An attitude of gratitude has the power to get you through difficult times and turn your life around. Looking for things to be thankful for can motivate you to keep reaching for your goals and facing life head on. Constantly placing what you have already accomplished right in front of you changes your focus and your life.
This post is a good reminder of how mastering your attitude and staying thankful can change everything in your life.
A few years ago, I got a call from one of my closest friends. I knew something had gone wrong from the tone of his voice.
“I have lost everything,” he said. “My factory has gone up in flames. We tried everything to put the fire out and salvage what we could but it’s all gone” he concluded.
I didn’t have a clue how to respond at first? I mean, how do you comfort someone who has lost their livelihood?
Do you tell them you understand what they are going through when you really don’t? Or do you try and provide the right solution even when you have no idea what that would be?
And then I did the only thing I knew to do.
I took a deep breath, and said “There is so much to be thankful for. Your employees weren’t present when the fire broke out and your wife is still with you. There is a way out of this. We will try and figure it out, together.”
Almost immediately, I sensed some sort of deep relief from the situation.
That’s when he was able to say “I’ve pretty much lost everything I’ve worked for, but I believe I can go on. I’ve done it before, I I can do it again.”
That was the moment he broke free!
That was the moment he broke free from what could have been another disaster in his life;
Clinical depression! These are the moments that can make a break months or years of your future life.
Staying Thankful Through it All
I took the time to encourage him then, and over the following weeks to change his focus from what he lost, to what he had to be thankful for.
He responded to that, and I kept checking back with him every day or two. I always encouraged and reminded him to keep his focus on rebuilding his business.
He went ahead and rented a new building in the same area of the fire incident. And he was able to bring all his employees back to work.
I’m sure that the main thing that enabled my friend to turn his bad situation around was maintaining an attitude of gratitude. Shifting his focus from the disaster he experienced to his capabilities, and expressing thanks to what he still had.
Gratitude always has a way to turn any bad situation by:
1. Shifting your focus.
Struggling with how to erase a bad situation from your thinking and focusing on something else is hard for most of us. You find yourself replaying the awfulness of the situation over and over. However, there is a way to shift your focus and stop thinking about the worst times.
That way is shifting from what happened to gratitude. Using phrases like “No matter what, I am still standing” “I have or am surviving this” and “I have plenty left to get me through the bad times.”
2. Encouraging positive emotions.
Gratitude never fails to produce positive thoughts, no matter the situation. The simple fact is this: it’s not any situation that determines how you act, react, respond, or feel. No! It’s how you think that determines everything about you.
So, causing yourself to master the art of thankfulness brings positive emotions. Those positive emotions will keep you focused and saying to yourself “I’m strong enough” “I have the strength to get through this”. You can turn any situation whatsoever around when you feel and think you can.
3. Eliminating your fears.
Want to eliminate all your fears? Gratefulness always keeps you focused on ways to turn things around instead of focusing on your fears. The way to do that is simple: Be conscious of how much you appreciate what you do have and have accomplished in your life.
Don’t spend time looking for the big things in life you can appreciate, either. Start with the smallest and most mundane things in your life, stop and be grateful for those things. You will immediately see your fears being overcome.
4. Emphasizing your strong points.
The only way to see things from a different perspective is to pay attention to what you can do right now. Focus on what you can do when in a crisis keeps you away from getting overwhelmed with what you can’t change.
Say things like “I am good at (this)” and “I know I still have this skill and it will effect change”. Saying positive things in a bad situation moves your life and your thinking in a constructive path.
5. Imparting a strong sense of worth.
If there’s one thing that can help you realize your own sense of worth, it’s someone to encourage you. Having people around you when you most need them is like having angels with you.
If you don’t presently have that support system I can share two ways to get started:
- Be an encourager to someone else, or everyone else in your life. Don’t expect positive people in your life, if you aren’t giving out positive vibes.
- Do your best to step away and distance yourself from negative people in your life. If there are negative people you can’t get away from, learn to tune them out and be consistent about meeting every negative comment with a better way to see it.
It won’t be long before you find yourself surrounded with people like yourself.
Appreciating your life is actually causing yourself to change your attitude from the hum drums to gratefulness for everything in it. And the absolute best way to make that shift is by giving that gratefulness to all the people you encounter in your life. Let them know just how grateful you are to know them by being an encourager.
When you shift your life to an attitude of gratitude everything changes, and everything is possible.