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Understanding Why Praise Can Feel So Unsettling

coaching imposter syndrome mindset Dec 15, 2023

Congratulations! You landed a big promotion at work. You may have been working on your finances for years, and your tireless diligence has paid off. It could be that you made difficult lifestyle changes that have rewarded you with excellent health and wellness.

Your friends, coworkers, and family members are praising you effusively. This is supposed to be a happy and wonderful time, so why do you feel undeserving? What are those unsettling feelings all about? Here are some reasons why fully accepting praise and recognition can be complicated.

You Are Unfamiliar to Praise

You might think someone is operating with an ulterior motive. What are they trying to get from you? Why are they doing this? What do they want? 

This might be your feeling if you have yet to enjoy a lot of recognition for your achievements in the past. It's a normal human reaction to look at unfamiliar experiences as possibly harmful. This is why the human race has been around for so long. It makes sense to be cautious when faced with something new.

That doesn't always mean it is the correct belief. You may have to step away from the situation and view it objectively. Give yourself some time to realize you, indeed, are worthy of the positive attention you're getting.

You Are a Different Person Than You Used To Be

Creating a new reality means living in a new world. If your achievement is big enough, you will grow as a person in so many ways. You quite literally recreate yourself.

You are a different person now than you were years ago and certainly as a child. So, your initial exposure to your new reality can be unsettling. Remind yourself that you made this happen for a reason. You wanted to make your life better. It may take time to realize that you genuinely are worthy of the recognition you are receiving.

Low Self-Esteem, Poor Self-Image

Whoever and wherever you are right now, know that you can create the life of your dreams. You are worthy of living that life. You are a powerful and unique individual that deserves to realize your desires.

This is tough to believe if you battle low self-esteem. You might have a poor self-image because of decades of emotional or mental abuse. Perhaps the people you spend time with don't believe they are anything special, and being in that environment brings you down as well. Low self-esteem can lead you to falsely believe you are undeserving of praise.

The Jealousy of Haters

It's hard to accept, but sometimes, the people closest to you will despise you when you succeed. They will tell you that you are in no way worthy of the praise you are getting. You were just lucky; you aren't anything special. You are a fraud and an impostor. Don't let haters convince you that you are unworthy of the success and recognition that you earned through hard work.

If you battle low self-esteem, get help. Talk to a counselor. Spend time with people that admire, respect, and love you. Stay away from haters. If this is your first significant achievement, accept praise that might be foreign to you. You've earned it. These tips can help you fight the unsettling feelings that recognition and praise sometimes foster. In reality, you deserve this positive attention and so much more.

Ready to go deeper? You can take my online course "The Imposter Syndrome Solution" and I will guide you through the complex maze of Impostor Syndrome, shedding light on its intricacies and equipping you with effective tools to dismantle it.

Are you interested in coaching, leadership development or organization consulting support? Lets set up a call, I love to help leaders like you!

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