People who don't recognize or underappreciate great talents that they have.

I was wondering if you personally know anyone who has serious, serious talent in one domain in another, but seems to either not realize this or greatly underestimate its importance.

My brother is a stand-up comedian who is such a natural at doing impressions it’s kind of ridiculous. An honest assessment would sound like hyperbole. He can do a comedically compelling impression of basically anyone.

And yet, impressions play a relatively small part of his comedy routine. Not that he should just do impressions. But it could definitely play a larger role. And if you talk to him about his talent, he shrugs it off or downplays his ability.

Know anyone like that? It could be any domain (arts, sports, math, whatever).

It’s practically a stereotype of visual artists that they don’t appreciate how good they are–or rather, they’re that good because they appreciate art keenly enough to still see all they haven’t mastered.

There’s also the idea (well, I have this idea) that, if you’ve got something that was always easy for you, it’s so “ordinary” to you that you simply might not realize how difficult it is for most other people.

I see artists of all types who are hyper-self-critical and don’t realize how good they are. I do know someone who was a remarkably good musician but decided it was a waste of time as a young man. He did alright for himself in the end, but I don’t think he’s ever played an instrument again. Seems like a waste of talent to me, but it’s his life, not mine.