As proofreaders, we know the difference between compliment and complement.

In fact, as proofreaders, we’re experts at making words perfect for our clients. We look to make sure all the right words are used and that there aren’t any dropped, flipped around, duplicated, or misspelled words. We want our clients’ words to look perfect.

But you know what’s just as important as knowing the difference between compliment and complement?

Knowing how to use our words to bless others and ourselves with compliments.

Join me on World Compliment Day as I take a deep dive with you into what compliments are and how we should be using them to help us have joy and spread joy in our proofreading businesses.

Resources and links

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Elizabeth Wiegner: As proofreaders, we know the importance of words. We are super in tune to the words on the page, especially for the words that we’re proofreading for our clients, right? We want to make sure that it’s the right word on the page, that it’s the correct spelling, that there’s no dropped words or flipped around words or duplicated ones. We want to make sure that the words look awesome for our clients.

And as proofreaders, we are word lovers. We love seeing the correct words on a page. We love helping our clients look good. And as proofreaders go, it’s important to realize that words are more than what’s on paper because we as proofreaders, it’s really easy to get caught up in the written words and making sure everything is perfect in running our business, in getting clients and maintaining those clients.

And sometimes it’s easy to forget that the words that we ourselves write or say, whether to ourselves or to others, are equally if not more important than the words that we’re helping our clients get right on their [indiscernible].

Today, March 1st, is World Compliment Day. Now, it’s not a nationally recognized holiday where you’re going to get time off work, where you won’t get any mail today. This is just one of those fun holidays that people like to come up with that, if you happen to see it online, you’ll be like, oh yeah, that’s kind of a fun, quirky holiday to celebrate.

But when I was looking through the fun holidays in March, I saw this World Compliment Day, and I knew I had to get on a podcast and hang out with you, my fellow word lovers, proofreaders, proofers-to-be, and talk about this word -- compliment -- for a couple reasons.

I mean, one is compliment and complement -- there’s two different ones of those, right, one with an I and one with an E. The compliment that they’re talking about for this compliment day is one where you tell somebody -- you compliment somebody. You tell them something nice about them. And then the other is with the E, and those are two words that get confused a lot in proofreading.

So as fellow proofers, I know that you will appreciate being able to understand the difference between them, and you might already know. You’ll have to let me know if you do. But the difference between them is, compliment is when you praise or give approval to somebody, and that’s with an I.

And then complement with an E is to complete something. So the way to remember the difference between the two is to complete with the E. Complement has the E in it as well to match complete, and that’s how I remember the difference between them because I need little associations in my mind to help me remember the spellings on things, so I’m not having to look it up in Merriam-Webster every two seconds when I’m proofreading, although if you have to, there’s no shame in that. I use Merriam-Webster all the time.

But as I was reading Merriam-Webster about this, as I was getting ready for this podcast, and I’ll share this link in the comments because it was a really interesting article. Both words -- compliment and complement -- have Latin roots with complement with an E meaning to complete.

And then compliment with an I is from an Italian and Spanish word meaning to be courteous, and I love this part, to perform what is due. And that ties in with the definition of compliment that I want to talk about, especially with you today, not the one where you’re completing something with an E, but the I for World Compliment Day.

It is an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration, especially an admiring remark. And then definition B inside Merriam-Webster for compliment with an I is: formal and respectful recognition and honor.

And I think that ties in with that Italian and Spanish word root meaning to perform what is due, what someone deserves to have. And I want to specifically talk to you today about giving compliments, compliments to others and compliments to yourself. And I know it may seem kind of weird that I’m going to say, hey, we’re going to talk about complimenting yourself.

But hear me out because this is an important part that I talk about to my transcript proofreading students and grads inside our support communities is not only being kind to others, potential clients, your clients, but being kind to yourself, complimenting yourself, in order to keep the right mindset, in order that you have fun in your business, that you make your goals happen. And it all starts by what you tell yourself or how you compliment yourself.

