Who doesn’t like cookies? I mean, come on. I’d jump over a pit of vipers for a snickerdoodle!
But I’ll let you in on a little secret: You already have plenty. And the odd thing about it is that the more of them you give away, the more you’ll get back. It’s this crazy cookie math that defies explanation.
And these cookies are the best, most delicious cookies on earth. They don’t consist of sugar or butter or preservatives. They will never make you fat. In fact, the more you consume, the better you will feel. I’ll never understand why we don’t share more of these suckers when we possess them in infinite amounts.
If you haven’t already figured it out, I am talking about sincere compliments. I try to give out several a day. It doesn’t cost me a penny, but the dividends are phenomenal. There’s nothing as gratifying as discovering that you’ve made someone’s day.
Some people hoard these cookies as if they’ll starve to death if they hand them out. I’ve had a few supervisors like that, and it makes the workplace toxic, indeed. How hard is it to give someone kudos for a job well done?
Would it kill you to say, “That’s a beautiful necklace,” or “What a great idea! Thank you for sharing that!” or “I’ve always admired your people skills.”
If you try hard enough, you’ll find that there is something in everyone that is worth a genuine compliment. And you’ll discover that after a while, you don’t have to make that much of an effort. It will start to come naturally.
The more positivity you put out in the world, the more positivity will come back to you. Try it. You’ll see.
So here’s a cookie, dear reader: I think you are awesome. And you have great taste in blogs, too! 😊
My whole life, I’ve been waiting to be found out. Not discovered, like some pretty girl sitting at a soda fountain in Los Angeles, destined for stardom. No. Found out. Exposed for the imposter that I am.
I expect to be grabbed by the elbow. “You don’t belong here! How did you get here? Get back to the service entrance, wench!” “You don’t really fit in those clothes, that house, that job, that relationship, that car!” “You can’t have good things!” “That achievement? It’s a mistake.” “You are a fake, a phony.” “You are not worthy.” “Sure, they love you now, but only because they have no idea how flawed you really are.” “Just you wait. It’ll all turn to shit sooner or later.”
If any of that sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. It seems that 70 percent of us have the imposter experience at some point in our lives. Note that I’m not calling it Imposter Syndrome, as many people do. It’s not a mental illness. It’s not some flaw in your brain chemistry. You are not broken. We are not broken.
Yes, an attitude adjustment wouldn’t hurt. Habits may need to be changed. Chances are you learned this negativity at your parents’ knees. Talking about it helps.
The more we realize how common this thought process is, the easier it is to realize that its these thoughts that are the imposters, not you. Not us.
Don’t let these ideas fester. Don’t let them hold you back. Don’t allow them to stop you from trying. That way lies stress, anxiety, and depression.
Let yourself feel your success. Don’t just dwell on the failures as if they merit more of your time. Write down the compliments, not the insults. Allow yourself new experiences.
In case no one has ever told you: You deserve all the things. You deserve them as much as anyone else does. You belong here, too.
Just the other day I got told I have a strong personality. I get that a lot. The observation usually comes from a man, and it’s not intended as a compliment. I’m also often told that I “speak my mind” or am “opinionated”. (Uh, isn’t that an opinion?)
I can’t deny any of those descriptions. I’ll often speak up when others are afraid to. And if you ask me my opinion, I assume you want to know what it is, so I oblige you. I’m baffled as to why these qualities are supposed to be negative.
Yes. I have opinions. Everyone does. Never once have I insisted that anyone agree with mine. I’m not a bully. I never have been.
I also refuse to be bullied anymore. I was bullied half my life, and I’ve had it up to here. I stand up for others just as often as I stand up for myself. Again, tell me why that’s a bad thing?
Recently I’ve started considering the source of these criticisms. These people never make the same observations about men. Or if they do, they’re transformed into compliments. That’s interesting. And they are usually people who are, or would like to be, in positions of power over me. I’m quite sure that they’d prefer that I simply shut up and do as I’m told. They don’t want me to think, or have an opinion, or be strong, or even have a mind to speak. I’d be so much easier to deal with if I were soft and compliant.
