Confidence is generally described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. Self-confidence is having confidence in oneself. Arrogance or h … see full wiki
Confidence can be tricky... one can lose it when one has it at its peak. We often view the state of being confident as a treasure. Kids are drilled and educated so that they may be confident of themselves (often, at the expense of others too).
Confidence can be classified into 3 broad categories:
Confidence in others
Self confidence at its best dazzles not only ourselves but also the world at large. We can spot someone who's confident about himself/herself from afar. That confidence doesn't have to be long lasting nor does it has to be real. As long as one believes in oneself in a certain field of expertise or during that moment in time, one will exude that confidence to the world. It has a mirror effect. See it in yourself and the world will most likely see it in you too. Hence, it's also a "trick" that many books are teaching those who lack self-confidence in themselves. In this scenario, visualization plays an important part in the acquisition of real confidence.
In other words, act it long enough and it becomes a reality. Acting confident will eventually leads one to feel more confident about oneself. Naturally how long each person takes to do so differs. Essentially, some may argue this is self deceiving. Correct! I do believe that when you cannot trust yourself to be confident, that may be what it takes to get you there. Personally, I'm not sure if it will work for everyone as I'm sure some are good at deceiving others and themselves while another group of people find it impossible. For me personally, I was confident since a very young age, being the eldest in the family normally gives one that privilege (again, that can be argued to be a generalization...) so I don't have a problem with Self-Confidence.
Nonetheless, I'm also human, that means I've had my fair sure of trial and tribulations. There are times when I lose confidence (though normally for a short period of time ;-)) so I prefer to think that for normal people, it's normally how long you pick yourself up from the low that is of more importance. These are times when you need your friends most and people whom have shown support to you in the past. Talk more to them instead of just staying home and fret. That I feel is a great way to get out of the rut!
Hence, in that very sense confidence in others come hand in hand. We all have friends and families. Relationships that support our existence and mental well being in this world. We need to have confidence in others to function and operate successfully in this world. Think about waking up in the morning and brushing your teeth. You need to know the water is safe and your toothpaste is not toxic. That is one way of looking at confidence in others. When you get out of the house, you need to know that the mechanic has serviced the lift well and that it operates safely. Then the bus driver, the train or your car mechanic has not tampered with the wires and that you can depend on his/her expertise to get you where you need to go...
IF you don't have confidence in others, life would be extremely tough for you. Confidence in others translates to confidence in them doing the right thing and performing at their best mental states at any moment in time. The pilot who is not drunk while you are on the same plane, the driver who is not going to kill himself because he's a terrorist and the chef who is not mentally disturbed because he/she lost his/her lover and acted mindlessly (or carelessly) in the kitchen and hence blew it up while you're having your lunch there!
Yes, we certainly need a great deal of confidence in others, even if you don't stop and think about it. We at large simply hope that is not a misplaced confidence. The world had been good to one another and we have many unknown heroes to thank for to get through our daily lives. So, if you really think about it, we are all very lucky most of the time. The world functions extremely well!
Now, business confidence is not so much the confidence about others. Rather, it is the business community confidence about the future. It is our trust in the world's way of conducting businesses and the economies at large. In the world of Finance and Banking, business confidence is of utmost importance. It relates to the allocation of resources and hence affects each and everyone of our lives. It gives you an idea what kind of jobs is highly demanded in the future (say architects vs golfers or bankers vs pianists). It gives clue as to what to invest in, stocks or properties or gold. It tells the government where to allocate jobs and if federal budget will be met!!!
[S&P is losing confidence in US ability to meets its debt and is considering downgrading its credit rating, the last I heard! That could be disastrous for the US$!]
In retrospect, business confidence affects self confidence especially if you are a working adult. When you are successful in your job (aka your macro environment is positive, then your probability of success increases) your self confidence naturally increases in doses. As much as we don't like it (or for some, like it) our feelings about ourselves are dependent on how we do financially. When we are financially sound, we are able to do lots, not only for ourselves but also for others. It's a multiplier effect with reference to confidence. Clearly, there is much to be gained from being confident about ourselves, others and business. When that fails, it is when the world falls apart.
We are at the intersection of that road of confidence now in the world. The last 5 years have the world seen its total sum of confidence (if that can be measured, that is) plummeted to the low (which I believed is not quite the low as yet) from its highest level in 2006/7. Humans learn from past mistakes and we take comfort in that. Hopefully, we are not going to see a further erosion of confidence as that clearly is not good for everyone's sake!!!