Illusory superiority is a cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate their positive qualities and abilities and to underestimate their negative qualities, relative to others. This is evident in a variety of areas including intelligence, performance on tasks or tests, and the possession of desirable characteristics or personality traits. It is one of many positive illusions relating to the self, and is a phenomenon studied in social psychology.
I learned about illusory superiority a few years ago and then I spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not I am a victim of this cognitive bias.
Growing up, I thought I was smarter than everyone around me. I’ve met some people who I recognize as more book smart than me or more street smart than me. I rarely meet anyone who I consider to have the combination that I have. Not only mental acumen but the ability to apply concepts with the confidence and trust in myself to say that I can do anything.
That feeling never really left, though when I was younger I was kind of a dick who enjoyed putting down other people. Now, I’d rather just put myself up. I felt, and still feel, that I am someone special. Someone who is better than average.
When I got older, I read about illusory superiority and I had this fear that I wasn’t better than average. I had this fear that I actually was average and I had just built up these delusions of grandeur over all these years.
But then I thought about how there are people who are better than average and while they still fall victim to the cognitive bias of Illusory superiority, it’s also true in their case that they are better than average.
So I remmebered who I am. I am Viet Ngo. I guarantee I will be one of the most sucessful people you will know before all is said and done. And I really don’t give a damn who thinks otherwise.