Overcoming being underestimated

Dear Professor Longbottom,

How do I deal with people who constantly underestimate my abilities?


Hello Oswin,

Thank you for your letter! I am very sorry it took me so long to get back to you. The school year has just started and I’ve been absolutely beleaguered by reading coursework, sorting out first years, and setting up a new greenhouse. But excuses excuse nothing, as my Gran used to say. Your troubles are more important.

The surest way to stop people from underestimating you is to show them just what you can do! Don’t let their negativity prevent you from being your best self. For years, I let others’ opinions of me influence how I felt about myself. I was never quite good enough for Gran, and though she meant well, “not quite good enough” quickly became “absolutely abysmally terrible” once I lost what little confidence I had. It takes a lot to build that back.

But once I did, a few well-cast hexes and people were changing their tune. If you know you can do it, then show the world! Ginny Weasley can tell you all about what to do when people start talking nonsense about your talents. Now, I don’t advocate jinxing, but sometimes a little show can make a big impression.

Be great!