The Confidence Myth
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Not only do we need more female leaders at the top, but we need more women at all levels of business, government, and nonprofits to step up—there's no time to waste. The problem, says Helene Lerner, isn't so much that women lack confidence but that they misunderstand what confidence really is.

True confidence isn't fearlessness; it's having the courage to jump in even when your knees are shaking. Any woman who waits until she feels 100 percent confident before offering a big idea or asking for a raise or promotion will never get anywhere. Drawing on her own and other female leaders' experiences, as well as on her survey of over 500 working women, Lerner lays out practical strategies for beating this confidence myth and overcoming obstacles like gender bias. The book features dozens of Confidence Sparks, simple but powerful exercises and techniques that can catapult anyone's career to the next level.


Helene Lerner is the CEO of Creative Expansions Inc. and the founder of She is also an Emmy-winning executive producer, an independent public television host, a Fortune 500 workplace consultant, and the author of twelve books. Lerner has produced more than twenty televised specials and received American Public Television’s MVP Award for her outstanding contributions to public television.


CHAPTER 1: Transform fear by stepping up
CHAPTER 2: Lead with presence
CHAPTER 3: Win with honest feedback
CHAPTER 4: Create power parameters
CHAPTER 5: Stand out and attract sponsors
CHAPTER 6: Trust your inner compass

1. 30 Days of Confidence Sparks
2. Women and Confidence Survey: Methodology and Results



“Even today, women are often overly self-depreciating and under confident, especially when it comes to leadership roles. This book by Lerner (founder,; In Her Power) takes aim at that assertion by directly refuting six "confidence myths" that are often voiced by women. These include not feeling capable of tackling a job or project, the idea that one is either a "natural-born" leader or not, that criticism can't be handled objectively, that you have to do everything yourself, that it is too difficult to attract a sponsor or mentor, and not being able to trust your own intuition. While written from Lerner's own perspective as an author and workplace consultant, the book is also based on survey responses from 520 working women. The survey instrument and results are included in an appendix. Sprinkled throughout are a series of useful tips called "Confidence Sparks"—an additional appendix contains 30 more of these sparks, addressing areas not covered in the work's six main chapters. VERDICT A quick, practical, and appealing read about confidence boosting, with data to back it up.”
—Susan Hurst, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH, Library Journal 

“The Confidence Myth is the handbook for any woman looking to succeed in her career. Helene Lerner cuts through the noise and gets to the heart of what keeps women from succeeding in business—and how to get past it!”
—Barbara Corcoran, real estate mogul and star of ABC's Shark Tank

“Helene Lerner tackles head-on the myths and truths about confidence—a hot topic linked to women's success. Her straightforward, authentic approach incorporates practical tips and exercises to help build your confidence muscle. This book is a treasure trove of advice to help advance your career.”
—Sharon Orlopp, Global Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate People, Wal-Mart

“The Confidence Myth offers practical insights, tips, and tools that can help you move through your fears and spark your confidence. It's an indispensable read for women who want to become empowered and successful while staying true to their values.”
—Denise Morrison, President and CEO, Campbell Soup Company

“This is a powerful and heartfelt book about what it actually means to have true confidence. Helene inspires women leaders to tackle the confidence myth and provides actionable advice for women to propel their careers to the next level.”
—Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Founding President and CEO, Center for Talent Innovation

“The Confidence Myth is a must-read for every professional woman; it provides pragmatic advice for present and future leaders. Helene Lerner' insights are extremely valuable for any woman who wants to develop into a world-class leader.”
—Ana Dutra, President and CEO, Executives' Club of Chicago

“Every woman needs to read this book. It confirms you are not alone in your fears and worries while offering solid strategies to get beyond them. I started dog-earing pages I wanted to return to until I realized it would be easier just to dog-ear the ones I didn't.”
—Janet Kelly, Senior Vice President Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Conoco Phillips

“We all struggle with knowing how to express our own value and move through our fears--This book walks women through these common struggles and helps them emerge as stronger, more confident role models. Helene Lerner's combination of both honesty and insight makes this a valuable tool for women of all ages.”
—Mika Brzezinski, cohost of MSNBC's Morning Joe