Your belief about your ability on something will rarely match with reality of what your actual ability is. Generally the belief is always better than the reality which should be the case so that you can strive to grow and match to your abilities to be in sync with your beliefs. It’s going to be an eternal catch up game as your belief about your ability keeps growing faster than your real ability. This is a virtuous cycle and hope you are engaged in one or more of those virtuous cycles.
I wish life would be this simple. A third element comes into the picture that makes things a bit complex. That third element is “what you portray as your ability.” Now there are a number of combinations that are possible. Here are few of them:
1. Shortchanging yourself: Your ability closely matches with your belief but what you are portraying is much below what you are really capable of.
2. Over-confident: Your belief about your ability is much higher than the reality of the situation. However, what you portray matches with your belief. Unfortunately, others can see your real ability and hence you come across as over confident.
3. Over-hyped: You know what your real ability is but you choose to portray your ability as way higher than what it is. In an extreme case, you focus your attention on how to portray yourself better rather than improving your ability.
4. Lacks Confidence: Your actual ability is way higher than your belief but you portray your ability closer to your belief clearly demonstrating a lack of confidence. In many cases you know this but you don’t want to change because you want to be absolutely clear that you can deliver on your promises.
Of course, there are many more combinations possible. It is good to reflect on your own case and see if that posture is helping you both in the short-term and in the long-term. If it is not, then today may be very well that day to make a shift.