Start believing

What has to happen before you actually believe the positive things that others are saying about you? When will you finally listen and take on board what they say? Why is it that so many of us spend most of our lives reinforcing the negative stories that we surround ourselves with rather than the feedback that others give to us freely.

Time and time again I come across this, especially in the world of helping people to speak and communicate better, it’s amazing how many people suffer here. We all have been in situations where no matter what you or others say to someone, that person refuses to hear or see the other side of the coin, their positive side, their magnificent self. They cannot possibly be any good or have a voice or story that deserves to be heard and in most cases, more importantly, one that needs to be shared.

I recently worked with a young adult on her speaking skills and confidence, she had a great story to tell, she could be heard very clearly and balanced her stories with serious elements and humour. Overall a very good young speaker and so say all of us – her classmates, peers, teachers and friends all agreed and told her so. She was having none of it, categorically not interested, there was no way that she was any good nor could she ever become any good at speaking and communicating.

How can audience members, friends and contacts see us in such a totally different way to how we see ourselves? Why is our conditioning and self-programming so different to what other people can see? So often I find it is down to the individuals need to be perfect, to score 100% in whatever it is that they do and sadly, in their mind, someone else is always better than them.

When we give others feedback, compliments or critique of their successes and challenges, it’s just our thoughts and opinion of what we have seen through our personal filters. So why then does our programming and wiring filter out the good stuff, when it comes from one or multiple sources?

Part of it I believe can be likened to when we listen to the sound of our own voice from a recording, answerphone message or on a video. For most of us when we first hear these recordings we generally hate the sound, and the video is just a whole other story in itself. We hear things very differently inside our heads when compared to what is heard by others. When we see ourselves on video again it is not what we are used to seeing so we tend to be hyper- critical of what we see and hear. That is the point that is who we are, be that physically or audibly, black or blue, short or tall, It’s 100% you.

Many business people, be they employees of multinational firms or freelance traders working for themselves, will proactively seek out 360 feedback on themselves. They want to know about the areas where they do well and those that can improved upon. But if they are not ultimately going to take any notice of the feedback they have sought out, why did they bother asking in the first place?

There is of course the other side to this engagement and that is it feels good to pay a compliment to someone, whether it be to give a thumbs up to a new suit, or to tell them that they have done something really well. It feels even nicer when the receiver appears to appreciate the compliment, rather than rebuff it as so many of us Brits have a tendency to do! So, don’t be that person. When someone pays you that compliment, say thank you, hold your head up high, feel that warm glow inside and start believing it.

My advice is to absorb feedback and compliments from others and work with a buddy to help make you the best you can be. Your challenge now is to stop FAFFing about ignoring or avoiding your positive feedback and start believing, if you are getting the same feedback on a similar theme maybe now is the right time to fully investigate, listen to others and believe. Time to believe in you!

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