I hope y’all Americans of every ethnic origin and economic level are enjoying the holiday. And if you’re actually spending time online, here’s some very down to earth wisdom from our pal Inominandum:
“Working as I do, somewhere between the worlds of Magic and Self-Help, I meet a lot of people who hype themselves up on confidence. They have probably been hyped up on confidence by coaches, consultants, books, and the entire “believe-it-and-you-can-achieve-it-industrial-complex”. As Americans especially, we love confidence. Confident people tend to be extroverted, and gregarious. They give something to believe in, often the exact thing we are most desperate to believe. We reward it highly, but at some point you have to do the thing.
“I think confidence is great, I really do. I think confidence that you can learn to do something is vital to the learning process. Confidence that you can already do something just because it feels good to pump yourself up is dangerous.
“Confidence is a poor substitute for competence. Ideally these two create a loop. You first have confidence that you can learn something. You gain competence through learning and practice. That competence then gives you confidence in your abilities, which then will hopefully push you to elevate your competence to mastery.
“What does this have to do with Sorcery? Everything. Its a skill like everything else. Confidence that you learn the skills, develop relationships with spirits, and hone your power is awesome and will take you far. Confidence that leads you to believe you don’t need to do any of that because you believe in yourself or the magic or whatever will lead you into either fantasy or failure. Possibly both. There is nothing quite so sad-yet-amusing as someone who has spent years building themselves up in their mind as Lord Archmagus and then gets bitten on the ass by something that they really didnt believe in. Adeptus Ineptus revealed…
“What is worse though is when folks build up their confidence to such a level that they want to lead and teach based on it and it alone. They will tell you how to make money, even though they work all week as a Barista. They will tell you how to enchant lovers, even though they can’t get laid in a monkey whorehouse with a handful of bananas*. They will ask you to follow them because of their vast life experience, accumulated by the ripe old age of 24. This is the blind leading the naked.
“As a Sorcerer. As a Worker. As a Lover. As a Business Owner. As a Student. Reject the cult of confidence and join the corps of the competent. Then your confidence will be real. ”