The Power of Appreciation

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The following is an article I wrote back in 2012. I wanted to share it again in this week’s blog because it’s a topic that’s been timely and pertinent with many of my clients the past few weeks. They are working on focusing more time and energy on being grateful for what they have in their lives, which is why I wanted to share this article again this week.  I also was recently interviewed on this topic of gratitude on LocalJobNetwork.com – you can listen to it by clicking here:

I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude. I am a firm believer in the concept, “you get what you give” and have seen it play out in my life (and the lives of others) on a regular basis.

In everything we do and say in our lives, we are emitting energetic vibrations and those frequencies that we emit come back to us in the same fashion. (Some refer to it as karma). Therefore, being kind and loving will bring that back to you, as will being angry and frustrated. The more angry and frustrated you are, the more you experience things around you that are frustrating and make you angry. The more kind and loving you are, the more you get back experiences that include kindness and love. If you think about it, I’m sure you’ll recognize how this concept plays out in your life.

And, that’s why this practice of gratitude is so important. The more you appreciate what you have in your life, the more you receive and experience things that you can appreciate. Why? Because typically you attract into your life that which you focus upon.  I’ve noticed this in my life and with many of my clients. There are always things in our lives to be grateful for; yet, we tend to spend our time focused more on what’s wrong instead of the things that are right.  When we do this, we remain overly aware of what is wrong instead of allowing ourselves to see all that is right.

That’s why expressing gratitude and appreciation is so important. Each day, despite how awful the day might have been, I find and write down (in my gratitude journal) at least five things for which I am grateful. Sometimes I am simply grateful that the day is over and for the unconditional love of my animals, but regardless, I list five. The more things I list, the more I find to be grateful for because that’s what I am focusing my energy and attention upon.

I use this concept when I coach my clients. I find that many of my clients in high level leadership roles and high pressure positions deal with a lot of negativity, and are often focused on what’s wrong in their environment and the problems that need to be solved. While this is clearly a part of their job, it’s also important for them to focus upon what’s right and what there is to appreciate.

When I suggest focusing upon what’s right and ask them what they are grateful for in their position, I’m sometimes met with a bit of resistance; however, when they take a step back and pause for a minute, it becomes quite easy for them to articulate what they appreciate about their leadership positions.

Does this eliminate the problems they have to solve? No, but it does allow them to approach the problems from a more positive perspective which then makes the problems easier to solve. They also notice that when they focus upon what they are grateful for with their teams, they begin to elicit more of those behaviors from the team. Focusing upon the positives and appreciating those characteristics draws more of that behavior into their environment. Yes, that is exactly why I keep a gratitude journal. The more I focus on appreciation, the more I receive things to appreciate.

The same holds true for all of us. Even if you are in a job situation or on a career path (or a situation in your life) where you want to make changes or are unhappy, try to find five things about your current situation for which you are grateful. Even if it’s that you are grateful that you know you want to find another job or a new career path; be thankful for that! Keep a gratitude journal for the next 60 days and each day write down five things to appreciate. I guarantee that by day 60, you will have many more things showing up in your life for you to keep appreciating!

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