So let’s talk about why complimenting yourself and others is important. For one, it feels good. Getting compliments or giving compliments is a way to spread joy to help others feel better about themselves because even if you’re shy and introverted and somebody gives you a compliment, and it can be really awkward to know what to say or what to do and you just kind of want to dissolve a little bit, that kind thing that they said, that they complimented you on is something that, even if it felt awkward in the moment, and a lot of times it can and I’ll talk about how to accept compliments here towards the end of the podcast.

But even if it felt awkward in the moment, that nice thing that somebody said about you that they appreciated about you, that they respectfully recognized, or they felt admiration towards you and they wanted to tell you about it, that feeling is something that sticks with you.

I can remember compliments that I have gotten years ago where somebody said they liked something in particular about what I did. This is a really, really silly example. So my sister and I, we shared a bedroom forever growing up, and one thing I like to do is I like to brush my hair before I go to bed. I told you all this was going to be silly, but you’ll get the point here.

I like to brush my hair before going to bed, and I had a brush that I always kept by my bed. But one thing I don’t like is when hair stays stuck in a hairbrush. I cannot stand a hair-filled hairbrush. And so I would always clean my hairbrush out, throw the hair in the trash before I got in bed.

And one night, my sister was laying there, and I was getting done brushing my hair, throwing the hair in the hairbrush away. And she goes, I really like how you take time to always clean your hairbrush out so it’s not gross before you go to bed. It has been years, well over a decade, probably maybe even close to 20 years since my sister has told me that.

And it was such a simple comment, a simple compliment to me. But every time I brush my hair and I look down at my hairbrush and I’m cleaning it out, I think of that and I think of how my sister appreciated something simple that I did to make something stay nice and clean. Now, I know that’s a really silly example, but it’s the perfect example to show a very -- she might -- she probably doesn’t even remember she told me that. I mean, now random would it be if she did?

But the fact that something so really insignificant and simple and even silly was something that stuck with me for so long that makes me not want to leave my hairbrush looking nasty but to clean it out all the time is something that motivates me when I don’t feel like doing it. And when I do, it makes me feel good because somebody recognized it and liked that I did it.

That kind of compliment, whether it’s something that is about something you personally do or how you helped your client, that kind -- those kind of compliments stick with you for years. And they help encourage you to do the right thing when you’re struggling, and they help you feel better and confident about yourself even if it felt a little awkward in the moment, even if it was a silly little compliment, right? Those words are important.

So when others compliment you, you know the feeling and how you remember them later. And when you compliment others, you help others feel good. You help them spread joy because when you help -- and here’s the really awesome thing about not only -- and I put “just” in quotes. Not only are you “just” helping the person that you gave a compliment to feel better about themselves, you are creating a massive ripple effect that you can’t even imagine by just giving a simple, nice compliment because when you compliment somebody and they feel good about themselves, then it helps them be more confident. It helps them feel better and happier. And when they feel better and happier and more confident, it touches the people around them and makes them feel happier too.

And then when those people feel happier, they make the other people around them feel happier, and it’s just this giant ripple effect by just taking time to give somebody a compliment. And it’s amazing how our words as proofreaders, when we speak them or when we type them out to be complimentary to somebody, how much of a difference it can make.

So compliments provide encouragement as well. They keep someone going who may otherwise feel like giving up. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have felt overwhelmed in my proofreading business or in my coaching business or with even something else in life like working on a really hard piano piece or just overwhelmed with life in general or trying to lose weight or grow my hair out or it’s just -- or perfecting a recipe I’m working on, how many times I have felt so overwhelmed and somebody takes time to compliment me on something, especially something that I’ve really been working on or feeling overwhelmed about.

It instantly gives me hope and makes me not want to give up. It helps me feel a little less overwhelmed when somebody takes time to tell me I really appreciate what you did, or I noticed this about you and I think it’s really awesome. It’s like, okay -- it’s like a fresh burst of energy. I’ve been renewed and like, hey, I’m not being a failure after all. I do know how to do something right. People are seeing improvements.

