Cover image for The confident woman : learn the rules of the game
The confident woman : learn the rules of the game
Shaevitz, Marjorie Hansen.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Harmony Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 350 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ1206 .S465 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz, executive coach, lecturer, and therapist who has won national awards for her work in women's health, has the success some people only dream of: a prosperous professional life; a long, happy marriage; two Stanford-educated children; and a best-selling book, The Superwoman Syndrome, which coined a term for a generation of women. Despite all of her accomplishments, however, she struggled with the issue of confidence. After conducting extensive research, she found that she was far from alone: Many women are in the paradox of enjoying success in their business and personal lives while not having much confidence in themselves.         Throughout her professional career, Shaevitz has helped scores of women find the power within themselves to unshackle, rescue, or recover their self- confidence. Using a series of seven steps, complete with techniques and questions, Shaevitz presents an accessible and proven program that helps women regain their confidence.        The Confident Womanfocuses on the issues that women face in growing up as a girl and living as a woman in this society, offering the reader a more comprehensive approach to "filling the void within herself." The advice and information in this book are not limited to one age or stage of a woman's life: It is written for women of all ages, ending with an epilogue for mothers who want practical tips for raising confident daughters. Written in clear, concise prose and filled with anecdotes and humor,The Confident Womanfocuses on what women say they want: practical advice that they can use now.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Unlike self-esteem, confidence can be cultivated by carefully defining one's identity, likes and dislikes; learning to focus and manage time; eliminating stress; learning to be assertive; and developing trust in one's instincts, according to Shaevitz. A therapist in Los Angeles associated with Stanford's Institute for Research on Women and Gender, she points to her own development as a case study. Her advice on developing confidence is thorough if unoriginal; in an effort to be entertaining, she also includes "Tea Breaks" at the end of each chapter, which contain a recipe, jokes or music suggestions. The appendixes on depression and abuse and her bibliography are quite solid. However well-researched and well-meaning the book may be, its somewhat staid view of women's concerns and its programmatic approach make it a cousin to an earlier generation of self-help books. Shaevitz studiedÄand draws fromÄpsychological research and self-help literature from such highly respected sources as Martin Seligman, Herbert Benson, Harriet Lerner, Ken Pelletier and David Burns. The sections on improving time management and assertiveness and the variety of quizzes, how-to exercises and self-assessments aimed at clarifying identity are particularly well done. In its entirety, however, the book is behind the times and too long. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Shaevitz, the author of The Superwoman Syndrome, returns now with a seven-step program to help women boost their self-esteem. The book's four sections provide numerous exercises to help readers focus their energies on improving both their professional and their personal lives. Although well intended, these exercises seem burdensome. One wonders whether readers will even try to complete all the exercises presented throughout the book, especially since they seem to be designed to make readers feel as if they are in group therapy (without the benefit of personal contact with other people). Still, the practical advice offered does make it worth a look; recommended for public libraries.ÄSheila Devaney, Univ. of Georgia Lib., Athens (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Introduction WHO AM I TO BE TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO? A book is, after all,  nothing more than a personal letter to the world... at least to those who want to read it.                 -- Anonymous I can't remember when I didn't want to write this book.  After a lifetime of experiencing little confidence, two separate, but related incidents led me to stop thinking about it and sit down to prepare, and eventually write The Confident Woman .   The first incident took place when a colleague of mine, Dr. Kim Yeager, chief of the California Office of Women's Health, asked me to give a presentation for an upcoming National Roundtable on Women's Health.  The other presenters were going to be people who were considered "the experts" in their respective fields, so my immediate response was to tell her that I was sure that there were many others much better qualified than I to do such a presentation.  Frankly, that was the truth.  Nevertheless, Kim left the invitation open.   That evening I flew up to the San Francisco Bay Area to see my kids perform in a Stanford University improv program.  