So what does gratitude have to do with success and happiness for a female leader? A LOT. Turns out the more you practice gratitude, the more you’ll have clarity, peace of mind, and a higher energy state.
By focusing on the things you’re grateful for, rather than all of the things going wrong, you will set up an energy frequency or resonance that will “match” other positive people, conditions, and opportunities. Some call this the law of attraction.
It’s not magical thinking or anything unusual. Just because energy is invisible doesn’t make it less real or less impactful than what you can touch, see, hear, smell, and taste.
This blog covers what gratitude is, why it’s important, and how to create a gratitude practice that will allow you to have greater success and happiness in your business, relationships, and as a female leader.
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What is Gratitude?
When you practice gratitude, it’s like putting on rose-colored glasses. No matter what is going on in your life, everything feels easier to handle. You get the felt sense that you have a protective shield around you.
When you feel this safety, your confidence increases. You can do things like speak what’s really on your mind in a mature, compassionate way that lands well with others and gets results.
Your health and energy capacity improve because you’re not full of fear and resistance to what is. Can you imagine how much more patient you’d be with those you’re leading when you have plenty of energy and vitality to handle what comes your way?
Appreciation is a bit different. Appreciation is recognizing the actions or good in someone or something. Gratitude sets up the conditions within yourself to be more likely to appreciate yourself, others and situations in life.
The Science Behind Gratitude
That’s how gratitude increases your happiness. Further, you can’t be happy and stressed out at the same time. The more gratitude you pour into your “cup of life,” the more it replaces the negativity, fear, doubt, and insecurity and increases your overall well-being.
3 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude in Daily Life
1) Keep a Daily Gratitude Journal
I began keeping a daily gratitude journal about 25 years ago. You could say it’s a firmly embedded habit for me. I don’t do it because I have to, but because I know the impact of gratitude on my life. No matter what is happening in my world, I can always find ONE thing (actually 5 is my minimum) to be grateful for.
Keep these things simple. Here are some of my daily gratitude entries:
- “I am grateful for walking with Mars (my dog) on a beautiful June day.”
- “I am grateful to make Steve and I a delicious, healthy dinner and to enjoy it with him.”
- “I am grateful to help my client, XYZ.”
- “I am grateful to talk with my mom
- “I am grateful for my health.”
Why write it down? Somehow writing your gratitude down anchors it more firmly into your consciousness, rather than just thinking about what you’re grateful for.
What you put your attention on grows. If you focus on gratitude in business and leadership, you are powerfully role modeling to your direct reports, colleagues, and even your upline that things are going to be OK. Everything is going to work out. You become more resourceful in solving problems.
This increases the morale of everyone around you.
TIP: Begin keeping a written gratitude journal of at least 5 things you’re grateful for.
2) Express Gratitude to Others
When you’re feeling bad for yourself or others and that life is unfair, it’s really difficult to express gratitude to others. Doing so would pull you out of the victim mindset and run contrary to your EGO’s position on how unfair life is. The EGO hates not being right or being wrong, even if it would make you happier.
Consciously, you may not think that you’re a victim because it’s embarrassing to admit. However, please consider how it feels “good” when people feel sorry for you. I speak from experience.This is actually quite normal to want people’s sympathy.
Inner Confidence Breeds Gratitude
In business and leadership when you let go of the need to be right about how unfair life is, you start to feel much more empowered. This inner confidence breeds within you a natural desire to express gratitude, whether it’s about how awesome a team member is performing, how quickly that vendor got you your shipment, and/or how gosh darn beautiful it is outside.
Further, when you begin sincerely praising others, they will want to cooperate with you. Your team will become much more productive because they’ll feel safer and connected to you.
TIP: To interrupt the pattern of complaining, next time something doesn’t go your way, instead of complaining, try to find the silver lining and express your gratitude about the situation to someone. Note: this will drive your EGO crazy, which isn’t a bad thing.
3) Focus on the Present Moment
By focusing on the present moment, you may realize that nothing is really wrong. Have you heard the phrase that “Nothing means anything until you give it meaning?” The mind is a meaning-making machine. One of its main functions is to keep you safe. You decipher all the various happenings around you, “Is that safe and good for me, or is it bad?”
Based on your answer of whether it’s safe, you develop beliefs about you and the world. The problem is that most of your beliefs are formed by age 8 when you don’t have a good filter to discern what a healthy belief is.
You Carry Beliefs Like a Backpack
It’s important to clear the clutter of your past, harmful beliefs because those beliefs cause you to worry and project about the future and all that can go wrong. They keep you from living in the present moment. If you take an unbiased good look at this present moment, are you really unsafe?
Gratitude Has a Positive Contagion Effect
When you live gratefully in the present moment, it has a contagion effect on others. They will pick up on your frequency or vibration, and you’ll have a much better chance of positively influencing them.
TIP: When you instinctively want to worry about the past or the future, do something to anchor yourself in the present moment. For example, notice some physical objects around you, listen to nearby sounds, or rub your finger and thumb together. This brings you back into the present moment.
Next when your mind tells you something is wrong with the present moment, be willing to suspend your attachment to your beliefs. Are you really sure that that belief is true?
Try to be grateful for all that’s going on in your life. It will set up a frequency or vibration to attract more happiness, success, and health. To create a gratitude practice, begin keeping a daily gratitude journal, expressing your gratitude to others, and focusing on the present moment.
By focusing on gratitude, you’ll be much happier and more empowered and resourceful when it comes to solving problems and developing healthy relationships. You’ll impact your team to have higher morale, increased productivity and better connection with you. And who couldn’t use that?