Stop selling yourself short.
Are you unwittingly killing your confidence in the way you communicate with others? I notice these two habits are common when I am around women and in earshot of their conversations.
Becoming aware of these habits and learning how to break them will give your confidence a boost:
1. You dismiss compliments
This happens when you’re paid a compliment by someone and you respond by discounting it.
Let’s say someone compliments you on what you’re wearing and you in turn say something like "This old thing? It’s really nothing."
Someone you haven’t seen in awhile tells you that you look great and you respond with something like, "Oh, I’m so out of shape. I really need to lose a few pounds."
Perhaps you get praise for a job well done on a project you did at work and you respond with something like, "It was nothing. Anyone could have done it."
The one response to a compliment that really makes me cringe is:"You’re just saying that to be nice."
This is what women tell me whenever I bring this up during confidence building workshops.: "Well we have to respond like that, otherwise people will think we’re conceited." Some have even argued with me over this when I attempt to challenge this belief: "That’s the truth, that’s how women think, I know, I am one."
When you discount a compliment, you’re essentially telling the person who complimented you that they’re lying to you or they really didn’t mean what they said. The problem with this is that you're actually casting judgment upon them as though you know what their true intention was for giving you the compliment.
The truth is, you have no idea what the person given you the compliment is thinking. Who are you to determine what it is they actually meant?
To become more confident, don’t discount compliments. Instead, simply say "Thank you", with grace and dignity in response to a compliment. After all, do you ever give compliments just to be nice?
2. You minimize yourself
This is when you use the word "just" to describe yourself.
Years ago, when worked in management, a team leader was outside my office waiting to speak to me as I was on the phone. When I hung up the phone I stated, "Who’s next?"
The team leader entered my office and said, "Oh, it’s just me."
"Just you? You mean my team leader who keeps her team on task and running smoothly, giving me peace of mind knowing that work is getting done efficiently, who always has a smile is an asset to the organization?" I responded with a grin.
Another woman once told me about the small group of ladies she gets together with to workout. She said she felt a bit intimidated because the women she trained with were successful doctors and lawyers and she was "just a mom."
I told her, "You’re not just a mom, you’re responsible for raising your children to be happy, healthy, productive members of society. What more important role in life is there? If I were to ask your children about you would they tell me she’s just a mom?"
Of course not.
A recruiter I know also told me that these pesky habits can ruin your consideration during a job interview. Employers want confident candidates. Eliminate these habits to boost your confidence. There’s no need to discount a compliment and you are never "just" anything. You are far greater that you think.
Craig Nielson serves as a Professional Coach, Speaker and Educator helping women who feel insecure with self-doubt to becoming fully empowered with self-confidence. Learn more and get a free consultation and e-book at www.myinternalimage.com.
This article was originally published at Bliss Babe. Reprinted with permission from the author.