At least part of it must be how other people see us and what they reflect back.
But for that to make a difference, we’d have to listen to what they’re saying. And if you’re like me, you don’t.
I didn’t realize that until Coleen looked at my shoes and said, “You’re so stylish!” Although I’d heard it before, this was the first time I actually heard it, which made me wonder why.
I thought of all the people in my life and the positive things they say, and how I never really listen (though the negative comments lodge in my brain forever).
What happens to the good stuff? Usually, I discount the words as they’re spoken. “What does he know about it? She’s just saying that to be nice. He says that to everyone. She must have really low standards,” and on and on and on and on…
There’s another stopping point for certain words, since I attribute them to someone else and act like they’re already taken. For instance, stylish belongs to my mother and Lynda and smart is about Steve and Sam.
That’s not right; I know it and so do you. But to tackle twisted thinking, you first have to hear your self-talk, and that’s what one compliment—maybe the first I’ve ever heard—did for me.
So bring it on folks. I’m ready for all the adulation you can muster.