Share your gratitude, don’t keep it to yourself

Gratitude

Wear your heart on the outside sometimes

As a coach, I understand a lot about gratitude.  I know that practising gratitude daily works to help you to be more positive.  Exercising your brain to find things to be grateful for each day is really effective.  If you can start your morning with a quick thought about something good in your life, you’ve started your morning well.

There are lots of ways of registering your gratitude – some people keep a journal which they write a few things in each day.  Some people blog regularly with a big list of things they are grateful for.  I might encourage clients to create lists or brainstorms or pictorial representations of things they are grateful for in their lives.  Some just make a mental note.

Blogs and articles about gratitude aren’t unusual.  They are everywhere.   But mostly they just talk about quietly and internally acknowledging your gratitude.

I want to talk about something a little more.  Internally acknowledging your gratitude is great, but externalizing it can be even better.

How often do you think about letting other people know how grateful you are for their presence, or help, or their product or service?  Of course (if you’re a polite sort) then you probably at least say thank you.  But when something goes well, how often do you go out of your way to make sure that person really knows how grateful you are?  So often, especially when it comes to businesses, we are self-conscious.  We don’t like to draw attention to ourselves, or perhaps we feel that our opinion doesn’t really matter because we’re not that important.  Even worse, perhaps we have a sense of entitlement so aren’t really taking time to even notice the good service.  We only speak out when we are unhappy with something.  So we don’t say anything, even if we have been really happy with the service we have had.  Ask yourself how often you’ve been happy with something and not externalized your gratitude?

I’m not talking about gifts or chocolates or flowers (or even tips).  I’m talking about a few simple, carefully chosen, words, to let that person know  that you’re grateful.  In my experience, taking the time to say or write a few words to show your gratitude, means far more than a gift.  Choosing words requires thought.  And it really is the thought that counts.

I really had this brought home to me recently.  I attended an online event.  It was really good, so I emailed the organizer afterwards to let her know how impressed I was.  From my point of view, I was simply sending her what  I felt was honest, constructive, feedback on her event.  Call me naive, but I assumed everyone else would have done the same.  Judging from the reply, I think I made her day.  And honestly, the fact that my feedback had made her happy made my day too!  It wasn’t that people had been unhappy, not at all, but it can be really hard to get people to part with positive feedback!

Think about how much you love to get positive feedback.  Then think about this – you can make other people feel that good too, just with a few words, or a quick email.  It’s in your hands!

Externalising your gratitude multiplies the results for you.  Not only is it fabulous for the person you’re grateful to, but showing your gratitude externally solidifies it for you too.

Try it.  Next time something good happens because of someone’s actions, let them know you are grateful.  Even if they are taken aback, it will be in a good way, I assure you.

© Liz Wootton, 2013.  All Rights Reserved.

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