It is relatively common to suggest that someone be more confident. Confidence is viewed as a way to get most things you want in life because people supposedly respect confidence.
This is one of the worst pieces of advice to give to someone.
While confidence can get you certain things, there are good ways to be confident and bad ways to be confident. These depend on ability level and certainty. For any specific activity which you think will benefit from you being more confident, you have a skill level associated with the activity. If you’re scared to drive a car, you could convince yourself you’re able to do it, and that confidence boost will help you driving. However, this is false confidence, as you had to convince yourself that you’re able to do it. The fact is that no matter how confident you are, if your skill level doesn’t match that required to do something, confidence won’t allow you to do it to the level needed.
If you convince yourself that you’re able to jump across a hole, yet your ability level does not match that, then you will fall. This is being overconfident, but more relevantly to this discussion, it’s false confidence.
Your confidence level should match your skill level, otherwise you will either be too unconfident to do things that you’re actually able to do, or too confident and will attempt and fail at things that you’re not able to do.
However, confidence just prevents you from doubting yourself. This is not a good thing in life. Instead of convincing yourself, prove to yourself that you are either capable of doing the activity to the degree required or not. The key differences here between confidence and certainty are that confidence is an unfounded belief, which may be useful at times but is not a permanent solution or way to live life. Confidence should only be used when needed. Certainty on the other hand should be acquired through scientific method, to determine as sure as possible whether or not you’re able to talk to someone, drive a car, pass a test, take a class, take a job, or anything else that people substitute with confidence in their everyday lives.
People may respect people who look confident, but confidence attempts to be that which science rarely is: certain. While you will rarely ever be 100% certain of something, you will always be more certain than a confident person will be. What matters isn’t what you believe, but what you know. People in western society have been convinced that taking risks will lead to a better life, and that you need to be confident to take risks. Risks by their nature can either turn out well, or badly. Some risks are not worth taking, and some are. Confidence will not determine which risks you should take, it will not distinguish between what you can and cannot do. You are the one who needs to inform theirself on what they can do, and to learn how to do the things they cannot yet do.
Confidence is a lie; learn what you can do, and teach yourself what you cannot yet do. Make informed decisions, take calculated risks, and always make sure.