Disconnected from what is meaningful to you on a deeper level, you can lose sight of the big picture, lose your drive, and fall into a vicious cycle of wanting a more fulfilling life and not knowing what to do or how to make it happen. A solid connection to what’s really important to you begins to empower you to be, have, or do whatever you want in life.
Of course, we face unique circumstances, multifaceted challenges, and physical and emotional limitations. I get it. However, a huge aspect of our daily suffering and unhappiness is caused by disempowering and often short-sighted perspectives.
The following piece is an excerpt from my
What Are You Grateful For?
All of us have something to be grateful for at this very moment. Just to name a few reasons, you can hear, feel, or read this text. Most likely, you enjoyed or plan to eat one or more meals today. You are breathing in nourishing air, interacting with people, whether family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, or strangers at the bus stop, train station, or coffee shop.
The simplest of things that we can easily take for granted are blessings all around us. Today and every day ask yourself, “What am I grateful for at this very moment?” Let’s take a brief moment to connect and give thanks for the blessings in these areas in your Wheel of Life:
Career and finances * Family and friends * Romantic relationships * Health and wellness * Fun and recreation * Personal growth * Spirituality * Physical environment * Community * Creativity
What are you grateful for or appreciate within each of these areas?
Go ahead, take a few minutes to answer this question.
Take it all in!
Practicing mindfulness and noticing the gifts we presently own relevant to any of these key areas shifts us into a more positive mind-set and empowering perspective. I define mindfulness as being fully present to the current moment, our body, our mind, our emotions, and our environment.
This exercise also helps us step outside our bubble and witness ourselves from the outside looking in, giving us a different lens through which to interpret our current situation.
The BIG Picture Benefits
So why start our day with gratitude? How do you feel now after connecting to the blessings in your life?
The fact is that cultivating gratitude, under any circumstance, will elevate your energetic vibration, will help you seek possibilities and choices, and help you frame the events and situations in your life from an empowering perspective.
Energetically, love and gratitude trump any other negative emotion (hopelessness, fear, jealousy, anger, etc.). True, I am a textbook optimist—my picture might as well be next to the Webster’s Dictionary definition of the word.
However, even if you’re not, I highly encourage flexing your gratitude muscles as often as possible—at work, at home, with friends, family—especially throughout difficult and challenging circumstances. You’ll notice the difference in the emotions you feel.
One of my desires and intentions is to show you [in my book Fearless Women at Work] how to cultivate mindfulness and self-awareness to enhance your well-being as you live day by day and carry out your biggest goals and dreams.
No matter how much money we amass or how successful we become in our careers, there’s always a next level or someone else who has more money or more success. Relishing who you are as a person today, where you are in your journey, what you’ve accomplished and overcome up to this point, and appreciating and celebrating the people and relationships that have made it possible are inarguably yours to own.
By living this moment to the fullest, embracing what is here now, and feeling the joy in it, you’re not postponing your happiness until you accomplish ___ (fill in the blank).
If and when you choose to reach YOUR next level based on your dreams, goals, desires, and preferences, you will be building on a solid personal foundation—a foundation where small gestures and little pleasures grow exponentially and combine with major internal and external accomplishments to support your state of happiness and fulfillment.
Without this foundation, even the biggest achievements face off with a chasm of disconnects, dissatisfactions, and emptiness.
A Daily Practice
To build a steady personal foundation on which to raise the scaffoldings to a renewed, more mindful, and connected existence, I invite you once more to answer these questions, if you haven’t yet:
What do you appreciate about yourself today? and What do you appreciate and are grateful for about the people who share in your life?
Here’s a secret… The quickest way to short circuit a negative emotion (e.g., fear, grief, depression, powerlessness, and victim) is to focus on… ready… GRATITUDE….Ta-da! This will come in very handy right before a family reunion, a major meeting, a networking event, or a hot date.
It’s totally real that how we show up in our jobs, in our relationships, shapes what happens throughout our day. We create/manifest our reality by how we view, interpret, and react to our daily experiences. We give them meanings, we judge them, personalize them, and choose to brush them off or hang on to them.
At the very top of the upward spiral of positive emotions in the Emotional Guidance Scale (by Esther and Jerry Hicks’ Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires) sits “joy, knowledge, empowerment, freedom, love, and appreciation.” At the very bottom of the downward negative spiral looms “fear, grief, depression, powerlessness, and victim.”
Cultivating Gratitude In a Nutshell
As a human, I’ve experience the bottom of the negative emotions spiral.
The question is not whether you can indeed choose to shift from a negative, disempowering emotion into a more positive, empowering one.
The real decision we have to make is whether or not we are ready to commit to having the life and career we desire, or whether we want to continue propagating the problems and challenges we face today.
That’s the real decision we are going to be faced with until we are ready to change it.
How do we change it?
Let’s start by focusing on gratitude and appreciation for all that surrounds us, which becomes easier and easier the more we practice.
When things begin to go “south” in your mind, run through the list of things you’re grateful for and see what happens to your outlook, emotions, and creativity to address the situation.
In the meantime, be fearless! (act despite the fear)
Dr. Ginny A. Baro is a Fortune 100 executive coach for talented professionals at all levels of management, speaker, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work. For more of her work, join her community to receive valuable strategies delivered to your inbox and access today Chapter 11 of her #1 bestselling book to learn how to tap into your unique leadership style, career and life ambition, earning power, and more! read her blog, get a copy of her new book, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Originally published at https://www.fearlesswomenatwork.com/single-post/2017/11/23/How-to-Cultivate-Gratitude-and-Empower-Yourself