On Confidence by The School of Life
My Rating of “On Confidence” by The School of Life: 8 / 10
This book was an interesting choice for me compared to most of the books I read. The choice of On Confidence was due to research I did as part of my District Leadership responsibilities within Toastmasters. What’s great is that I have many personal takeaways.
Confidence is a concept that some put too much focus on and others too little. I grew up with my Dad always saying to be confident in any situation; whether an exam, job interview, driving test or my first date with a girl. These days I’m a relatively confident person, however at times I’ll defer to others who are externalising greater confidence. What’s great for the reader is the knowledge that confidence is a skill and not something you inherit from birth. It is something that can can be built, however The School of LIfe believes confidence is founded on a set of ideas about the world and our natural place within it.
On Confidence is a very short book and can be consumed within 1 – 2 hours. Given the time investment required, I highly recommend this to everyone. If you’re a less confident person you will certainly learn something. Conversely if you’re very confident, there are aspects you should reflect on. I don’t normally do this in a review however I’m going to finish with a quote from the book that to me is quite profound:
“One of the things that separates confident from diffident people is their approach to history. Broadly speaking, the unconfident believe that history is over; conversely, the confident trust that history is still in the process of being made – and possibly by themselves one day.”
Three key takeaways from the book:
- Once we learn to see ourselves as already, and by nature foolish, it won’t matter so much if we do one more thing that might look stupid.
- Faced with challenges, we often leave the possibility of success to others, because we don’t see to ourselves to be the sort of people to win.
- We start out in life with a very strong impression that competent and admirable people are not like us at all.