Being Underestimated ~ You Ain’t Seen Muffin Yet

The deceptively humble muffin is an excellent choice for a lesson in being underestimated. Nonchalant on the exterior but buttery, cakelike and bursting with the dynamic flavor combo of your choice on the inside, this recipe is for a delightful cake in disguise. You may be a little muffin today, but you are on your way to splendid notoriety and nothing can stop you. Except over-mixing the batter (which will only prolong the misperception about your prowess, baking or otherwise) as rubber, while awesome for tires, is an unpleasant consistency for cake.

So, you’ve been underestimated and overlooked. It happens to everyone but that is no solace to your smarting feelings. It sucks; however, by tapping into the craftier part of your personality you can find the advantage in the situation…in every situation really.

Please don’t waste precious time trying to convince anyone of your capabilities. Instead, invest every moment into doing what you are capable of and you may even surprise yourself as your resume will soon be jam-packed with accomplishments that a cleverer organization would be thrilled to have.

What’s awesome about being temporarily underestimated:

  • Nobody is pestering you. You have freedom to experiment without fetter. Nirvana! This could be the biggest gift of your career so get busy because it won’t last forever. Your brilliance will become public knowledge at some point so frolic in your autonomy relishing every moment of crafty scampering outside of the spotlight.
  • Your competition doesn’t see you coming. Moving market share or whatever your end game, is easier when you are not a known competitor. After you take a bite out of something or someone you will face much stiffer competition.
  • People will be shocked when you pull off something extraordinary. It’s the best kind of revenge there is and feel free to be smug about your accomplishment because you were underestimated after all.
  • It will make you stronger. Being discounted makes you hustle that much harder or smarter as an opportunity was not handed to you on a silver platter. You will tend to be more empathetic to others in the future knowing how it felt to be passed over yourself.

Now, there is a difference between being underestimated versus disrespected. While we are festering in disappointment it is temping to interpret being overlooked with some clandestine malfeasance on the part of the person(s) underestimating you but that is usually not the case. Perhaps you do not have the exact experience or there is another member of the team that has a stronger proven track record. Start by giving the benefit of the doubt and take a step back before you jump on the I’ve been disrespected bandwagon.

Once upon a time, long long ago, I was presenting to a senior executive when he dismissively picked up a newspaper and started reading, in the middle of my presentation. Right! After feeling sorry for myself for a hot second, I got cracking. Many months later, after accomplishing the items previously presented and then some, I was prepared for our next meeting in a different way. When he attempted to dismiss my accomplishments, I scrapped the whole benefit of the doubt method and took him down like a lioness picking off the lame zebra in the pack and then tearing out its underbelly for lunch. He never saw it coming and the shock created a healthy fear of me ever after. Disrespect is not to be tolerated and there are many ways to take a stand that do not include Nature Channel circle-of-life references if carnage is not your style.

A word of caution, there are consequences for gutting your senior leaders, even when deserved. And a word of caution to senior leaders, there are consequences for disrespecting employees busting their proverbial rear-ends to improve the organization.

Keep in mind that being underestimated should be a temporary situation, don’t get comfortable in this space. With a bit of refined strategy your skills will no longer be misjudged, which will create an entirely new set of challenges for you to master, stud muffin.

Recipe adapted from Blueberry Muffins from Williams Sonoma Quick Breads & Muffins

Recipe for Stud Muffins


2 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)


1 cup milk

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Then add

1 cup of your choice of filling(s)

Sweet coconut flakes, bittersweet chocolate chips and dried cranberries were used for the version pictured. Use mini chocolate chips or chop the chips so the ratio of cake to chocolate is balanced. Big chips may create large puddles of chocolate in your muffin, which can overwhelm the other flavors and the delicate texture.

Don’t over mix! Nobody enjoys rubber cake. Sugar, brown or white, for sprinkling on the top, as heavy-handed as you prefer

Bake at 400, 15-20 min depending on the size pan or muffin cups being used. These cake muffins freeze beautifully.


Disclaimer: The story and recipe above should not be considered advice as the readers and users of Chocolate Cake Mondays are not clients and therefore CCM is not liable for reader’s reliance on the information herein.