Steve Martin in the Oct. 29 New Yorker...
Through the years, I have learned that there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration.
...which strikes me as another (albeit much funnier) way to say, "Perform the acts of faith, and faith will come," distilled from St. Ignatius Loyola's Spiritual Exercises.
Whatever we hope to believe in--whether our own creative powers or an almighty Creator--we will at some point be required to suspend our disbelief. The hackneyed phrase "leap of faith" suggests that this suspension can be overcome in an instant simply by stepping out into the void.
Faith in anything, particularly ourselves, requires hard work, daily practice, and regular doses of self-delusion that sustain us until the next valid inspiration comes along.
In the wrong hands, that's obviously a dangerous philosophy, and yet I believe the damage done by people who put too much faith in themselves is outweighed by the good left undone by people who don't trust themselves enough to act on their inspirations.
And when we're wrong? Very well, then--we're wrong. We contain multitudes. Apologize, make amends, clean up the mess, and try again.