The Scenario: You've been feeling worthless and unappreciated at your job, and wondering if anyone even notices you're there day after day. When your manager calls you into her office unexpectedly, you're sure you're getting fired. Instead, she tells you how much your work is appreciated, and asks you to head up an awesome new project.
How To Handle It: Respond with sincerity and gratitude, and try to push all cynicism out of your mind--life's too short to always be wondering about ulterior motives. If you get a chance, try to get some specifics about what you're doing right, so you can do more of it.
What It Might Mean: We all need some reassurance sometimes, and as nice as it is to get it from an outside source, it's much more important to build up your inner confidence. Soak up the compliments from your boss, but also take it as a reminder that it's easy to get carried away with negative thoughts about our own worth, and reality rarely matches the worst case scenarios we've dreamed up in our heads. It's time to start giving yourself the pats on the back you crave from others. You deserve it.