Today, I’m extending to you two challenges:
Before you eat your turkey next week, you and your family may go around the table to hear what each person is thankful for. When I was a kid, I felt pressured to come up with a mature answer, but I usually turned it into an opportunity to be silly. As an adult, I feel pressure to whittle down all of my thankfulness into two minutes or less because everyone is hungry. It’s a good tradition, but I trust that Thanksgiving isn’t the only time that you focus on giving thanks.
This past year has brought a new focus on giving thanks. There are a lot of banners thanking healthcare professionals. We thank our troops, teachers and first responders. We’re also thanking restaurant owners and hair stylists for staying open.
It’s common practice to thank someone when they have gone out of their way to serve others. We’re also usually thankful when things go our way. It’s easy to be grateful when it’s smooth sailing, the sun is shining and we’re in a good mood. But, as we know, 2020 hasn’t always been like that. Life just isn’t like that.
So, challenge number one: When you’re feeling like everything is against you, you’re tired, irritable, angry or just feeling blah, whisper a little thank you for something positive. Tell the person near you thank you for something they said or did or didn’t do. Send a text of gratitude to a friend, co-worker or even every person in your text list. Consider the positive and something good that has happened and be thankful for it. Think of your favorite thing about yourself and allow yourself to smile because of it.
Practicing gratitude when you’re gloomy can shed a ray of light into your day. You may even beat those blues altogether and turn your bad day into a very good day. It’s been known to happen.
You’ve heard all the reasons to practice gratefulness. It triggers humility, it makes you feel happy and positive, it’s healthy for you and your relationships with others, you can actually sleep better, and the list goes on.
But here is challenge number two: I want you to thank you. That is, you need to thank you. Yourself. Say, “I’m grateful for me!”
Fill in the blanks:
“I’m so thankful for me and the fact that I did _________ today.”
“I’m so thankful for me because I didn’t ___________ today.”
“I’m so thankful for me because I’m going to _________________ tomorrow.”
“I’m so thankful for me because I can ___________________ and ____________________.
Thanking yourself is a form of recognition for your own acts. It bolsters your confidence and it confirms your values. It’s a pat on your own back. Nobody needs to hear you do it because it’s for yourself. It may sound corny, but it just may lift your spirits and allow you to realize that the things you do are good, worthwhile and valued.
When you reach a goal, help someone else or just get the laundry done, thank yourself for your accomplishments. Recognize your own positivity.
Gratefulness is a joy and a duty. We have much for which to be grateful for and today, I thank you for reading my email. If you put it into practice, you just may thank me later.
Belinda Gates, PCC
Belinda's leadership development and executive coaching services support engineers, utilities, contractors and manufacturing companies as well as other corporate clients and non-profit organizations.