Tag Archives: praise

Good Cheer

The other day, I was listening to a show on Hay House Radio. The topic was the importance of having your own personal cheerleaders – friends who will rally around during the tough times and cheer you on to succeed.

One of the women referred to a time she was speaking at an event. She asked the audience: “Who here has someone they can call when something goes wrong?” Everyone immediately raised their hands.

Then she posed a different question: “And who has someone they ring up when something really great happens?” A few hands went up slowly.

Interestingly, people seemed reluctant to share good news with their nearest and dearest. I wondered about this.

I imagined asking the audience to explain their hesitation. They would probably confess to not wanting to brag. Some would worry that their happy news would make others feel miserable about their own lives. Others wouldn’t want to invite envy or begrudgery.

And a few people would be afraid of “jinxing” it – admitting that things were going well would put a curse on it and cause everything to come crashing down around them. And they’d all suffer terribly and die an excruciating death. Or something equally calamitous.

weheartit.com

weheartit.com

Why does it seem more acceptable to regale others with our misfortunes than with our achievements? As children, we were warned not to get too big for our boots. Who does (s)he think (s)he is? was an oft-heard phrase describing anyone who dared to exhibit a dirty word called confidence.

Thankfully, I now think for myself and I’ve decided to work on my confidence and look for the best that life has to offer. I hope that the people around me wish me the best. And I wish them the best too.

There is actually enough good stuff to go around, despite what the superstitious old wives told us. One person’s success doesn’t guarantee somebody else’s failure. It doesn’t work that way. Believe in abundance and you’ll be rewarded with it.

The older I get, the less patience I have for people who wallow in negativity. Of course, we’re all entitled to a shoulder to lean on during the challenging times. We all need someone to vent to.

But there comes a point when you’ve got to change the record. Stop complaining and start brainstorming.

What you focus upon multiplies. That’s why I like to spend time with positive people. That’s why I give daily gratitude for all the wonderful things in my life.

And that’s why, when I heard this discussion on Hay House Radio, I was instantly able to think of a friend who I can contact as soon as something amazing happens. I can gush and glow, boast and bow, and do a little self-congratulatory dance in front of this friend because she’s the type of person who genuinely loves when good things happen.

And she’s not just a fair-weather friend. When I told her about a funeral I was attending yesterday, she instantly offered to accompany me. Her mere presence beside me in the car as we drove towards the church was enough to make me feel secure.

And guess what? I’m going to brag just a little more. I’m lucky to have other friends and family members who I can go to with my happy-clappy tales and with my woe-is-me soliloquies. And I know that I’m that go-to person for lots of people too.

Do you have a personal cheerleader for when something fabulous happens in your life? Do you have someone to call upon when you’re feeling overwhelmed? And are you that special someone for anybody? In both circumstances?

Do you concentrate more on the feel-good or are you a victim to negativity? Remember, wherever you put your energy is where the energy will go. Think about it…

fitnessandhealthspot.com

fitnessandhealthspot.com

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The Curse of the Compliment

 

On my way to Naas this evening, I glimpsed a sun-soaked field of hay rolls. I pulled over because I simply had to take a picture of it. As I snapped a couple of shots, a group of lads wolf-whistled at me from a passing car. I couldn’t help but grin even though just this morning, I’d been thinking about how the ego loves a good stroking. My ego did a little dance, smirked and whooped: “I’ve still got it!”

Just today, I’d been pondering the difference between the ego and the authentic self in relation to compliments. I’ll compare the ego to a bitchy girl at school. She’ll be your best friend so long as you’re giving her what she wants but, as soon as you’re no longer serving her, she’ll stab you in the back. The authentic self is the soul, the spirit; it is pure love.

The ego longs to be complimented. Tell it it’s lost weight and it’ll love you forever… Or until you’ve gained a few pounds. Then, it’ll convince you you’re ugly and unfit for society. The ego’s praise is conditional. The fear is that if you don’t live up to your ego-imposed standards of perfection, you will fail, you will be worthless and you will not be loved. The ego survives on fear. Luckily, if you stop feeding it, it will become weak. In contrast, the authentic self gives and receives love. Simple. The more complimented things are, the more likely your ego is involved.

Here is an example of an ego-based compliment: “You’ve lost weight, you look great!” Nice to hear but it implies that you didn’t look good before you lost the weight and you won’t be attractive if you put it on again. In comparison, the following is a declaration to the authentic self: “You’re beautiful.” Love without limits or guidelines or terms and conditions.

When someone gives you an admiring glance, you may feel thrilled and self-satisfied. He/she may just be imagining what’s underneath your clothes  (and I’m not talking about your soul in this case!) but it keeps the fear at bay momentarily. Until the next time you spot a grey hair/wrinkle/patch of cellulite and you’re back to living in fear of getting old and dying alone. However, when someone looks you in the eye and smiles a genuine smile and it doesn’t matter your age or race or creed or dress size – you just connect on a higher level – there’s a feeling of warmth and authenticity that’s missing in the previous scenario.

That’s not to say that you can’t enjoy a few words of praise or encouragement. Just remember that the ego only does back-handed compliments. If it can lift you up with approval, be sure that it’ll chew you up, spit you out and stomp all over you at the first sign of criticism or disapproval.

As I reached my destination, I chuckled delightedly. Because I love life. And autumn fields of hay rolls. And my 32-year-old body. And anonymous wolf-whistlers. And the ego with all its tricks and tribulations. And the authentic self for knowing better.