections our cerebrum gets to.
In one investigation, for instance, individuals with a dread of bugs got two hours of social treatment for their dread. Straightforwardly after the treatment, they had the option to contact a live tarantula. While doing as such, their mind filters showed no movement in the dread focus of the cerebrum. This outcome was affirmed even a half year later!
Rather than getting to the unfortunate recollections, they got to the quiet recollections from the treatment, accordingly, the dread place in the mind stayed cool and the middle for speculation soundly was initiated.
So unmistakably we can figure out how to deliberately run after changing our cerebrums and getting more confident.
In particular, we can make elective idea examples to stay away from programmed negative considerations. These are the negative idea designs that happen, unwittingly, consistently. Changing these into more confident examples can be a decent initial phase in raising our confidence level.
For instance, on the off chance that you regularly beat yourself up about not having the option to play out the entirety of your errands impeccably, have a go at feeling that you are a great multi-tasker. Contemplating yourself in this more confident light can make you more sure.
Even though it is difficult to change and it might take some training to free yourself of programmed negative musings, it’s unquestionably conceivable and may even be simpler than you might suspect.
Chapter 8 - Confidence comes from failing and handling it in a constructive way.
In the first of these book summary, we saw how being less confident causes you to remain inactive and how simply taking action boosts your confidence. Sure, sometimes you’ll fail, but that can be a good thing!
Unfortunately, women tend to overthink things and not to act. But we must understand that taking action is essential to confidence.
For example, instead of worrying whether your paper is good enough for a contest, just submit it. You’ll likely be more confident about the next contest, because you won’t concentrate on doing things perfectly. Besides, you won’t have a chance at winning it if you don’t submit anything.
In truth, failing can have a positive effect on confidence. By taking more action, you’re bound to fail at times. But you’ll also learn that failing isn’t life-threatening and, therefore, you won’t be as afraid to try next time.
For example, perhaps the paper you submitted won’t win you the contest. But there will be other contests, and failing at one thing doesn’t mean that you’re a complete failure.
Really, “failures” should be seen as opportunities to better yourself. Many women are afraid of failure and see it as a lack of natural talent. Instead, it should be seen as an opportunity to improve, because with every failure we learn where we made a particular mistake and how to avoid making the same mistake in the future.
Eventually, with enough ups and downs along the road, you get better at what you’re trying to master and gather confidence.
For example, if you fail at a math exam, you don’t need to give up on math entirely. You can choose to persevere until you achieve the results you want.
Being confident means not letting fear of failure prevent you from trying to get the things you desire. It can be a hard lesson to learn, but it can also change your life for the better.