Want to feel more confident? Try saying thank-you!

I used to be that person that if you gave me a compliment or good feedback I would explain it away:
  • ‘oh no, I was just lucky’
  • ‘it was more the team than me’
  • ‘yeah, but we didn’t hit the target’
That kind of thing, maybe you do this yourself?
I sadly can’t remember who, or when, but one day someone called me out. They told me it’s rude to the giver, even if you don’t believe what they’re saying it is more polite to simply say thank you.
And here’s the thing, I took that advice on board and I starting doing just that.
It was excruciating at first, especially with that voice in my head booming about how people were wrong, that wasn’t me, I wasn’t that awesome.
But over time that cringy feeling was replaced with a warm fuzzy feeling and I started saying ‘awww, thank you’ accompanied by that cute little head tilt to one side, as if to say, ‘wow, you are so nice’. I wasn’t quite believing the compliments but I thought it was lovely that people were trying to make me feel good.
With my clients I often share a quote (again sadly. no idea where this came from):
‘just because the voice in your head is talking, doesn’t mean it’s telling the truth’
Pause for a moment and read that again.
‘just because the voice in your head is talking, doesn’t mean it’s telling the truth’
The voice that makes you feel rubbish and sucks away your self esteem is your vampire. It sits on your shoulder whispering, sometimes booming about how much of a loser you are, a  screw up, undeserving. It’s the one that undermines your confidence in yourself and the more you dismiss compliments the more ammunition you give it to use against you.
On the other shoulder is your cheerleader. She reminds you, you can do it, you’re awesome and you deserve this. Chances are, if you’re lacking in confidence she might be a bit hungry at the moment because every time a a great morsel of feedback comes her way, you snatch it out of her mouth and feed it to the vampire.
Yes, you are doing this.  You are killing your own confidence by not accepting and internalising the information you need to feel confident.
Confidence is not something you have or you don’t, it’s a skill and the more you practice it the stronger it gets. The more you accept the wonderful things people say about you, the greater the source of inner confidence you have to draw on.
These days, more often than not, I recognise that warm fuzzy feeling I get when I accept compliments is my inner confidence filling up. I have an email folder called ‘Feel Good’ where I save all the positive feedback I get from clients so when my inner confidence feels low I have somewhere to go to refill. And I surround myself with people who want to see me succeed.
When your inner confidence feels empty, there is nothing I can say that will help you believe that you have the power to refill it yourself so instead I suggest that you try saying thank you anytime someone compliments you, praises you, gives you positive feedback or thanks you for a job well done. You might not believe it but at least you’re not being rude either.
Drop me a line and let me know how it goes, I reply to every email.

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Photo by Howie R on Unsplash
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