One of the hardest things for me to learn in my life was to accept praise. To say that I was not praised as a child is an understatement. I am an expert at self-deprecation, as well, so it became part of my DNA to think of myself as a disaster and voice all negative opinions of myself whenever the opportunity arose. If anyone tried to compliment me, I would give them the 500 reasons why they were wrong in their opinion of me.
It was embarrassing for them and for myself. After the keynote address, I received some messages. One said that she wanted me to be the keynote speaker every year. My gut reaction was to respond by calling her crazy and list every single thing wrong with me, but I’d been doing the work. I’d been challenging these beliefs about myself. I’d been rewiring the messages in my brain. Therefore, on this day I responded back, “Thank you so much.” And sat in the feelings someone thinking I did a good job brought up.
Who was I to tell her that her experience of my talk was wrong? Who was I to tell her that her reality is not reality? I was freaking brave. I had a message that needed to be heard. I fought through and delivered said message. It may not have been pretty, but it was effective. Isn’t that enough? That event gave me so many opportunities to practice accepting praise. Just say thank you. It is that simple.
Sometimes bravery is getting your message out no matter what.