And I would go from feeling like this is the worst day ever, I’m going to just give up, shut my laptop, be done, to okay, I can give it a little bit more. I can keep going because somebody else recognized and appreciated it and gave me a compliment.

And the other thing too that comes nice with compliments is, when you give them, you are not only helping others feel good, spreading joy, giving encouragement and keeping someone from giving up, you’re also becoming someone that that person thinks of in a positive way.

And especially as you’re working on building up a clientele base or you’re working on providing a good relationship with the clients that you currently have so that you continue to have an ongoing relationship with them, you want to be seen as the person that somebody feels safe with, where they feel encouraged and joy and goodness, where they want to keep going because they have -- they know they have you on their team.

And when you’re working on getting clients, being positive and being the person that’s always commenting something nice on their social media post or responding kindly to their emails or giving them -- sending them a message and letting them you know you really enjoy their podcast or something like that. When you have a habit of speaking to people kindly, giving compliments, being positive, being encouraging, spreading joy, you become a person that people want to be around, to make connections with.

If you’re looking for clients, if you’re working on your marketing, if you are somebody that is always radiating kindness and encouragement and compliments, you will be the person that they want to work with as opposed to -- now, let’s be honest. I’m going to -- I have to pause that thought right there -- as opposed to the grammar police. And I say that because one of the things that proofreaders unfortunately are known for is being snobs, being grammar police, being people who the other person is scared to send their writing to or to text or to send an email or make a social media post because you’re going to jump down their throat and point out all their mistakes and make them feel really dumb. That’s what a lot of proofreaders are known for, and that’s not something you want to be known for, is it?

You want to be known as somebody who is really good at grammar and spelling and punctuation and finding and catching errors like the wrong words or dropped words, someone who makes a pleasant work environment where they feel safe. They aren’t going to be judged or made fun of for their mistakes. That’s what you want to be known as. You want to be known as someone who’s really good at what you do and also really kind, not someone who is really good at grammar but will just make you feel awful and stupid and miserable and make you want to just give up and not keep working, right?

Like if you were to choose a proofreader to work for yourself, who would you choose? Somebody who was really smart but also really rude and mean and made you feel dumb or somebody who was really smart and also very kind and made you feel like, hey, even though I make mistakes, that’s okay because she’s going to make me feel really good with my writing.

She’s going to make it look so good. He or she is going to make it look so good that I don’t have to stress over my writing anymore. And even if I make mistakes in my writing, they’re not going to make me feel foolish about it. They’re going to fix it and go on their way.

Which proofreader do you want to be known as? Do you want to be known as the proofreader who’s going around, putting asterisks on everybody’s social media post, who responds to an email and be like, hey, you’ve got a typo on your website, and then doesn’t provide any other help for information or just makes fun of you for having a typo or an extra period or an extra comma or a missing comma inside of your social media post?

Or do you want to be seen as the proofreader looking to get clients who is always complimenting other people, lifting people up, encouraging them, spreading that joy and goodness to others? I know which one I would choose, and I think I know which one you would choose too.

Now, as a note, giving compliments, helping others feel good, spreading joy, that is -- you’re not doing that in order just to get something from someone or to get something back from them. You’re not being nice to others just because you want them as a client. You’re not being nice to them just because you want to get them as -- to keep them as a client.

There’s a definition between -- a distinction, a big distinction between compliments that are sincere like the definition for what Merriam-Webster said. It’s an expression of esteem, of respect, affection, admiration. It’s a formal and respectful recognition. It’s something that’s from the heart, that’s sincere that you truly mean. It’s not flattery where you’re telling somebody something to butter them up in hopes of getting something in return from them.

Now, sure, yes, when we connect with others, we would like a dream client that we would love to work with. We’re not going to be rude to them because we were like, oh, well, I can’t be nice because I want to get this client, just because I want to get this client. So I’m going to be rude to them instead. No, that’s not what I mean.

