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How to accept recognition and praise

A blossoming flower
You are worthy. You are appreciated.

1. Shift your mindset

Those of us who struggle with praise need to adjust our mindset a bit, to understand that praise is a gift. When we deflect or push back, we are basically saying, “No, you’re wrong. Praise is not accepted. Take this gift back.”

Think about situations when you received a physical gift. What is your response to it? What are the reactions you observed in your family and surroundings?

What if you have the belief that you’re worthy? How would it change things for you accepting a gift?

Think about a situation when you received a (physical) gift that you were really happy about. What did you feel? What did you sense in your body? Feel it as strongly as you can and go back to it when you want to recall how is it receiving a gift with grace.

2. Adjust your external reaction

Adjust how you react when you receive a praise. It might take some practice, keep some examples handy in your mind. Start with the simplest one: ‘Thank you’. As you become more comfortable, develop your own way of receiving these gifts.

Instead of this

Say this

[Not saying anything. Awkward silence.]

​Thank you.

You shouldn’t say that.

Thank you, I appreciate it.

Oh, it was nothing.

Thank you for recognizing me/my work/my efforts/my achievement.

If I had more time, it could be better.

Thank you, I worked hard to achieve it/put my heart into it.

​This really didn’t take me long.

Thank you, I enjoyed using my strategic skills/creativity (replace it with any other skill or quality you applied) to achieve it.

It’s not a big deal. I just threw something together.

​Thanks so much, it feels so good to hear it.

Thanks [very briefly]. Let’s move on to the next project!

How thoughtful is it of you!

It’s really my team’s/partner’s contribution.

​ It’s kind of you to notice, thank you.

3. Change your internal dialogue

Acknowledge the voices in your head that are telling you that you’re not enough in any way. In which form are they showing up? Inner critic, inner pusher or inner perfectionist?

Praise is not always about you, it can also be about the other person. Giving and expressing appreciation create positive feelings - by accepting it, you can also contribute to the other person's happiness.


Photo: Unsplash


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