Ever since I took my first breath, I have been underestimated.
Being born with a cleft palate and cleft lip, my mother was told by the doctor not to expect much from me. He told her I probably wouldn't be social, I wouldn't speak that well, and would probably not excel in school.
Thank God my mother did not listen to him and raised me, along with my father, to be a strong woman. I definitely had setbacks: I had to take speech classes, wear braces, face teasing, have surgeries, etc. However, I learned very quickly through the very supportive family and friends in my life that my cleft did not define me. I grew and I excelled.
After being an Army brat, we settled in a small town in Louisiana. Going to my high school, I faced a few teachers who seemed to underestimate me! That only made me work harder! I realized when adults underestimated me, especially when I felt it was for racial reasons, it really fueled my fire to work. Succeeding was my way of fighting! However, I would never talk about my succeeding. That is why when it was announced that I was fourth (and then later moved to fifth--that's as story for another time) in my class, I had some classmates exclaim, "Wow...we didn't know you were that smart."
OK. Thanks again!
Now, in my adult life, I have definitely had setbacks! However, I have had so many INCREDIBLE people in my life...they have helped me overcome so much! Recently, I was in a position where many people underestimated me. It was horrible. I started to feel like worse than nothing...like I was worthless and could do nothing right. Around the same time, I felt something growing inside me: motivation. The more I felt worthless in that position, the more I felt empowered to create something of my own! Them underestimating me lead to me branding myself and the creation of my own company, which has lead to some amazing, life-changing, not in my wildest dreams opportunities.
So, what I have learned about myself is the more those around me underestimate me, the more they motivate me! It is a strong, real consequence of them either trying to bring me down or not thinking I am worth anything. I share this to say this: PICK YOURSELF UP! If they do not see your worth, find faith in your higher power and find faith in your family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances...anyone who sees the greatness in you. If you have no one around you that does, then find faith in yourself. You can do this!
Let their underestimation be your motivation too!
Desiree Alexander aka Educator Alexander is excited about her first blog, Honestly Desiree! Learn more about her at www.educatoralexander.com/about.