By far, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, is the best empowerment book that I have ever read. Katty Kay is an anchor for BBC world News America, and Claire Shipman is a correspondent for ABC News and Good Morning America.
One of my favorite quotes is:
“When confidence emanates from our core, we are at our most powerful.” (200)
As promised, here are the 3 reasons why you should add this book to your summer reading list.
1. We are Reminded of the Fundamental Importance of Believing in Ourselves, Our Innate Strengths & Our Innate Abilities!
Women “have the skills; what they lack is self-belief, and without it they can’t turn their desire to run [for a political office] into the action of running.” (35)
“It’s not simply about whether we can do a task, but whether we assess ourselves to be capable of doing that task.” (63)
“It isn’t that women don’t have the ability to succeed; it’s that we don’t seem to believe we can succeed, and that stops us from even trying.” (xvi)
“What we need to do is start acting and risking and failing, and stop mumbling, apologizing, and prevaricating.” (xvi)
“When we’re unsure of ourselves—not because we don’t have the knowledge, but because we are nervous about sticking our necks out—we unconsciously make our comment sound like a question in order to deflect criticism.” (161)
2. We Learn What Confidence Means & How it Can Help Us!
“‘General confidence is an attitude, a way you approach the world,’ suggested Caroline Miller, a best-selling author and positive psychology coach. ‘More specifically, self-confidence is a sense that you can master something.’” (39)
“If confidence is a belief in your success, which then stimulates action, you will create more confidence when you take that action … It keeps accumulating, through hard work, through success, and even through failure.” (50)
Confidence “requires hard work, substantial risk, determined persistence, and sometimes bitter failure.” (123)
“Confidence requires a growth mind-set because believing that skills can be learned leads to doing new things.” (128)
“When we say confidence is a choice, we mean it’s a choice we can make to act, or do, or to decide.” (137)
3. Most Importantly, We Discover New Ways to Restore & Strengthen Our Confidence!
“Say it with confidence, because if you don’t sound confident, why will anybody believe what you say?” (162)
“Do the prep, and then turn your attention to how much it will help the team or the company.” (151)
When speaking publicly, “reframe your remarks in your head. Tell yourself you are speaking on behalf of the team, or the organization, or for the benefit of others, rather than for yourself.” (152)
“Hearing ourselves recognize our accomplishments, bolsters confidence.” (156)
“Preparation and practice melded with a sense of purpose—the zone of confidence.” (203)
“‘Make a point of having a different point of view…Speak with authority, and be remembered for making a contribution.’” (198)
Valerie Jarrett said, “My parents definitely taught me everything would work out—if I worked twice as hard as everyone.” (98)
“The earlier you learn to take the risk of standing out, the easier it will be to stand up for yourself in a tense negotiation, demands the high-profile assignment that your male colleague will otherwise grab, or do all the other things that don’t fit with the stereotype of a docile, good girl.” (131)
“If you aren’t prepared to be criticized, chances are you’ll shy away from suggesting bold ideas, or sticking your neck out in any way.” (103)
“If we embrace failure as forward progress, then we can spend time on the other critical confidence skill: mastery.” (140)
“’It’s transformative for people to actually focus on what their strengths are…Most of us have a kind of strength blindness.’” (199)
Not only is it full of noteworthy and inspirational quotes, but it’s also an engrossing read that will devour you … in a good way. I highly recommend this book, and have shared it with many of my friends, who have subsequently read it.
In fact, one of my female founder friends, Tracy Lawrence of Chewse — a catering company that differentiates itself with its strong company culture — even bought the book for all of her employees, because she too, fell in love with the book.
All in all, don’t take what I say as the truth; instead, read it for yourself and enjoy the hypersonic personal development ride!
 Kay, Katty, and Claire Shipman. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-assurance — What Women Should Know. New York, NY: HarperBusiness, an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2014. Print.