To be blunt if you want to succeed at anything, you will need to have a certain level of confidence. This does not mean that you need to boldly and fearlessly attack every aspect of life. There certainly may be areas where you lack confidence. You need to identify, however, the areas of life where you need to be confident in order to succeed.
The first thing you need to do is to identify where you need more confidence, and where you do not. For example, you maybe nervous of public speaking (most people are), and you need to get over those nerves in order to succeed. In this case, you will need to gain confidence in speaking in front of people. If you lack confidence in cooking a good meal however, that more than likely will not affect to your speaking ability. So, you need to identify where you need to gain confidence, and where a lack of confidence does not really matter. This does not mean however that you cannot gain confidence in other areas, though.
One of the dangers of a lack of confidence is that it can fuel failure. Failure then leads to decreased confidence, which leads to failure, which leads to well… you can see it is a self fulfilling circle. Lack of confidence and failure feed on each other, and they will drag you down. So, the first key to gaining confidence (could be obvious this one!) is to succeed rather than fail.
Your first successes do not need to be major successes. You just need to succeed at something to start lifting yourself up, and break out of the failure/lack of confidence cycle. Choose a small goal to achieve. It could be anything you want, and does not necessarily need to be seen by others – you just to pick on a goal that you want to achieve. Focus and set your mind on achieving this goal. Give yourself a realistic time frame, and then determine what you need to in order to succeed.
Once you achieve this goal, you will start to see that you can succeed. Keep setting yourself goals, and work towards achieving them. Success will lead to confidence, which will lead to more success, and so on. Before long, you will be able to attack those identified critical areas where you lack confidence. If you fear public speaking, you can now start working on that lack of confidence. Find mentors to help you along. Seek out someone who does it on a regular basis and watch them. In NLP we call this modelling - seeing, hearing and feeling what they are doing to be able to do what they do! Also find groups and organizations that deal with the specific area will help you to build confidence.
Do not confuse confidence with arrogance. Being confident is a good thing, being arrogant is a bad thing. Confidence is the idea that you can achieve something that you can succeed. Arrogance is the idea that you are better than others.
Confidence is the key to succeeding in any aspect of life. Whether you want to succeed in business, creative endeavours, fitness, weight loss or family, you need to have a certain degree of confidence. Start by setting yourself small goals, and find small successes. Build on those successes and you will find yourself gaining confidence in all areas of your life. Once you have confidence and success, then you can start helping those who lack confidence themselves. That's a great thing to be able to do!