Easier said than done...believe me I know. We have developed this horrible habit of only taking the negative comments and feedback in and allowing it to hang over us - way past it's shelf life. Somehow we are trained to dismiss the compliments and really positive things that have been said about, or to us. When that is the stuff we should be wearing like medals on our chests.
I'm no psychologist, but I have an idea that it is rooted back in the issue of self confidence and self image. And to make it worse, not many people dedicate any time or energy to defining and clarifying what their self image is.
When some information does come along, we do not have a clear enough idea of who and what we are to be able to decide whether the comment fits or is completely out of place.
It's like getting dressed with a blindfold on. Sure you know you are wearing pants and a shirt of some sort - so the basics are covered...just. Now I come along and hand you a bright red pair of sneakers, you have no idea idea whether they will stick out like glitter on a pimple or if they go with the rest of the outfit.
However, if you know you are wearing a charcoal grey pair of dress pants and a crisp white shirt with cufflinks... You know for a fact that those red sneakers, as appropriate as I may think they are, are actually completely out of place and I should keep them to myself.
So despite my lack of formal Mental Health qualifications (and my collection of bright sneakers) I want to prescribe an assignment. Take some tiME...Me Time. And in that time take a moment to try define what and who you are. Consider the comments, compliments, insults, even the remarks made in jest and in 2 columns differentiate which are true and which are false.
Be honest with yourself. Be kind. Be realistic. But most importantly be loyal to yourself. The come the fun bit. Take the list of stuff you don't like and feed it to the paper shredder. Burn it or mush it up for your child's next paper maché project.
Take the good stuff - read it out loud to yourself, several times, then frame it, or at least, fold it neatly and keep it somewhere where you can read it again... and again...until it starts to stick.
I like to keep the compliments and really positive referrals I get from my clients in a folder which I read through often. But my favourite compliment of all time came from someone who was looking at a group of my friends and I. She said "Who is that guy? He looks like he smiles a lot!" (Now that's a keeper!)
Robby Kojetin is an international motivational speaker, author and Think Big Picture Coach. For more information on how you can get in touch with Robby email him at firstname.lastname@example.org