Delusion might seem like an odd choice for a defining character trait, but it has served me well over the last decade.
You see, I have such strong internal critics, and they are impossible to ignore. They point out my many faults and weaknesses as proof that I have no business trying to succeed as a writer, as a speaker, as a person. They tell me I am crazy to even try.
And of course, they are right. For me to believe that I can succeed, despite their overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is nothing short of delusion.
I tried to fight that delusion at first; to prove to myself and the world that I really do have what it takes. But I ended up spending far too much time fighting, and nothing ever got done.
Better, it seemed, to accept the delusion; to concede that I really do have no business trying to be a writer or a speaker. To admit that I am nothing more than a pretender; a wannabe; a fake.
Once I embraced my delusion and accepted myself as a fraud, an interesting thing happened: The negative voices no longer mattered.
When they said I was a hack, I agreed. And then I kept on writing.
“Fake it ‘til you make it.” That is delusion in action.
And you know what? In some ways I have made it. Little by little I’ve been proving those voices wrong. Proving that maybe, just maybe, I do have the right and talent to succeed after all. And whatever abilities I lack, I can develop.
I’m by no means where I want to be, in life or my writing career. But I’m determined to keep going. There are so very many books to be written, after all.
Sooner or later, I’ll get there. And I'll do it with courage, hard work, and patience.
And, of course, a little bit of delusion.