Historically, women have been taught to be modest and not boastful. While there is nothing worse than an arrogant bragger, I am on a personal mission to help others embrace their humble confidence and own their strengths and accomplishments. In reality, there is nobody else in the professional world advocating on your behalf but you. So, you must become comfortable singing your own praises – especially in a job interview or performance review.
The same philosophy follows suit when accepting a compliment. I cringe when I hear someone back out of accepting a compliment by minimizing their success or recognizing someone else for the job well done. The person giving the compliment is paying tribute to you and praising you for your success. Learn to say “thank you” with grace and appreciation.
Acknowledging praise does not mean you are arrogant. In fact, it is far more congenial to accept a compliment than to deny a person the opportunity to praise you. My favorite confidence boosting words of wisdom come from Nelson Mandela’s 1994 inaugural speech:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
So go out there and do great things and when you are recognized and appreciated, say thank you!