I was at the gym today and actually took a moment to look around and see what was going on around me. To my right I saw a woman whom was super fit, training hard and pushing herself. To the left of me was an older gentlemen, probably in his late 60’s sitting on the bench staring out into space.
I found this ironic…here’s why.
Ever notice how two individuals couldn’t be any more opposite externally of one another, yet struggle with similar internal demons? Here’s what I mean…
A few minutes passed and I went up and asked the girl if she was using a certain set of dumbbells, she declined and I started to use them. In the mean time she asked me how long I had been coming to that particular gym and we got into a small conversation. I told her how great she looked and that I could tell she works hard.
Her response. “Oh gosh, I don’t think so. I have a long way to go. I’m not where I want to be.”
Not to long thereafter the man I noticed a few minutes prior happened to glance my way. We briefly made a connection and I said, “I hope I’m in as good as shape as you are when I get to your age!” Even though he was hanging out for a brief moment into space, I could tell he worked out on the regular.
His response. “Oh dear, while I appreciate the compliment, I wish you could have seen me in my prime! This old age has been catching up with me lately!”
Do you notice the correlation? These two individuals, completely opposite from one another on the outside had a very similar dialogue on the inside. So many of us don’t give ourselves enough credit! It’s so easy to try to stay status quo, bow down, not take compliments and constantly express our needs to be better than. I think it’s completely natural to think we’re the only ones experiencing low self-esteem, self-confidence or feeling down about ourselves. Guess what? We are not alone!
We all experience times of feeling low, unworthy and insignificant and that’s okay! The problem falls into place when we allow ourselves to stay there and for long periods of time. We’re all human, we all get lost in the crowd sometimes, trying to find our place of belonging and connection. We all long to love and be loved in return and yet, so many of us still walk around with a strong external shell of ourselves. What would be so bad if we were to say, “Thank you! I’m happy where I am right now. I appreciate the compliment.” Yet, if someone was to say that some might think they are egotistical or self-centered when accepting compliments is one of the best things we can do for ourselves but so often we feel unworthy of them. Why? Because we don’t feel it within ourselves. Do you ever notice how easy it can be at times to express compliments to others but when someone says one to us we shy up and deflect the compliment? I know I can still do that at times! It’s easy to do.
Give it a try, next time someone pays you a compliment, instead of deflecting, go at it with certainty and appreciation. See how you feel afterwards. I bet you will feel empowered but don’t say sorry afterwards! 🙂
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