— Life —

Yeah, But…

toasting over dining table with grilled meat and seafood
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I just received a compliment, and rather than taking the compliment to heart, “Yeah, but… ” was the first thing that came out of my mouth! Why did I do that? Oh, you do that, too?

We women can be so hard on ourselves, often selling ourselves short by deflecting praise. We don’t acknowledge our accomplishments, and if we do, we often downplay them. When learning new skills, we compare what we’ve done to that of someone with years more experience and talent or a team that does their bidding. We work diligently, then, expecting perfection, deem it not quite good enough. And too often, we deem ourselves not good enough, either.

How did this happen? The good news is it doesn’t matter. One of my dearest mentors said, “Awareness leads to control.”  The solution is simple: Once we’re aware we’re doing this, we need to catch ourselves, acknowledge our progress and aim for personal excellence… not perfection.

Buddhism teaches there is no perfection. The way I see it, nothing will ever be perfect… or everything already is. Either way, we need to let perfectionism go, and in doing so, we allow ourselves to always be good enough.

We grow when we accept acknowledgement and praise, so I will catch myself when I hear those two words, “Yeah, but…” come out of my mouth, and think instead, “Oops, I did it again.”

With the holidays upon us, there will be lots of opportunities to practice. What if we re-frame our “yeah… buts” into a “Thank you so much!” When we are complimented on our outfit, our decor, our choice of wine or craft beer… a “Yes, it did come out nicely, didn’t it?” When we’re complimented on our roast turkey, beef, goose, or ham… a genuine,”I’m so glad you like it!”

Be prepared for compliments. Expect them. Bask in them. Enjoy everything just as it is. And if you ever find yourself uncertain about what to say, you can always just smile beatifically.

XO Donna


  • Charlesñjoycee Silverman December 19, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Aren’t we conditioned . ..

    • Donna O'Klock December 26, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Yes, we sometimes are conditioned, or perhaps we are naturally shy, but we can choose to overcome both.
      And that, as Martha Stewart always said, “Is a good thing!”

  • Roxanne Jones December 19, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Such an important lesson–to fully take in compliments and stop at “thank you!” Great post!

    • Donna O'Klock December 26, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      Thank you so much, Roxanne!

  • Laureen Satabe December 19, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    So true….

    • Donna O'Klock December 26, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks for reading, Laureen.

  • 1010ParkPlace December 19, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    It’s sometimes hard to say “thank you” without sounding egotistical or not believing the compliment. I’ve never read anything about this topic, but I imagine we all need to absorb this and put it into practice. xoxox, Brenda

    • Donna O'Klock December 26, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Thank you, Brenda. It is something I’m still working on myself.
      I find that as I have become more appreciative, and I give out more compliments, it makes it easier to accept them.

  • Doreen McGettigan December 19, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    We women need to remind each other often that it’s okay to accept praise.
    Beautiful post.

    • Donna O'Klock December 26, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      You’re right, Doreen, let’s keep doing that!
      Thank you for your compliment.

  • Esther Zimmer December 22, 2016 at 11:09 am

    This is a beautiful post. Whenever I receive a compliment, I respond with, “That’s such a kind thing to say, thank you!” I know when my compliments are acknowledged with grace then I feel even better about giving them, but when they’re brushed off, sometimes it makes me feel like my words didn’t really mean anything. Learning to accept compliments graciously is good for everyone. Esther xx

  • Donna O'Klock December 26, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I love that… “Learning to accept compliments graciously is good for everyone.” Exactly!
    And trust that when they’re brushed off, it’s only because the person didn’t yet know how to let them in.
    Thank you so much, Esther!

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