I paid someone a compliment today and her first response was to scrunch her nose and negate it. What?
Well, not completely a surprise. There was a time when receiving a compliment was almost painful for me. I felt that I couldn’t receive positive feedback without feeling like there was something negative right around the corner. I would wildly start batting away at the words like they were a wasp trying to sting me. I would question the givers motive or downplay my achievements, believing that they were just trying to be nice. And if I wasn’t too busy questioning someones motives, I made sure that they knew how modest I was by balancing out their kind words with a healthy dose of self-hatred. In other words, I thought very little of myself and was constantly trying to find proof that others did as well.
The fact of the matter is that you are where you are at today as a direct result of what you believe you deserve, the choices you have made and how you feel about those choices. Now, take a second and stop worrying that I am secretly mistaking your inner confidence as arrogance and let that soak in. What we do with the things that are handed to us is entirely up to us. We have the power to change how we see ourselves simply by believing that we deserve to feel validated. So many of us make passive decisions about who we are and the path we choose because we think that people might not like us if we have a firm belief in who we are or what we want. We meander through our days without actually choosing to be present and aware because we think we don’t deserve to be. No wonder we don’t know who we are or what power we posses. No wonder we don’t believe that others can see it as well.
I challenge you to start making deliberate decisions about yourself and your life. Be aware and sure about who you are and the path you chose. See how making those firm choices changes your perspective and your ability to accept that others may see greatness in you as well. And the next time someone pays you a compliment stop yourself before the automatic negative response. Let the words seep in and give yourself the ability to just say “thank you”. Know that compliments are gifts from someone else who is telling you that they see something amazing in you. It’s a verbal pat on the back. Think of those gifts as a way to see yourself as others may see you. Which you might find actually be pretty darn great.
Everyone has a little light inside them. How bright it shines is up to you.