It happens to the best of us. We hit the wall. We’ve been pushing forward. Working. Striving. Reaching. And then we hit it. We feel overwhelmed. We feel defeated. What do you do when that moment comes? What do you do when you feel like you can’t take another step forward, but your goals are still just out of reach.
You could push through it. You could take a break
and refocus. Both are valid approaches. I’ve got one more to offer: Be grateful
Think about it. What would happen if you lived in abundant gratitude? No matter what your current circumstances are, I am positive you have something to be thankful for.
One of my favorite quotes is by author Melody Beattie, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Just let that sink in for a moment.
Science supports the role of gratitude.
There was a study published about ten years ago that found Vietnam War Veterans with higher levels of gratitude had lower rates of PTSD. There are other studies like it that have found evidence of greater resilience following a traumatic experience in those who focus on gratitude. The cause of overwhelm in your life is likely not nearly as dramatic, but the outcome will be the same. Focusing on what you have to be grateful for can reduce your stress.
Other studies point to boosts in self-esteem, optimism, and even a better night’s sleep. When it comes to your career, science champions gratitude, too. Studies have shown those who receive praise and expressions of appreciation are better at decision making. Science also says that gratitude can boost our productivity and focus.
Let gratitude get you to your goals.
Head to a book store or one of those shops with a coffee bar off to one side. Grab a cup of java in your favorite form, and then comb through the blank journals. Find one that makes you want to write in it. This is your gratitude journal. Buy it. Use it. If you’re like the folks in one study, recording the things you are grateful for will make you more likely to achieve your goals.
The next time you begin to question your progress, or find yourself frustrated over feedback you receive, allow yourself to focus on all you have to be grateful for! Start now. Share something about your career development or other aspect of life that you're grateful for today.