For some of us, learning to accept a compliment can be one of the hardest things to do, but once the art is mastered it can be one of the most empowering tools we have.
Why is it that accepting a compliment can feel so unnatural? The truth is that it’s usually because we’ve stopped seeing ourselves as worthy of admiration, all too often letting that niggling feeling of self-doubt overtake. When we constantly tell ourselves we’re not smart enough, attractive enough, or ultimately good enough, an unexpected compliment can leave us feeling exposed or vulnerable.
Hypnotherapist to the stars, Marisa Peer, believes learning to accept a compliment is one of the most crucial steps in learning to accept ourselves and believing we are enough. Marisa, whose extensive client list includes rock stars and royalty, unpacks this theory in her latest book ‘I Am Enough: Mark Your Mirror And Change Your Life’ which claims if we can conquer this belief, we can improve all aspects of our lives.
As she explains: “We are socialised from a relatively young age to demur when we are given compliments. We deflect, minimise and self-deprecate because we’ve been taught that one of the worst things we can be is arrogant.
“Our other pernicious habit is to be hyper-responsive to criticism and we often fail to recognise the negative effects it has on our self-esteem, productivity and self-belief.”
Research and extensive brain mapping studies from UCLA has proven that the critical words we say to ourselves on a regular basis are a major source of depression. Marisa’s internationally renowned technique of Rapid Transformational Therapy is credited with giving people the power to undo this vicious cycle by learning to praise ourselves.
“Most people think praise has to come from external forces, but that’s where they are wrong. Praising yourself holds a tremendous power that the world’s most successful people all employ as a tool”
According to the therapist, years of criticism and lack of love can be undone with self-love and self-praise. She emphasis this is not about “arrogance or delusion”, but is a tool designed to empower us to strive for those goals we may previously thought out of reach.
Praising yourself is simply improving your internal dialogue so you can reap the benefits that receiving praise brings. Once we learn to praise ourselves, accepting the praise of others comes naturally, enabling us to accept compliments with gratitude and humility.
Here, Marisa Peer shares five simple steps for learning to praise yourself:
Talk to yourself like you would talk to a good friend. If your friend was late or messed up a presentation, chances are you wouldn’t berate them, you’d tell them they did the best they could. Try giving yourself the same respect you would give others; it’s such a simple change but it can dramatically alter our mindset.
It’s so easy to forget all the little wins you achieve day in day out. Perhaps you’ve negotiated a tricky situation at work or you’ve made it out for a jog this week; give yourself the praise you deserve. The smaller incremental amounts of praise have an aggregate effect and can be very powerful on your self-esteem.
You will always be your worst critic. Ask a close friend or family member to give you honest feedback about how you talk about yourself. Listen to your friend’s feedback about how they hear you speaking about yourself and be prepared to change it if they say you often use harsh or negative words.
Praise yourself for who you are as much as for what you do as it’s the fastest way to increase your self-esteem. After all, self-esteem literally means what YOU think of YOU, not what other people think of you, otherwise it would be called other’s esteem.
Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself. Listen to the words you use when chastising yourself and then replace these with ones that have less meaning. Try using words which factually articulate what’s happened or those which are of no consequence. For example, if you’ve forgotten your keys you’re not an ‘idiot’ you are ‘forgetful’, or rather than being a ‘moron’ you could be ‘silly’.
Marisa Peer’s latest book ‘I Am Enough: Mark Your Mirror And Change Your Life ’is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.