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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Not very helpful

Narration was good. Unfortunately, after dismissing all of the other self improvement books, this author's idea is to remember all your fears, phobias, and frustrations, give them a name and then belittle them until they aren't important to you anymore. Very simplistic solutions dotted with classic examples of people who didn't give up and became successful.

Because of the title, I was intrigued and really wanted to like this book. Very disappointed.

113 of 121 people found this review helpful

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  • Riker
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • 01-11-16

The One Book for Overcoming Anxiety

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.

140 of 154 people found this review helpful

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A so-so attempt of trying to be unique

While this author attempts to be different, he simply repackaged familiar self-help material. It is not all bad, however. He did give 1 new perspective (for me) relating to a person's values as a means of motivation. I listened to the entire book but was ready for it to end long before the end came. This could have been a good entry level self-help book except the author believes his way is better than others and he repeatedly knocks other methods.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

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Not helpful if you are already self-aware

What did you like best about The Confidence Gap? What did you like least?

This book would be helpful for those with very low confidence and low self esteem. I did not find this helpful at all. I do have a lot of self doubt, but I am very self-aware and mindful so therefore the tips and tricks weren't of use for me. Whenever he would pause and ask you to consider your thoughts mine were already positive where he assumed they would likely be negative.

Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

The concepts of the book were easy to follow. Like others have stated, it would be better to read the paperback version so you could write out your responses to some of the activities if you have time. ( I listen to books while I am working so this wasn't an option for me)

35 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • Gillian
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 02-01-18

Today's Daily Deal--The Confidence Gap

I listened to The Confidence Gap some time ago but never got around to writing a review for it because there's one thing in it that you HAVE to do: you have to actually ACT. What?!? I'm into listening to guidance, not actually living a full life...!
But since my therapist and I have switched to what the book expounds on, I've found myself dipping into it again and again. We're doing ACT--Action Commitment Therapy with, yes--heavy sigh--doing things concretely to gain self-confidence.
If you've been around the whole confidence book block, a lot will be familiar to you. But I like The Confidence Gap because it has all of that plus a few nuggets here and there that were new to me. The best thing about it is that, while you need to actually do things, this isn't another Fake It 'Til You Make It book. This addresses what stops us most: FEAR (by the way, F.E.A.R. turns up as an an acronym as something else also). Here you'll learn to be The Fear Whisperer, to learn to live with fear as easily as you do with a simply pesky fly--you'll stop noticing it when you stop fighting it so hard.
I also like that the book addresses really shaping and believing in our personal values: they're the key to growth, the magic glue, that keeps you going towards your long-term/short-term goals.
I got this book in a Kindle Unlimited/Whispersync bundle, so I didn't pay full price for it, and I'm glad, as I already have books on self-confidence, introverts, just plenty of self-development. But it's worth it if you haven't tried much before. And it's definitely worth it as a Daily Deal!

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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What I needed

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.

58 of 70 people found this review helpful

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  • Susie
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 07-09-15

No Secrets Here

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.

72 of 89 people found this review helpful

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Changed my life, really.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has changed my life, and this was the audiobook that introduced me to it. The practices of ACT have dug me out of several deep holes in my life already.

When I listened to this audiobook about a year ago, I had listened to a few audiobooks about confidence already, but this was the first one that made intuitive sense to me. I trusted the advice given, maybe because I have a background with practicing Buddhist meditation, so the mindfulness advice aligned with my beliefs.

Learning about "experiential avoidance" is what really changed my life, because I realized it was exactly what I was doing. This book helped me recognize my self-sabotaging patterns and change them.

In addition to this book, the other audiobook that really helped introduce me to ACT was "Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life" by Stephen C Hayes. I recommend that audiobook, too.

One of the best foundational pieces of advice from this book, which I will remember forever: "The actions of confidence come first, the feelings of confidence come later."

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Increadibly insightful, life changing!

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!

38 of 48 people found this review helpful

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Fear is my new best friend

The Confidence Gap's narrative, voice and style are unorthodoxically helpful. From someone who has a library full of self-help books and motivational tools, this was by far, the most helpful book I've read. Struggled about 1 year to finish it but it was well worth it. Hooked, trampled and lost in the tyrannical dictatorship of self-judgements & self-justifications, I came to start acting on ACT. 1year later, Diffusion and Expansion have paved the way to a successful, meaningful life.
Start the book, and even if you stopped for a few days, months, years, come back to it again. Unhook yourself, give yourself the chance to win

5 of 6 people found this review helpful