Society peculiarly frowns upon loving yourself too much, being unduly confident, and being your own PR agent (e.g. Kanye). Be confident, but not too confident; be proud of what you do, but don’t be prideful; praise others, but be sure not to praise yourself. What exactly is the problem we have with acknowledging one’s awesomeness? Why are we not allowed to love ourselves entirely, root for our success, and praise our accomplishments? I work tirelessly to be who I am and be where I am in my life — most often a result of my own perseverance, grit, and tenacity — why am I not allowed to laud my achievements?
Furthermore, on top of moderating our greatness so as to avoid titles such as being "conceited," a "diva," or simply "full of it," women always feel the need to deflect or downplay compliments. It’s almost as if we’re programmed not to be too accepting of compliments — automated by society to have an appropriate response as to why our hair looks great, our clothes are pretty, and why we look thinner. What is this unspoken rule that we’re never allowed to answer, “Oh, this dress? It’s pretty, right? It was stupidly expensive but I busted my ass working at a job I hate to afford it,” or “This hair? I spent $300 on a haircut and dye job on an appointment I had to make 3 months in advance,” or “I look thinner? I pay a $100 monthly membership at a gym where I work out really, really hard 5-6 times a week”?
A few years back, I had to teach myself how to accept compliments. For so long, my knee-jerk reaction was to deny or refute compliments. Not because I didn't agree with what the other person was saying — I've always known I'm a total bitchin' rock star from Mars — but because it felt like the "appropriate" way to respond. Yet, I've learned that like so many aspects of my life, accepting compliments is a muscle you have to use and strengthen. Don’t immediately deflect or rationale kind words, affirmations, and compliments. Embrace and applaud your capabilities and how unbelievably fabulous you are, and allow others to do the same. No one is going to root for you, support you, and look out for you like you, so don’t hold back when it comes to loving and celebrating yourself.