This post is part of a 14 ways to help rebuild self-confidence series. We are working our way through the letters of SELF CONFIDENCE with this week’s focus being on the first E in Confidence. Previously covered are Self Compassion & Self Care; 10 Ways to Enjoy your Life; Learning, Love & Laughter; Finding your passion & your happy place; Clear your schedule of activities that don’t serve you; Open-Minded – The way to go and the way to grow!; Neutralise Your Inner Critic & Self-Doubter; Face Your Fears, Imagine, Visualize and Believe, and Define your goals.
It was gratitude that saved me back in 2012 when life as I knew it changed (there’s a bit about that on my ‘About’ page). I had been on a treadmill, in survival mode, not living. I was disconnected from life. Gratitude helped me to reconnect.
A friend drew my attention to an article about Hailey Bartholomew and her 365 Grateful Project. After reading the article, I felt inspired to do my own 365 Grateful Project. I took a photo each day of something I was grateful for. I even created my first blog (not this one) where I posted them. At first it was hard to find something I was grateful for each day. I was not used to thinking that way, nor was I in the habit of being present and noticing things around me. I started to become much more observant, keeping an eye out all day for my ‘grateful’. Soon it became habit. I started to notice things in each day I was grateful for. I began to see again. I had reconnected.
Once upon a time I might have rolled my eyes at talk of ‘gratitude’, thinking it was all airy fairy nonsense. That is not the case at all – trust me. Sometimes as humans we need to get back to basics in order to be properly grounded and to refresh our priorities and perspective. As you get older you soon realise that material possessions, whilst lovely, are not what is important in life. What is important is family, friends, health, and appreciation for the beauty of nature and the world around us.
So what has gratitude got to do with self-confidence?
When you have gratitude, you feel much better about yourself. Being thankful for all the good things helps you to focus on the positives and that puts you in a better frame of mind. It helps with your self-esteem, happiness and overall well-being.
Heartfelt gratitude is a much deeper feeling than ‘forced gratitude’ (e.g. at least I have some food on the table). It is a feeling of appreciation and connection with life itself, which when present, triggers positive feedback loops. This is the secret habit that high self-confidence people rely on to get access to this amazing positive mental attitude that they have.
So, to improve your self-confidence start the habit of being grateful. Look for something in each day that you are grateful for. You could photograph it, journal it, or just take a mental snapshot of it. You could spend a few moments each day acknowledging the small things you like about yourself. Start forming a habit which will benefit you for life.
I’ve written about Gratitude before here at WOTM. You might be interested to also read Gratitude & Generosity – about the eighth and ninth attitudes of Mindfulness; and Living with Gratitude – a little about my story with adopting an attitude of gratitude.
And we all know I love a good quote or two, so here are some about Gratitude that I think are lovely.
The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become. ~ Robert Holden
When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in. ~ Kristin Armstrong
Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. ~ Henry Ward Beecher
Ciao for now,
Linking up with Kylie Purtell for #IBOT
I love the idea of gratitude as a habit and a heartfelt one at that. Those quotes are just beautiul, Min!
It doesn’t take much to make it a habit. Glad you like the quotes! 🙂 xo
This is a lovely idea, Min. I do this occasionally, but want to do it more often.
Just look for one thing in each day you’re grateful for and you’re on your way. It could be as simple as your husband bringing you a cup of tea or a cuddle from your gorgeous girls! 🙂 xo
Have you read Anita Heiss’s blog? I haven’t for a while but every single post was about gratitude – what she was grateful for that day / week etc… I thought it was a great approach as she’d talk about what she’d been doing but with that mindful appreciative tone.
