Who remembers being told to "be grateful" as a child?
Or that "you should be grateful for what you have"?
I do. And I also remember the way that it could feel a bit scary at times. A bit like a telling off!
And then there were those times when we may have been told that we were "so ungrateful". That one always felt particularly harsh, didn't it? With an extra dollop of guilt on top for not having done the right thing.
And it occurred to me that we are brought up to be grateful and always say thank you, yet we wasn't always taught what gratitude actually is and how and why we should feel it. Our teachings would almost always have related to receiving gifts and pointed towards having 'good manners'.
So, in some respects, our understanding of the benefits of gratitude may feel a little skewed. And it's little wonder that when we are told to practice gratitude daily in our lives, that we don't really know where to start. Especially when it's a feeling that we may be a little at odds with.
And talk of gratitude and positivity can feel a little trite at times, can't it? Because we aren't always taught that gratitude evokes a feeling within us that makes us feel good too.
It is also unlikely that we won't have been told that feeling grateful is a positive emotion that triggers longer lasting positivity that lasts far beyond the act itself. And that when we understand more about what lights us up as a result of feeling that gratitude, we seek out and attract more of the same feelings.
Because if we knew these things, it would help us to understand why it is that at the times when we feel particularly down at heel, we struggle to focus on the things that we are really grateful for that are meaningful to us.
In fact, it may also explain why we may balk at embarking on positivity exercises and tools such as feeling gratitude because we just cannot see how they are going to help us. And we may pass them off as a waste of time.
But knowing what lights us up is the key to bridging the gap between our negative and positive emotions. And given that our minds are naturally geared up to focus on and retain more of our negative emotions than our positive ones, we need to do all that we can to redress that balance.
Because every little action that we take towards focusing on the positive and using positive language all helps. It helps us to start retraining that unhelpful, negative mind chatter that can plague us at times. But as with all things, it takes practice, consistency and perseverance before we start to notice a difference.
So, if you are feeling at a loss as to how to get started with feeling more positive, remember that the key is to get started.
Start small because it is always the small steps that lead you to feeling a little better each day. And notice the small things that evoke a positive thought for you, that you are grateful to have in your life and write them down. And do really notice those positive feelings and emotions that come up for you when you do so - however small.
The key is to keep reminding yourself of these feelings each day - because you want to focus on doing more of the things that make you feel this way. And in order to do that you need to know what they are so that you can recognise them.
Remember you aren't looking for perfection or huge gestures, just the simple everyday happenings that have stood out for you in some way and given you a bit of a lift.
Let me know how you get on and if this post has resonated with you and you need any further support, let me know and we can have a chat to see if coaching would help you to move forward and start taking the action that you really want to or you can book a call with me to find out how I can support you.
My name is Nicky Kentisbeer and I am a Mindset & Confidence Coach.
I support women like you to work on your mindset and develop the confidence that you need to move beyond the challenges that are keeping you stuck, towards a place that you would much rather be.
I do this based on the belief that you have within you the most incredible resources and capabilities to find your own solutions - irrespective of your background or starting point. There is no barrier to entry.
Maybe you have a feeling of being stuck, going round in circles or living the same day over and over? Or you are finding that the way you approach problems and challenges always gives you the same result. And it’s not the one that you want.
The feeling of being stuck is incredibly disempowering because it brings about feelings of indecision, procrastination, overthinking and fear which in turn can affect our self-belief and confidence.
And if you stop to think about it, you may find that you fear success as much as you do failure. Sometimes staying stuck may feel like a safer place to be when the alternative means change and stepping outside of your comfort zone? There is nothing unusual here as we do all have a tendency to stand in our own way at times.
This may happen because you have lost sight of how resourceful you are. You may also allow old beliefs and stories to inform your response to what is going on for you currently. Yet, much of this narrative is historical and it is no longer relevant to your life now and the choices that you make.
As your coach, I can support you to understand and address the things that may be holding you back from achieving your goals.
Through 1-to-1 coaching sessions, we will explore what it is that you want and the steps that you need to take to get started. I will ask lots of questions! Questions that you may not have asked of yourself. It is through these questions that I invite you to look at things in different ways, from a different perspective and access your own solutions accordingly. I will invite you to look at old beliefs and the stories that you may be telling yourself about your abilities.
I do not teach nor tell you how things should be done. And there is no judgement. If this resonates with you, I invite you to book a free 30-minute call with me to discuss whether coaching would be the right approach for you to start turning your ideas and aspirations into action.