I am a big believer in being generous with compliments. How many times do you think something nice about someone and don’t say it? WHY IS THAT? Why not say the thing?
I try to remember to say those kind, genuine things often as I think them, because I know how sweet it is to get a kind, genuine compliment from a stranger (or even a friend). And I can’t tell you how many times people say “You’ve made my day.”
A kind word from a stranger has the power to make someone’s day?
On one hand, that’s pretty amazing. Spread that magical power around everywhere as often as possible!
On the other hand….
When we give other people the power to make our day, we also give them the power to break it.
Years ago I used to have a decently-read wedding blog. Most of the comments were kind, encouraging, or at least benign. And it felt good to have so much positive attention. But once in awhile someone would say something I thought was mean or rude. And that would RUIN my day.
My happiness and contentment was based on other people’s opinions about me. My barometer for how I was doing depended on other people. I had given away my power. And that wasn’t just something I did when I was a wedding planner, that dependence on other people to give me my identity has been hardwired in me for as long as I can remember.
Tell me who I am.
Tell me what I should do.
Tell me if I’m doing a good job.
Only in recent years have I realized - truly internalized - that I have one wild and precious life, and it’s mine and mine alone to live and decide about.And that feels like a huge responsibility for someone who delegated that to parents, teachers, spiritual leaders, God… for decades. And yet, it’s a responsibility I’m learning to love - one that’s showing me just how much strength I have.
So I still accept the compliments today, but I hold them loosely, knowing that my power and confidence is mine alone to hold.
Enjoy your power and confidence this week!