Comments 2

Can you pay yourself a compliment?

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About two and half years ago the company I then worked for signed me up for life coaching sessions. At the time I had jumped industries, started a new role I had no prior experience, taken a massive pay cut and basically turned my entire life upside down on this quest to figure out what I’d been put on this earth to do.

Ordinarily, any other time I would have jumped at the chance to attend any course at the company’s expense, except I was basically treading water with the work load I was dealing with and all the newness being thrown my way.

I was in survival mode.

Arriving at the first training session it turned out that all of my life coach sessions were to be held as group sessions with two other individuals working for similar organisations to mine. I was not thrilled at the idea of deep and intimate conversations with strangers, however as I had no choice…and they were feeding us at these sessions, I decided to buckle up and just get through it.

After half a day of ice breakers and getting to understand what the other person did, the sessions launched into deeper and more introspective topics. I was doing some severe clocking watching by this point as I had some pretty tight deadlines waiting for me back at the office. As much fun and learning as I was having, I was getting more anxious with every hour anticipating just how much time and work I was going to have to put in that evening to play catch up.

The afternoon session of day was kicked off unexpectedly by my  group’s life coach asking me, quite randomly, to pay myself a compliment…out loud…in front of everybody. That’s when things got quite awkward.

It felt like 15 minutes but it was probably only two very long minutes I spent trying to come up with a compliment to pay myself. Any compliment. Every single compliment that popped into my heard I managed to find a reason not to use because  it was either:

Too braggy.
Not braggy enough.
An exaggeration.
Too generic.
A lie.

I remember being so bewildered. What the heck was going on? Why couldn’t I do this seemingly easy task? My heart rate picked up, I felt like I was starting to hyperventilate and then to my absolute horror…I burst into tears.

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It didn’t take a life coach to have to tell me that something was very wrong here. Until that exact moment I would never have thought I had any self-esteem problems. It turned out that what I had mistaken for a healthy dose of confidence was really a rather convincing case of false bravado.

It was no surprise that I couldn’t pay myself a compliment because it eventually turned out, after some further soul searching and understanding, that my bench marks for self-worth and success were not only ridiculous but unattainable. I had basically created these impossible valuation of myself that I was continuously falling short of and failing dismally at.

*dramatic pause so I can re-side-eye myself for such foolery*

Turned out that my other group members had the same trouble as I did. We all found ourselves baffled as to how we had all been so busy proving our worth in this world via our jobs, our material possessions and standing in society that we had completely lost touch with ourselves. We had forgotten that we all truly matter despite our successes, failures, accomplishments or opportunities missed.

We deserved to think and believe good things about ourselves, enough to pay ourselves a compliment every day. Even if it’s only one.

So here’s my homework for you, chickens. Pay yourself an honest-to-goodness compliment right now.

*I will wait patiently while you get to reminding yourself how awesome you are*.

Are you done? Didn’t it feel good? If you’re feeling particularly generous, why don’t you share the compliment you paid yourself with me in the comments section.

So you don’t feel put on the spot, lemme share one of mine with you, to kick us off:

I am witty and possess the awesome ability to make people laugh.”

There. Your turn now. Catch you in the comments 😉

V x

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    • Oh that’s a lovely compliment. And yes, it’s funny (and sad) how long it takes to come up with one to pay ourselves. Thanks for sharing 🙂


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