How Sirius Star taught me how to take a compliment and then changed my life!
What feels like 1,000 years ago, I had a boss who said to me, “OMG, when you get creative, you are like Sirius—everything else just fades away.”
Now, first of all, I didn’t really know what he was talking about, except that it was a reference to a bright star. Secondly, I didn’t really like the attention—not being one to draw attention to myself. I was brought up not to, like so many others.
When I found my long-term career, it was in construction, and I was relatively successful. I had no complaints, but there was something missing. Over time I realised that my behaviour at work was totally different from outside of work, and I had spiralled myself down to an acceptable image. I was careful how I spoke, dressed et cetera—it was so important that I toed the line, conformed to what was expected of me.
At first, I thought it was just me, so I started observing others and realised it was all women, not just in construction, but everywhere!
My Sirius compliment came back to me, and then I knew that in order to succeed and get noticed, we shouldn’t conform. Instead, we have to learn (and love) to stand out, to be authentically ourselves, and be different.
I also learnt that when someone gives you a compliment and you dismiss it, there is a negative energy for both the receiver and the giver.
For example, someone says, “I love your dress,” our natural reaction is “I’ve had it years; It’s only from x brand,” or something similar, right?
What you are doing in that moment is not only dismissing the lovely sentiment for yourself, but you are also dismissing the opinion of the giver, effectively telling them that they are wrong, or you don’t believe them. In turn, they don’t feel qualified to comment, and both your brains trigger negativity.
What if instead you just said Thanks, plain and simple? You accept the positive vibes for yourself and affirm back to the giver of the compliment. Now you are appreciating that they noticed something particularly nice about you, and shared it. Your brains are both in a happy place.
Science tells us that negative thinking can lead to stress (because our brain needs happiness in its chemical balance), and stress can, in turn, lead to all sorts of physical problems. I have a knee that aches for no other reason than my body telling me stress levels are getting too high. This knee has been checked out by top specialists who say there isn’t a thing wrong with it physically.
So, if taking a compliment is just one tiny way of adding happiness into our brains, I think we should do it!
Here are four tips on how to respond to a compliment:
>> Watch your body language. Make sure your body isn’t contradicting your words.
>> Think eye contact, and remember to smile.
>> Return the favour if it is appropriate. Think being told; you look nice, and respond; thanks, so do you—everyone is a winner!
>> Just say thanks.
Sirius changed my life. I became so fascinated that I studied it and all the stars around it. Now I use all the messages I learnt in my work.