I have received a fair amount of praise in my life. For each of us, life should contain more positive feedback than negative, as long as that does not come at the expense of honesty. As I have experienced receiving and reacting to acclaim for various things over the years, I have come to some awareness about pitfalls in being praised.
Here is my short list with comments for the most serious errors we commit as we receive praise, each of which I have personally field-tested and know to be valid at various times …
1) We Do Not Believe the Praise …
Our Inner Critic takes center stage and convinces us we heard wrong.
We think that accepting the praise makes us egotistic, self-centered, or just plain vain.
We qualify or even discount the praise, because we are unable to accept it at face value.
Praise is valuable information about what we are doing right … accept and use it.
2) We Discount the Praiser …
Maybe the praise comes from some who we do not like.
Maybe it comes from someone we do not respect.
Maybe it comes with baggage, due to our past relationship.
An aspect of critical thinking is the ability to separate the message from the messenger. Truth remains truth, no matter who speaks it.
3) We Believe the Praise …
We swallow the praise lock, stock, and barrel, as they say.
We use the praise as an excuse to quit growing and changing.
We associate only with those who Speak The Truth (i.e. praise us).
Enjoy the praise, but do not take it as an end game, but like a thermometer … tomorrow you may have a fever.
Just some thoughts after doing a really poor job of responding to some deserved praise, along with some equally deserved criticism in the Heartland ….