When it comes to making changes, up there in the top spots, is showing gratitude.   It is seen as an instant life-changer, all you have to do is begin the day with things you are grateful for and then do the same at night, and Hey Presto! You will have a better life and all will be rosy.

I’m calling BS on this! Why?  It’s a mindset hack!  Nothing more, nothing less.

Self-help books and good old Google will happily give you a thousand reasons why gratitude is the top banana and then give you a long list of things you can be grateful for… Let’s have a peek!

What is gratitude?

If you asked Google what gratitude is, there are so many different meanings that will have you in a spin in no time.  So to save you from that, I’ve done it for you!

In a nutshell, it’s a positive feeling, a way to be thankful and show appreciation for the things in your life.

It’s that being thankful and showing appreciation that can get you stuck and finding gratitude so hard to do.   More so, if like me, and other women, you have experienced trauma and abuse. 

How the hell can you be thankful or show appreciation, after all that? Is a question I get asked a lot.  Usually followed by “gratitude sounds like a load of happy-clappy nonsense”.

Where to begin?

I totally get that it looks and feels that way.   You’ve tried it and all that’s happened is you feeling worse than you were, to begin with.  It all feels yucky, hard, and just another thing to do on top of all the other things you do.

So, where to begin? 

Let’s start with something that feels yummier, and doable.  Three steps that will lead you towards being thankful and finally seeing more good than bad in your world.

3 Steps To Gratitude

Step 1 – Getting Out Of The Rut

Ruts are a sticky place! Not knowing who you are anymore and harbouring a wee bit of resentment and not a very pleasant view of yourself isn’t a very loving and supportive foundation to build from.

Perhaps you are looking around and see positivity everywhere but feel anything but positive about yourself.

It’s time to change that reality!

To do that, you need to focus inwards.  Being present and knowing you are going to be ok will allow you to start making decisions that will allow you to get out of the rut.   You will start to see your world in a way that looks and feels VERY different.

Life is always filled with ups and downs and if you continue to focus more on the ‘downs’ then your outer world won’t change.   You will keep missing the ‘ups’ and it’s those ‘ups’ that will allow you to step out of the rut you are in and will make gratitude a lot easier.

Step 2 – Breaking Free

Now that you know you are going to be ok, it’s time to allow yourself to let go of the past that has defined you for so long.

 You are NOT that story, and right now you can choose to stick with it or say “BALLS TO IT and THEM”, turn the page, and allow yourself to create a new story of a life filled with hope, possibilities, ups downs, and everything in between.

Before you move on to the final step, I want you to start saying just that!  How does that feel?  Is there a little spark of a fire starting?  This isn’t about proving them wrong, it’s about breaking free and becoming an unstoppable force with a fierce fire, allocating your fucks to the shit that matters.

Step 3 – Getting the Gratitude Malarky!

This final step is where it all starts to come together.   You know that you are going to be ok and slowly but surely the story that defined you and tried to break you is being changed.

It’s at this point, you will no longer be looking at your outer world through a lens of fear.  The why me is becoming why not me and slowly you are realising that you have more energy, there seem to be more ups than downs and for the first time, you feel grateful for where you are and the people who helped you get there.

You’ve finally got the gratitude malarky as you realise it’s not about being happy-clappy but about knowing that you will be ok even when the only thing you can be thankful for is a comfy bed after a long, hard day or the friend that stopped you faceplanting in Aisle 10 when you tripped over your feet again!

Final Thoughts…

Gratitude should never feel hard or icky but the plethora of self-help books and what you find on Google make it all look so easy and can be done in a whiff whaff.

I’ve tried the books and the ‘expert advice’ and nothing worked.  Why? Because they didn’t meet me where I was.   What they offered was a ‘one size fits all’ approach that promised instant happiness but left me feeling more unhappy and useless.

These three steps are not a quick fix or once done will bring you the instant happiness.  Instead, they lay the foundations of a new story, a beginning of a journey where anything is possible and you know, that no matter what, you will always be ok.

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