The benefits of having an attitude of gratitude have long been reported by scientists, healers and spiritual teachers. Gratitude disconnects us from toxic, negative emotions and the unhelpful dwelling that often accompanies them.
Expressing gratitude helps us even if we don’t explicitly share it with someone. Try making a list of 10 things you are grateful for right now, or write your younger self a letter expressing your gratitude for all of the great choices and decisions she made! Here’s an example of one I have written to myself…
I am writing to say a huge THANK YOU to you from the bottom of our heart for all of the amazing things you have chosen to do which has led to us being here right now. Firstly, let’s go all the way back to high school – like most teens, it wasn’t always the easiest of rides but you really did put in the work to get those great grades. Then leaving home at such a young age and taking the difficult decision to live life away from your mother – you just never could get along and in the end you felt like a clean break was what you needed. You did the right thing Kate – it was brave, it was scary, but ultimately it has shaped the woman you are today and the Mother you are. Breaking the cycle has become so important to you. That saying has so many meanings but I’d like to really thank you for all of the investment you have made in healing the trauma of the past – all of the different counselling sessions, the alternative treatments, everything has made you so resilient! And the fact you now help other women to realise they too can choose a different mindset to approach life through your books and client work – none of that would be possible had you not done the inner work. Thank you so much.
Being the first person in your family to get a University degree – wow, what an achievement! Thank you for not giving up – it was tough when you were working so much to earn enough money to live, but all of that really helped to shape you. Working from the age of 14 has been such great experience for you – thank you for always showing up and putting your all into the work you did – from waitressing, serving customers in the various different shops you worked in – it was all great experience for us.
And I also want to express the deepest of gratitude for you continually choosing yourself in your career – you moved organisations a lot in those early days and now over 20 years later we can see that stood you in great stead for the work you do with different businesses as a teacher/mentor/coach/advisor. Never allowing the word ‘no’ to stop you from going for those promotions, jumping ship for the bigger salary and better job title – all of it paid off!
Thank you also for giving so generously in all of your close relationships – they too haven’t been plain sailing but you have always tried your best to make the other person as happy as you could – sometimes to the detriment of your own happiness, but again this has all been part of the learning experience!
Kate, there’s so many things I am grateful to you for. You always embrace life head-on, you are determined, you are ambitious, you never give up. And for that I am truly grateful.
All my love,
I found completing this exercise really satisfying – it’s rare we stop and pat ourselves on the back for how far we have come, let alone deeply express our gratitude to ourselves!
Scientists say that the positive effects of gratitude writing compound like interest. You might not notice the benefit of a daily or weekly practice, but after several weeks and months, you will. A gratitude practice trains the brain to be more in tune with experiencing gratitude — a positive plus a positive, equal more positives.
So, what are you grateful for today? Do let me know over on my socials – let’s connect if we haven’t already!
And if you like this blog, check out my book DON’T DIM TO FIT IN where I share loads more exercises like this that can help you to live life with a leadership mindset.