What do you do when you’re given a compliment? Do you hem and haw and eventually mumble thanks? Do you try to talk the person out of it? Do you turn it into a criticism about yourself?
When you lack confidence it’s hard to accept praise from others. You don’t think you deserve it. It can make you feel uncomfortable.
One way to build self esteem, and consequently reduce depression or self doubt, is to give more weight, if not at least equal weight, to compliments and positive feedback. Accept compliments with a thank you. Allow yourself to revel in the good feelings that come when you hear good things about yourself or your efforts.
I often encourage clients to write compliments, positive reviews and feedback down. When that niggling self doubt or negative critic pops up, pull out this information and read it over. Ask yourself how both can be true, the criticism of your inner critic and the things on your list.
Those who lack confidence often ignore or discount any thing positive about them and focus solely on negative information. What’s true is that we have things we do well and things we don’t; areas where we excel and others where we struggle; times when we’re kind and generous and times when we’re not at our best.
Focusing only on where you’re lacking, fall short, make mistakes, etc., gives an inaccurate picture of you. Accepting your flaws and embracing your strengths, accomplishments and abilities is the healthiest way to view yourself.