Wow Dennett…this is an article unto itself! You should publish it because there is a lot of amazing stuff in this! I largely agree with all of it, and I think you have your finger on the pulse of exactly why LoA doesn’t work.
One has to battle through too many layers, if they don’t possess natural self-confidence; and even if they do — or appear to to have confidence they are still going to experience limitations.
I say the last part because for most of my life, people assumed that I possess a fair amount of courage and confidence; and this is largely because I am skilled at articulating certain concepts well and loudly or effectively no matter who is the opposition. But that wasn’t confidence — that was simply a skill, that I often took for granted. As well as a flaw, when I don’t realize, “Amber if you would just shut up!” (So many times in life when I should have just shut up.)
So even when people appear to be confident and appear to have it all together, (so many people think that about me, and I don’t even know how I project that) they may not really be.
Everyone who reads my book tells me how shocked they are that I came from a background of severe abuse. They say they never would have guessed. And yet the fact is, the scars of that stayed with me for years undermining my confidence to pursue things in life I really wanted to pursue. I pursued things that didn’t matter as much and got them. But that which I really wanted has always perpetually alluded me, and I guess what I really want, is so simple. To just feel good enough. To not feel defective, damaged, flawed, an outsider because of my past bad experiences. I mean I have traveled miles toward this, but I’m telling you, I’m still not fully there. (And, if I was LoA would work for me all the time probably.)
The reason I’m not there is because of many of the things you articulated. Life baggage that revealed so many different things: because even when you are courageous enough to leave a bad situation (my childhood home) you still might struggle profoundly with self-worth after you’ve gone. Those fears can haunt you, ever still.
So, as someone who has been told almost as naseaum how confident they are, (or appear to be) I know that if it’s not a true deep confidence, there are limits to it. But I also know that it is also very important in terms of navigating the world stage. Some people exude a deep confidence that borders on arrogance. Some one , once said that about me. I don’t see know what I was doing to make him say that!
But people with that sort of confidence almost always get what they want.
There is so much here to think about and respond to. I will be doing that for awhile.