You Can Always Be Happy

Gratitude SunshineAt work the other day, I was talking about this my gratitude website and how I was preparing for the latest post. After speakings about it for a couple minutes, a co-worker looked at me and said something that caught me off guard.

You see, I was really surprised at the response I received from him. ” I wish I was like you, but I really do not have much gratitude for anything. I’m feeling sick. I hate my job. I owe a lot of money and creditors are calling me. My girlfriend moved out. I gotta tell you… My life is the pits. What do I possibly have to be grateful for?”

My first thought was, “Wow – keep focusing on the negativity and you will just get more of it! It is a vicious cycle!” Regardless of how bad you think you have it, you can still be full of gratitude! That is right, FULL of gratitude!

One of my favorite Gratitude quotes by Buddha

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”

(this is also my friend, Marie’s, favorite quotes as well!)

If you are stuck and cannot think of anything to list in your Gratitude Journal, start with the small things in your life. These are really what matter and will continue along with you. When someone can appreciate and show their gratitude for the “unnoticeable things” you will see the abundance you actually do have in your life. For starters:

What is the weather like by you? Is it sunny? Do you enjoy the sunshine? Do you smile when you feel the morning sunshine fall across your face and warm it up? Is it raining? Are you happy that you do not have to set up the sprinkler system to water the grass? Do you like the way the rain cleans the air and makes everything smell fresh? Even if the “weather is not cooperating with your plans” you can still find a lot in which to be grateful! Do you have shelter? Do you own your own home? Are you renting? Are you homeless and staying at a local shelter? You can be grateful for any of these. Do you have a car? Is it running? Is it a clunker? Does it get you from Point A to Point B? Is it better than having to walk? Can you save time using it? No car? How do you get from place to place? Public transportation? Do you enjoy the fact that you have someone else driving you around? Are you walking? Do you enjoy the fact that you are getting some exercise as you go to you destination? You can express your gratitude for a variety of options that may be available to you! Are you reading this? Can you see? Do you have your vision? Is this being read via a Text-To-Speech machine? Do you have glasses? Again, here is a lot for which you can express your gratitude.

You see, even if you are unhappy, you can still be grateful for many, many, many things in your life. If you start to appreciate all of these things, you will not be focusing on the negativity and all the bad things which you see.

I have written about a gratitude journal in prior posts. I highly suggest that you take this opportunity to start one if you do not have one. Try it for a week. List out those things for which you are grateful and I am sure that you will feel much better at the end a week then you do now.

As always, your comments are welcomed. Please let me know what you think about having this sort of gratitude mindset.

Be Well.
Paul.
The Gratitude Guru

You Can Do It – Understanding and Overcoming Low Self-Esteem

laughing_iguana_smLow self-esteem can often be traced back to childhood. For those who had a difficult upbringing or suffered through a traumatic event, low self-esteem is fairly common. However, it’s possible to develop self-esteem issues in adulthood as well.

When someone has have low self esteem, feel gratitude can be difficult.

When you go through a difficult time, it can affect the way you see yourself. For example, if you are unemployed, go through a divorce, or file bankruptcy, you may internalize these negative experiences and believe that it’s your fault and that you caused these bad things to happen.

Even though these negative things occur, you can still feel grateful. This is not to say that you should just ignore them, just try to be optimistic and realize that there is some silver lining in the situation. Your job is to find out what you can be grateful for.

One of the best ways is to overcome low self-esteem in the first place!

Learn about the steps you can take to overcome low self-esteem:

  1. Surround yourself with positive people and remove the negative ones from your life. Spending time with those who are negative will only reinforce your low opinion of yourself. It’s better to surround yourself with individuals who are supportive and encouraging.
  • If you’re fortunate enough to have positive influences in your life, listen to them when they say you’ve done a good job.
  • Avoid ignoring compliments because you feel unworthy. If you were undeserving of the praise, you wouldn’t be getting it.

 

  1. Avoid telling yourself you “should have,” “could have,” or “would have.” If you’re constantly telling yourself “I could have done this,” or “I should have done that,” you’re focusing on things that have already happened and that you’re unable to change.
  • It’s better to look to the future and say, “Next time I’ll do this,” or “I’m going to do that.”

