SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- How much or little we encourage girls can determine how confident they are as adults. New research has revealed that by age 6, girls already start believing that boys are smarter.

Self-doubt can affect girls' decisions concerning school, career, and salary — but one author wants to put an end to the coddling, and spark a new generation of gutsy girls.

Caroline Paul has been on one high-flying adventure after another, such as being one of the first female firefighters in San Francisco, surfing, and sea kayaking.  And now, she wants to make sure young girls are just as gutsy in their own lives.

“I think it’s really important to encourage bravery in girls … it turns out and studies show this is that parents caution their girls way more they do their boys, which means that girls grow up really being fearful of a lot of things,” Paul said.

That led Paul to write the book "The Gutsy Girl," followed by "You Are Mighty" to encourage bravery in the next generation, a theme she also took on in a TED talk.  Little did she know the impact it would have on 10-year-old Arya Jawalikar, who wrote a letter to Paul.

“Dear Caroline Paul, thank for your inspiring words,” Jawalikar recited.

“I’m writing this so I can tell you all the scary and risky but fun things that I have done with your inspiration,” Paul read.

“I also gave a speech to my school about equality, peace and justice for all,” Jawalikar continued. “Sincerely, Arya.”

Paul said, “For kids, it’s just its really fun to get outside and do things that you are nervous about like Arya told me that she did.”

A chance to meet the author in person was another big milestone for Jawalikar.

“At first she kind of seemed like a superhero. I thought of it as like motivation,” Jawalikar said.

“Bravery is learned. And like anything learned, you just have to practice it,” Paul said.

The point of Paul's books: Push beyond your comfort zone.

Paul also adds that it’s never too early or too late to find our inner gutsy girl.  A good way to start is to practice what she calls micro-bravery.  For a child, it can be as simple as raising her hand in class or for an adult, going to an event alone.  Those small steps can lead to a less fearful and more confident individual.

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Jennifer Winter, Producer; Rusty Reed, Videographer and Roque Editor, Editor.