CSBGL: Cracking the Confidence Code

Greenwich Academy girls are undeniably known for excellence. Nonetheless, in CSBGL discussions about the summer read, The Confidence Code, by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, students expressed personal connections with the theme of a lack of confidence.

“The pursuit of perfection” was the topic that the students were most interested in discussing. An ideal well known to Greenwich Academy girls, perfectionism is identified by The Confidence Code as one of the key characteristics that holds girls back from their potential.

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Photo: Google Images

The book suggests that boys answer questions in a nonchalant and carefree manner more frequently than girls do. Whether it be a classroom or conference room, males are relaxed when presenting their own ideas while females are self-conscious, struggling to achieve perfection.

“The idea of perfectionism in women really stood out to me because I thought it applied to life at GA. We all strive for perfection, even though it is an impossible goal to achieve,” said Liz Chicas, Group XI.

All are well aware that perfection is simply unattainable. Nonetheless, CSBGL students unanimously confessed their desires for perfection.

Kay and Shipman emphasize that this perpetual quest is what creates the difference in female and male confidence. Males are generally less concerned with perfection, and thus more able to answer questions and propose ideas with a nonchalant attitude.

In CSBGL discussions about the book, voices full of animation, anger, and even some hidden envy echoed throughout the room.

Determined to learn something from this summer read, CSBGL students analyzed Kay and Shipman’s lessons and took them to heart.

Kay and Shipman advise readers to “fail fast” (139). In other words, they suggest making a decision without overthinking, and then quickly learning from any mistakes that might arise.

Kay and Shipman also advise readers to meditate, count their blessings, sleep, and spend time with friends. All can be sources of positive, confidence-boosting energy.

In the workplace and at school, Kay and Shipman suggest maintaining a powerful posture (sitting up straight with a lifted chin), and trying to accomplish one small brave deed at a time to avoid aiming too big and feeling overwhelmed.

Although Kay and Shipman emphasize that confidence builds over time, these fixes are helpful for an immediate confidence boost.

Jordan Fischetti, XI, was inspired by this advice.

“The book made me examine my own life; it inspired me to try new things,” she said.

It is nice to know that our confidence is something we do in fact have control over

Now that CSBGL students are aware of the impact of attempts at perfection, they understand the uselessness of a fear of failure.

They are now armed with knowledge of how to overcome their fears and strive for greater confidence.

Ongoing CSBGL discussions about The Confidence Code will continue to address this topic. Stay tuned for their reports!