 

  1. Set reasonable expectations. Accept that human beings make mistakes. If you’re unwilling to accept anything less than perfection from yourself, you’ll feel completely discouraged when you inevitably make a mistake.
  • Avoid letting mistakes get you down. Remember that every mistake you make is a chance to learn and grow.

 

  1. Recognize and celebrate your accomplishments. If your self-esteem is lacking, you might spend a lot of time focusing on the negative. Acknowledge your accomplishments and allow yourself to be happy. It’s okay to be proud of yourself.

 

  1. Volunteer for a charitable organization. Working to help others will make you feel good about yourself and help boost your self-esteem.
  • It’s difficult to have a poor opinion of yourself when you’re supporting a good cause.

 

  1. Make a list of all your best qualities. Get a pen and paper and write down your strengths, skills, talents, and positive personality traits.
  • When people have low self-esteem, they often focus on all of the things they dislike about themselves. Taking some time to focus on your good qualities can have a very positive effect.

 

  1. Consider seeking professional help. In more extreme cases, low self-esteem can have a negative impact on a person’s life and mental health.
  • A person with very low self-esteem may have issues in their relationships, trouble in their careers, or a number of other challenges. Sometimes esteem issues can lead to anxiety, social withdrawal, depression, or even suicide.
  • If low self-esteem is causing chaos in your work and personal life, you may want to consider seeing a therapist for additional help. They can provide you with additional strategies for increasing your self-esteem. A therapist may even be able to help you deal with the underlying issues that caused your low self-esteem in the first place.

There are many factors which can cause or contribute to low self-esteem. The key is to figure out how to overcome your low self-esteem and start feeling good about yourself again.

Unlock Your Potential by Overcoming Your Limitations

fenceDo you put limitations on yourself and then feel like you’re unable to accomplish your goals? A limiting mindset may stem from a difficult childhood, low self-esteem, or past failures.

Despite your specific reason, it all boils down to fear. It could be the fear of rejection or of failing again. It could also be because you’re afraid of not being good enough. When you have thoughts like these, it can sometimes be difficult to feel grateful.

Unlock your potential and overcome your limitations, and feel more gratitude with these tips:

  1. Embrace your limitations. You’ll likely encounter someone smarter, stronger, or better looking during your life. Realize that even if you’re not the best at something, you can still be very successful, as long as you make an effort. Be grateful that there are others that can do a better job and look to them for inspiration or even assistance when you need it!
  • Avoid letting a fear of inadequacy stop you from trying. It’s okay if you try and fail. Failing to try is the only true failure. Each failure brings you closer to success.

 

  1. Work a little harder. If you’re less than stellar at something, you can compensate by working even harder.
  • Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” Even coming up with a great idea for a new invention is more about hard work than about being brilliant. Lots of people have unique ideas, but it takes someone who’s willing to put in the extra effort to make it successful.
  • Avoid letting fear hold you back. Just get to work and hope for the best.
  • Remember how you felt the last time you worked hard? You were grateful at the end of it, weren’t you? Go for that same satisfied feeling again!

 

  1. Set goals. Before you get in your car and turn on the ignition, you have a destination in mind. Accomplishing things in life can be the same way. Have a clear understanding of where you want to go and then you can figure out how to get there.
  • Set realistic goals, but be willing to step out of your comfort zone. It can be very discouraging if your goals are impossible to achieve. Make your goals challenging, yet attainable.
  • If your goals are too easy, you won’t feel a sense of accomplishment or any motivation to push yourself towards them.

 

  1. Find a coach. Every athlete who succeeds in sports owes a lot of credit to their coaches. Coaches help take players to places they would be unable to get to by themselves. It isn’t only athletes that can benefit from coaching. You can talk to career coaches, life coaches, or someone else who can help you achieve success.

 

  1. Understand the limitations of your mindset. Sometimes things seem impossible for us, only because that’s what we believe them to be.
  • As an example, let’s take the story of Roger Bannister. Roger Bannister is the first person to ever run a mile in less than 4 minutes. He did it on May 6, 1954, and before that day, many believed that his accomplishment wasn’t humanly possible.
  • Many gifted athletes had come incredibly close, but nobody did it before Roger Bannister. However, once that barrier was broken it became possible in people’s minds.
  • The year after Roger Bannister ran his 4 minute mile, 37 other runners were also able to accomplish the same feat. The year after that, 300 runners were able to run a mile in under 4 minutes.
  • It’s not that these runners weren’t physically capable of doing this before. It’s just that all of them now believed it was possible.