Sorry to disappoint. Not gonna happen.
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I suspect no one has ever told you this, so I figured I would. You are already enough. You were just who you were supposed to be on the day you were born.
I don’t know why people find it so hard to give compliments or encouragement. I really don’t know why so many people delight in being cruel or insulting. But the fact remains. You are enough.
Having ambition and wanting to improve upon yourself isn’t a bad thing, of course. Go for it! But set aside any anxiety you have that is causing you to try to force yourself into a role that makes you uncomfortable. Nobody has the right to pressure you to become someone that you’re not. Deep down, you already know who you are.
Just be yourself. You are one of a kind. Sit in that power. And before you know it (but only if you need to), you will bloom. You have that within you, and chances are, a lot of people already see it, whether they bother to tell you or not.
Now, share this post with someone else who needs to hear it.
Starting at around 7th grade, I developed a potent and bitter dislike of cheerleaders that lasted right on through my time at university. I would never have admitted this then, but I was jealous. They were all beautiful and thin and popular and coordinated and never seemed to get pimples, and knew how to wear makeup and had the confidence to rock a miniskirt. Those were all qualities that seemed very out of reach to me. Actually, they still feel pretty out of reach, if I’m honest.
Over time I’ve learned that there are other fantastic qualities to have, such as intelligence and compassion and integrity, and those will stand the test of time long after your miniskirt days are over. I really like who I am. I’m finding that these traits may not be visible at first glance, and therefore I still struggle to get dates, but I’d totally date me.
Another thing that’s changed over time is my view of cheerleaders. Now I don’t disdain them. I cultivate them. Not the sporting kind. The kind that encourage you. The kind that sing your praises. The kind that say, “You go, girl!!!” Everybody needs that kind of positivity in their lives.
Because of this, I also try to be a cheerleader. I go out of my way to give sincere compliments. I want to be uplifting. In this world there will be plenty of people who will try to drag you down. Do your best to surround yourself with those who will cheer for you, and make an effort to cheer for them as well. Maybe your pom poms aren’t as perky as the next person’s, but your words will still give them spirit.
When you love someone, it seems as though you develop your own special language. This language is full of cultural references, but they often spring from a culture of two. You can speak this language in the presence of others and no one else will understand.
The more you do this, the more special you start to feel. It’s like a drug. The underlying message is, “You mean enough to me to share secrets with.” “You understand me like no one else can.” “We share things that we’ve never shared with others.” “We have a common history to draw upon.”
The other day as I was waking up and still half in a dream, I heard my late boyfriend whispering in my ear. “You are my woman-stash. More so than Mouse.” And it brought happy tears to my eyes. When I started to write this entry, I planned to go on and explain what that means, but on second thought, I think I’ll keep it to myself. Suffice it to say it’s the highest compliment he could possibly give me.
That’s a typical scenario, probably happening a hundred thousand times across the country the very second you’re reading this. A lot of people are uncomfortable receiving compliments. Or they don’t think they deserve them. Or they think that accepting them will make them sound arrogant.
Here’s the thing, though. (Yeah, yeah, there’s always a thing.) Compliments aren’t just about the receipt thereof. The giver of the compliment is putting him or herself out there as well. A compliment says, “I see something in you, and I’m proud of that, and want to share it with you.” It says, “I want to make you feel good.” It says, “Here’s a gift of positivity.”
By rejecting a compliment, what you’re saying, in essence, is, “Your judgment is bad.” “I’m not taking you seriously.” “I don’t want your gift.”
When a compliment is rejected, the person who gave it feels disappointment. He or she also feels kind of sorry for you. Negative energy all around.
So here’s an idea. It might take practice, but next time someone compliments you, just say, “Thank you!” That doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with it. It just means you are appreciating that that person took the time to see something good in you and speak up about it. Simple. Everyone’s happy.
Let’s spread some positivity around today. Give a compliment to the next person you see. Who knows? Maybe after a while those compliments will sink in. There’s no downside.