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Expressions of Confidence


Conviction means weaving yourself mentally into critical features of your creative efforts. Confidence about ultimately producing a creative output without a deep conviction in what you are doing would be spurious. This conviction and confidence depends on communication.

So issues to consider include:

The methods of deepening conviction can be classified as intrapersonal, interpersonal and impersonal.

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Intrapersonal Involvement

The upper two sources of confidence require you to participate and, if necessary, expose yourself to dangers e.g. of loss, humiliation.

Dedication: RG26

The authenticity of dedication is revealed by evidence of sacrifice, i.e. self-sacrifice. Creative success always demands a price: if you are unwilling to pay it, then you lack dedication.


There is no judge of dedication but yourself, and you may be right to hold back if the degree of self-sacrifice becomes disproportionate to the challenge and its benefits. Others will certainly notice your degree of dedication.

The absence of dedication is marked by withdrawal, indifference, distraction, and possibly disaffection or disillusionment. Self-esteem and social pressure may mean that these features are only revealed in subtle ways.

Involvement: RG25

The authenticity of involvement is revealed by evidence of self-discipline at critical moments, e.g. not participating may be as relevant or crucial as participating in some proposal. Challenges always test the depth of your involvement through failures and disappointments. If you cannot refocus on your goals and provide explanations, then you lack proper involvement.


The absence of involvement shows up as lack of time or energy for the venture and finding it is not on your mind or gets pushed away easily. Overtly, there may be poor progress without proper explanation, a weak defence of efforts, or a disconnection from failure. You may be right to retreat or distance yourself—again there is no judge here but yourself, but others will notice—probably sooner rather than later.

Interpersonal Involvement

The middle two sources of confidence depend on a readiness to impose positions on others even if unwelcome, and exert discipline in your group.

Conceptions: RG24

The authenticity of a conception is revealed by its clarity and resonance in the situation. Creativity requires a reality-defining focus that is a point of reference and a rallying cry for yourself and others. Whatever else changes with progress, the key conceptions must remain fixed. The conception is often your «big idea». If you cannot express this big idea and other essential aspects of the challenge in a simple lucid fashion, then you lack proper conceptions i.e. you don't know what you are doing!


The absence of conceptions where needed generates a sense of confusion, vagueness and even mystery. Individuals are liable to start pulling in different directions due to idiosyncratic ideas and personal preferences. This can slowly lead to deep, divisive disagreements.

You may sometimes need to abandon a conception. Re-conceiving can be evidence of flexibility and a willingness to learn. However, some might become sceptical or feel let down if a seemingly powerful idea turns out to be fuzzy or impractical.

Ownership: RG23

The authenticity of ownership is revealed by the way a possessive perspective permeates communications and shows up unequivocally in specifications. There is an identification that may become socially evident in other ways like rejecting a new partner or providing personal funds. This natural possessiveness concretizes the higher intrapersonal involvement. If you disown the actual reality you are creating (i.e. a changed state), then you are unlikely to progress to the fuller use of identification needed for commitment.


The absence of ownership where it is needed leads others to sense that you are too disconnected from the challenge. Sometimes abandoning ownership is required. However, others may doubt your responsibility, and that can be serious if the whole project revolves around you.

Impersonal Involvement

The lower two sources of confidence are necessary for willing continuation of activities and projects. This is made possible by reducing the risks of confusion, misdirection and mistakes through overcoming bias, removing ignorance, and checking and testing.

Conclusions: RG22

The authenticity of any conclusion is revealed by your effort to avoid bias and your sure grasp of relevant issues. New situations continually emerge in any project and call for assessment. The conclusion that is reached may affirm existing plans or initiate some re-direction. Whatever the case, you must be able to provide details of significant events and communicate practical implications.


If you vacillate in appraising the unexpected, your project will lose its way. Losing a sure hand on the tiller or surrendering to bias, may not make you anxious, but it will frighten and alienate others who depend on you. The absence of a firm conclusion, where needed, wastes energies by dissipating focus and prolonging conflicts. This is experienced as «being stuck» and sooner or later leads to a crisis or a quiet collapse.

Iteration: RG21

The authenticity of iteration is revealed by a readiness to repeat and improve based on a multiplicity of checks and tests. You recognize that it is rarely possible to get anything correct or accurate the first time around or to know fully in advance the effects of a course of action. Through a process of progressive approximation and cumulative development, you can understand what you are doing and get conviction about its value.


Getting over-preoccupied with details is usually a mistake, but it is never safe to reduce checks and oversight below some sensible minimum. The cycle of trial and error intrinsic to iteration keeps you continuously in touch with your goals and contextual requirements. The absence of iteration can lead to poor solutions, waste of resources, and the loss of time.

ClosedPrevious Conception of RG21


The use of willpower-RG1 was oriented outwards and exploited your autonomy so as to generate possibilities. By contrast, deepening conviction-RG2 is evidently dependent on turning inwards and communicating a confidence in your approach to the challenge.

Now that you are properly convinced and confident, it becomes possible to turn outwards to society again and concentrate on keeping things moving. You will find that your conviction not only puts you into the right frame of mind, it helps transform your energies into enthusiasm.

Originally posted: 31-Jan-2012; Last updated: 10-Jul-2013.

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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