I jumped around so many times trying to work out the best topic to talk about today before realising that the reason I didn't want to talk about the thing I originally decided to talk about is because I was downplaying the topic. In my mind it wasn't a worthy enough topic to talk about, which, ironically is more or less what the topic was. So I've decided to stick with my original topic and today I am here to talk to you about how I am incapable of hearing compliments and believing them.
I know we did a post similar to this as a group where our loved ones described us and we responded, you can find that here - but today I just wanted to talk about my experiences with this personally.
Recently it's becomming a more prominent part of my life as I have amazing friends in my life who compliment me on a daily basis. Whether it's saying how beautiful I am, how wonderful, amazing, creative or incredible I am. The words are said to me with heartfelt expressions that I should be able to accept. But often, I hear those words and wonder how could I possibly live up to that expectation? After all, I'm a failure. I'm barely keeping my head above water. I keep forgetting everything. I am a clutz. I'm ugly. I am just doing what I've always done. These are the thoughts that swirl around in my head. They tell me that I don't deserve compliments.
This is why when I get heartfelt compliments, I do one of two things. Sometimes I grin widely and get cocky. "Well, you know, that is because I AM awesome." - Or I get quiet and mumble thank you while trying not to cry. The problem of course, is that I don't think these things about myself even though I know, deep down, I should.
So when someone comes along and says something awful to me, instead of defending myself, I just nod and agree. As an example of this, somone has once told me that organising blog tours isn't difficult, it's just contacting bloggers and making a schedule right? To which I just nodded and agreed without defending the hard work and hours that I put into each and every tour I do. And it is a lot of work. It's finding bloggers, getting the schedules to fit, chasing content, collating information about the book for a media kit, e-mailing all the bloggers with all the information they need, tweeting and facebooking, chasing bloggers who haven't posted, collating more data, creating a graphic or two if that's necessary. It is hard work. It is stressful. It requires a lot of energy and passion. But instead of saying all of that, I just agreed. And I am certain the next time someone says it, I will still just agree.
And I wish that wasn't the way. I wish I had some sense of confidence in myself, and my abilities to defend my work, my personalitiy, my achievements.
Because I wish that of my friends too. I watch them deflect my compliments and it hurts so I can only imagine how it must feel when I do the same thing. I want them to be able to see how much they mean to me, how wonderful and truly brilliant I think they are and for them to truly understand that about themselves and to see it as truth. And if I want that for them, how could I not want that for myself?
I think the problem is that if you accept a compliment head on, you can seem conceited or arrogant. "Oh, YOU think you're amazing and wonderful do you?" and no one really wants to go too far. But I think confidence in yourself and your abilities is different from arrogance but somehow I just need to learn the balance. I need to be able to say to myself that I AM worthy, that I AM beautiful, that I AM talented.
And so I am going to try and say this to myself every day until it sticks. And if you too have issues believing in your self-worth, I would love it if you too did the same thing.