There is no doubt that being underestimated hurts — our abilities, our self-esteem and our very self are challenged. But let’s look at how and why this happens and maybe, just maybe, your perspective will change and you can feel better after reading this article.
Like many other things, severity of pain caused by being underestimated depends on situation: It could be our parents, our friends, our bosses, our spouses or simply strangers who don’t see much value in us. Moreover, underestimating doesn’t always mean looking down on us — the person in question may sincerely love us; it’s just that he or she thinks we are average, just like everybody else. So the first thing to remember is that underestimating doesn’t always involve thinking little of you; it could be simply not expecting anything special of you.
Depending on your personality type, the idea that nothing much is expected of you may or may not hurt your feelings. If you are a naturally ambitious person, you will find it pretty annoying. Some other types will be in pain, while others will feel challenged. There are also those who will breathe a sigh of relief as other people’s expectations are a major stressor to them. Whatever it is, the less people expect of you, the more fun you will have proving them wrong.
People might underestimate you because
- you are too young or too old,
- you are a woman,
- you didn’t grow up in a privileged environment,
- you lack education,
- you are a foreigner,
- because of your past failures,
- they don’t expect much of themselves either.
Although pain and anger of being underestimated may supercharge you and push you even harder in pursuit of your big goals, it’s important to remind yourself that this is not healthy. You should be working on your goals for the right reasons, and proving the doubters wrong isn’t one of them.
Imagine what happens if you achieve your goal only to find out that nobody cares about your achievements. If you allow them to control your emotions, you are giving away your power. No matter how tempting it is, pursue your goals for your own fulfillment but not as a way to prove something to someone. Worrying about what others think is natural for many of us, and it might be hard to train yourself to focus only on your own opinions. If you need a little bit of help with this, this download might be very useful.
In some cases, you may find that there are benefits to being underestimated as well: Nobody is looking at you, nothing is expected of you. You have more room for mistakes and experiments. You have more time and less stress. Under these condition and if you are motivated for the right reasons, your success is even more likely.
- Being underestimated doesn’t always involve looking down on us.
- A lot of people will underestimate you because they don’t expect much of themselves either.
- While your desire to prove others wrong may be a good motivator, it is not healthy and may hurt you at the end.
- Focus on your goals for the right reasons and train yourself not to worry excessively about others’ opinion of you.
- In some cases, being underestimated allows for more freedom and makes success even more likely.
Image source: @creativeart via Freepik
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