You’re not being -- the sole purpose of you showing up and being kind isn’t just to get something from them because people can see through that, and it just looks icky. It gives you that slimy, icky marketing that nobody likes and that you don’t like. You don’t want to give out either, right?

You want to feel sincere and personable and truthful in your marketing, and that should show up in how you compliment others in a way that’s sincere, in a way where you truly mean it, and you mean it to, first and foremost, bring joy and encouragement to the person that you’re complimenting, not so that you can get something out of them. And that will -- if you approach it from that perspective of spreading joy and being kind, that will be reflective in what you say rather than you’re just trying to butter someone up to get what you want from them.

So how do you give compliments to somebody? Obviously, compliments are very important. They’re important for you to feel better because it always feels good when you make other people feel good, doesn’t it? That mutual feeling, it just -- it gives you that really good, warm, fuzzy feeling when you know that you’ve made a difference in somebody’s life, even if it’s something really small, right?

So not only do compliments make you feel good, they make other people feel good, and they also help you get clients and keep clients. So how do you do it? How do you do a good job at giving compliments? And the first one is what I was just talking about. Make sure there’s a difference between you’re giving a compliment and you’re flattering somebody. And the way to do that is you need to be sincere. You need to truly feel the words that you’re giving to that person.

It can be as simple as you really like someone’s dress, and you compliment them on in their dress to telling somebody what a difference they have made in their lives and what an impact you have -- they’ve been on you. For example, I gave you the one of my sister telling me about, hey, I think it’s so neat how you clean out your hairbrush. That was a really simple sentence that has stuck with me forever and kept encouraging me to clean my hairbrush out and make it nice.

And like I’m looking right here at this piece of paper that I have on my desk. A student took time to write a very thoughtful, kind email to me. It was a longer email, saying how much she appreciated the course and my coaching and what a difference it has made in her life.

And I don’t print things out. I don’t like paper and having things around. But I printed it out and put it on my desk so that I could look at it and have a reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing. Both those compliments -- my sister telling me my hairbrush -- she liked that I did that. It was really simple. It was nothing deep. All the way to this student here who poured her heart out in sharing just wonderful things that, I mean, still make me emotional when I think about it.

Both of those have stuck with me for different reasons, but they’ve both meant a lot. The reason why they meant a lot is they both came from the heart. Both persons when they said the things, even though they were -- one was silly and one was really deep -- came from somebody who truly meant what they said, and you can tell that by the tone of the way the writer, if you’re saying it in person, that you really mean it.

So be sincere and be specific. Now, specific doesn’t mean that you have to go on and on, although that email that I got, that was longer that explained in detail the things that she appreciated, meant the world to me. And something -- you can also be specific and short and to the point too, like I love that dress. That color looks really good on you.

Actually, I just sent a message today to somebody in the stories. She was wearing a color that just -- she looked gorgeous in. So I just sent her a quick message. I replied to the story and was like, that color looks so pretty on you. Something really simple like that, like I meant it, but it wasn’t anything super in depth either. It’s just I wanted to show that I noticed it and appreciated it and give her a compliment because I know it feels good to get those things.

But being specific about it. Instead of just, hey, great job on that, say why you think it was a great job. You did a great job on this -- like if you’re emailing your court reporter; you’re a transcript proofreader.

When you email back with the transcript, you can be like, hey, you did a great job on that one. Yeah, that is good to hear. It’s great to hear that you did a great job, but the way I could step it up a level for my court reporter would be like, man, that had to be a tough transcript with the way the witness was talking. You did an awesome job keeping up with them. Something where you specifically noticed a skill or something that they did a really good job on, give a compliment on that.

It can also be a compliment on how that person made you feel or something you appreciated about them for the day. Just instead of saying I appreciate you, although that is really good -- that feels good to hear. It feels even better to hear why you appreciated somebody. Take it that step further and give why.

Now, again, not every single time you comment on social media on somebody’s post, not every time you respond to an email does it have to be super complimentary with very specific reasons why. You can -- I mean, just saying thank you for somebody doing something nice for you in an email like somebody updated your password for you or something, just something really simple like thank you is great.

