Why modesty is not always a virtue

Well, not in branding anyway

Some of our clients express their frustration about not being seen enough in the market. Not being valued for their strengths. Not being recognized. “Actually, we are the best in the field,” they say. How come other parties, that are by no means as good as we are, get more praise and attention?”

These clients often take pride in being modest. Starting each sentence with, “We’re sort of good at …. We should take pride in .. We’re actually kind of big …” Almost excusing themselves for existing.

Being modest is not having too high an opinion of one’s abilities and accomplishments. Being within average limits. Being ordinary. Unexceptional. And timid. Of course, you won’t be recognized this way. You do yourself short.

At the same time however, these clients may be very ambitious. Wanting to be the best. Well, have I got news for you. In order to realize high ambitions, you need to become a strong brand and show yourself – in order to be recognized and stand out.

“Modesty – can become a pitfall if taken too far.
You end up being invisible.”

The opposite of modest is pretentious. So on the one hand, they want to be recognized, and feel frustrated not being seen – while having great ambitions – and on the other, they are scared to be considered arrogant. Showing and presenting themselves often is the biggest challenge. What is considered to be a core quality – modesty – can become a pitfall if taken too far, ending up being invisible. The negative opposite of modesty is arrogance. They tend to be allergic and afraid to be considered pretentious.

Well, I don’t consider modesty to be a core quality. And false modesty even less. To exaggerate some values is as much beside the truth as to underestimate them.

To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are, and to underestimate one’s self is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one’s own powers.” – Sherlock Holmes

So just be honest. Stand in your power with due pride. Do justice to your brand. Take pride in your abilities and accomplishments. Show yourself. And stand out.

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