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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Card Magic - Confidence (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mudblood
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Hey,

Firstly, I am not sure if I have posted here already; if I have, is there a way I can search for my own posts?

Onto the topic. I am very interested in card magic, both watching and performing (I use this term loosely, I don't have the confidence or skills to 'perform' at what I would consider an acceptable standard.

Whenever I try to learn a trick (I have Royal Road to Card Magic, and I'm pretty much at the beginning) the first thing I think to myself is 'It's so obvious what I'm doing, anybody can see that'. It's obviously not that easy to spot, because when Paul Wilson does the tricks, it's difficult to see what he does until you know what you're looking for.

This 'knowledge' is evident when I try performing a trick. I become nervous when I have to use any particular skill incase I get spotted, so it becomes very unnatural and easy to spot.

I guess what I am trying to say is; how do you improve your confidence when you're performing a trick?
Aus
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Two main things contribute to self-confidence: self-efficacy and self-esteem, and that goes for things other then magic as well.

We gain a sense of self-efficacy when we see ourselves (and others similar to ourselves) mastering skills and achieving goals that matter in those skill areas. This is the confidence that, if we learn and work hard in a particular area, we'll succeed; and it's this type of confidence that leads people to accept difficult challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks.

This overlaps with the idea of self-esteem, which is a more general sense that we can cope with what's going on in our lives, and that we have a right to be happy. Partly, this comes from a feeling that the people around us approve of us, which we may or may not be able to control. However, it also comes from the sense that we are behaving virtuously, that we're competent at what we do, and that we can compete successfully when we put our minds to it.

Some people believe that self-confidence can be built with affirmations and positive thinking. I believe that there's some truth in this, but that it's just as important to build self-confidence by setting and achieving goals – thereby building competence. Without this underlying competence, you don't have self-confidence: you have shallow over-confidence, with all of the issues, upset and failure that this brings.

So how do I know if I'm competent?

I always classify competence in four ways:

1) Unconscious incompetence
2) Conscious incompetence
3) Conscious competence
4) Unconscious competence

Strive to attain ether 3 or 4 and I think your confidence will increase over time as a result because our physiology affects sociology and vice versa.

To get to this stage however you first step involves getting yourself ready for your journey to self-confidence. You need to take stock of where you are, think about where you want to go, get yourself in the right mindset for your journey, and commit yourself to starting it and staying with it.

Understand that there is no shortcuts to success of any kind, in fact one of my favorite quotes is "The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night". In other words work hard or even better work harder then everyone else and not only will you achieve competence, you'll surpass it.

Next, think about the things that are really important to you, and what you want to achieve with your magic.

Setting and achieving goals is a key part of this, and real self-confidence comes from this. Goal setting is the process you use to set yourself targets, and measure your successful hitting of those targets. I would suggest getting in contact with the Café member GreenKnight33 and ask him how he focuses on his goals in magic.

Set goals that exploit your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, realize your opportunities, and control the threats you face.

And having set the major goals in your magic, identify the first step in each. Make sure it’s a very small step, perhaps taking no more than an hour to complete!

The final part of preparing for the journey is to make a clear and unequivocal promise to yourself that you are absolutely committed to your journey, and that you will do all in your power to achieve it.

If as you’re doing it, you find doubts starting to surface, write them down and challenge them calmly and rationally. If they dissolve under scrutiny, that’s great. However if they are based on genuine risks, make sure you set additional goals to manage these appropriately.

Looking at your goals, identify the skills you’ll need to achieve them. And then look at how you can acquire these skills confidently and well. Don’t just accept a sketchy, just-good-enough solution – look for a solution, a course of action that fully equips you to achieve what you want to achieve.

When you’re starting, don’t try to do anything clever or elaborate. And don’t reach for perfection – just enjoy doing simple things successfully and well.

Starting with the very small goals you identified and get in the habit of setting them, achieving them, and celebrating that achievement. Don’t make goals particularly challenging at this stage, just get into the habit of achieving them and celebrating them. And, little by little, start piling up the successes!

Stay on top of that positive thinking, keep celebrating and enjoying success, and keep those mental images strong.

