Accepting accolades. It's hard. Here's how.

Estimated read time: 2 minutes.

An award proudly displayed in our house!

An award proudly displayed in our house!

In two sessions today, clients talked about being uncomfortable about being recognized, and when something comes up twice in one day, it's in the air and goes right into a newsletter (with client permission, of course).

You've heard the adage, "it is better to give than to receive." Giving is great. Of course it is. And this adage makes the receiving part sound "less-than" or worse than the giving part. We've grown up in a culture that has taught us to be uncomfortable with receiving, teaching us that we're not worthy of the praise and recognition we deserve. Boo. Hiss.

Here are the two client stories to illustrate the point:

One of my clients received a 12% pay raise. Twelve, amazing percent! Money is one of the ways that organizations show love, and this guy got a giant, hand-delivered care package covered in corporate hearts! Know what he said? "It kinda freaked me out because now I wonder what I have to do next."

The other client was named "Employee of the Month." Not for her department, not for her division, but for her entire center of 2500 people! Know what she did? She emailed the decision makers and told them they must have made a mistake and then told me that she really didn't work that hard and that other people deserved it more.

Good thing they both have a coach to set them straight.

Are you thinking, "wow, these people are amazing. They deserve their accolades. But not me?" Perhaps you relate to one of these popular ways to deflect recognition and praise:

  • ignoring it
  • skip past it
  • turning it into praise for other people
  • denying it
  • finding all kinds of smart reasons why it isn't true

You deserve the praise you receive, too. Here are some tips to help you gracefully receive kudos, awards, and compliments:

  1. Practice abundance thinking. There is room in this world and in your workplace for every person to shine bright and be amazing. Praise and recognition is not a rare commodity. Everyone can have some!
  2. Don't compare yourself to others. Accolades for you doesn't mean diddly about other people. It's just about you.
  3. Enjoy your moment. Stop for a moment to acknowledge what you did well and let yourself bask in that glow.
  4. Celebrate! Mark this great event with a special dinner or a treat for yourself. You deserve it!
  5. In the moment when everyone is emailing you with congratulations or patting you on the back or your boss is telling you, "well done," just smile, say thank you, and keep breathing.

Just breathe and receive. Breathe and receive.

You can do this.