We are too hard on ourselves. Especially Norwegians I'd say. We often get complexes on how we appear to others because standing out of the crowd isn't considered "safe". We got shops here called "Blend" - because to blend in is a good thing. We undermine our ability to be unique (both in appearance) and in qualities. We think we have to be good at everything and look like a supermodel. The result is that we get depressed on how average we look and our skills seem - because we don't ace every subject and get laid every fortnight. That's because people aren't like that, we're bound to be restricted in some areas because we're not wonderwoman! (Not all of us, Sigrid). And it may sound like an excuse to underachieve - but actually it should rather be an inspiration to really gleam and be confident about the things we know how to do.
If Norwegians got better at clearing their (our) throat and step up and show what they (we) can do - well, I am sure at least some Americans would feel momentarily impressed, even intimidated. And even though being confident is often misconcepted as being supercilious and arrogant - there's a middle way. It is actually possible to act like you know what you're doing in a convincing and enriching way without being a bitch about it.
We let opportunities slip by "so quickly" I think, because we think it is wrong to be better than others. What truly is wrong though, is to be as bad as everyone else. So don't let yourself be kept down in fear of people raising their brow at you, especially not if you are going to hate yourself for it later.