Can You Overcome Impostor Syndrome?

Don’t Resist the Compliment

“When people tell you nice things, stop shrugging them off as if they are nothing. The sincere compliments you receive are your jewels, – collect them in your heart, – they highlight the beauty of your being and empower you during challenging times. Never say ‘o…h, it’s nothing’ or shrug your shoulders when you hear a sincere compliment. Pause, breathe it in, and really feel its meaning.” -Chane’ L. January-Fleming

Here’s a simple tip for improving your self-esteem and training your mind to adopt healthy, empowering, and self-nurturing beliefs:

When someone praises you, let them get away with it.

You’d think this was an easy piece of advice to follow, but we often do everything except for that.

We downplay kind words directed at us by explaining them away. We warn people to not be too impressed with us since we grew up that way, had a great teacher, or whatever other reason we come up with for why they shouldn’t praise us.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind the next time you feel tempted to do that:

The ability to explain the origins of a virtue does not make that virtue any less praiseworthy.

When someone offers you a compliment, and you respond by explaining away your positive attributes in terms of how your mother raised you, what city you’re from, or how many advantages you’ve had, it doesn’t change the fact that your goodness is still worthy of being appreciated.

There’s nothing wrong with doing something well. So when someone applauds you for doing so, there’s no need to treat them like they’re being irrational or unethical.

When people compliment you, it’s not because they’re under the illusion that you’re a perfect, self-sufficient being who never had any help. It’s simply a kind way of saying, “I appreciate you,” or “I admire you.”

It’s already a rare experience for most of us to feel celebrated. So when it happens, why not allow it?

There’s no need to provide scientific explanations for why you refuse to be impressed with yourself. Just allow the other person to have their moment of gratitude.

Instead of turning compliments away, just say, “Thank you!” and move on. Every time you do, you send a signal to your brain that says, “I’m worthy of that.”