Self-Confidence Vs. Self-Delusion
Just like that damned IDK Patch, I didn’t let go of the Perepiteia thing. I was reading some fascinating forum banter by people smarter than I am. One of them pointed to what has to be the most awful thing I have ever seen on TV in my life. And I’ve seen plenty of TV.
It’s from the first American Inventor series. I watched that at the time. I saw this then. It scared the living solid waste products out of me. It should do the same to you too:
There is a man who is seemingly personable, cleverly articulate, and friendly. Charming, neat, great posture. Impressive.
In the grip of total madness.
It’s fun to watch the American Idol tryout shows. We sit there and think, “Oh my God! What were they thinking? This is a joke, right?”
Sometimes it isn’t.
This is why I excoriate The Secret and things like it. They make it far too easy for someone to fall into the horrible trap of self-delusion. It’s a trap that is very, very difficult to escape — because it’s all inside your head and it seems real. But it’s a mirage, an hallucination.
Yes, there are times to stand straight and defy the crowd, to scorn naysayers. But there are also times to step back and either correct deficiencies that others point out or simply to see reality as reality.
I’ll trot out a quote I like:
I read somewhere that someone once said that in order to make one’s living in any field of creative endeavor one had to be almost psychotic. You have to believe in yourself so strongly, to sit there day after day with your computer or your pen or your piece of paper or guitar, and think “I can do this. 999 billion people before me have failed, but I can do this.” It’s quite a psychotic state of mind to have to hang onto year after year. It takes years. Nobody does it overnight.
— Nicole Griffith interview, printed in the eBook, “The Reality Break Interviews: Volume #0” – Dave Slusher
That is true. But so is what I’ve pointed out about self-delusion. Not falling off the edge of self-confidence into the abyss of self-delusion is probably the hardest thing for some people to manage.