Does receiving a compliment make you squirm or cringe? Yeah, me too. And I’m sure the rest of the world agrees with us.
But, what if we said a simple, “thanks” and then stowed those kind observations away to examine later when we were alone?
Can you remember a recent compliment someone gave you? Maybe it was that you were funny, that you showed initiative, that you hit a homer with that work project, that you looked sharp, whatever comes to mind. Now, take those words and imagine they are a marble. Weird, right?
Now find a quiet place where you are safe and alone. Pull out one of those word marbles and examine it. Hold it in your mind and try to find the grain of truth in it. And now, here’s the really tough part, sit with that truth until it doesn’t feel ill-fitting. Then, tomorrow or next week or next month when your confidence feels low, take out that marble and remind yourself of your strengths.
Sounds strange, right? Let’s practice together.
The compliment: “You gave an amazing presentation.”
The reaction: Squirm, cringe, blush, and a mumbled, “Oh, it went on too long…thanks, though.”
The marble: I gave an amazing presentation (which I know is the truth because that person has no incentive to lie to me AND I spent ten plus hours making that presentation…well…great!)
The quiet analysis: I worked hard and it showed. My hard work was acknowledged by someone I respect.
See? Not so painful. In fact, next time you start the prep for another challenge, that marble may give you the confidence to start strong.