How often do you feel grateful?
I used to feel grateful only when something significant happens. For example, I’ll feel grateful for family, friends, and bountiful foods around Thanksgiving.
Similarly, I feel proud of myself only when I do something significant. For example, when I helped someone, received recognition for a job well done, or reached a new goal.
Little did I realize this is a recipe for feeling not enough.
My intention in life is to be the energy of joy and love. Yet, having a criteria for feeling grateful facilitated the exact opposite of my intention; it facilitated an unyielding sense of worry of not enough.
Feeling grateful only when life exceed my expectations means a never-ending pressure to chase for more. Feeling proud of myself only when I reach a goal translates to putting myself on an ongoing treadmill to feel worthy.
If my goal is to live in a state of confidence and joy, I need take the pressure off. Practice feeling grateful for the smallest of things. Clean water. Oxygen. The ability to feel any sensations in my body. Similarly, practice feeling proud of every element of me. I have good intentions. I showed up. I took care of myself today.
Being in this new mindset helps me stay present. I can be thankful at every moment. Every time a thought of worry shows up, I let it go and think of something I’m thankful for, or something I appreciate about me. Repeat this process until it becomes second nature to rewire my brain.
Since our brains are naturally wired to search for danger, worry (rather than feeling grateful) is our default setting. If you grow up thinking that you need to reach high expectations in order to be accepted, worry becomes an even more engrained default. However, we have the power to rewire our brains and let go of old programming.
Onward to gratitude and self-love. Onward to love and joy.