Inspired by great figures from Emerson and Nietzsche to Madonna and Serena Williams, this engaging philosophical essay explores the workings of self-confidence and how to develop it.
Where does self-confidence come from? How does it work? What makes it stronger or weaker? Why are some people more confident than others? Is it only a question of temperament or the result of conscious self-improvement? How do you get closer to those who stand out thanks entirely to their confidence in themselves?
Drawing on philosophical texts, ancient wisdom, positive psychology, and a wide range of case studies that feature famous thinkers, artists, and athletes, but also unsung heroes such as a fighter pilot and an urgent-care doctor, Charles Pépin brings to light the strange alchemy that is self-confidence. In doing so, he gives us the keys to having more confidence in ourselves.
About the Author
Charles Pépin is a philosopher and novelist whose work has been published in some thirty countries. He is the author of Philosophers on the Couch, When Beauty Saves Us, and Joy. His latest essay, The Virtues of Failure, has sold more than 65,000 copies and been translated and published in thirteen countries. With the designer Jul, Pépin published the bestsellers The Planet of the Wise and 50 Shades of Greeks. He is also the organizer of the Lundis Philo lecture series at MK2 Odéon in Paris.
Willard Wood has translated more than twenty-five books from the French. He is a recipient of the Lewis Galantière Award for Literary Translation and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Translation. He lives in Norfolk, Connecticut.
“An essay that draws from case studies and philosophical texts to break down the nuances of self-confidence and how it develops.” —New York Times Book Review
“[Pépin unifies] disparate examples (including Sigmund Freud, and Søren Kierkegaard, Madonna, and Serena Williams) with his own memories of developing self-confidence as a student and teacher…intriguing…punchy.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Pépin presents] a more nuanced understanding of self-confidence…A thoughtful read for anyone seeking the philosophical underpinnings of self-confidence.” —Library Journal
“A rewarding and intelligent work.” —Le Figaro
“Intriguing, profound, and eloquent.” —Elle (France)
“An inspiring reflection.” —L’Express
“A book full of wisdom and joy.” —France Inter