Too many of us miss out on opportunities in life because we lack self-confidence. Whether it's public speaking, taking on a leadership role, or asking someone for a date, there are situations in which we just don't feel equipped to handle the challenges we face. Russ Harris offers a surprising solution to low self-confidence, shyness, and insecurity: Rather than trying to "get over" our fears, he says, the secret is to form a new and wiser relationship with them. Paradoxically, it's only when we stop struggling against our fearfulness that we begin to find lasting freedom from it. Drawing on the techniques of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a cutting-edge form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, The Confidence Gap explains how to: Free yourself from common misconceptions about what confidence is and how to build it; transform your relationship with fear and anxiety; clarify your core values and use them as your inspiration and motivation; use mindfulness to effectively handle negative thoughts and feelings.
©2011 Russ Harris (P)2014 Audible Inc.
The Confidence Gap doesn't make any grand promises - instead, it only promises hard work and gradual progress. This is great, though, because it is something that can realistically be achieved. It doesn't call for getting rid of fear or negative thoughts, but accepting them and befriending them. Doing so limits their power over your actions and thoughts.
In this book, Russ Harris shares mindfulness as the key to overcoming anxiety and increasing self-efficacy. Mindfulness is a sense of awareness and presence in your environment - putting your thoughts in the background, where their impact is muted. His version of mindfulness is based on three skills: Defusion, Expansion and Engagement. You'll have to read the book to learn more, but I promise it's worth it!
In summary, if you experience anxiety and want to increase confidence then The Confidence Gap is the book for you. It's interesting, well-written and directly applicable to life. It takes work, though - you have to do the exercises and put in some time to increase certain mindfulness skills. It's worth the work it takes, though!
By the way, the term 'Confidence Gap' refers to the false idea that you have to be confident before you do what you really want to do. In fact, the only way confidence can appear is by developing the skill you want to be confident in. If you want to be confident as a writer, you have to write. Don't wait until you're confident to write, because then you'll be waiting forever.
The world is full of advice on boosting confidence, and most of it is crap. This book lays out the reasons why and replaces the crappy rules with ones to live by. I'm going to read it at least once again. Already, I have been living by what I've learned from this book and it's really helped. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who's ever struggled with motivation, discipline, or confidence.
Finally, the missing piece of the puzzle! So much different from the last book I listened to on confidence, this author has a deep understanding of the topic and doesn't give you the same old "be positive" and "believe in yourself" crap you've heard over and over again. I'm putting these strategies and new understanding to use in business and in my personal life immediately! Soooo thankful I came across this book, where have you been my whole adult life? The information I've gained on confidence, values, and fulfillment is priceless. Fantastic work!
Many practical exercises that show a real knowledge of how the mind works. Many of the exercises revolve around becoming aware of what your mind is doing. Not just another pump you up book.
Love the way Russ flows the research and story with his life experience.
I have not only found this valuable in guiding my own life journey but supporting in helping those we come in contact with, staff, friends and family
Welll done from me
I have suffered with anxiety from a very early age. I do not mean to boast, but am one of those annoying people who seems to have it all, the looks, the great job, the lovely wife & house but I have suffered crippling anxiety. It has forced me to drink, take drugs & for 30 years put on my stage face. This has done little but take pieces out of me. I used to scream & even cry uncontrollably in my sleep, any social event I needed to be bolstered by at least a few drinks before I went out. Now I have made real progress. I am by no means 'normal' but I now have the tools to deal with life. A wonderful book with great narration. If I was you I would buy the print version, if not be prepared to take lots of notes. A wonderful book.
absolutely amazing! after less than a week my confidence is already soaring. I am initiating more conversations, overcoming obstacles, And becoming who I want to be. I insist on reading this book.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
What's your favorite flavor of self-help? Not for me the magical thinking of "The Secret," or the faux-religiousity of "The Four Agreements." The constant vigil to think positive makes me run screaming, though if they help you, great.
Russ Harris is a guru for the pessimist set. Mindfulness without the affirmations. There's no magic here. But there are plenty of thought exercises to help you accept yourself and to make your best decisions, sitting with your anxieties and fear, but seeing past them.
Solid helpful advice along with Graeme Malcolm's effortless narration that makes you feel you're in safe hands. This is just my cup of tea.
To start I'd like to say that I am not a PhD like the author. So like anything else in this world if you believe that is the qualifying factor and the primary authority on all things than what I have to say will not matter and you can stop reading as what I have to say next will not matter.
I found this book to be very helpful in parts! My problem in this area has been the "fear" to take the next step... I felt that the author gave great advice on how to overcome this area of life. Unfortunately I also felt like it could all be summarized in the final chapter.
I don't know if it has been my general upbringing or if perhaps I'm positive by nature but a lot of the examples he used specifically related to negative thoughts do not register with me. By that I mean my natural thought process did not gravitate in the direction he outlined as "natural"... In fact early in the book he went as far as to say that "you have a seriously messed up mind" if you did not think this way.
I've been of the notion that our minds tend to think with the reason that has been laid upon them. I.E if you have a lot of negative input your first reaction tends to be negative. Now does this mean I have no negative thoughts throughout my day? Of course; However, I rarely have a day full of them or consistent string of negative thoughts. (Again, it does happen)
That being said a lot of things he had to say about acting or using fear as a motivator did help, and I’m actively using them. I simply couldn’t relate to the other portions of this book.
No, I'm excited to see what other thought leaders have to say about this subject.
Many will disagree with me but skip chapter 5. (The chapter reference is based on audible, not the book)
Author tries to tell us what "reality" is. He uses biased studies to confirm his position, yet disregards the opposing view.
Example: bashing affirmations yet he supports the notion of reframing fear into "excitement" - ie. You are still shifting the reality of perception - and USEFUL affirmations can help you do the same.
Had to turn this piece of garbage off after 1 hour 30 minutes. I already knew all the information he was talking about anyway. But for beginners, this could be a good start into building confidence.
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