This is nothing new. This is what it’s like to be inside my brain.
What, you too?
Well belly up to the book review because you’re about to get an eye-full of some interesting and transformative thinking that will not only have you accepting your inner critic and low self-confidence, but embracing it.
Yes! Low Self-Confidence is Actually a Good Thing
For at least the last thirty or forty years, we’ve been ever vigilant to avoid “low self-esteem” as if being a little uncertain about ourselves, our skills and abilities would somehow turn us into losers, criminals or something worse.
Of course there were always those psychologists like parenting expert, John Rosemund, who railed against this prevailing “psychobabble.” He tried to convince young parents that a little insecurity and humility is actually a good thing – a precursor to success.
Today’s world now consists of an interesting mix. Folks who tend to lean more on the insecure, low self-confidence side and those who lean on the high self-confidence side. And according to Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, PhD, the author of Confidence: Overcoming Low Self-Esteem, Insecurity and Self-Doubt, there’s nothing wrong with having low self-confidence.
It’s what drives you to excellence. And that is a good thing.
Ignore Self-Confidence and Aspire to High Competence
It’s funny that it takes two hundred pages to communicate one simple idea – that you should aspire to have high competence and not high confidence. That’s it.
But this idea is counter to what we’ve been taught, how we’ve been raised and more importantly, how we’ve been raising our children. So it takes 200 pages to prove it to you.
One of the things I really like about Confidence is that it doesn’t have an “introduction.” Instead, the author has actually written a letter to the reader. That shows that he truly understands the people who have picked this book off the shelf. Those people are the ones looking to improve their self-confidence, as if there is something wrong with them.
I actually received a review copy of this book, but it sat sitting on my desk until I had one of those “low self-esteem” moments and picked it up for some DIY therapy. That’s when I saw this introduction and was immediately drawn in:
“The good news is that low confidence is less problematic than you think. In fact, although society places a great deal of importance on being confident, there are no genuine benefits except feeling good. In fact, lower confidence is key to gaining competence, which is the only effective strategy for gaining real confidence….”
Take a Journey Toward Competence and Real Confidence
So your journey as the reader begins. You learn to understand the distinction between confidence and competence. It’s a good thing that the author keeps repeating this mantra because you will find yourself needing to be reminded, if you ultimately want to build confidence in business.
Confidence consists of eight chapters:
- Confidence Ain’t Competence – cements the distinction into your thinking and gets you excited about moving toward competence.
- Taking Advantage of Low Confidence – helps you to learn how to use your “low confidence” to drive you toward competence.
- Reputation is King – hones in on the difference between being humble and having low self-confidence.
- A Successful Career – shows you exactly who successful people really are and what they do.
- Social Confidence and People Skills – is a powerful section on how to master interpersonal skills and presentation skills.
- A Loving Relationship – shows you how to leverage your new-found confidence in your personal life and relationships.
- A Healthier Life – shows you the relationship between how confident you feel and how that impacts your physical health.
- Easier Said Than Done – leads you out of the theory of the book and into practicing your new perspective and skills in confidence.
It Takes a Business Psychologist to Raise Our Performance
The author, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, PhD (@drtcp) is a business psychologist. He’s an international authority in personality assessment, consumer analytics, and talent management. He is the author of seven books, including Personality 101 and more than a hundred scientific articles. He is a professor of business psychology at the University College of London and VP of Research and Innovation at Hogan Assessment Systems.
Chamorro writes in a kind, gentle yet authoritative tone that will inspire the “insecure” reader and retire the over-confident ones. Neither will wind up insulted or talked down to. Rather, each will get a new and enlightened perspective on how to reach their goal of higher performance in business and in their personal life.
Confidence is Required Reading
This book is required reading for any professional. But I think younger professionals will stand to benefit the most because this book will interrupt that faulty thinking that confidence is at the root of success – instead of working toward competence.
If you’re like me and have a few years of work under your belt and still struggle with confidence from time to time, you’ll find this book a great diagnostic tool to help you identify exactly where you can build your skills or perhaps which areas you should outsource or get some help with.
Confidence is a book for renaissance small business owners looking to broaden their skills and succeed.