Overestimating

I found a writing prompt to the effect of

If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere

that then asked, ‘is there anywhere about which you think or thought the same?’

And, as prompts are intended to do, this got me thinking. If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere!

So where is there?

I consider myself pretty talented. I dabble in drawing and doodling, I do well in school, I have a natural talent for a lot of instruments. This then leads me to think that if I can do this, then surely I can do that.

For example: If I can play bass guitar, surely I can play lead electric guitar (it’s not true. I can’t play electric to save my life). If I can do hand-lettering on paper, surely I can do the same on a chalk board. If I can talk my way into getting 6 free pizzas when the delivery is running late, surely I can talk my way into getting a specific job on campus.

But the more I think about it, the more I wonder: am I overestimating myself?

And then there’s the real question: is it bad to overestimate myself?

Imagine how humiliating it is when I am confident that since I can play bass, surely I can play electric, but then I sit down to actually play electric and I fail miserably every single time I try. I went into the situation knowing it would work out in my favor, and I left wondering how I ever could have thought I would succeed.

But if I never believed I could do anything, I would actually never do anything. I would accept the abilities I have and ignore the things I’ve never tried.

So what’s the balance? Is there a way to believe in myself and my abilities without overestimating to the point of being cocky or prideful?

A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.
C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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