Perfectly Confident by Don A. Moore [Book Summary – Review]

Confidence is compulsory. If you lack confidence, you will not influence people – and you will not be able to capture significant opportunities since you will be fearful to get them. This is why one can find thousands of publications written on ways to increase self-confidence. However, you should be careful: extremely basic suggestions that advise absolute trust is also not the answer too.

Showing off and exaggerating your abilities will soon explode in your face, and at that time it will not just be harsh – it might cause lasting harm to your reliability. This book review will tell you the ways to meet and reflect the optimal level of confidence. By advancing your skill of making decisions and comprehending your restrictions, you will be a greater and more reliable person that can talk confidently about everything.

In this book review, we will talk about

  • confidence is not all;
  • the distinctions between a reliable leader and a deceiver; and
  • the reasons why “which” questions are better than “whether” questions.

Chapter 1 – In contrast to what many consider, overconfidence is not innocent.

“Think you can or think you can’t – either way you’re right.”. Often ascribed to Henry Ford, this statement suggests how we should understand confidence. It tells that confidence is all and that your skills to be successful are attached just to the size of your confidence.

However, is it correct? Both yes and no. Do not misunderstand, faith in your skills is significant for achievement, and underconfidence can end up in lost chances. However, you should not be mistaken that achievements are obtained just by faith in yourself. There are lots of conditions in that overconfidence may damage your possibility of success at greater levels than underconfidence.

Overconfidence is hazardous according to the decision-making of individuals. Making decisions is challenging. It is infrequent for people to have complete information to make a deeply educated decision, and therefore they rely on their perceptions in selections, even significant ones. However, perceptions can – and frequently – cause faults.

In the past, lots of grievous incidents happened since people made instant decisions by greatly overrating their skills. For instance, look at the 2008 monetary crisis, everybody was extremely confident that they understood the worth of the subprime mortgages they purchased. The result when they recognized they did not? A financial crisis worldwide.

Studies demonstrate that overconfidence can cause outcomes of poor quality. Psychologist Gabrielle Oettingen has researched the impact of confidence on results and discovered that people who dream up about future accomplishments are less tend to achieve them. This impact can be observed both on small and large degrees. A student who assumes he has already ready for an exam might not put in sufficient effort and cause himself to get a bad grade. Or think about two firms – one that waits for perfect outcomes in the following quarter and one that awaits being in danger. The second firm would be more ready to transform things for improvement.

The warning here is that we need to utilize confidence to assist us to begin the work we need for achievement, not blocking it. Confidence by itself will not enable you to end a race if you have no experience running. However, confidence can provide you with the impulse to begin exercising, one mile in each step.

Chapter 2 – People who lack confidence in challenging duties often forget that it is challenging for other people too.

What are you skillful in? You can be excellent at cooking. Or you can drive extraordinarily. Whatever it is, something is certain: you often perform that activity. Meaningful, right? Consider this – no one would tell themselves a great golf player if they do not have experience in golf.

However, now consider the opposite. You possibly do not perform the things you are bad at often. If you have no experience in juggling, you will not have confidence in your skill in juggling – and you would tell yourself a “worse-than-average” juggler. It may look very simple, however, it is significant to recall since this is a big reason for underconfidence.

Underconfidence can frequently be observed if people grasp the boundaries of their skills and do not understand the boundaries of others. When you think a thing is especially challenging for you but you cannot observe others in hassle, you might develop a wrong perception that you are incompetent. Imagine you are learning a new language. You see that everybody else uses the language greater than you can. Therefore, you end up with the conclusion that everybody is better than you in languages. However, you have not considered the effort others put to learn grammar and vocabulary when you do not see them.

In summary, you have disheartened not since you are putting more effort than others, but because you have not seen others hassling. This incapability to observe what others are living produces all types of problems. For instance, consider your bare body. You can tell where your wounds, marks, and other defects are – however, nobody’s body is perfect in these ways. In these cases, underconfidence is due to the inability of you in observing others’ flaws.

