OK, step away from that negative thought and no one gets hurt…

western_showdownLife presents us with many challenges, to be sure, but are we allowing ourselves to live as richly as possible? The words we choose, and the thoughts/beliefs behind those words, are incredibly powerful.

Let’s start where we often do – on the negative side.
Imagine you’ve just received a compliment on your photography. Your response is:
“THIS photo? Oh it’s nothing really.” OR
“Nah, this was just luck; I was in the right place at the right time.” OR
“You think THIS is good? You should see my sister’s photos, SHE’S the talented one.”

Seemingly casual, common responses, right? So where’s the problem?

Let’s see, you were just given a compliment and you’ve essentially told this person that their opinion is of no import. That’s a double “ouch”

Your work touched this person in some way, brought them a sense of beauty or humor or nostalgia. Unfortunately, you’ve denied your talent through the mistaken belief that anyone could do what you did rather than basking in the moment. Call it modesty if you will, but I’m seeing a light being hidden beneath a basket.

You know, maybe your sister IS a phenomenon, but the person who just spoke to you was drawn in by YOUR work. You’re just going to have to accept that you did something special. Go ahead, smile, it’s a good thing. Your sister AND you can BOTH be talented, you know.

So, let’s re-phrase those earlier responses, keeping the situation the same but let’s “accentuate the positive” :
“Thanks; it’s one my favorites, too. What makes it so special for me is…”
“Thank you! It was a really challenging shot to get considering that….”
“I’m glad you like it; it always reminds me of…”
And don’t forget the simple “Thank you.” [feel free to add a smile]

Don’t those feel better?
Listen to the words you use; consider the beliefs and judgments behind those words.
Are you denying yourself – and others – an opportunity to enjoy all that you are?

About zolfw

I am an avid trail runner and fitness enthusiast, an accomplished cook, a lover of cinema and literature (although I read everything from graphic novels to professional psychology tomes, neither extreme being literature in the strict sense) . I am a retired Health and Wellness Coach. I am a husband, father, grandfather, and uncle.
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