The optional writing prompt for the #writeandrun31 challenge was based on the power of compliments today:

Writing AND running are all about the mind games. Sometimes I feel like keeping my self-doubt under control is half the battle. For today’s prompt, stay positive by writing about a random compliment you received– something that really surprised you.

Christine Frazier, the originator of the ‘write’ part of the challenge, told the story of an Italian teacher who gave her a confidence-boosting compliment, recognising that her people skills were even more important to communication than knowing all the vocabulary. This struck a chord with me and I responded immediately in the #writeandrun31 Facebook group. Short and sweet so far, though I reserve the right to add more later when I have thought about it some more. This is my initial response:

So often the negative things people say to me stick in my mind and get blown out of all proportion. I can conjure up in minute detail those occasions where somebody told me off or I embarrassed myself by not understanding what somebody meant. Why is that? Why is it so much more difficult to remember when somebody said something good to you? I suppose the best compliments or personal comments are the ones that open your eyes to something about yourself. I remember once going to a job interview where the interviewer looked at my cv (resumé) and commented, “You’re an outdoors sort of person, aren’t you?” Now, I’d never thought of myself like that because I identified far more with myself as a bookworm, curled up on the sofa with a book and a pot of tea. I was hopeless at sport at school. But I was also an enthusiastic Girl Guide and I loved camping, walking, cycling, canoeing, swimming. Not such a couch potato after all. If that interviewer hadn’t pointed it out to me, my self-image would have been quite different.