The Confidence Gap Book Review

So, you want to boost your confidence, eh? Well, you’re not alone. In a world where self-doubt often takes the front seat, Russ Harris takes a stab at addressing this universal issue in his book, “The Confidence Gap.” Having delved into this insightful read, I’m here to share my thoughts, impressions, and the invaluable lessons I gleaned from its pages. This book isn’t about a quick fix; it’s about understanding and mastering the art of confidence.

1 Sentence Summary: “The Confidence Gap” by Russ Harris offers a refreshing take on confidence by dispelling the myth that it’s about banishing self-doubt entirely, instead advocating for the coexistence of doubt and courage through actionable strategies and practical advice.

The Confidence Gap A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt by Russ Harris

TitleThe Confidence Gap
AuthorRuss Harris
GenreSelf Help
Publication DateJanuary 1, 2010
Length272 pages

Where to Purchase

Best Quotes from the Book:

  1. “Courage is not the absence of fear; it’s the ability to act in the presence of fear.”This quote sets the stage for the entire book, emphasizing that confidence isn’t about eliminating fear but rather about learning how to act despite its presence. It’s a reminder that even the most confident individuals experience doubt and fear at times. The key is to embrace these feelings and move forward.
  2. “The actions we take either move us toward our values or away from our values.”Harris highlights the importance of aligning our actions with our core values. Confidence is not just about feeling good; it’s about living a life that’s true to who you are. This quote encourages readers to reflect on their values and make choices that support them.
  3. “You don’t have to be a fearless person to have confidence; you just need to be a courageous one.”This quote reinforces the idea that confidence is not reserved for the fearless few. It’s attainable for anyone willing to embrace courage and take action despite their doubts and fears. It’s a reminder that confidence is a skill that can be developed over time.
  4. “Your mind is not your friend when you step out of your comfort zone.”Harris acknowledges that our minds often resist change and discomfort, which can hinder our confidence. This quote encourages readers to recognize that self-doubt and negative thoughts are natural responses when stepping out of one’s comfort zone. It’s a call to be compassionate with ourselves during these moments.

Book Summary

“The Confidence Gap” is more than just a self-help book; it’s a guide to a mindset shift. Russ Harris doesn’t promise a miraculous transformation overnight. Instead, he presents a pragmatic approach to understanding and managing self-doubt. He argues that confidence is not the absence of fear or self-doubt but rather the ability to act in the face of these emotions.

One of the central themes of the book is the concept of ‘values.’ Harris suggests that confidence is closely tied to living a life in alignment with our core values. He encourages readers to identify their values and take actions that are consistent with them. This, he argues, can lead to a sense of fulfillment and confidence.

The book is divided into nine agreements, each addressing different aspects of confidence. These agreements provide readers with actionable steps to cultivate confidence gradually. They range from understanding the nature of the mind and its tricks to embracing self-doubt, practicing mindfulness, and taking committed action.

Russ Harris uses relatable examples and practical exercises to illustrate his points. He also incorporates elements of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a psychological framework aimed at helping individuals accept their thoughts and feelings while committing to meaningful action. This integration of ACT principles into the book adds depth and credibility to his advice.

Book Review

Russ Harris’s writing style is engaging and accessible, making complex psychological concepts easy to understand. He presents his ideas in a conversational tone, making readers feel like they’re having a one-on-one conversation with a trusted friend. This approach helps demystify the often intimidating realm of self-help and psychology.

The book is filled with relatable examples and anecdotes, which make it easy for readers to see themselves in various scenarios. This relatability is one of the book’s strengths, as it helps readers connect with the material on a personal level.

One potential criticism of the book is that it occasionally feels repetitive. Some concepts and ideas are revisited multiple times throughout the book. While repetition can be a useful tool for reinforcement, it might be excessive for some readers.

Additionally, some readers may find that the book lacks specific, step-by-step strategies for building confidence in certain situations, such as public speaking or job interviews. While Harris provides valuable general principles, readers seeking more specialized guidance may need to look elsewhere.

That said, “The Confidence Gap” excels in its overarching message: confidence isn’t about eliminating self-doubt entirely; it’s about learning how to coexist with it. Russ Harris delivers this message effectively and provides readers with a solid foundation for building their confidence.


This book is part of my list of best confidence books. Check out the list for more books on this subject.

This Book Is Recommended For:

  1. Individuals Struggling with Self-Doubt: If you often find yourself paralyzed by self-doubt and fear, this book offers a fresh perspective on how to navigate these emotions and take meaningful action.
  2. Anyone Seeking Authentic Confidence: If you’re tired of superficial, quick-fix approaches to confidence and desire a more authentic, values-based form of confidence, this book is a valuable resource.
  3. Leaders and Managers: Those in leadership positions can benefit from the principles in this book by learning how to support and inspire their teams to overcome self-doubt and take confident action.
  4. Psychology Enthusiasts: If you’re interested in the field of psychology, “The Confidence Gap” offers insights from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and provides practical applications of these principles in everyday life.

Small Actionable Steps You Can Do

Now, let’s dive into some practical steps you can take based on the agreements presented in “The Confidence Gap.” Remember, confidence is a skill that can be developed over time, so start small and be patient with yourself.

Agreement 1: The Real Deal

  • Reflect on your values: Take some time to identify your core values. What truly matters to you in life? Write them down.
  • Make small choices aligned with your values: Start by making small decisions that align with your values. This could be as simple as choosing to spend your free time on activities that resonate with what you value most.

Agreement 3: The Dirty Rotten Scoundrel

  • Practice mindfulness: Begin a daily mindfulness practice, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This can help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions without judgment.

Agreement 6: Confidence Is Not the Absence of Fear

  • Embrace discomfort: Whenever you feel fear or self-doubt, see it as a sign that you’re stepping out of your comfort zone. Acknowledge it, but don’t let it stop you from taking action.

Agreement 8: Be More You

  • Set actionable goals: Identify one or two small goals that align with your values. Make them specific and achievable. Then, take consistent steps toward achieving them.

Agreement 9: The Confidence Gap

  • Celebrate your wins: Whenever you take action despite self-doubt, celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Acknowledging your progress can boost your confidence.

“The Confidence Gap” by Russ Harris is a valuable resource for anyone looking to develop a more authentic and resilient form of confidence. While it may have its occasional moments of repetition and lack of specialized strategies, its core message is clear and powerful: confidence is about taking action in the presence of self-doubt, not eliminating doubt altogether. By aligning your actions with your values and embracing discomfort, you can embark on a journey toward greater confidence and a more fulfilling life.


  • Michael Corbin

    Michael Corbin stands out as a dynamic content writer which combines his dual passions for self-help and digital marketing literature. A fervent believer in the transformative power of books, Michael delves deep into self-help titles, extracting valuable lessons and insights that he actively integrates into his daily life. Simultaneously, his keen interest in digital marketing books has not only expanded his knowledge but has also played a pivotal role in the success of his business ventures. Always on a quest for self-improvement and growth, Michael's reviews are a testament to his commitment to personal and professional development. His writings offer readers a unique perspective, as they are infused with real-world applications and experiences derived from the books he reviews. For those seeking to elevate their personal lives or enhance their business strategies, Michael Corbin's reviews serve as a trusted guide, pointing them to the most impactful and actionable books in the realms of self-help and digital marketing. His relentless pursuit of knowledge and betterment makes him an invaluable asset to the literary community and an inspiration to readers and entrepreneurs alike.

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