And it’s not like you have to always be giving compliments in order to make yourself feel better and make others feel better. There is a -- use your judgment. And like I said, you don’t want to -- you want to always be sincere. You don’t want to seem like you’re flattering the person or trying to get something from them.

But when there is an appropriate time to tell if you think of something nice about somebody or see something nice or notice the hard work that they’ve done, take time to compliment them on it. Notice it, acknowledge them, and let them know you saw it even if it’s a really quick comment, really quick message, really quick email.

Those kinds of comments, emails, direct messages are things that help people. Even if they’re having a great day that day, you just made their day better. And if they were having a tough day, you kept them from giving up or having an even worse day or going to be feeling defeated and overwhelmed.

You made a difference from them, and that -- knowing that you’re making a difference in somebody’s life by just taking time to say something you appreciate or notice about somebody, that makes all the difference in the world.

So the flipside of that too is you can give compliments, like you know how to give compliments now. But how do you accept compliments? Because, especially as us introverts, it can feel really awkward when somebody compliments us. So that kind of -- to backtrack just a second, where I said how to do compliments you want to be sincere; you want to be specific. Think about too how you like to receive compliments.

Now, admittedly, like I said, we’re introverts, and a lot of, compliments especially done in public like face to face with somebody can feel really awkward. It’s like what am I supposed to do? So think about that when you’re giving somebody a compliment. Think about how would I like this compliment to be structured? Do I want them to go on and on, or do I want them to be shorter and to the point? I don’t want a compliment all the time because that’s going to feel like they’re just always -- they’re trying to get something out of me.

But it does feel good to be appreciated and to have somebody tell me thank you and to be specific, acknowledge why they’re thankful or that they notice something that they really like and to tell me about it.

So think about how you like to get compliments, and if having complimented a person is really awkward, think about how you like to get compliments. What kind of compliment would you like to see inside your direct messages, inside your inbox when you get a job back from a client, when you’ve worked hard on something. What kind of compliment would you like to get? Think about that when you’re giving somebody a compliment.

And then how to accept those compliments, I’m coming back around to there, always make sure to say thank you. You don’t need to go on and on and on in your appreciation but be -- of course, just like you want to be sincere when you give a compliment, be sincere when you -- in your appreciation. Tell them thank you and how much it meant to you. I was having a really rough day and this was really encouraging, or thank you, this is -- yeah, it was a really difficult job. I’m really glad it was helpful to you. But definitely -- don’t just ignore it. Definitely say thank you.

And then here’s the key thing is don’t downplay yourself when you get a compliment. Especially for introverts where it feels uncomfortable getting a compliment, it’s really easy for us to kind of have fake humility about it where it’s just like, oh, that’s nothing, or no big deal or no problem or something like that.

When somebody takes time to compliment you whether it’s really short or a really long compliment, don’t let the surprise of the compliment or kind of the uncomfortableness of getting used to having compliments, don’t let that be something where you’re kind of like, oh, it wasn’t that big of a deal, or you know what? I just -- it didn’t take me that long to do, or you know what? You know how you just kind of blow things off or downplay them, to kind of not be embarrassed.

And sometimes it’s also we feel like it’s -- we’re being proud by accepting a compliment, right? And so we try to cover up kind of. We swing to the opposite side of being really puffed up -- oh yes, I am awesome. We swing to the opposite side of, oh, I’m not that big of a deal.

If the person took the time to compliment you and you could tell they meant it, then they need to be appreciated right back. Tell them thank you, and you can leave it at just thank you. I really appreciate that. Or thank you, that made my day. Or thank you, that -- it feels really good to be appreciated for the work that I did, or thank you, I really enjoyed working on this project with you. That way you’re acknowledging your appreciation. You’re accepting the compliment and leaving it at that.

