To Succeed, Learn to Accept Compliments

In preparation for a program I’m doing in a couple of weeks for a group of sales managers, it occurred to me why so few people in sales, as well as in many other fields, ever reach the level of success they aspire to and ever have what they really want or desire. If you’re a regular reader of this, you would likely assume this is the work of the ego and you would be correct.

Here’s the fundamental problem: as long as you’re here, you’ll always have an ego. And one of the nastiest realities of your ego is that it tells you you’re not good enough, you’re not worthy and/or you’re not loved. If you think your ego doesn’t tell you that, guess again. It tells that to EVERYONE.  The only questions are: how loud is the conversation and do you listen to it. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of people, the conversation is both loud and they do indeed listen to and believe it.

The result is that all people have, to one degree or another, an issue with their self worth. And it should be pretty obvious that if you don’t feel good enough, worthy or loved, you won’t allow yourself to have the things you want in life. You just don’t see yourself as worthy or deserving of what life has to offer. This is one of the reasons why 83% of the people who win the lottery lose all the money within the first five years. If you don’t feel deserving of something, you’ll unconsciously figure out a way to get rid of it.

This is another reason why in most organizations, 10% of the people produce 90% of the results and literally 90% of all companies that start each year fail within the first 10 years. There are other reasons that contribute to these statistics but what we’re talking about here is a big factor. How can you be successful if you don’t have confidence in yourself and believe you deserve to have an incredibly successful company?

If you can relate to this, let me give you a simple technique that you can start using immediately that will make a difference in your life: Do you know how you are when someone gives you a compliment? It’s remarkable how people will not let the compliment in. They say things like: “oh I’m just having a good day,” or “you should have seen me yesterday,” or “you look terrific to,” or “oh this old rag,” or any of the other ways they deflect the compliment. You know you’ve done this, right?

Do you know why you do this? It’s because of the reality that you have an issue with your self worth. If you don’t think you’re worthy enough to receive the compliment, you won’t let it in. So if you can see you deflect compliments, that’s a clue you have an issue with your self worth. What’s worse, if you don’t think you’re worthy, you won’t allow yourself to have what you want! Which is a big reason why most people don’t.

So here’s your assignment: when someone gives you a compliment, don’t give it back. Smile and say “thank you.” Let it in. Allow yourself to be acknowledged. Allow yourself to feel good about the acknowledgement. Savor it. Allow the feeling to grow inside of you. You’ll be surprised how effective this can be.

Where this will be the most challenging is when someone says to you “I love you.” I’ll bet you immediately say “I love you too.” That’s a deflection. Don’t do that. Smile and say “thank you” and let it in. If you want, after giving yourself time to experience the acknowledgement, to return the compliment, fine. Do so. But not until you have let the love of the other person light up your heart.

In summary: Whether you’re worthy or not is all a made up story – a story you made up when you were 5 or 6 or 7. No one stamps you worthy or not, only you do that. If you say you’re worthy, you are. If you say you’re not, you’re not – and many of you say you’re not. Life is this big game you’re playing and it’s your game. And you can re-set it up anytime you want. More about that next week.