Edit: I came across this article recently, and I think it gives you a short bug good picture of the difference between being cocky and confident.
Do you come across as confident? Are you sure?
There is a very thin line between being confident of yourself and being cocky. But the funny thing is while you can know when you are confident, you usually are not aware that you are being cocky. Because if you knew, then you will not be.
So being cocky is all about other's perception of you and ofcourse wether deliver what you promise. I am reminded of this with the coverage of the US World cup soccer team. Americans are really cocky/confident people. Their can-do attitude is certainly admirable. Ofcourse sometimes they seem a bitarrogant but if you are cocky about yourself but are willing to appreciate someone else too then that seems to be a good trait.
Many times the indian (and other old world country) mentality is a bit of false modesty and it is also an attempt trying to conform to the crowd. I thought the same way too sometimes back and didnt like what i considered were show-offs. But now I have changed my mind and think such people make life interesting by breaking out of the mould of everyone. The motive for this might be simple, just to be noticed but it might also sometimes be a genuine need to see a change and as a revolt.
So I am still thinking in my head, where does confindence end and cockiness start. Seems to be a tough question because it must be subjective. But one thing I have learnt that ultimately it doesnt matter what others think, what matter is what you think and feel.
Better to be cocky and make mistakes because the biggest mistake is not making mistakes at all by playing safe. Life is hard but it is short and you have to make all the mistakes that you can. I wont mind if some thing goes my way occasionally, though.