What is self-confidence?
Self confidence is an attitude that is characterized by a positive belief that one
can take control of one’s life and of one’s plans.
People who are self confident are those who acknowledge their capacity to do
something and then proceed to do it. They do not rely on the approval
of other people in order to affirm their existence. It is enough that they know they have the capacity and the potential to do something, and the guts to do it no matter what others may say. People who are self confident take advantage of the opportunities that comes their way.
Gaining self confidence
While the process of attaining self confidence starts from childhood, an adult can still gain self confidence through his determination and through the support of his family and friends.

Parental support

People begin to develop confidence while growing up. The role of parents in instilling self confidence in their children is very important. Parents who are always critical of their children without acknowledging their strengths unknowingly dampen the development of their children's self confidence.

On the other hand, parents who actively encourage their children to take a move forward step be step, and insure that their children feel loved and accepted despite any imperfections will in all likelihood rear self confident off spring.

Lack of self confidence is not proportional to a person’s abilities. In fact, there are people who are extremely talented and able but they lack self confidence required to effectively express their abilities.

Self awareness and acceptance

If you desire self confidence, you need to continuously pursue activities that will help you gain confidence. These activities are:-
    1) Identify your strengths and weaknesses and capitalize on the strengths.
    2) Identify your skills and abilities, no matter how small.
    3) Actively seek out things that make you feel good about yourself.
       Celebrate your successes.  This will build confidence, enabling
       you to move on and do other things.
    4) Developing self confidence is not easy,  especially if you have a low
        opinion of yourself. Try to avoid anything that discourage you
        and do not dwell on past mistakes or failures.  Instead concentrate on
        the positive things that you have done and accomplished and make
        them your inspiration.  
Following the list above will, In time, develop your confidence.
Use the links below to obtain an additional information on self confidence.
Fear: The Natural Enemy of Self Confidence
The Fear of Failure
Body Posture
Walking with Confidence
Shake Hands to Improve Self-Confidence
Improving Self-Confidence through Eye Contact
Change the Way you Talk to Yourself  "Self Talk"
A Positive Attitude Can Take You Places
Setting Goals
Using Daily Affirmations