North Americans will score better than any other country in aspects of confidence. Over simply said: North Americans are over confident (myself included). And this has a particular aspect of value to it:
Disproportionate value is created from rash endeavours in entrepreneurship. If one doesn’t think that his or her business is bound to be the company of the century, than they are slightly more likely to fail. High risk requires brash confidence. And overall, at a macro level, that produces disproportionate value. An aside: that value is only derived from MANY losers. A very smart PLUS very lucky few that really hit it and take off (the ‘winner takes all arena’) are the ones that capture the value.
So there aren’t many arenas in North American culture or life that produce the negative: decreased value from over confidence. Our culture loves confidence. We fiend it. We admire and love those that display it (usually after they succeed enormously at something which hurts my stomach thinking about). We should laud the smart entrepreneur who had the courage to try and fail just as much, if not more, than those that succeeded.
But in sailing, overconfidence defines failure more often than it determines success. And it is because the arena of sailing is governed by unpredictable forces that no confidence can overcome. No matter how confident or heavy you are, you cannot sail in some winds in certain boats. It is an arena where overconfidence is often the source and causation of tragic downfall. Such an arena so highlights the odd culture in which we have come to live. Sailing could be said to be a sceptics sport.