Let the positive in
Marisa Peer points out that it is the super critical, harsh inner voice that we hear all day long that leads to depression and anxiety. Your may do this without ever realizing it. Have you internalized that voice and now use it when people try to give you compliments? Stop and think about how you react to nice things other people say to you?
Stop and check yourself
Don't reject the compliment or degrade yourself. Smile, say, "thank you" graciously and then be quiet. This is what I had to do. My first impulse was to belittle whatever good thing I was being complimented on. I had to consciously focus on stopping my first reaction. I would then smile, say thank you and shut my mouth. If I let myself keep talking I knew what would happen. I would find a way to reject the compliment in some way. I had to repeat to myself, inside, "let it in". This was a choice, a conscious change in behavior I had to make and it wasn't easy at first. It was really uncomfortable in a squirmy way. You know the feeling. I still have to pause, smile and think twice.... but the change in my reaction feels better, much better inside.
Notice what your mind repeats
Growing up you hear critical voices around you. I remember getting a review at work. My employer was complimentary of my performance but also had some constructive criticism at the end of the review. All in all, it was an excellent review, but I focused on the negative comments. I didn't let any of the positive comments in, it was like they hadn't even been mentioned. I drilled those negative comments into my conscious mind continuously. I'm not saying that we don't all need improvement, but continuous harsh, judemental self criticism is detrimental. In the following meeting with my employer I was apologetic about my lack. My employer told me the truth, to stop beating up on myself. Fail forward, learn from your mistakes and stay focused on the future. Don't create an inner voice that is a composition of all of the negative feedback you have received in the past. That isn't realistic. The truth is that everything is balanced, the good and the bad. Make a choice to frame the postive.
The most important voice
Let the voice in your head to be a kind one. Think of yourself as a parent to yourself. Stop and think about what kind of parent you want to be. Harsh and critical or kind and supportive? I have to think about what I would say to a friend. Would I say something demeaning and mean to a friend? No, and so I shouldn't say it to myself either. What we repeat to ourselves is vitally important. Choose the good!