And on the other side, learn to handle failure. Accept that mistakes happen when you’re trying something new. In fact, if you get into the habit of treating mistakes as learning experiences, you can (almost) start to see them in a positive light. After all, there’s a lot to be said for the saying “if it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger!”

Good luck

Magically

Aus
Theodore Lawton
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Practice and perform. Repeat.

You gotta get the jitters to learn how to deal with them. Focus on controlling your breathing when you're nervous.

And remember; it's only a magic trick, have fun.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Timtom
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As the others are saying practice, practice and again practice Smile Think some smart person did say to learn to be good at something you have to repeat that for 10000 times Smile.
Im new to this lvl of magic too and for me to get self confidence I have pick a couple of self working to help me concentrate on performing and build up my self confidence.
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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I have to agree with what everyone else is saying. You have to get out there and practice. Also when you practice at home make sure it's good practice not mindless
Shadowstalker
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Practice and perform as much as you can, but don't perform for close friends and family at first, they can make the worst audiences.( do street magic Smile )
Try to evaluate your performances, and practice the things that do need polishing.
Shadowstalker
Smile

When a magician lets you notice something on your own, his lie becomes impenetrable.
Teller
HallowedHollow
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Hey, fellow noobie here. Just wanted to share a fun story about something similar. Just like you, I thought that some of the sleights I learned must be blatantly obvious to the entire world. Then, after I practiced in front of the mirror and made it look decent there, I did a few tricks for my family (sisters and brothers). I remembered that one piece of advice, to never EVER look at your hands when you're performing the trick. Interestingly enough, when I spoke to people, they looked in my eyes, and I was able to perform the sleights, even with multiple people. To us, who know the secret, it seems obvious, to others who aren't in the know, it's actually not so much so. Smile Hope this helps.
Mudblood
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Thanks for all the great pieces of advice.

@Kyoki - Really good point about making sure it's not mindless practice. I'm pretty sure I do too much of this.

@Hallowed - Great advice about not looking at your hands. This is something I am working very hard on but I still get the urge to look at the cards when I'm about to do something like an injog. I am getting better at it but it's definitely something I need to work on.
oweosc12
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Quote:
On Apr 7, 2015, HallowedHollow wrote:
Hey, fellow noobie here. Just wanted to share a fun story about something similar. Just like you, I thought that some of the sleights I learned must be blatantly obvious to the entire world. Then, after I practiced in front of the mirror and made it look decent there, I did a few tricks for my family (sisters and brothers). I remembered that one piece of advice, to never EVER look at your hands when you're performing the trick. Interestingly enough, when I spoke to people, they looked in my eyes, and I was able to perform the sleights, even with multiple people. To us, who know the secret, it seems obvious, to others who aren't in the know, it's actually not so much so. Smile Hope this helps.

Agreed
KenRyan
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I had the exact same tought. For me it came down to a couple of things. First, do a lot of practice in the mirror to make sure you are doing it correctly. Even doing that, I found out that though the motions could be correct, my friends and family (whom I think actually ARE good audiences for the purposes of testing, anyway) often weren't fooled and it turned out my timing was off.

Also, as Hallowed Hollow said, I always seem to look at my hands. I already mnentioned the 2nd thing - test on friends and family. I can't tell you how valuable this has been. They are honest with me if something isn't working right, and I have corrected many a problem. And in some cases, I've changed the "written" method of the trick to better suit me.

Last but not least is the sure and certain knowledge that even though you may know the secret, your audience will not. At least they won't if you do the trick right. It isn't easy to believe it at first. But the more times you do it and people are fooled, the more confident you'll become in this. Funny story - this past weekend I was showing a friend my first cups-and-balls trick, which is just the absolute basic self-working C&B routine. I actually goofed up at the beginning and showed how I did the initial load and even SAID "well this probably won't fool you since you just saw what I did." But I proceeded to complete the routine and he was completely baffled...still...even though I had basically told AND showed him the secret accidentally. There is a reason why the tried-and-true stuff continues to work. It's because of the psychology and physiology of attention. Trust in that and you'll be fine in no time.

Hope that helped. I just started in November of 2014:-).

Cheers!

Ken
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