Accepting the Compliment

I have always been afraid to outwardly admit that I am “good enough”.  I have always kept myself a rung or 2 lower than I probably deserve.  I have forever countered compliments with a negative, or something to dispute what is being said.

In high school, I was a state-recognized, record-holding soccer goalie, but at the time, you would never hear me call myself good.  I was the team captain, a “leader” on the field, was congratulated by parents, teachers, and classmates after good games, but I always acted as if it was all a fluke.  I had this fear that if I ever let myself believe that I was actually talented, that would open the flood gates for someone to disagree.  If I didn’t say it, I didn’t have to defend it, or I could say, “I told you so”, if I ever failed.

To this day if anyone compliments me on an accomplishment, or even my looks, I answer with something self-deprecating, remark about my weight, how I think my hair is stringy, or how my skin is like that of a middle school boy going through puberty.

I ran my first marathon last October, and any time someone congratulated me I would focus on the fact that I didn’t hit my time goal, or I had to walk for a mile because of heat and I had been sick all week.  When I crossed the finish line, I didn’t feel accomplished, my first thought was, “welp, gotta do better next time”.  

My habit of downplaying and degrading myself really hit me when I was telling one of my best friends about how I felt after the marathon, and her answer was like a hilarious slap in the face: “Quite frankly, that is really dumb”.

I just busted out laughing, because it was so true!  This was a conversation over G-chat, but I could just see her expression and hear the tone in her voice as she said it!  She was so right though!  What is with the safety net for failure that I carry around? That so many people carry around?! It is like giving yourself permission to fail because you never actually said you were going to succeed in the first place.  Training and finishing a marathon was probably one of the first things that I allowed myself to succeed at and I even try to kill that.  No wonder my life is floating around mediocrity, I haven’t even opened myself up to feel deserving of a compliment, much less the best my life has to offer. 

People say, “you get what you deserve”, but I believe that you get what you accept to expect to deserve.  It is time to switch the thinking.  Of course, there is always room to be better and improve, but not at the expense of what you have already done.  Whether it be running a marathon, a 5k, potty training your dog, or keeping a clean room for more than a week, do not be afraid to pat yourself on the back and recognize the victories you have every day, big or small. 

So, if you are anything like me, learn to accept compliments, admit when you have had a good game, or accomplished something.  Open yourself up to believing in being worthy of the life you want!  


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