Start, Stop & Change: compliments

My clients have exciting things going on in their lives.

Starting new businesses, making much-desired career changes, writing books, planning extended trips abroad, getting their finances in order, letting go of the past and creating authentic new chapters. Altogether exciting stuff!

But even with amazing progress toward these goals, there’s this persistent habit of disqualifying the positive. Of downplaying and dismissing positive experiences and accomplishments as if they’re a fluke or somehow don’t count.

Deflecting compliments

Often you witness disqualifying the positive when you compliment someone.

For instance, you tell a colleague, Great job on that presentation and she immediately responds with It went too long and I shouldn’t have included so much text on the slides.

You compliment someone only to have them respond by telling you why you’re wrong.

Double standard

Someone with a propensity for disqualifying the positive is operating with a double standard.

By that I mean negative “evidence” is instantly valid. Even if that evidence is weak or irrelevant. On the other hand, positive evidence of an accomplishment, strength or opportunity is readily explained away.

It takes a big person to stop living small—and living small is very much what disqualifying the positive is all about.

My challenge to you is to become aware if you’re disqualify the positive. Stop discounting positive experiences, deflecting compliments, downplaying strengths, and shortchanging your accomplishments.