Every Thursday we celebrate what we call ‘Thankful Thursday.’ It’s a time each week where we like to stop and focus on gratitude and especially gratitude for girlfriends. This week, we’re celebrating November and this month of Thanksgiving by knocking down the barriers to gratitude and learning how to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives!
We are all given 60 minutes each hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Between sleeping, eating, and just doing life, we all seem to find plenty of ways to completely fill that time. Time is one of the greatest gratitude barriers there are. We don’t have to take time to think about the negatives in life. They are always there, top of mind, ready to fire. But if I ask you to name five things you’re grateful for – not so easy, right? You have to put a little time into it.
Both experiencing and expressing gratitude is a difficult process for a lot of people, for a lot of different reasons. Time is one of them. Here are a few common barriers to gratitude, and a few ideas on how to break through them.
1. Time – In order to find time to give or receive gratitude, we have to abandon something in our life that might be less fulfilling, less productive, and less important. Think about what that might be for you. Something simple, that you may waste a few minutes on each day that you might redirect. Then, once you’ve found the time, a great way to manage it is to plan for expressing gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal (you know I’m a fan girlfriend) – it’s great for time management. Get a gratitude ritual going, a routine, select a time slot during the day and stick to it. Remember, you can’t make time, but you can always find time for the things that are important to you.
2. Pride – Another big reason we have difficulty expressing gratitude to others is because of our desire to be independent, or rather, our desire not to be dependent. We step out of our comfort zone when we make ourselves vulnerable to other people. Our pride tells us we should be able to do it all ourselves, right? When we depend on others, when we need others, we can get hurt. But you’ll never show gratitude to someone who you keep at arm’s length. To be grateful to a person you have to admit dependency on them.
3. Control – If we’re busy trying to control all the things that are impacting out lives, chances are we are too busy to give or receive gratitude. The thing is, there is really very little we can control in our lives, but we can control how we show our gratitude. Making a habit of finding cause for gratitude means becoming a grateful person. On purpose. One idea to make this work is to talk to yourself rather than listen to yourself. If you listen, you will hear the negative things in your life. Talking to yourself is a more positive action; you have control over what you say, directing the movie you are playing in your head. Make it good. Make it positive. Make it grateful. No one can talk you into doing something good better than you can.
The holidays are the perfect time to open yourself up to all the possibilities of showing gratitude. It’s the season to go beyond what you’re used to and find the time to do nice things for others without any expectations of gratitude in return. Break through any barriers you may have to giving or receiving gratitude. Give up control, swallow your pride, and if it’s important to you, you will find the time. The results will amaze you girlfriend. Promise.
We’re thankful, not just on Thursdays, but every day, for your time and support. Thanks for allowing Girlfriendology into your day. We hope it makes you more grateful of your girlfriends and reminds you that the important things in life aren’t things.
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