Learning to Accept a Gift with Grace

By: Nancy Arruda, Featured Blogger on Ready to Feedback

Nancy Arruda


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The Christmas season is over and a New Year begins. Christmas is a special time for giving and receiving gifts of every sort. The New Year is usually a time for reflection and looking hopefully into the future. So with the New Year ahead, I have reflected on a few resolutions of my own, one of which I would like to share with you today.To begin, I must say that my twenties were a very difficult period in my life. It’s safe to say that for the most part I was insecure about almost everything, especially how I looked. Self esteem was just something that I had heard about on Oprah but did not possess myself. I remember having purchased a lovely dress once that made me look and feel fabulous. When I received positive feedback about my appearance, I became uneasy and nervous and unsure how to respond. I developed a habit of shyly brushing off compliments or devaluing the outfit I was wearing in an effort to cope.

Take the Flowers When They Come

One day I was having lunch with my cousin who pointed out my little habit. She confessed that she too had been guilty of the same such behaviour and attributed it to the way we were raised. Coming from a poor family, I didn’t have much experience receiving gifts, or compliments, for that matter. “Nancy,” she said, “You have to stop doing that! You need to learn how to simply say thank you and accept a compliment with grace! You can’t effectively give what you’re not willing to receive.” It was a hard lesson to learn but I knew that she was right.

Bouquet of flowersI had another experience where I was responsible for organizing a huge event, which was in the end a huge success. When one of the top bosses called to congratulate me, I once again found it difficult to accept the praise entirely and immediately began to credit every last person on my team who had contributed. “We haven’t seen results like these in a long time,” she said, “This is your leadership, honey. Take the flowers when they come!”


My New Year’s Resolution


So, like so many others who are terribly hard on themselves and accept negative feedback all too willingly, it was easier for me to accept negative feedback than a simple compliment. Some might call this insanity but I am happy to report that I have long since learned that feedback is indeed a gift and one to be accepted and cherished. I now make a special effort to accept compliments with grace and confidence, and that has made all the difference in my life.

This New Year, I have resolved to be, before all things, kinder to myself. To quiet my inner critic and believe that when the flowers come for me, that they are indeed mine to enjoy, share, and receive with grace.

So remember this the next time someone compliments you on your outfit: it’s not necessary to tell them you got it on sale at a flee market… a simple thank you will do. Happy New Year to all!

“And now let us welcome the New Year
Full of things that have never been.”
–Rainer Maria Rilke
(Bohemian-Austrian poet) 


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Nancy’s Mission: My mission is help people develop a healthy self-esteem. Being open to give and receive feedback is an essential part of the process. I’d like to share a few personal feedback stories of my own in an effort to demonstrate how feedback can either improve or destroy your self-esteem. Recognizing what is constructive and destructive is key. My life’s purpose is to use my creativity and passion to inspire others to have a bigger dream for themselves. I am committed to ongoing personal development, and using what I’ve learned to help others overcome their fears and achieve their highest potential.  About: I’m a mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend in that order. I have earned my Bachelors Degree in Self Development from the “University of Life” and am currently working on my Master’s. I work as a retail sales manager which allows me to flex my feedback muscles on regular basis. My future goal is to work as a personal coach with individuals who wish to change their lives and quantum leap their success. I’m passionate about teaching people to have a bigger dream for themselves, and helping them realize their full potential.

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