This is my favorite week of the year. I cherish the time to return home to be with family-3 generations in my hometown to celebrate Thanksgiving. For many of us, it’s a unique opportunity to consider gratitude as a practice; as both a leadership and a personal practice that has transformational power.
Why Is Gratitude in Leadership Difficult?
We are all bombarded with challenges; stimulation, distraction, events and circumstances beyond our control. It’s easy to become reactive—to be swept away by that which is going on outside of us. When this happens, we often experience increased anxiety. Fear is a powerful emotion, and it provokes us to react, often in ways that undermine us.
I find that the more challenging my external situation becomes, the more important it is for me to remain grounded in gratitude. I focus on all that I have-my internal resources, my external supports, my ability to connect, research and make decisions.
When I am centered and present to all that I am grateful for, I can accept the challenges as learning. I express gratitude for what they offer—a chance for me to develop new ways, to go outside my comfort zone, to dance on the edge. This is a choice and also a practice. The harder it feels to do so, the more I aim to connect to gratitude. I verbalize it, I make lists, I walk outside and remark on how much I see that I am grateful to be able to see and experience.
Using a Gratitude Jar in your Leadership
As I fill my gratitude jar this week as a leader and business owner, I am truly appreciative of the amazing clients I have been privileged to serve this year. They have challenged me in so many ways. They have trusted me with their deepest concerns, their cares, their vulnerabilities, their courage, their strength, their persistence, and their vision of what is possible for them and their teams. I am truly grateful for every single one of them. They are my teachers in the advanced school of leadership lessons.
So what’s in your gratitude jar this week? Begin filling it by expressing one thing you are grateful for each day and watch your world unfold as never before.
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