Updated: Feb 13, 2020
You know the talk I'm talking about... don't pretend you don't...
Friend: "Wow, that was such an inspiring performance!"
Me: "Ugh, I totally screwed up on that one part..."
Friend: "You look incredible in that dress!"
Me: "Well thanks, but I still need to lose another 5 pounds... it's pretty tight!"
So, why do we DO that?
Are we afraid to accept a compliment? Are we afraid that it will make us sound pompous or arrogant? Do we not believe that the compliment being paid is genuine? Or do we believe that the person paying us the compliment is wrong?
These are all legitimate possibilities.
I can't speak for anyone other than myself. So, why do I do that?
Truth be told, this is something I have been working really hard on trying to STOP. It's a bad habit. And yes, I say HABIT, because it is often something that rolls off my tongue before I have a chance to reel it in. And once I've said it, I think "Geez Kat... come on...don't do that."
The fact that it's a habit means that it's something that I have done OFTEN enough and for LONG enough, that it has become engrained into my natural and automatic response.
So, how did that start in the first place?
Society? Well, yeah, that's very likely a contributing factor. The weight of social pressures like feeling that I need to look a certain way because I am an athlete. The need to give my kids certain things and provide certain opportunities. Achieving a certain level of productivity because I am a working professional. So when I pass judgement on myself..."am I really doing a great job at ANY of these?", those insecurities come out in my responses during conversation.
Sometimes, I just get uncomfortable with accepting a compliment. I am sitting here contemplating WHY I get uncomfortable.
Don't misunderstand me... I am always VERY flattered and tremendously grateful when someone pays me a compliment. Which, I suppose, adds to my irritation with myself when I don't accept the compliment graciously.
So, why do I get uncomfortable?
If you have this bad habit too, then I challenge you to ask yourself the same question.
Here is what I know:
1. I never want anyone to think that I THINK I am better than anyone else.
2. Sometimes I question if I really did my best. Could I have done better?
3. I know that there is always someone out there better than me.
4. Sometimes it's hard to imagine that I could be extraordinary by just being me.
These all come down to limiting believes that take up important space in my mind.
These are mindset outcomes resulting from my limiting beliefs.
Here is what I also know:
Fact: there is always someone out there that is going to be "better" than me (from an athletic standpoint).
Also fact: Three years ago, I wasn't able to do half of what I can do now. My ability and capacity and skill level have all improved.
It is important to acknowledge our own hard work! We are allowed to stand up and say "I DID A GREAT JOB!" or "I AM BEAUTIFUL" or "I AM PROUD OF MYSELF".
I have to actively think about it now when someone pays me a compliment. I say with a big smile "Thank you so much. That means a lot." That's it! Not that hard... well... it's a little hard... but it's getting easier.
I've actually discovered that by not automatically responding with a self-deprecating comment, it has started to increase my confidence overall. I am much less likely to respond negatively now (although it's still a work in progress)... I let myself accept the compliment without judgment (usually from myself).
And it feels really great.
Give it a try.