I recently attended a personal development workshop that made me stop and reconsider the truth about my own self worth.
I know it has improved in leaps and bounds since my own coaching journey started… yet I know there will always be room for improvement in this space.
During this workshop the presenter walked directly over to where I was sitting, and whilst in the process of making her point, she looked me directly in the eye and paid me a compliment about how lovely I looked… in front of everyone in the room. Because she was teaching a concept and making a point, I took on the role of ‘believe-everything-she-says-student’. I held her gaze, smiled and nodded in acceptance of her compliment.
She then went on to explain to the group how my response to this complement spoke volumes about my self worth. She explained that because I had held her gaze, smiled and nodded, she could conclude that I had a healthy sense of self worth.
Later on that afternoon as I drove home I reflected on this. I reflected on the way I had ‘role played’ my response compared to how I usually respond to a compliment. Usually I respond with a shrug or wave of the hand and go into explaining why it's not really the truth… and then I change the conversation.
If it's a complement about my clothes, I respond with how old the item is or how I bought it at a bargain price.
If it's about my looks, I joke about the way I'm ageing.
If it's about my kids I respond with how much they take after their dad.
... you get the idea.
This got me thinking. What is this really about? Why do I do this?
Is it because in truth I really do have a low sense of self worth?
Is it because I don’t want to appear arrogant, haughty and vain?
Is it just a life long habit I use in response to any and every complement?
I realise that on some level I do this for all the above reasons. I think back to all the compliments I so blatantly discard. Then I think back to that moment in the workshop and consider the reason for my atypical response that day. I realise it was because I had assumed that the presenter was role playing. I too had responded by using my own role play. I also recognise that by nodding, smiling and thinking “Thank you” it meant that I was actually accepting the compliment.
I recall how it had felt so good. I'm sure that I actually sat up taller. I remember feeling really confident in that moment... and that the feeling had continued all the way through the lunch break. (After all, I was the lady in the room with the great self worth!)
So, I decided to try an experiment. I decided to test it again as soon as I had the opportunity. A few days later, while visiting with family in Brisbane, my sister in law payed me a compliment about my new haircut. I looked her in the eye, smiled and said "Thank you".
Later on I met up with an old friend. She complimented me on my outfit and how happy I looked. I looked her in the eye, smiled and said "Thank you"… I stand taller and feel fabulous.
I am really starting to enjoy this! I notice that each time I accept a compliment, I’m silently telling myself that “I am enough”, “I am worth it”… This is not arrogance or vanity. This is learning how to graciously accept a compliment, to love and value myself, to smile wider, to stand taller and to be the best me that God created me to be.
So, dear friend, how do you receive a compliment? If you’ve been a squirmer, one who shrugs, brushes it off, doesn’t believe it and changes the subject, then I greatly encourage you to try this one simple step. Stand up tall, smile broadly, look your complementer in the eye and say “Thank you”. It is guaranteed to boost your self worth.
I’d love to hear how you go!
xx Smiles, Kathryn
P.S. if you know your self worth or self esteem could do with further improvement and you're ready to realise your value, then click here to open the door to being your best and confident version of you.
P.P.S. If you have a friend who needs a self worth boost, share the love by sharing this post with them too :).