Some of you may remember my trip to Vegas for the MasterTreat earlier this year. I got so much out of that weekend that it’s hard to even talk about it all, but one of the main things was that I felt a level of confidence there for almost the entire weekend, that I had never experienced before. As a result I was able to look at many of the feelings I have on a deeper level than I ever have. One of them was confronting more specifically what my fear of public speaking stems from. The another was my modesty.
One of the things that happened at the MasterTreat was that in my confidence, I was able to repeat some of the advice I had gained from the mentors in my life. The result of that is that the other women at the table seemed impressed, and one of them even called me wise.
My initial response to that was, of course: Well that’s not true. And I made the excuse that I was just repeating what other, smarter people had said. But after that gut reaction, I decided I needed to examine that feeling, so I sat with those compliments for a while.
I let myself think about what it would mean if I was wise. Not in the grand scheme of the world, or compared to other people, but in that moment, for those woman, what if I am wise? And you know, there is a fear somewhere deep-seated in me that believes that there is something truly wrong about being confident in myself. And once I was able to realize that, for a little while I was able to let go of it and see myself as other people do. And then I was able to be that wise person that they saw.
I didn’t suddenly crack under the expectation. I didn’t break under the weight of my own arrogance. I didn’t drive away the people around me with my ego, and I didn’t lose my sense of right and wrong. And while the confidence I experienced that weekend faded once I returned to the ‘real world’, I had certainly developed a bit of feel surrounding it, and I now find myself far more aware of when I’m brushing off compliments as a reaction and when I may deserve them.
So I want to give you a challenge the next time someone pays you a compliment. Instead of brushing it off with a dismissive comment or an excuse; actually accept it. For just a moment, allow that you are smart or brave or creative or attractive. And you know what? All life is are moments lined up one after the other.