When do you reach a place of gratitude? When you acknowledge how something was good for you or helpful to you? What about some of the problematic things that are happening to you? Losing out on that promotion, or messing up on a project or not getting along with some people at work. These are real tests of time to evolve your relationship with being appreciative and thankful. Most of the times, looking back at a scenario allows you to see the good in things even if you cannot see it at the time. It is natural to be mired in the problem when caught up in a troublesome circumstance. To be honest, being grateful for anything may be the last thing on your mind. You see, that’s when you have to do it the most. Most things that enable success tend to be counter-intuitive.
Here are a few tips to try that can make you an embodiment of appreciation in good times and bad.
1. When you cannot find a reason
When it appears bleak to find something to be grateful for in the midst of a crisis, take a few minutes and force yourself to be thankful for something unrelated to your current situation. Something as simple as having a roof over your head or people who support you in your life can shift your mood and put you in a resourceful state of mind.
2. Comprehend the ‘why’
Clarify what you are thankful for and why. For example, if a team member went the extra mile for you, you thank them. But why? What are you thanking them for? It is not what they did, but how it impacted your life. Perceiving the action in depth will allow you to be specific in sharing the gratitude with them, and that will resonate deeper. For example, you could say, “Thank you for going out of your way to getting the information needed on time. It allowed us to submit the proposal earlier, increasing our chances of getting the deal and showing our professionalism.”
3. Communicate your gratitude
You appreciate their gesture communicating it genuinely completes the process. Use your senses to convey it. Assess what you see, how you feel, and what you hear. A sensory narrative elevates your thanks. Be vulnerable and share how something affected you in your heart. No one likes listening to facts, convey your personal story, and experience. For example, you want to thank a sponsor who is helping you steer your way in the organisation toward a promotion. You can say something like, “I have received valuable technical knowledge from you, but the most vital gift you have given me the ability to shift my thinking to change my life for the better and impact lives of several people positively. I am extremely thankful to you for that.”
4. Keep the Pace Slow
Expressing gratitude is an emotional process. What you are trying to do is deliver the emotion. Don’t rush it. Say it slowly and meaningful so that they hear each part of it.
5. Last but not least - thank yourself
Recognising the relevance of this simple too and learning, and practicing it is not easy. It is enormously powerful. So don’t forget to thank yourself for taking the step to understand it better and trying to apply it in your life. You are making the world a better place.
Views are personal.
The author is founder and CEO of Talent Power Partners, a Bengaluru-based global leadership development company. She is a leadership development specialist, an ICF certified executive coach and author of the book Team Decision Making.