I never liked the idea of the “for Dummies” or the “complete idiot’s guide to” book series’, but their sales success have certainly demonstrated that plenty of people identify with being a dummy or a complete idiot. Self-deprecation is fine, just realize that there’s a dear line between embracing your own ignorance and ensuring a prophesy of certainty.

This extends well beyond the kind of books you’re buying. I’ve met far too many people who seem so certain of their lack of abilities that they curb their chances of success before they’ve walked the first step. While there are probably plenty of geniuses out there, most of the interesting people I’ve talked to are of average intelligence, but above-average aspiration. Stop believing in the myth of triple-A people as a different kind.

Just because you don’t know how to program or design or lead or do anything doesn’t make you a dummy or an idiot. Mastery is probably closer than you think.

I didn’t start programming for real until I was 20-something. Rails was my first project in Ruby. Jason didn’t train to be a designer, but got a degree in finance. The world is filled with people who didn’t know jack not too long ago about whatever it is that they’re doing and are now highly regarded in their fields.

If there’s something you don’t currently know how to do, please decide not to be a dummy or an idiot. You’re as smart as you always were, you’re just looking to learn something new. Set your ambition to that of equality: There’s no reason I couldn’t be as good as that guy or girl doing what I want.