There will always be people who underestimate you, and that’s a good thing.
One example of this that comes to mind is that I’ve worked almost exclusively in highly male-dominated industries for my entire life. There have been many more times than I can count where I’ve been the *only* woman or one of very few women in the room, getting sideways glances from men who underestimated me, made it clear they thought I didn’t belong, asked to step aside to make way for my male counterparts, sometimes even mistaken for a student, event staff, or asked if I was lost and in the wrong room rather than viewed as an equal participant.
I’ve grown used to it, and even prefer it at this point, being underestimated. Because it gives you an edge when you knock their socks off with just how much you DO belong in the room right alongside the people who think you don’t.
The next time someone underestimates you, don’t be offended by it. Instead, smile. Appreciate it. Take a moment to realize what an opportunity and the incredible gift that underestimation is giving you.
And then allow it to light a fire under you, go get the fuck to work, and show them exactly what you’re capable of.
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