CONTINUED FROM PART ONE….
Stop withholding compliments & start complimenting people freely.
Have you noticed? Somewhere between high school and graduating from university, it became less acceptable to compliment people. Maybe this has just been my experience but, judging by all the videos and material out there, encouraging people to just say the nice thing, I doubt that it’s just me.
Wanting to give a compliment is a vulnerable thing, yes. Receiving a compliment is also vulnerable, so don’t be surprised if it isn’t received very well. Heck, I’ve been that girl:
Unknowing friend or acquaintance: “You look really nice today.”
The nervous me: “I know, isn’t it such a pretty day?”
Don’t hold it against them. The point is that you are living truly. That’s why it’s important for compliments to be genuine, not seeking a response from the other person. If you are doing it to get something (whether action or word) from another person, if their reaction doesn’t match or come close to what’s in your head, the result will be disappointment and negative reinforcement that compliments are risky. If, however, you compliment because you want to get something positive and encouraging off your chest, them rejecting it is more of a snag than a total roadblock.
I’ve started just telling people what I really think about the great things they’re doing. And it is like breathing deep after being under water for too long. I knew it would make other people smile, but I did not expect it to affect me nearly as much as it did! Genuinely complimenting other people and searching out ways to compliment people makes the days brighter, for me. For real.
I’ve said this already, but I have to reiterate: It’s been such a relief to just say the nice things that come to mind, even if they spill out awkwardly. It’s a great example of how you rarely regret the things you do, and usually the things you don’t.
Stop spending energy imagining the worst & start imagining the very best.
I was gifted a powerful imagination. I’m sure many of you can relate.
I was also gifted a few early life experiences that led me to over analyze, obsess and try to see every possible outcome. In childhood, this may be important, even possible to a degree, when there are limited data points. But, in adulthood, it’s a one-way ticket to anxiety, depression and long nights trying to numb through a deluge of media.
As many a counsellor has said and many a psychologist has written, the mental habits we develop in childhood served a purpose. There’s no reason to judge ourselves for them. But, now that we’re adults, able to choose where go and when, we can slowly begin to wean ourselves off those structures.
Imagining the worst had its uses. Now, it’s time to let that pattern go. It’s okay. You are going to be okay, without running through a detailed list of frightful possibilities. The odds of survival and thriving are, actually, in your favor. What would happen if you started telling yourself that? What would happen if you started thinking about the best possible scenario—the one that makes you smile, without realizing it?
That’s my test for whether I am really imagining the best: Whether I end the imagining session with a smile on my face. It might take a little while, the first time you try it, but eventually you’ll get to that point in 5 minutes. And I promise it’s the best way to start the day.
If you can’t quite get to that point, remember: Becoming your best self just means that you try to be that person, whenever you remember. Whenever you remember, think about a brighter future. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t hate yourself, or your patterns (they served a purpose). You are simply climbing past them. And that’s all.
And there you have it. Five attitudes that are holding you back, and five that can replace them.
As ever, remember that you have a powerful mind, an iron will and the heart of a lion.
p.s. – Did you like the two-part format? I kind of did. But I’m curious!