Attitude of self-gratitude: An extra healthy feast
It’s Thanksgiving week in the U.S. — a time we intentionally look at our lives and feel grateful. Yet too often gratitude feels fake, forced or like going through the motions.
Most times this is because we overlook thanking ourselves by habit.
You’d put your own oxygen mask on first, wouldn’t you? Granted, we may need a reminder. The same principle applies.
I invite you to practice self-gratitude every day this week — especially if you feel conflicted or resistant to it. If you need inspiration on what you could possibly be thankful to yourself for, some ideas:
- You’re alive and kicking. Sure, maybe you’ve been a hot mess since COVID craziness and your back has seen better days. Maybe you have a serious injury or your sleep has seen better days (BC = before children). Still, your mind and body are very much alive, enough to be getting this, and presumably you’re working and “doing things” (hopefully things you want to). You can thank your body and mind for their resilience, as well as healthcare innovations that keep modern humans alive and kicking well past childrearing age. What has your mind-body done that you’d like to thank it for?
- You’ve accomplished a lot. Without comparing yourself endlessly to others, you’ve done some things you can be proud of. You’ve impacted people, you’ve created things, you’ve solved problems in the world, and if you’ve done none of the above (I doubt it), maybe you’ve survived absolutely odd-defying survival or thriving threats. What are your proudest accomplishments?
- If you’re an entrepreneurial spirit, you’re the only one up to exactly what you are. True entrepreneurial types (versus business snatchers and bullies) fill gaps and meet outstanding needs in the market or within their companies. If you’ve achieved a modicum of success, your contribution is unique and may not exist or exist in the same way without you. How have your contributions been unique? What’s interesting or valuable about how you’ve shown up?
- You’ve grown and learned. Assuming you’re meaningfully kind hearted, your learning and growth has positive ripple effects. You likely have a learning mindset and I’ll venture a guess you have developed yourself in lots of ways to this point. How have you grown, learned and matured over the years?
- You are capable of so much more. Unless you’ve achieved elite performance status already and are living off the grid, you have enormous potential yet to be realized. Not everyone can be Einstein, Meryl Streep or an NFL player, but everyone has unique qualities and experiences allowing them to make a unique impact. This isn’t glossy positive self-talk. It’s a truth that peak performers get. Plus any gaps or regrets about your career have a silver lining: You can do better going forward, even if it’s in something completely different from what you missed out on.
Gratitude journaling is an evidence-based practice for boosting well-being. Why not add yourself to the list? Thanking yourself can shift you beyond fixed or performance mindsets to a growth mindset and potentially boost self-efficacy, motivating you to stretch beyond your comfort zone (and the upward spiral continues).
On top of all that, cultivating an attitude of self-gratitude also makes it much easier to experience and express genuine gratitude for others. Not that you should, but you could.
We can be collectively grateful for that.
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