We’re approaching that time of year again when we start thinking about the year that was and the year to come. Next week I’ll start my now-annual ‘what I learned this year’ posts. It never ceases to amaze that I can be nearly 50 and still learning new things that I wish to high heaven I’d learned in high school!
Something I relearned this year is the power of gratitude. Around 18 months ago we were having so very real and pressing problems with our business. It was going okay but as hard as we worked we just couldn’t seem to achieve our goals. There were situations that we felt powerless to change as much as we had tried.
So, because we couldn’t change the situation, we changed ourselves.
Firstly, we made a pact to not talk about the situation among ourselves. We had both fallen into the habit of whining for hours a day. I shudder at the amount of time we’ve wasted over the years just complaining about our work! #firstworldstruggle indeed! I wish I had learned this while working at the Dream Job. I might have been less disgruntled and who knows, I might still be there…it really was the dream job and now I see that I was just as toxic as my percieved environment!
This might sound overly simplistic but honestly, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at really do change!
We formulated a end-point, what we wanted out lives to look like, without these situations in it. We had affirmations and the goal in mind even though we struggled to truly see how we were going to achieve it. Things looked hopeless somedays, especially when hit with another barrage.
Each morning and evening we talked about the positive outcome, we stopped talking about negative things and stopped ‘gossiping’ or discussing others.
It took a months of keeping each other accountable, allowing a minute or two to vent if necessary but then actively changing the subject. Then one day there was a shift, and another and…I know I am being vauge here but you don’t really want to know the ins and outs of my situation because it’s probably not going to look like yours if you’re having problems with something in your life. I really just want to communicate that no matter how hopeless something might seem you can only control your response to it, how you feel about it and how you let that show up in your life.
As cliche as it sounds, I kept a gratitude journal and wrote in it each night before I went to bed. Rachel Hollis of #Last90Days fame recommends writing down 10 unique, positive things daily that you noticed during the day. Not only do you go to bed with a positive mindset, but during the day you are on the look out for positive things to write down because you can’t just write ‘My kids, my hubby, my cats, my mum….etc’ each day. So you’re on the positivity prowl all day!
Friends and family started to notice, toxic people backed away from our lives, people I’ve known for years began asking what we’re doing different because we were so…content! Contentment! Yes, that’s what we found in the face of a painful situation and…fast-forward 18 months and the whole situation has transformed.
This works; when you feel powerless in the face of anything just know that true power lies in the way you feel!