Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Gratefulness and confidence

"Our lives are filled with large and small gifts but most of them do not come to us wrapped with a bow" - By Wendy Meg Siegel

That's a quote on the first page of my journal. The hidden blessings. I had started writing a gratitude journal in the last few months. The intention was to write before I go to bed every night. But I will be honest that I did not follow the practice wholeheartedly. Sometimes I did record my feelings but not every day. I got back on track in the last few days. Having a clear understanding of what the feeling of gratitude can do strengthens my resolve to follow it seriously. 

I always heard and did understand the relevance of feeling grateful in your everyday lives, to acknowledge what you have versus what's missing or not yet there. But it wasn't until recently when I realized the relationship between gratitude and the confidence that it engenders. 

Here's how it works - if we think about the times when we run low in confidence, one thing that is common in those situations is a feeling of missing something. This *something* can be missing on your plans, negative thoughts where you look down upon yourself, your abilities etc. Given, all that's there at that point in time, here's what the habit of cultivating gratitude does. It helps you recognize and acknowledge the presence of all good things that also happened in this same time frame. It pulls your mind away from the negative spiral, opens your mind to view things in a different perspective and more optimistically. The only way that you can accomplish this is by being aware of good things that are happening as well.

Here's another way to look at it. Given the list of things that already did not work out according to your expectations, think about - what if even those good things that did happen (no matter how small) had also turned the opposite way.  The act of recording them by writing or just closing your eyes and visiting them at the end of your day or each morning amplifies your awareness of all the good things in your life. It makes you look beyond your struggles or unmet expectations.

Another perk - when you go back to your journal and read what you wrote, I'm sure it will bring a smile and who knows, you may read one of these pages on a day when you just need that sense of satisfaction, happiness, and support. 

-- Dippy