As I’ve said before, “The truth is we all want people to think of us as more capable than we really are”. It can be gravely damaging to let people hold on to such perceptions, especially to the extent to which we get entrusted with something on the premise that we are perfectly capable.
Honesty is the basis of integrity. Being one with who you say you are and what you’re capable of and letting your actions match with that…
Related: The Grading Tango | Honest
The other side of the coin, however, is being undermined. Undermined not in the sense of being patronized. Undermined when people “grade or perceive” us as less capable than we really are.
Irony: We generally hate being undermined yet we can let people “grade” us higher than we deserve. In fact, we’re often infuriated when we are said to be less, in whatever way, than we are. We go into tirades. After all, it is justified. How can we be undermined and disrespected in such a way?!
Whatever you do, you have to choice to how you respond to being undermined. Before you launch your counter attack on being undermined consider the mine that you could dig:
Being undermined comes with less expected of you. Thus, whatever you deliver above whatever was expected of you makes you exceptional. It will bring attention. Which is what you want anyway, right?
Instead of talking about how much you are more than what you are said to be, show it. Action still speaks louder than words. The proof of the pudding is still in the eating.
Rather be undermined than overrated. When you’re undermined the pressure is less than what would be on you if you were overrated. Use the obscurity being undermined provides you to deliver even better, no greater than what you were said to be.
Use being undermined as a reminder that there is always room to be greater. The more you learn, the more you’ll realize how much you don’t know. The higher you climb the more you’ll realize there is still higher to go.
When you’re undermined allow it to remind you stay humble. Let it remind you to stay hungry. Let being undermined drive you closer to getting better than you are already. Don’t let it take your focus to addressing the people who’ve undermined you. As, I’ve already said, let your work speak for you.
People are not always going to have an accurate estimation of your capabilities. Be careful how you respond those estimations. When they’re overrated don’t lie and go along with them. When your capabilities are undermined mine the mine of being undermined; let it work for you and not against.