I’ve been thinking a lot about confidence versus delusion. What’s the difference?
In asking people and searching the Web, many people point out that it takes some sort of combination of confidence/delusion to follow a dream. If people with big dreams, such as making the world’s best ice cream with the most unique flavors (i.e., Jeni’s ice cream), didn’t feel a great amount of something called confidence or delusion, we would all be eating supermarket ice cream.
The dictionary.com difference is that confidence is “belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities” while delusion is “a false belief or opinion.” Both contain the word “belief.” The difference is whether the object of belief is empirically true or false. That may sound simple, but it’s not.
If I think I am the queen of England, that is clearly empirically wrong and you can call me deluded. But if I think I can sing well and have a dream of winning American Idol, whether I can sing well is not necessarily “true” or “false.” You could measure my singing on harmony, pitch, tune, etc. but then you’d also have to explain why Mick Jagger is famous and I can’t be.
I see confidence as a quality that allows you to forge into the world and delusion as a quality that keeps you sheltered from the world. From an astrological perspective, I see confidence as relating the element fire and delusion as relating to the element water. Fire represents enthusiasm and energy whereas water represents receptivity and emotion. Taking this to the planets, the Sun is the active self and the moon the emotions, or reactive self. Confidence is projecting the image you want to be and delusion is projecting the image of a need.
We like confident people and don’t like deluded people. Why?
I think confident people project positive energy that is perceived as charisma. Confident people are actively engaged with the world and are connecting to you to share the idea. Deluded people, on the other hand, are projecting a negative energy that is perceived as dependent. They are reaching out to you but asking you to share an agreement that you can’t see and fulfills their own emotional need. The confident person may be asking you to believe that cars can one day fly and to invest in a flying car company. The deluded person is asking you to believe that he is Napoleon and is ruling the world. While you may not believe that cars can fly, you could. It might even be fun to think about. The enthusiasm of the confident person may even convince you to throw a few bucks at the idea. But you will never believe your friend is Napoleon, so his efforts to convince you will drain you of energy.
Confidence, as a fire quality, perceives the possibilities and is trying to make those possibilities into reality. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Delusion, as a water quality, is reacting to personal or group needs and wants others to agree so that the needs can be met. Confident people find success in the world whereas deluded people find struggle in the world.
The line between confidence and delusion may be thin, but I believe confidence is what you need to succeed. I think confidence is about possibilities and delusion is about need. Convincing others to share in ideas is uplifting. Forcing others to believe ideas that fulfill a person or group need is draining.