 

Do you have things in your life that are holding you back? If so, it could be because you have set limitations in your mind. Isn’t it time to open your mind and overcome those limitations? Unlock your potential, starting today!

Leave a comment below and share what your toughest limittion is that is holding you back.

Being Authentic

authenticHave there been times in your life when you felt you weren’t acting like your true self? Maybe you were unsure of a situation or were lacking the confidence to reveal who you truly are.

Whatever your reason, you chose to hide your real self. Personal concealment places us into an emotionally unhealthy cycle. First, we feel unsure of ourselves and this causes us to act even less authentic in the future. We may even begin to wonder, “Who am I?”

Rather than spending time hiding from the world, you’ll flourish by revealing your true self to others. Becoming more authentic in your interactions is definitely possible.

Commit to increasing your personal authenticity in these ways:

  1. Monitor your feelings closely. When you know and understand your own emotions, you’ll be less likely to behave in ways that contrast with your feelings.
  • Mindfulness will help you tremendously in your quest to be more authentic.
  • Stay in the moment and consider what is going on in your world in the present.

 

  1. Give yourself time. If something happens and you’re unsure of how to react or respond, it’s okay to not react at all. Allow yourself some moments to consider the situation.
  • If you feel pressure to respond, saying something like, “I’m not sure how to respond to that,” can be your best line of action until you’re more confident in your reaction.

 

  1. Catch yourself being inauthentic. When you realize you’ve been less than honest in a given situation, it’s okay to say, “Wait a minute. I changed my mind,” or “Maybe I’m not as sure about this as I thought.”
  • Remind yourself that you have permission to alter your response to anyone and anything at any time. Then, choose a route that’s more in line with how you honestly feel.

 

  1. Notice what situations prompt you to be disingenuous. Being insincere or untruthful each time you’re around your in-laws or your supervisor, for example, will reveal where your insecurities lie.
  • Do some self-reflection to determine why you’re behaving this way around that person or in that particular situation.

 

  1. Be authentic with others to increase your level of confidence. The ability to be open and honest shows that you like and accept yourself and you’re self-assured. Avoid being afraid or too timid to show others who you really are. Self-confidence goes a long way!

 

  1. Realize that others truly appreciate you when you’re authentic in behavior and comments. Think about how you feel when you’re with someone who’s consistently open with you. It feels comfortable and easy to be with someone you know you can trust. There’s no tension or guesswork involved.
  • If you keep this information in mind, you may find it a little easier to be authentic.

 

  1. Show care and gentleness toward others. You might be thinking, “What’s the connection between being caring and being authentic?” If you go out of your way to be polite and kind to others, it will be a natural response to be authentic with them.
  • Once you realize that you hold their feelings in your hands, you’ll know it’s necessary to be gentle and honest with others.

 

When you expend a little bit of effort on relating to others truthfully and carefully, you’ll gradually find that you like yourself more. When you offer authenticity to others, it sets a wonderful example for those around you. The more authentic you are, the richer the life you’ll live.

Gratitude: A Way of Life

Gratitude: A Way of LifeGratitude: A Way of Life by Louise L. Hay

Looking for an easy read dealing with Gratitude? Here is a great resource that you can pick up and enjoy! Written back in 1996, it is still as important today as it was originally!

“I have noticed that the Universe love gratitude. The more grateful you are, the more goodies you get. When I say ‘goodies,’ I don’t mean only material things. I mean all the people, places, and  experiences that make life so wonderfully worth living.” So starts out, Gratitude by Louise L. Hay.

Louise Hay has once again created a great little book that is paced with fabulous content dealing with being grateful.  This book contains insights of some of the most wonderful teachers and writers who have demonstrated the power of gratitude in their own lives. This is a very good resource in which healing professionals have written essays that read easily and flow nicely.

A common theme throughout the book is to remember to be grateful on a consistent basis; show your thanks every day. With 336 pages of wonderful material, you will certainly feel the thanks coming out of you as you read each of the stories that were written by others and compiled by Ms. Hay.

Read more about Gratitude here

Gratitude: A Way of Life