Last week I talked about how easy it was to erode your confidence in two easy steps.
Now for the real bit for people who aren’t into sarcasm.
Discounting is a huge problem for people who lack confidence. As a reminder, discounting is when someone gives you praise or a compliment and you shrug it off by deflecting the praise to someone else or by not accepting the compliment by arguing with it.
“That’s a lovely dress!”
“Oh, this old thing? It’s so out of date. I just didn’t have anything else to wear.”
“You did a great job on that presentation today!”
“I didn’t think so. I forgot to review the key points at the end and I don’t think the client was very interested.”
There’s a time to be modest and there’s a time to accept and receive praise and compliments. In fact, it’s the same time. A simple “Thank you very much” will suffice. You don’t have to go into the long details of how hard you’ve worked, the challenges you’ve faced, and the sheer grit and tenacity it took to achieve whatever it was. All you have to do is say, “Thank you very much.” There’s no reason to add anything else. There’s no reason to make yourself look or feel smaller by adding some objection (saying, “Thank you but…”).
Accepting compliments and praise reminds your brain that you worked hard for a reason. It reminds your brain that you are worthy of praise and affirmations. It reminds your self-confidence that there’s a reason for it to exist.
It’s just a “Thank you very much.” It’s gracious. It’s accepting. It’s affirming.
The next time someone says, “That’s a nice tie” or “That was a brilliant suggestion”, leave the discounting to the grocery stores and accept the praise.