If they felt like you were good enough to be complimented, especially if it’s a client, you don’t want to be downplaying yourself to your client, right? You don’t want to make the client think, well, I guess they didn’t really work that hard, or I guess they aren’t as good as I thought they were. You don’t want to give that impression to your client, right? You want them to stay confident in you and to be excited about sending the next project to you, excited to refer you to somebody else.

And so don’t downplay yourself or make it seem like what you did wasn’t that good or wasn’t that big of a deal. And it doesn’t mean that you have to puff yourself up and really make what you did an even bigger deal. Just say thank you and that you appreciate it.

And then after you get a compliment, make sure that you screenshot those compliments and save them somewhere special, or create a folder inside of your email where you can save special complimentary emails that you get. That way, when you have days when you’re feeling down and overwhelmed or maybe you’ve made a mistake and you need a reminder that I know what I’m doing and I am making a difference in other people’s lives.

And there are some days where maybe you’ve made a mistake or you’re just feeling completely overwhelmed or like nothing is going right. You’re not doing enough. You know all those things that we can start telling ourselves, right? And looking back on those compliments will help encourage you that, yes, I do know what I’m doing. I am making a difference. I matter, and the work that I do matters.

And so you get to reuse those compliments. Instead of just having that compliment that one time from somebody, you can go back and get that same feeling of, yes, I did this. I know what I’m doing that we all need. We all need that kind of encouragement, right? And so be sure to screenshot those so you can come back or save those emails and come back and read them on the days when you’re having an off day and you need some encouragement.

And the last thing is to make sure that not only are you taking time to compliment others and appreciate them and to take compliments well yourself, but be sure to compliment yourself. And what I mean by that is that when you are doing a good job at something or you’re making progress that you take time to acknowledge that you are doing a good job.

It’s so easy for us to be hard on ourselves, and a lot of times, especially if we’re type A go-getters, we are always looking at ourselves and picking out what’s wrong with us. We can give so much grace to other people, but when it comes to ourselves it’s hard for us to find one thing that we think we’re doing right or that we’re doing it -- that we’re doing a great job on.

And when we don’t take time to acknowledge our wins no matter how small they are, when we don’t take time to tell ourselves that, hey, I’m actually doing a good job, maybe we’re not going as quickly as I want to. Maybe I have slowed down and there was an unplanned break that I took, or I thought I would be this much further ahead in my business by this point, but right now, I’m just still -- I feel like I’m just right at the beginning.

Instead of dwelling on all the what-ifs or the should-haves, focus on what you’re doing right, right now or what you have done right that’s gotten you to the point that you are now, the progress that you’ve made.

Every week inside the proofreading support community for my transcript proofreading students, we have a post called our wins post, and it’s on Saturday mornings. And they need -- students need to share one thing that was their favorite win from the week. And if they want to share more wins, they can, but they have to name a win from the week and brag on themselves, compliment themselves.

And I always put in the post that I make that share your wins for the week, and around here, we don’t “but” our wins because it’s so easy for us to say, hey, well, I proofread one transcript this week, but I didn’t do as well as I thought I would while I was practicing. I got one client today, but I didn’t get -- hear back from the other two people I reached out to. I named my business, but I didn’t get my email set up. I was able to get my CPA consult in, but I haven’t set up my business yet.

It’s like we’re afraid to say something that we did well on, that we accomplished. We’re afraid that, well, I’ve got to tamp down on that and say -- add a “but” and add in the part that we’re not good at or that we haven’t done yet. Could you imagine giving a compliment to somebody and saying, you did such an awesome job on your book that you wrote. I love proofreading it. But you had a lot of mistakes in there, and I really can’t believe you made some of those mistakes.

You would never tell that to your client, would you? You would leave it just at that compliment. You did a great job on this book. I loved reading it. I really enjoyed proofreading it. And you wouldn’t add all the “buts” on because it doesn’t serve them or you. The same way with yourself.

Make sure that you’re taking time to, at the end of the week or even at the end of the day -- there’s a grad who started doing a gratitude journal as she was working through the course. It’s Jill. I will link her podcast episode in the show notes because she did not have a very easy start to her proofreading journey. She thought it was going to be a lot faster and easier than it was, and it took a lot more work than she had planned. But she ended up -- that’s what she does full time now, and she has built a life that she is so happy and content with.