Before the show, I went out to dinner with another colleague, Dr. Iris Litt, Director of Adolescent Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine.  As we were sipping a glass of wine at a local cafÈ, I mentioned to Iris that a National Roundtable on Women's Health was going to be held in California and that she might want to get in touch with Kim Yeager about doing a piece on adolescent girls.  Just as an idle aside, I mentioned that Kim had asked me to give the talk on women's mental health and then casually told her of my response. What ensued was life-changing for me.  Iris, who in spite of her remarkable accomplishments, is a very soft-spoken woman, took my hand in hers, looked me straight in the eye, and in an uncharacteristically, strong voice said:  "Marjorie, don't you dare not accept this invitation!  Don't you know that when asked to give presentations, even the most highly educated, most qualified women--both Ph.D.'s and M.D.'s--continually take themselves out of the arena.   Predictably, they say no to invitations because they don't think they know enough, are good enough, are experienced enough, are prepared enough to speak on a subject.  Even when they are experts in their fields, many women don't seem to have the confidence to do the job." "On the other hand," she went on, "when most male Ph.D.'s or M.D.'s are asked to present, they say yes readily, whether or not they know anything about the subject!1  Hey, my friend, you've been offered a wonderful opportunity!  You've got to do it.  What do you have to lose?"   I was stunned.  Iris' words both challenged me and gave me courage to do something that I would not otherwise have done.  (Now that's a good friend!).  So in spite of not having the extraordinary academic credentials of my fellow roundtable presenters, I decided to participate.  With the help of a colleague, I spent six months relentlessly tracking down the research on women's mental health.  Eventually we managed to put together a respectable presentation.  At least it was effective enough to have the sponsoring organization ask us to give it again on two other occasions.  I will never forget that experience because it forced me to succeed at something about which I had little confidence.   The second incident took place just after I gave the roundtable talk.  One day a colleague of mine called to ask me to lecture on The Superwoman Syndrome to women faculty members at a major medical school.  My non-confident side whispered, "Who, me?  What could I possibly offer these brilliant women?"  Then I thought back to the previous incident and Iris's encouragement.  I realized that my colleague was asking me to speak on a topic about which I knew quite a lot.  (After all, I was the author of the one and only book on the subject.)  In spite of my initial trepidation, I said yes to her invitation. Once again I relied on my trusty work orientation and decided that to feel comfortable talking before this high-powered group, I needed to know more about them and what their respective "Superwoman" issues were.  As I agreed to do the talk, I also made arrangements to conduct interviews with about a dozen of the future audience members, all M.D.'s and/or Ph.D.'s.  As I interviewed these extraordinary women, I was astounded at how many of them seemed to lack self-confidence.  They said things like (and these are their EXACT words): I keep thinking, I hope I'm good enough. I just don't feel up to a lot of things...teaching, my research, being a good mother, keeping the household going. I know I need to take better care of myself...I just can't...I'm worn to a frazzle; freaked out with too much to do and yet guilty and miserable when I try to take some time for me.  I'm desperate for even a little bit of time alone. I'm insecure, damn insecure, but pleazzzzzzze don't breathe a word of this to anyone. I couldn't believe my ears!  Here were some of the most accomplished women in the United States, women who enjoyed all the accoutrements of success--degrees, decrees, prestigious careers, expensive homes, children in the best schools, new Volvos in their parking spaces--yet, so many of them appeared to be lacking in confidence.  And they were the cream of the crop...the top of the heap...the academic dream team!   So many questions popped into my head:  If these uncommonly successful academics and physicians don't have confidence, who does?  Does any woman?  Do people fake confidence?  (Hadn't I done that myself?)  If there are women of real confidence, who are they and how did they get it?  Why do others not have it?  Is one born with it?  What can a person do to develop it?  It's not as if you can traipse down to your local grocery store, open up a mail-order catalogue, or even go onto the Internet to buy some (If it were only so easy!)  I also thought about young girls and what we--as mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends, teachers, mentors--can do to insure that they grow up having true confidence. Right then and there I decided that I had to write this book.   Excerpted from The Confident Woman: Learn the Rules of the Game by Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.