Applause isn’t about you.
Applause is something the audience needs to express to in order complete their experience.
Applause is created by them (notice that you can’t really make them do it) and it is created for them. They may think they are applauding you, but really they are applauding to punctuate their own experience – which is great!
Sort of like when you take a bite of a cookie and say, “Yum.”
The “yum” is not for the cookie. The cookie doesn’t care.
The cookie has already done its job of being a fabulous cookie.
The “yum” is for you. The “yum” sets apart this bite from all other bites. It underlines your experience and helps you to understand this particular moment of your life.
So don’t feel shy about graciously accepting praise or applause – you’re doing your audience a favor by welcoming their engagement.
(And the really important part for you is not whether or not people liked or didn’t like what you did, it’s what they liked or didn’t like about it that is significant. The approval means very little. The specific feedback means everything.)
So go ahead and take your bow, because like I said…it’s not really about you.