It is two different things when you hear others criticize your potential or capability versus one believing and living out the set expectations. Frequently, the expectations are sub-par. But in the long term, are the effects healthy for this type of mentality?
Being underestimated has been a great motivator for many; myself included. Being underestimated is a challenging invitation to prove yourself to others. It is when something inside of us rises and drives to prove everyone wrong that did not believe in us.
Some would even argue that if it had not been for someone saying they could not accomplish something, they would not have done it. There is no doubt that there is a deep internal drive that motivates until it is done.
Many times in my life I did exactly what others said I could not or would not do just to prove them wrong. Any time I was underestimated, it was a challenge to take it up another level and get it done.
Jesus, the savior of the world, the Messiah, the one all faithfully waited on came to the world, but did not look like the King everyone expected. John 1:46 quotes Nathanael saying, “Can anything good come from there?” referring to Nazareth.
Gideon said, “My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” I am led to believe through Gideon’s encounter with the angel of the Lord that he began to believe the status-quo and what others had already proclaimed of him, his family and his tribe.
One thing is to be underestimated by others, but another is to believe it. If we sustain the mentality to prove everyone wrong that does not believe in us, we will exhaust ourselves; continually trying to prove something to people who really are not keeping count.
The approval we seek should not come from people since our purpose was not appointed by people, but from God. God has already approved your life, your capabilities and your identity. Seek what God has to say about you and it will always be enough.
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.John 6:27