A close friend recently asked me to teach her how to be confident.
"Uhmm," I replied, thinking to myself, "How do you teach that to someone?"
Not wanting to disappoint her, but not knowing how to respond, I made some vague comments about having a sweetheart who is confident, and having the ability to "fake it til I make it."
Days later I realized there is one thing I could teach this friend, one thing I do fairly routinely, which I'm sure helps me appear confident.
I accept compliments.
That's it. I accept compliments. When someone says to me, "Thank you for the great work you did on that project," I respond with "You're welcome. I'm glad to be part of the team." Or I might say, "That's really nice of you to say. Thank you,"
What I try not to say is,"It was nothing," "No problem," or worse, ignore the sentiment entirely.
In accepting compliments, I believe I'm internalizing kind words about an accomplishment, an action I took, or a value, quality or skill I bring into the world. What I'm also doing is reinforcing the positive feeling the complimenter may have of me by validating that their statement had the intended effect of making me feel better about myself. And, because I'm not a narcissist, I'm also making it more likely that "pay it forward" and compliment someone else.
Do you accept compliments easily? If you don't, I invite you to try accepting compliments for a week - maybe a month - and see if you notice any changes. I have confidence you will.