By Judith Sherven, PhD
NABBW’s Associate for Healthy Relationships

Hear Yea! Hear Yea!
Let it be known across the land: Receiving Praise and Compliments for Your Excellence Does NOT Make You Big-headed!

Yet, in a recent workshop “Overcoming the Fear of Being Fabulous: It’s Time To Shatter Your Inner Glass Ceiling” (which my husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD and I present quite often as a career building and leadership boosting opportunity for corporate audiences) predictably some of the main reasons people gave about their difficulty receiving acknowledgment of their excellence were:

  • I’ll seem big headed
  • It will make me feel conceited
  • I don’t want people to think I’m arrogant

Reasons that followed were:

  • I was raised to believe that being modest is most important
  • It’s more important for me to show off my team
  • Others are better at what I do, so how can I accept that I’m being called “excellent”?

Whatever reasons you may give yourself to block the uptake of positive feedback, please be aware that you are stifling ownership of who you really are whenever you blow off someone’s compliment, praise, or any other acknowledgment of your excellence.

  • Yes! When you hold yourself back from standing firmly, squarely inside the fullness of your expertise, your knowledge, your ability to move things forward you are stifling who you truly are.
  • Yes! You are stifling who you truly are when you hold yourself back from seeing and taking in how others perceive your excellence.
  • Yes! You are stifling who you truly are when you hold yourself back from growing your self-confidence, your creativity, your skills in working with others.
    And let’s be clear here. I’m not talking about boasting, bragging, or lording your accomplishments over anyone else.

I am talking about the tragic beliefs that compel people to insist that their successes be kept secret because they don’t want to arouse envy, jealousy, or competitiveness in their colleagues. They don’t want to get a reputation of “standing out” or “being the best” because they were taught it “wasn’t nice.”

What I am talking about is you owning your excellence! Owning it so you don’t have to hide your excellence. And owning it so you can readily accept and enjoy compliments.

So from now on:

  1. Consciously pay attention when people praise you
  2. Say “Thank you” and anything else about what their praise means to you
  3. Consciously praise others – especially anyone who reports to you – and notice how they respond.  Notice how it feels when they brush off your gift of praise.
  4. Let them know you are serious and that you want them to take in what you said, that you want them to consciously accept your positive assessment of their value.

When receiving and giving compliments becomes a daily practice your professional and personal life will definitely improve. Because you will be open and available to stand out, to be seen, to be cared for in ways that have been previously shut off—by you and by others.

Let me know what happens!

Whitney bookJudith Sherven, PhD and her husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD http://JudithandJim.comhave developed a penetrating perspective on people’s resistance to success, which they call The Fear of Being Fabuloustm. Recognizing the power of unconscious programming to always outweigh conscious desires, they assert that no one is ever failing—they are always succeeding. The question is, at what? To learn about how this played out in the life of Whitney Houston, check out http://WhatReallyKilledWhitneyHouston.com

Currently working as consultants on retainer to LinkedIn providing executive coaching, leadership training and consulting as well as working with private clients around the world, they continually prove that when unconscious beliefs are brought to the surface, the barriers to greater success and leadership presence begin to fade away. They call it Overcoming the Fear of Being Fabulous.

This post appeared on LinkedIn. Follow Judith on LinkedIn.

Married psychology team and best-selling authors, Drs. Judith Sherven and James Sniechowski have redefined the future of weddings. From now on brides AND grooms will be co-partners every step along the way. Be sure to read an excerpt from their new book - "The Smart Couple's Guide to the Wedding of Your Dreams." Just go to http://www.smartweddingcouples.com