The Confidence Myth: Why Women Undervalue Their Skills and How to Get Over It

  • 1h 37m
  • Helene Lerner
  • Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • 2015

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.

About the Author

Helene Lerner is the founder of She is a prolific author, independent public television host, Emmy-award-winning executive producer, and workplace consultant. She covers a wide array of issues, such as women and confidence, harnessing personal power in changing times, calculated risk taking, reinvention, breaking barriers, and more.

Since 1994 Helene has produced and hosted more than twenty televised specials under the umbrella of her company, Creative Expansions, Inc. She received American Public Television’s MVP Award for her outstanding contributions to public television. She began her career as a teacher in the New York City public school system. Using her innate business instincts, Helene later pursued sales and marketing assignments during the 1980s, working her way up through the management ranks of the New York Times. She is currently the CEO of Creative Expansions, Inc., a multimedia company she created whose mission is to empower women and girls.

In addition to writing books and producing television specials, Helene maintains a private practice, coaching individuals and groups and providing tools to increase their sense of empowerment. She also advises corporations on leadership and diversity issues. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Helene holds an MBA from Pace University and a master’s in education from City College in New York City, where she currently resides.

Her website,, the premier website for career women, offers strategies on leadership, advancement, and navigating work and life, as well as a multimedia blog with posts from career coaches. She has a robust social media presence, providing tips and inspiration to loyal followers.

In this Book

  • Introduction
  • 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
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix A: Thirty Days of Confidence Sparks
  • Appendix B: The Women and Confidence Survey: Methodology and Results