Give the gift of saying “Thank You”

accepting a compliment with a simple Thank You can feel difficult,  Accept that it's not about you.

“Really? What this old thing?”
“You’re joking, this makes my bum look enormous!”
“That’s sweet of you to say; when did you last get your eyes tested?”……

Sound familiar?  What is it that makes it so hard to accept a compliment at face-value and respond with “Thank you”?  What is the force that prevents so many women enjoying something that was intended to lift their day, to acknowledge something about them that prompted another person to say “Wow!”?

For many years I was convinced that accepting a compliment with a “thank you” was somehow saying “I know.  Yes, I am fabulous, thanks for noticing”;  of course, in my head this was done in a highly dramatic arrogant tone that was, frankly, repulsive.  I visualised people walking away and whispering to each other “I only said it to make her feel better!”  And of course, I gained little from these encounters except an opportunity to emotionally beat myself up, to remind myself I felt less than pretty, less than perfect.

Then I learned an interesting lesson from a friend;  accepting a compliment is not about ME.  When I allow someone to tell me I look great and greet this with a smile and a “Thank you”,  I give them a gift.  When people pay us a compliment, they do so with the intention of lifting our mood, making us feel great, making us glow.  When we treat that compliment, that gift, with contempt, we are showing them we don’t trust them, don’t value them.

When we accept the praise and the compliment, we allow them to enjoy that moment when someone unwraps a gift and you know you found exactly the right thing; they smile, the smile travels to their eyes which start to shine, they want to hold the gift up and show the world and you know that they understand why you chose it, that you’ve been paying attention, that they matter to you.

Focus on the person paying you the compliment today and thank them for taking the trouble to choose the perfect gift by giving them one in return – you’ll be surprised the impact “Thank you” can have on you both.

Dinah x

You are allowed to be you

I loved Toyah as a teenager; I still do.  Her hair (of course) and make-up, but also her power, her self-confidence, her rebel-quality.  I looked up to her and emulated her style with more and more outrageous hair-cuts and colours that resulted in the inevitable suspensions from my posh school for young-ladies.  Result!

Toyah showed me I was allowed to be myself at a time when I was struggling against conformism and struggling to find my identity.  To find myself; a time experienced by so many of us as teenagers or young adults.  It’s also something we experience as “grown-ups”; that sense of wanting to fit-in, or stand out, for the right reasons.  I think one of my greatest fears in my early forties was hearing “mutton dressed as lamb” when someone described me.  Hannah, my daughter, became my “mutton meter” always guaranteed to tell me the truth about my outfits.  Indeed, she helped me see that my fears were holding me back from expressing my personality as I always used to, in my bright colours and outrageous hair cuts.

When I turned 45 last year, I was rooting through my CDs and came across this track.

I was reminded how empowered I’d felt by the words and the by the woman.  I re-connected with that permission to express myself, to be myself.  I was allowed to be me.

I recently had a dramatic change thanks to my hairdresser; I went from rich red to platinum blonde – it took four hours and a serious sense of humour, but it was worth it.  I was born a blonde although many people in my networks are seeing me this way for the first time and I’m loving their reactions.  They’ve all commented on how confident I am.  My husband can’t stop paying me compliments.  I’ve allowed myself to be me and I’m loving it.

How will you allow yourself to be you today?  I’d love to hear from you

Dinah 🙂

Dinah’s wobble boosters

When I’m having one of those days where I feel sorry for myself, I have learned there are certain things that lift my spirit, restore my self-belief and fire-me-up to challenge where I am.  These include looking at photographs of my family – like these ones

Then I phone a friend…

I’ve learned a powerful thing about wobbles – a wobble shared is a wobble that feels less overwhelming, less all-consuming.  When you share your wobble with a friend, they may not have a solution for you, but they will have a shoulder to cry on, they will listen, let you wobble and love you all the same.

I also write my “Blog I will not publish”.  I get a blank sheet of paper – or a blank screen on my ipad notes, and I write without an agenda.  No plan, no topic, no rules or political correctness.  I just write.  And when I’ve finished I read it through.  I’m often surprised by what I read; surprised at the passion and the questions that appear on the page.  Most often I’m surprised by the way the tone changes as I write, letting out feelings I’ve been locking away, exposing challenges that have been troubling or puzzling me.  And as I read, I often feel the sensation of doubt and negativity leaving me.  Draining away to be replaced by confidence and determination.

I also love to watch inspirational videos, that share WOW stories.  There are many on my “Favourites” on YouTube *WARNING watch with tissues at the ready!  Here is my favourite, which never fails to inspire me – and reduce me to tears – from Caroline Casey, and TED Talks.

What do you do to lift your mood, to restore your sense of WOW when you’re having a wobble?  I’d love you to share them here.

Dinah