It’s an unfortunate truth that when you receive compliments from others, you tend to brush them off modestly, yet when you receive criticism from others, you are likely to dwell on it for hours (or much longer!) afterward. Critical or judgmental comments that touch a nerve have a way of sticking with you and feeding into your own feelings of self-doubt and self-criticism.
Make a conscious effort to reverse this trend by focusing on the praise you have heard about yourself and believing it to be true! Take out your personal journal and write about one or more the following journal prompts.
Praiseworthy Journal Prompts
1. Make a list of all of the compliments you have received in the last month. Your list can include anything from the coffee shop barista telling you she likes your new haircut to your boss commenting on the great job you did training a new employee. Put anything you can think of on the list. For example:
• My friend told me I have great taste in music and asked what new albums he should check out
• My mom (who is an excellent cook) loved the chicken tortilla soup I made and asked for the recipe
• My coworker asked for help polishing an important project because she said I’m an excellent writer and editor
Which compliment is most meaningful to you? Why? What quality, skill or strength does it apply to? Why does that hold significance for you?
2. Think back to all of the compliments you’ve heard over the years. If you had to pick just one that has stuck with you the most, what would it be? Why do you think it stands out above the rest? What does it say about you and what is important to you? Describe it in your personal journal. For example:
A good friend once told me I am the most generous person she knows – not that I have a ton of money to give but that I am generous with my time and my attention for other people. I was so touched by this and still think about it often…
3. Reflect on the skills and qualities you are working to improve. What do you hope to be recognized for in the future? What are you doing to develop it? Why is it meaningful to you? For example:
I have always loved to build things and work on art, woodworking and design projects, but I feel like I need to develop my technical skills. My goal is to be able to make beautiful furniture for my home that guests will compliment by saying, “You MADE that? That’s amazing!”
In the comments section, share a compliment someone gave you that blew you away.
See how Journaling helps you through all life's issues and challenges in the Journaling for the Self of It Manifesto