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Why Underestimate Yourself?

Challenges come. We overcome them. Then, we forget that we overcame. In FUTO, older students would remind you that “O Di Egwu” (Igbo for something extremely frightening, using the O.D.E. for Ordinary Differential Equation (ODE), a branch of calculus, was ahead before graduation. Then, that came and went. Just like that, it has been part of life – we underestimate ourselves.

Bloomberg just reported that “. Funds using AI and machine learning lost 7.3% on average in February, the worst monthly performance recorded since the category was created in 2011”. Sure, AIs are brilliant but men and women are still beating them where being cognitively smarter matters, over mere speed.

A key ingredient to success is confidence. The more confident you are, the easier it would be to attract better people around you. Confidence is not the absence of fear but a realization that there are things within you that would help you to overcome challenges of your scale. It makes you a better job candidate. It makes you a better saleswoman. It makes better careers possible.

Unfortunately, confidence does not exist in a vacuum, a decent level of competence is needed, else you see yourself crashing down to earth, after telling yourself 'I can do it'.

It's largely a result of not knowing what to say or do that breeds fear and trepidation, and then anxiety; culminating to undervaluing onself, and subsequently remaining small-minded.

When you ask very shy person to talk to a group of little children, he/she might not worry about anything or show any sign of nervousness, but ask the same person to address a group of well educated professionals; even the body complexion could change. Why? Partly because of no idea of what to say or how to say it, and the fear of being scrutinised.

It's a mind thing, but building a massive knowledge base could help, and constantly challenging yourself in undertakings that are outside your comfort zone. Some people have lived in fear and confusion for so long, it won't be easy to make the big mind shift required; but the best way to start is simply by starting.