This sense of pettiness can be extremely permanent. Even some of the world’s most renowned authors and craftsmen feel like “impostors” since they do not see the way others struggle. Even John Steinbeck, who has a Nobel Prize, once said that “I am not a writer. I have been fooling myself and other people.”, you should understand how challenging this could be for anyone else. You should not understand as if you need to turn in the other course and suppose that you are excellent at everything. You only need to recall that you should not compare and contrast your effort with others’ final outputs.

Chapter 3 – Make predictions that regard lots of potential conclusions to refrain from overconfidence.

If we could foresee the forthcoming, everything would be easier. However, because we cannot, we need to make decisions according to our perceptions of the things that could occur. No matter if you are selecting a business plan or purchasing a new house, all the great decisions require you to come up with a prediction.

The thing is… We often are not good at predicting. We are likely to be very definite in our forecasts. To resist this tendency, let uncertainty happen. If you are organizing a wedding, do not suppose that exactly 100 guests are going to attend. Of course, do a prediction for 100 people – however, allow uncertainties as well and develop plans for 80 or 120 people too.

“Expected value” is a strong method in predictions. It is basic: rather than selecting one result, put probabilities to a variety of results. For instance, rather than considering the project to finish in 10 days, try to sense the probability that you will finish in less than 6 days, between 6 and 8 days, between 8 and 10 days, between 10 and 12 days, etc. When you figure out the probabilities, you will be able to average the results and obtain a numerical prediction of the time you will be finished.

This is an enormously beneficial method to boost your prediction since it pushes you to think about all the potential results of a plan rather than simply supposing that it is possibly false. There is another advantage too: you can keep your predictions and turn back to them after the reality to make your thinking better. If the plan lasted for fourteen days, you can turn back to your predictions and grasp the reasons for being overconfident.

To remember other options, consider “which” selection you are willing to choose rather than “whether” you are willing to make a selection or not. Research showed this by inquiring some individuals whether they are willing to purchase a DVD or not and by inquiring other individuals which action they prefer to take – purchase a DVD or save their money for a different product. Seventy-five percent of individuals who were asked the question “whether” to purchase the DVD, selected to purchase it; however, just 55 percent of individuals who were recalled the alternative selections, purchased the DVD. While making a decision, you cannot be certain that you are selecting the correct one if you do not know all of your selections.

Chapter 4 – Take others’ opinions to confront your prejudices.

Think as if somebody showed you a big jar of jelly beans and wanted you to estimate the number of the jelly beans inside that jar. Do you believe you would estimate it right? Possibly not, right? If you have some peers and they estimated as well, possibly their answers are not correct too.

However, here is the point – although nobody could be completely correct, the average of everybody’s estimates would nearly sure to be a correct estimation of the number of jelly beans. Nobody could be extremely certain in their estimates, however, collectively, the whole group may find a near answer. This is correct for other things that are more significant than jelly beans. It may look contradictory, however, a group can be more clever than only one specialist.

Conflict is not a prevention to knowledge, conversely, it can be a major tool for advancing the estimation skill. Understanding the reasons for others’ contentions may improve our perspective and average out the mistaken parts of each individual. It can be as easy as taking the average of each side of a discussion; if two people are discussing what was the price of something before, probably the correct price is between their guesses. Fast and simple, certainly – however, it works.

This can be a beneficial guideline even when you are alone. Research inquired participants to forecast the date of some historical events. After the first estimate, they were wanted to think about why their answers might not be correct – and then another estimate was wanted. The second estimates were more correct than the initial ones; taking the average of the two provided a better estimate than both of the estimates! You can generate new views that can balance your thoughts.

However, while trying to harness the wisdom of a group of people, it’s significant to recall that you want a variety of different ideas. If you just talk with individuals who own the same prejudices as you, you do not attain a better forecast. Great institutions gather people with different views to increase the variety of ideas and generate greater decisions. Look at Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet, which was intentionally loaded with individuals who clash with one another. For bringing such opposition, you need to be brave; however, in the conclusion, you will achieve improved decision-making.

Chapter 5 – Inflated confidence is not reliable; skill is what acquires reliability.

Individuals who are the best in their areas frequently lack confidence. Consider the best people in sports internationally such as Michael Jordan and Christiano Ronaldo – they look unrivaled, very confident in their skills that it is very surprising if they become unsuccessful. This looks like an admirable characteristic. Everybody would desire to have such high confidence like theirs, right?

