Do you ever...
Find yourself thinking, "Why is this happening to me?"
Feel jealous of other people as you scroll through Facebook and Instagram?
Wonder what you did wrong to "deserve all these bad things that happening to you all the time"?
I've spent a good amount of my life in victim mode. The "woe is me" sob stories were like second nature to me, and I always had a reason why things aren't working out... why I'm not further along. A million reasons of why this and why that.
But who did these sob stories actually help? Because it certainly wasn't me.
I loved dishing them out, but at the end of the day, they didn't help me. Instead, they harmed me and my ability to grow. I was self-sabotaging myself.
And your sob stories aren't helping you either.
So what can you do instead?
A few weeks ago, I started a new daily routine of writing down my gratitude list. What I learned is that life really isn't all that bad. We choose what we want to see, and we find evidence for the stories we want to be true.
What stories do you want to be true? What stories in your life are you holding onto? What stories are you not willing to let go of?
Gratitude, like, most things in life is a choice.
I hope it's a choice you make because it's one worth making and I'll tell you why.
Here are 6 reasons to have a daily gratitude practice:
1. You start to focus and feel good about all the things you do have, instead of all the things you don't.
If you're reading this, chances are you have your basic needs met - water, food, a place to live, etc. Beyond that, what else do you have? I bet there's a lot - like people in your life who love you, beautiful weather and scenery, the ability to use your voice, the freedom to do what you want, the opportunity to change your life if you're not satisfied with it, etc.
Being consciously aware of all the good things that are actively in your life allow you to slow down, take notice, and really be present in the moment. It teaches you to appreciate what you have, who you have, and where you are in your life right now.
2. There is always more to be grateful for, and your life is not as bad as you make it out to be.
As I continue to write my gratitude lists, I am finding that there is always more to be grateful for. Things, people, places, events, etc. that I never acknowledged in the past. One of the things I am extremely grateful for is money, because money has allowed me to invest in myself again and again. Money used to be (and sometimes still is) the big elephant in the room for me, but gratitude has taught me that it doesn't have to be.
Gratitude helps me dig deeper and it helps me see things that I never saw before, and I'm sure it'll do the same for you too. You'll start to realize that - yes, life is happening for you too. Good and bad things happen to all of us all the time, but it's ultimately up to us to decide what we want to see and search for.
3. When you allow yourself to feel abundant and rich, you'll start to see abundance everywhere.
If you're rolling your eyes at me right now, I use to roll my eyes at people who said this too. But when you start appreciating all the things you have in your life, you stop giving so much of your power away to all the bad and negative energy. Once you start clearing out the negativity, you start making room for all the good things and positivity energy to potentially come into your life.
Life gives us more of what we attract. And so if you're constantly focused on all the "have not's", then that's what you're going to continue to get, because that's where all your energy keeps going. When you commit to writing a daily gratitude list, you are actively making space for more love, joy, and abundant in your life.
4. You start to genuinely appreciate all the beauty that life has to offer.
I'm sure you've had of the saying, "Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completely different."
When I was little, I absolutely 100% hated going to the beach. I didn't like how the sand felt on my feet, I thought the drive was too long, and I certainly did not like wearing a bathing suit. I'm sure there were 100 more reasons, but those were the top 3.
And then one day, years later, a friend took me to the beach. It was absolutely magical - to hear the ocean waves, to see all the trees and nature on the drive there, and to feel aligned with the Universe.
I know I'm using myself in both scenarios in this example, but the point is, it is all about perspective.
You see what you choose to see. And when you start appreciating what you have in your life, you start to realize just how beautiful and abundant life can be (and always was).
5. You are in the driver seat of your life and you can choose where you want to go.
Gratitude is a choice. It's not a requirement, but it's highly recommended. How your life turns out is ultimately your own responsibility. And if your life isn't going so well, that's on you. We can sit around in a circle and talk about all the reasons why we can't do x, y, and z, or we can uncover what's blocking us and create a game plan to bust through those blocks.
If you want to take a different direction than the one you've been on, then you have to be willing to turn the wheel. You have to be willing to take a chance on the other road - the road that may be unfamiliar and scary to you. If you're like me and you've spent most of your life being a Negative Nancy and nayser, it's going to take some time. But it is possible to change your life - one step at a time.
6. You become open to more possibilities.
I'm the kind of person that likes to jump to "worst case scenario". I like to shut things down before they even have the chance to blossom because I'm afraid of things not working out.
What gratitude taught me is that possibility is everywhere. Opportunity is all around us. We are never truly "out of options". (How many times have you said that to yourself? Because I've said it to myself one too many times.) You are never truly "at a dead end". Gratitude teaches you to become more open to what could be, instead of focusing all your time on what isn't.
Stop focusing your time on the things that no longer matter and learn to appreciate the things (and people) that do.
There are so many more reasons for why you should start (or continue) a daily gratitude practice. I'm sure that as I continue to write about my gratitude lists, there will be new lessons to learn and new adventures to go on.
Speaking of gratitude, I am so grateful that you spent part of your day with me!
Share with me in the comments below: What are you feeling grateful for today and why?
P.S. Click below to download my free writing prompts workbook! Full of great writing prompts to help you stop the fear and self doubt, and bring creativity back into your life.