No I haven’t read Anita Heiss’s blog (well I don’t think I have?). I’ll have to go have a look now though! lol 🙂
I admit I have lost some of my gratitude practice. It was transformational for me years ago as well. Thanks for the reminder
I get bogged down and busy with life and it lapses for me too Deb. The great thing about writing this blog is that I write posts like this that remind me to get back into the gratitude habit too. It makes an enormous difference to my state of mind when I do this. It’s not hard – just being more present and aware and finding one thing in each day that I’m grateful for. 🙂 xo
We used to have a gratitude diary that as a family we would each contribute to every day. Not sure why we stopped, but this post has rekindled my need to resurrect this family habit. xx
Nicole – I think your family gratitude diary is such a beautiful idea! I love it! I’m so glad this post has inspired you to resurrect it. 🙂 xo
I like your line about heartfelt gratitude. Because you’re right, ‘at least I have food on the table’ isn’t gratitude, it’s comparing yourself to someone less fortunate. Heartfelt gratitude shouldn’t need comparison. Lovely post. #teamIBOT
Yes! You get it! If it’s not heartfelt, then it’s not the kind of gratitude that changes you for the better and triggers all those lovely positive feedback loops. 🙂
Heartfelt gratitude makes perfect sense. And I love those quotes. Thanks for the reminder. x
Yes heartfelt gratitude is the one we want to practice. Glad you like the quotes and my pleasure! 🙂 xo
A beautiful post. Since my breast cancer diagnosis late last year, I feel so thankful for EVERYTHING. I am always finding rainbows now. X
Oh Jody, yes you would be so grateful for everything after a scare like that! I hope everything is ok now? xo
I try to set aside time for gratitude each day- doesn’t always happen because: kids. It’s such a worthwhile thing to do,: I have a tendency to get caught up in ridiculously minor negative things and doing this is the only known antidote, as those quotes suggest. Lovely.
It’s only natural to get caught up in negative stuff. We all do it. The trick is to be aware of yourself doing it and pull yourself up on it. Gratitude to me is more about having an awareness throughout the day. Being observant. Noticing stuff. Being more present with what’s happening around you and what IS around you. Then you see little treasures. Once I got into the habit – I found many things in each day that I was grateful for. Simple things – a summer breeze, birds chirping, a sunrise or sunset, the light of golden hour, the taste of that first coffee in the morning. Once you get started – you notice so many things! 🙂
I think gratitude is a ‘great attitude’. I must admit that I do get caught up in little negative things as much as I feel grateful for big things, so a daily practice would get me reconnected with the small positive things. I have done some work on even being grateful for the really hard things in life – I can honestly say this is how I feel now about our infertility experience – the niggling regrets are all but gone and I appreciate the experience of growth.
I love that Kathy – gratitude is a ‘great attitude’ because yes that is right! As I said to Melinda in her comment – we all get caught up in the negative things. I can be such a whinger sometimes! I try though to be aware of it and pull myself up on it when it happens. Great that you’ve reached a point where you appreciate the growth from the infertility experience. That’s major stuff! Similarly, I’m actually grateful for the horrendous time I went through back in mid-late 2012. So many lessons were learnt and now I am finally making myself a priority and I am doing stuff I love. I may not be rich in money but I am richer in other ways. 🙂
I’ve tried to do the whole gratefulness thing on and off, but never really gelled for me. Maybe I’m missing that point: it has to be heartfelt gratitude. You’ve got me thinking. Thanks
It takes a little time to *get it*. It’s like installing a little scanner inside your head that watches and notices things. It makes you be more present, rather then being swept away by your mind worrying about this or that, thinking of work, chores, etc etc. You might forget to activate the scanner in the beginning but you soon get into the habit of activating it every day. Eventually you realise you don’t even have to think about activating it because it has become a part of you – habit. 😉
Thanks for this timely reminder Min. Taking up an interest in photography has made me grateful for all the beauty that surrounds us every single day. I seldom leave home without my iPhone and take photos most days, even if it is of my dogs! I like to lie in bed first thing in the morning and tell myself that I am grateful to be alive and look forward to whatever the day brings my way. 🙂
My pleasure Kathy. Photography is what helped me too. I love it! It really helps you to slow down and notice things. You might have noticed I’ve been taking quite a few dog photo’s lately LOL (just phone pics though). With all my health problems lately it’s been a kick in the backside reminder of what’s important!
Well said, Min. I agree with you about the positive feedback loops. #lifethisweek
Thanks Natalie! 🙂
I especially liked the Robert Holden quote, gratitude is self perpeptuating, isn’t it?
It’s a great quote and very true! xo
A lovely post about gratitude Min and your quotes are just perfect too! #Lifethisweek
Thanks Deb. I do love a good quote! lol 🙂
It was lovely to read your post about gratitude from 2016. I also checked out the comments. Oh my, the blogging world has changed even in that short space of time.
Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week’s optional prompt is 32/51 What Makes You Laugh? 12/8/19. Hope to see you there too! Denyse.
It’s incredible how much the blogging world has changed in such a short time isn’t it Denyse? Far less linkies and many no longer blogging or participating in linkies.