When I mention the topic of financial gratitude to people, sometimes I get the blank stare like “Huh? What the heck is that?”
To me, financial gratitude is when you’re grateful for the resources that you already have, instead of always focusing on what you don’t have. If you’re always focused on what you don’t have, you’re focusing on the negative instead of being appreciative of what you already do have.
Let me offer an example. If a loved one heard you complaining about what you didn’t get for Christmas when they just gave you a beautiful scarf that they took time to pick out specifically just for you, how do you think they would feel about getting you something next year? Probably not very good, right? They might not put much effort into it next year. It works like this in a universal sense as well – if you focus on what you’re not getting, you’re sending out bad energy and you block positive things from showing up in your life.
I’m going to get real here for a minute about my own life. One year ago I took the brave step to open my own business, and let me tell you building a business is challenging sometimes. There’s no guaranteed paycheck, and I’ve been investing in myself and my business heavily. I have less money in my accounts now than when I started, and I have some additional debt now too from some business investments that I’ve made. Yet despite the decrease in my financial net worth, my personal self worth has increased exponentially and I’m grateful to know I’m on the right path and living my purpose. I choose each and every day to focus on the many resources I do have. I have supportive family, friends, colleagues, and a life that I love – can you ask for much more than that really?
At this point, you may be saying “Well Beth, how do you find financial gratitude, especially during the challenging moments?” I’m glad that you asked.
Step #1 – Reflect more on what’s working, and less on what’s not working!
When was the last time you complained about something? I know several years ago that I complained….sadly I did it a LOT. I was miserable at work and in my life, and I whined to others about it. My friends were unhappy too – it was like a big old complaint-fest and we fed off each other’s energy about how crappy we felt (yuck). And if I’m being really raw here, I was jealous of other people who were happy. (Sorry, it’s ugly but it’s true.)
Then I learned to focus more on what was working and the resources that I did have instead of whining and complaining. Slowly but surely I felt a shift start to happen…more good things and good people showed up in my life.
Try for yourself and schedule some time to reflect on what’s working. If you’re having trouble with getting the complaining under control, check out this great resource I learned about a few years ago – http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/.
Step #2 – Write down what’s working
Once you’ve found some positive resources in your life, it’s time to write them down (i.e. journal, gratitude jar, etc.). Because when we’re trying to shift our habits, sometimes we forget the positive things in the harder moments. Shifting takes time, so it’s always good to have something written down to refer back to when you’re struggling and having a tough day.
Step #3 – ASK for what you need
During Step #1, inevitably things that you need and don’t yet have will come up. We can’t help it, we’re human.
Select one item from the list of what you need to ask for help with. What specifically do you need help with (details are important)? Who can help you? How will you ask for help?
Don’t be afraid to simply ask. It’s an often forgotten art form, especially for us women. Be brave and ask as you may just be surprised how positively others respond to your request. When the resource that you need appears, you can be grateful for it and reflect on what you have (and thus, the circle begins again).
3 simple steps to begin building financial gratitude in your own life – it’s that simple to get started. And for a bonus step (because some of you are over-achievers like me), if you want to take it up a notch you can ask the loved ones in your life how you can help them. You may just spark something in them to help spread a ripple effect of financial gratitude!