There’s a great quote that goes something like this:
“Only remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults”
When I first heard that I thought it was genius, except for the fact that I couldn’t do it.
A more realistic version of the quote might go like this:
For me, the above – and much more cynical version – rang more true to life.
Many times in my life I’ve been hard pressed to remember the last compliment I got and most of the insults were etched into my brain….and worse, my heart.
Even the untrue things that were said.
In fact, especially the untrue ones.
Those seem to hurt the worst. Why is that?
I think it’s because I can own up to and accept something I actually did or a way I actually acted – However, if you are an authentically generous person, for example and someone calls you “cheap” or “stingy” – it’s like a kick in the nuts. Maybe because it’s so far in the opposite direction of who you really are. I’m not exactly sure.
I thought about this often.
A couple years ago I decided to do change and do something about it.
I succeeded – and I am going to tell you how I did it.
Since trying to “remember” all of the compliments and “forgetting” all the insults seemed to happen in reverse, I decided to make a list.
After all, in our day to day lives don’t we write down all the things we don’t want to forget?
I certainly didn’t want to forget compliments I was given.
So, each and every time someone said something nice:
- to me
- about me
- ways I helped them
- something I did that they appreciated,
- about who I am to them
I wrote it down or printed it out.
All of these notes and print outs went into what is now known as:
THE KUDOS FOLDER.
I don’t mean to brag, but it’s getting pretty thick.
Yours will too.
It has to, because what you focus on, you get.
The idea of this exercise is to have something positive about yourself to go through and read. Especially on those days when you just aren’t “feeling it”. Those down days, or “blah” days. I’m not the only one that has these, right?
The reason this is more important now than ever before is because we seem to be so bombarded with the negative. Also- Many people don’t need to get insults from others, we beat ourselves up enough.
Plus – it’s a new year. For many it’s a great time for a fresh start, and possibly new traditions. Don’t get me wrong as far as New Year’s traditions are concerned, fireworks are pretty cool….one time I used them to blow up a gingerbread house in slow motion.
This New Year I invite you to start a new tradition. Create a Kudos Folder for yourself.
Make a conscious effort to write down or make a note of any compliments you receive. If it was online or via social media, hit “print page”. If it was through a text message, do a screen capture and print it, or email it to yourself or to your office to print later.
We live in a high-tech, smartphone-world. No excuses. Find a way.
You will be amazed at how many things you will have to fill the folder with.
Want to hear something even cooler? The more you do it, the more the compliments will become front and center in your awareness. You will see them, hear them, recognize them and even remember them better than ever before.
On the next New Years Eve, pull the folder out and read through it.
It’s like adrenaline for your confidence.
Go into the new year with a renewed sense of who you are, what you do for others and all the amazing ways they feel about you.
Read them. Read them a lot. Read them throughout the year if you need to – but my guess is, you will want to.
I read mine all the time. It does wonders. Truly.
So no matter when it is that you are reading this, don’t wait for a new year. Don’t wait at all.
Start right now.
And as far as insults go…