Finding Gratitude Everyday
When I talk about financial gratitude with people, they often look back at me with a blank stare since I find it’s not a concept that’s talked about often.
To me, financial gratitude is when you’re grateful for the resources that you already do 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 share an example. If a loved one heard you talking about what you didn’t get for Christmas when they just gave you a beautiful scarf that they took time to pick out just for you, how do you think they would feel about getting you something next year? Probably not great, right? They might not put much effort into it next time. 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 tell you about a real story from my own life. Two years 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 invested in myself and my business heavily. I have less money in my accounts now than when I started, and I have some additional debt from business investments that I’ve made. Yet despite the temporary 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 by contributing to and serving others. 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?
So how do you find financial gratitude? I’m glad that you asked.
1. Reflect more on what is working, and less on what isn’t 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 terrible 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.
2. Take the time to document what is working
Once you’ve found some positive resources in your life, it’s time to develop a regular habit of writing it 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. When the financial fear pops up (which it often does, we’re all human), you can refer back to all of the positive resources in your life to get the energy going back in the right direction.
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 and we’re taught in our world to always be measuring ourselves against some future ideal instead of focusing on and enjoying what we have and can enjoy right now.
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. Be brave and ask as you may just be surprised how positively others respond to your request (many people want to make a difference!). 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 (for anyone who might be an over-achiever 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 with a resource that they need. You may just spark something in them to help spread a ripple effect of financial gratitude!
Beth Marshall, CPA and MBA, is the founder and owner of Financially Authentic and is inspired to serve others by helping them learn how to proactively manage their financial lives. Her passion is to work with busy, successful, and self-motivated professionals and entrepreneurs to help them heal and transform their relationships with money by teaching them how to use their money in an intentional, authentic, and proactive manner that allows them to maximize the amount of choice and freedom that they have in their lives.
For more information, sign up today at www.financiallyauthentic.com for Beth’s free audio download, “3 Steps to Design Your Financial Plan, Save Money and Get Out of Debt.”