I have two seemingly conflicting beliefs. The first is that whenever possible, it is best to know the truth. By default I think that we sometimes avoid the truth, and we sometimes avoid giving the truth. In almost every case, though, having a clear picture of the truth will allow you to operate more correctly. At the same time, I also believe that holding certain beliefs will benefit you whether they're true or not.
One such belief is that anything is possible. Even in the face of seemingly impossible tasks, I like to believe that maybe I can do it. It's a little bit insane for me to believe that a two-man team of Todd and me can compete against WordPress and Tumblr, but I really believe that we can. Now that we've built something that people really like it's not so crazy, but it was really crazy when we first started. When I got into pickup, I had to believe that I could go from being extremely introverted and awkward to extroverted and sociable. There was little evidence to support that possibility.
I say that these two ideas seem to conflict because I believe that they are actually quite compatible. When looking at the history of others, as well as my own history, I've noticed that we consistently underestimate what we are capable of. Our idea of an honest look at our capabilities is actually further from the real truth than is the assumption that we can do everything.
Rounding up to the nearest 'everything' is not only more accurate than our best critical assessment, it's also much more valuable. The cost of being wrong is usually illusory. If you think that you can become a master violinist, act like it, and turn out to be wrong, you'll still make more progress than if you believe that the ceiling on your ability is lower. At the same time, the cost of incorrectly capping expectations is to provide an artificial ceiling on your achievement. I'm not sure I've ever seen someone progress further than they believed they could.
Believing you can do things that don't seem realistic is a self-supporting belief. You go on faith for a while, and then you actually do exceed a more "realistic" view of your capabilities. That proves to your brain that, at least sometimes, believing that you can do anything is closer to the truth than your best self-assessment. The next time you act on a mix of faith and tentative optimism. Go through enough of these successes and your realistic assessment starts creeping up to believing you can do anything, and the belief becomes easy to support.
Could you become a great artist? Could you start an successful company? Could you date someone amazing? Could you change that crippling bad habit you've lived with forever? Could you give up a lifestyle you're unhappy with and switch to a new one? If self doubt has been holding you back, my suggestion is to try on the belief of "Maybe I Can", and act accordingly. Personally, I believe that you can do just about anything.
EDIT: The meetup is on THURSDAY at 7:15pm at Casa De Luz on Toomey Road in Austin, TX. I accidentally scheduled posts out of order!