What are the last 3 compliments you received…from anyone? It doesn’t matter if your five year old told you how delicious dinner tasted, your significant other told you how great you looked in your little black dress, or your boss thanked you for always meeting deadlines ahead of schedule. Have you thought of the compliments? Now ask yourself how they truly made you feel. How did you respond in each situation?
Did you accept each compliment graciously? Did you give yourself a few seconds to take it in and own it or did you minimize your abilities or beauty? Most of us have to admit that even if we said thank you, we added a negative phrase to the end of the acceptance. Why do we do this? I believe one reason is that many women have been taught that humility is a virtue. Humility is defined as the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people. That’s the good part, right? Of course it is. Being humble or “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance” is the not so good part because you have lowered your self-worth. What we think affects how we speak and act. What we say affects what we think and how we behave.
Society has taught us that our confidence and boldness makes the world uncomfortable so many women spend our lives trying to live up to dueling standards.
- Love yourself but don’t be egotistic.
- Accept your body but don’t be vain.
- Ask for what you deserve but don’t be greedy.
- Stand up for yourself but don’t be too aggressive
The very next time you receive a compliment:
- Recognize that you are worth the compliment. Yes, we have to become a bit vulnerable to believe that compliments were given with sincerity, accept them, and take them to heart. It is very likely that you are juggling many balls at once and giving 100% in a variety of areas of your life. Give credit where credit is due. Yes, even when credit is due to you.
- Don’t deflect the compliment. It is rude – the equivalent of refusing a gift.
- Simply say “Thank you.” This is a sign of gratitude; not arrogance and nothing more has to be said or explained.
I am not exempt from anything I write about. I put off taking professional photos for over five years – yes, five years. I really don’t like taking photos. The thought of going into a busy portrait studio and waiting with dozens of people did not appeal to me at all. Then, without even looking, I found an awesome photographer online and now I have pictures that I love. I received lots of in person and social media compliments on the pictures. I had to practice what I’m preaching today. I had to accept that the pictures had in fact turned out great and simply say thank you.
Here is the bottom line; we are not benefiting ourselves or the world by shrinking. It’s time to stop hiding and reclaim your power.
You Might Also Want To Read: Stop Hiding, Nicki
Nicki Sanders, Chief Visionary Officer of Packaged For Success, helps both youth and adults discover their personal power, dream big, and achieve success on their own terms. Ms. Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager who holds a Master’s degree in Social Work. Ms. Sanders has over fifteen years of direct experience with diverse populations in residential, school-based, and community based agencies.
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