Note from Marie: I met Danielle Dowling at a conference last year and the woman gave me life in the span of five minutes. This motivational speaker/ life coach/ amazing new friend radiates light and positivity. I HAD to share some of the fabulosity with you. I would be selfish if I didn’t! I think within a five minutes I had a breakthrough with her… and that is real.
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I met a girlfriend for an early morning cup of coffee + conversation in West Hollywood recently. I have a handful of favorite spots that I can count on to make a sharp, bitter espresso. I arrived a few minutes early (which rarely happens) and ordered a pot of coffee while I waited for her to join me. Minutes later she came scurrying in, wide smile, long brown hair tied back and clad in athletic wear. I couldn’t help but notice how strong + fit she looked. “Hi!” We uniformly exclaimed while exchanging a healthy hug. “Wow, you look fantastic!” I told her.
“Oh, what? Please. No. Are you kidding?” she says with a dismissive wave. “I really need to lose a few pounds + I only went to the gym once this week which is why I am forcing myself to go after we meet.” “Well, I think you look great,” I exclaim, “Whatever you’re doing is working.”
“Ugh, I should be doing more,” she says.
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I drop it. We move on.It was a shame, I couldn’t help thinking. She really did look great. But she doesn’t see it. Still not good enough.
How often does someone compliment us + we dismiss it. Run away from it. Duck + dodge as if it were an arrow headed straight for our head?
How many photos do we avoid because “we just don’t take a good picture”? Someone tells us they’re proud of us + we quickly respond with “Yeah, thanks but I still have to get that promotion/ lose more weight/see what the consumers think/ get better.”
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Why is it so hard to think well of ourselves?
Perhaps it’s because self-regard is not something we are taught to indulge in. Who taught you not to show yourself off?
“Don’t make a fuss.” “Don’t draw attention to yourself,” our parents used to say. Maybe you even tell your own children this.
Please, accept my compliment.
You have strived for what you have acquired, where you have been, what you have lived through. Yet, you wave this off.
“No, I’m still not yet enough,” you whisper to yourself. Self-induced amnesia run a muck It’s time to remember. It’s time to see ourselves with kinder eyes + remember that the miles we’ve walked + the battles we’ve fought brought us to this point.
Cultivate the desire to see yourself the way we see you. Your first reaction might be to feel like this is sinful narcissism. Too often we dash through our days looking after everyone else and falling into bed without paying a small but significant homage to where we shined that day, who we shined for.
And although we all worry about being too much when I sit with the question there is only one response:: You’re claiming your space.
In fact, you do look pretty killer in your workout clothes.
Damn, you’re hot.
You spent 3 weeks preparing a recent media presentation/ ebook/ online group program/ art exhibit/ dance performance + regardless of how it turns out you mustered up enough moxie + mojo to get it done + done with passion.
Claim your space.
You don’t look like you did at 22 but you’re a pretty damn sexy 37 year old. Yup, hot. You’re scared shitless for an upcoming change that will send shock waves through the rest of your life but you move ahead anyway. Not easy. Well worth it.
Claim your space.
You don’t have all the answers. You often get things wrong. You still have a lot to learn. But despite that you’re an ‘effing good mom, entrepreneur, change agent + lover.
Fan your feathers.
Learn to take a compliment. (+ believe it)
After all, that lipstick really does look fabulous on you.
About our Guest: Dr. Danielle Dowling, is a writer, blogger + life coach. She holds her doctorate in psychology and is an intuitive strategist who works with women leaders who are ready to stop compromising on the things that matter most — self-realization, soulful companionship + accessing your innate power. Her goal is to inspire women to live inspiring lives; to help her experience a life better lived and to help her achieve her dreams whatever they may be.
You can catch Danielle giving soo much inspiration on Facebook! Please LIKE HER PAGE NOW! You can also catch her tweeting here, @ddowling_ Isn’t she amazing? I frigging adore her!!!
What did you think? How many times do you brush off compliments? Why do you do it? Have you ever thought about it?
Love! I needed this!
Yeah I am happy you liked it! 🙂 I felt it perfect right before Valentines- YES?
I think it’s taken me 47 years to learn how to just accept a compliment. It really isn’t something I was used to growing up – didn’t get a lot of them. It takes so much more effort to dismiss it than to just accept it. And damn… a compliment DOES feel good.
Great post! I’ve been told before that I don’t take compliments well. I’ve tried to be better about it, but my question is: what IS the appropriate way to take a compliment? Is a simple “Thank You” enough?
THAT is the perfect start!
This post is great! I want to save it and read it whenever I let myself get to that point. I was taught to accept compliments graciously but this digs deeper and helps me to see how I honestly deserve a pat on the back now and then. Thank you! You are a great life coach Debbie!
Excellent Advice! I always feel awkward when people compliment me, EVEN if it is professionally! I feel weird when my husband compliments me!
I’ve taught myself to look my complimentor in the eye, smile, and say “thank you” when I receive a compliment. I’ve learned not to dissect it, dismiss it, or argue about it. I figure there are going to be plenty of times when I’m not looking my best, or performing at my best, so I’m going to treasure the compliments when I get them.
I’ve also learned to make the effort to offer up compliments when they are deserved. I compliment friends when they look especially pretty or pulled together, but I also go out of my way to offer compliments to strangers when I notice a particularly great looking item of clothing, or an interesting combination that I wouldn’t have thought of myself. I happen to love getting these out-of-the-blue comments from strangers, so I want to pay it forward. I also want to encourage the stylish people I meet to keep on being stylish, because I really just enjoy seeing it out there in the world. Just be sure you mean it when you say it.
I used to “accept” compliments in a somewhat awkward manner, as if the compliment doesn’t make sense to me. I would answer, like, “Oh. Thank you?” Like I was asking, “Are you sure you’re talking about me?” I wasn’t used to being complimented over my beauty because, well, I didn’t consider myself beautiful.
These days, I accept them with grateful thanks and a bright smile mostly because someone was being kind, something that is almost rare with people these days. Though I’m not fully accepting of myself, I don’t dismiss beauty compliments as I used to.