The Benefits of Others Underestimating your Intelligence


A picture of a man who has tape over his mouth and isn't allowed to talk - i.e Don't explain your philosophy

Our ideas do not always come out the way we intended.

We sometimes struggle to articulate our thoughts.

Sometimes, we don’t want to articulate our ideas entirely because we don’t want to be the talker who everyone knows doesn’t do the work.

Or maybe it is because we are still figuring things out and we are not sure of what our ideas actually are yet.

All of these situations tend to make people underestimate our abilities.

They feel as if we are not smart enough to have thought about everything in advance.

Regardless how stupid this makes us feel in the initial stages of the process, this insensitivity to our creative process and our cognitive abilities actually are beneficial to us and what we are aspiring to achieve through our work.

Low expectations produce greater impacts

Imagine if you are the leader in your field.

Your work has been seen by millions of people around the world, and you have a significant following of people who would love to hear from you.

This scenario creates a lot of pressure. Especially since you are working on a new project that you hope is going to work.

Since your earlier projects have created this massive following, you are now faced with incredible demands and high expectations regarding your creative work.

One wrong move or one lousy project, and your career could get smashed into pieces in an instant.

This is not the case when we are facing low expectations from those who don’t understand our process.

How to turn low expectations to your advantage

When we are facing criticism regarding our creative endeavors, and how it’s not going to work because it takes too long to finish, the first reaction is to let our ego give an emotional explanation.

For us to have the impact we are looking to make, we must avoid this emotional response at all cost.

Besides, there is a huge advantage for us when other people underestimate our capabilities and our abilities to make meaningful work.

When they expect us to produce nothing of value, everything we do past this threshold is going to look astonishing.

Unlike the market leader, we now have the opportunity to swallow our ego and get back to work.

Because we know that every second we spend on perfecting our work, we move farther away from what they expect from us.

They expect mediocrity, or worse.

Once we are done, and we present it to the world, the impact will become even more significant than it would have been otherwise.

Show them by showing your results.

Keep your emotions under control

We do not let our ego plan a counter-attack when people underestimate our creative abilities, we speak through our work instead.

Be content with understanding that those who make claims about our work are never going to produce anything of value themselves.

We will most likely hear that it’s going to take time, it’s not always going to be fun and that we cannot escape the countless hours of hard work just by following our creative inclinations.

Even though this frustrates us to no end because people underestimate our abilities to think, plan, and act, we must avoid getting involved in an argument and political games regarding our work and choices in life.

Hard work is not always fun

Yes, we know. Hard work is not always fun, but hard work is what we live for, and this is what we have to do.

If we feel like something isn’t right for us to do, we feel no shame in leaving it behind and heading down a more natural path in life.

Staying true to what we know is right and where we experience remarkable aptitude for our chosen field will make others envious of our boldness.

Following our heart comes with a prize. People will try to slow us down by making hateful remarks regarding our choices.

Delaying gratification by not counter-attacking their futile attempts of demotivating us is hard, but the results speak for themselves — and they are immensely rewarding.

We use this as a mental strategy because we know that we do not measure success by arguments today, we measure it by our body of work in the years to come.

If we can stand fast while the waves of criticism crash around us, we can transcend their expectations and the way they underestimate our abilities to thrive.

The arguments today will be a memory tomorrow, but our work will stand the test of time when we trust ourselves enough to act our inner compass.

Don’t become discouraged when others underestimate your intelligence, use it to your advantage and make the best work of your life.

That skill will be forever yours.