But how she got there, how she didn’t give up, one big thing was she had a gratitude journal where, at the end of the day, she wrote down three things she was thankful for whether it was the hardest day she had or it was a wonderful day.

She wrote down three things she was thankful for and specifically made a point that she had to have one point where she was thankful for something that she did in her proofreading business whether that was incredibly small like I practiced 10 pages today or something really big: I passed my transcript exam.

She made sure to write it in her journal, to acknowledge that she had gotten it done, that she was capable, and that if she could do it, have this track record of making something every day in her business that she was thankful for, those small things or big things added up and proved to her that if she could do it in the past, she could keep doing it, and she can keep being successful until she has her proofreading business down. And now she continues that gratitude journal, and she can focus on being thankful on the tough days still and the good days.

But that attitude of being grateful and taking time essentially to compliment herself, of recognizing that I did this well. Even if it was small, even if it wasn’t as much as I wanted to have happen today, I still did it well and just letting yourself have a period after your compliment, not adding a comma and “but” and you go on on these things that could have -- that went wrong or didn’t go as well as you thought.

Compliment yourself on what you did right, what you accomplished, and then let the next day be the day where you can pick up on the things that you didn’t get done today, and then you can be thankful for the next small step that you made and the next small step because if you never take time to compliment yourself, to acknowledge that you are making progress and doing a good job, no matter how small that progress is, no matter how long it’s taking you, no matter if you make mistakes, you still find something that you did right, that you can be thankful for yourself, that you can compliment yourself on.

So that way you encourage yourself the next day to build on top of that and then the next day and the next day because if we only speak negatively to ourselves, if we’re only the rude proofreaders to ourselves where we’re being super harsh on what we do and never acknowledging what we did right and expressing to ourselves what we did right, we’ll give up because we don’t like living in a -- like living feeling like we’re a failure or we can’t do anything right or that we -- nothing we ever do is good enough.

Just the same way like you would compliment somebody for doing a nice job or being helpful or whatever reason you’re complimenting them, do that to yourself too. Be sincere in that compliment. Mean it and accept it. Be gracious about it. Don’t make excuses. Say thank you to yourself. Don’t downplay it. And keep going.

And start -- I mean, if you need to, start making a compliment journal or gratitude journal where you acknowledge what you’re doing well in. And like I referenced at the beginning, what the definition of a compliment is, it’s admiration, an admiring remark. It’s respect. It’s esteem. It’s affection for doing something good.

So take time today, especially March 1st on compliment day, World Compliment Day, to compliment somebody, to be sincere in it, to be specific in it. And also take time to compliment yourself and the progress that you’re making as you work on your goals. And if you’re like, boy, I don’t have anything yet today, then make -- do something today that you can compliment yourself on, so by the time you go to bed and you’re thinking over your day, you can be like, I did that and I’m thankful I did it.

And then remember that compliment -- giving compliments is not something that you practice just on March 1st on World Compliment Day. This is something that you practice on a regular basis, showing up, appreciating others, respecting others for the work that they do, and appreciating and respecting yourself for the work you’re doing on your proofreading business and creating the life that you want to have as a proofreader.

You will find so much more joy and happiness in life when you make a point to not always be hard on yourself and to also not be hard on other people too but to take time and appreciate them. You’ll spread joy. You’ll feel good, and it’s -- it just feels good all the way around.

Outro: Thanks so much for joining me today. Make sure that you’re subscribed so that you get the next episode that comes out, and if you know somebody who is interested in proofreading or starting their own side hustle, make sure to share this podcast with them, and I will see you next time here on The Proofreading Business Podcast.

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Meet Elizabeth

Elizabeth Wiegner is a work-from-home proofreader and business coach who teaches other readers and typo fixers how to build a life of freedom as a proofreader. Her energy, love, and personalized support are second to none in the proofreading world.