However, pay attention when imitating their attitudes. Recall that Usain Bolt does not run at that pace because of his exploding confidence – he is self-confident since he can run at an extreme pace. Confidence can influence others, however, it needs to have a base.

Certainly, sole confidence can bring reliability. Think as if you are telling about a topic to somebody. The listener is entirely unused to the topic; all he/she has is your sentences. In such a case, confidence is important. Studies demonstrate that keeping everything the same, showing confidence boosts sensed reliability.

However, that is it. Everybody can imitate self-confidence, and lots of people do. There are even words in our vocabulary for people with confidence without a base for it: “con artists” and “scammers”. Consider a sales employee pretending that a fake product is original, or students who did not study try to look like they have studied for an oral examination. At the time you begin to research the essence of the subject they are explaining, their reliability falls into pieces and they become unreliable. If there is no foundation, confidence is meaningless in the long-term.

This does not mean you should be extremely disapproving or depressed. The middle ground is truly telling about the things you do not have an idea about, leveraging your experience and skill to transmit reliable and well-adjusted information. The research analyzed which researchers were more reliable while trying to forecast the result of games. Researchers who reflected false precision were seen as reliable – however, the people who explained that they are not certain were also seen as reliable. The most trustworthy were the people that put probabilities with the lines “there is 65 percent chance of winning for a team”, which demonstrated both their ambiguity and greater knowledge. This type of well-earned confidence is correctly recalled in the longer term.

Chapter 6 – For being a self-confident leader, you need to put bright norms and be welcoming to fresh information.

Possibly no field is more attached to confidence than leadership. A person who lacks confidence cannot be a leader; if someone does not have faith in his/her skills, he/she cannot decide clearly and gain the esteem of the followers. Therefore, can a leader adjust his/her confidence cautiously?

The answer is not to pose a false front, but to be welcoming to information and knowing about the things you do not know. Precision is necessary, both for you and your group.

Undefined and unclear norms can cause wrong self-images since everybody has distinct individual experiences. When you question someone if they are a great driver, they would probably say yes; everybody has a distinct own opinion of “great driving”. But when you want people to give ratings to their skills in parallel parking, inclusion into traffic, going through highways, and other exact abilities, you would obtain more thorough information about their driving skills.

In the leadership situation, this is specifically significant because a frequent origin of debate in a group environment occurs if people have distinct opinions about what should be done. You should put obvious, quantifiable norms, and both leaders and group members will have greater clarity about their position. For instance, a lecturer who demonstrates to her students some samples of good articles will acquire fewer objections on grading, as everyone grasps the standard and the level of the article is wanted to have.

Therefore, placing bright standards is not sufficient. Leaders also need to be certain that all the necessary information is available in front of them – not only the information they would like to hear. It can be simple for a powerful person to become caught only admitting flattery and disregarding the undesired news about bad outcomes. Undeniably, studies demonstrate that people inherently care differently about the news according to whether it is desired or undesired. If you want to ascertain that your decision was perfect and the first piece of proof you saw reinforces that, then excellent! It is not necessary to examine further, right?

However, this is not influential leadership. Great leaders construct organizations in which individuals can talk about their doubts and worries, even though they counteract what leadership essentially goes for. It is hard to stay completely welcoming to all input; however, recall that the more information you acquire, the better your confidence becomes.

Perfectly Confident: How to Calibrate Your Decisions Wisely by Don A. Moore Book Review

Confidence is a strong instrument – however, it needs to be earned. In making decisions, recall thinking about a huge variety of potential outcomes so that you would be more knowledgeable and able to more correctly adjust your confidence throughout the way. While real self-esteem originates from understanding what you are not informed about, the wrong boldness pops up quickly.

Predict by using probabilities.

In your next big plan or long-term aim, note down your prediction of the likelihood of you finishing the work in various time frames. Probably this will provide you with a better opinion of the duration it will require. When you have finished it, you can turn back and see your initial prediction and have a better opinion of if you are likely to over-or under-predict things, and the reasons for that.

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