Recently, we added a ‘Think Better’ theme to the Daily Zen tab within our Gratitude app. It started as an idea and we tried it out to see whether it would be valuable to our users. Turns out, out of the 3 themes that we introduced, this one was most popularly received.
While I was writing these posts, it was an exercise for me too. I listed down the negative thoughts that I or the people I know have and found ways around them to shift perspective. I kept questioning how I could, in some way, climb out of this negative self-talk in reaction to a situation, and have a more positive response to it.
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
-Henry David Thoreau
The greatest thing about re-framing your mindset is that it makes you feel free and gets you out of the shackles of guilt. You start to look at solutions instead of running in problem circles. Your energy is diverted towards growth not decay. And, I found that gratitude was the best way to do this.
Here are some examples:
Instead of thinking, “I am worthless,” think, “I have value and my actions impact the world around me.”
This negative self-talk arises from a lack of appreciation for the impact that your life has on the world around you. There is no doubt in the fact that the world would not be the same without you. There are people who have smiled because of you. There are people who think of you and wish you well. Saying that you have no worth is discrediting the achievements that you have made in life. And, if there is still the belief that you don’t have value then the best thing for you to do would be to serve those in need. You don’t have to dedicate your whole life to serving others, just help one person or animal or even a plant each day. When someone feels grateful because of you, it validates your value to yourself.
“Two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give.”
- Edwin Arlington Robinson
Instead of thinking, “I am a failure,” think, “I never fail, only my attempts do. I will keep trying and improving.”
Look at these words: I am a failure. With these words, a person’s whole existence, their whole life, is discounted. Their identity is reduced to their attempt(s) that didn’t pan out the way they wanted it to. Here, the best way to go is to look only at the situation and not stretch it to everything that has ever happened. You didn’t get the job that you wanted? Okay, that sucks, take some time to gather yourself and try for another one. You can try for that job again. Fell short of your expectations? Instead of blaming yourself, figure out what was lacking and don’t repeat it again. Learn your lesson, feel grateful for it, and get on to the next thing. Put energy into improvement.
Instead of thinking, “I don’t like myself,” think, “I accept myself and improve what I can."
If we don’t like ourselves, no one is going to do that for us. By disliking ourselves, we’re turning away from all the ways we can make our life wonderful. What do we do for the people we don’t like? We don’t wish them well. And, what do we do for the ones that we do like? We hope the best for them, help them out when we can, feel grateful for them, and try to be a positive influence in their life. Try to be the same for yourself. If there are aspects of your personality that you’re not fond of, work on them. Complaining leads to stagnation. By choosing to be your best well-wisher, you’ll bring wonders to your life.
"People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new."
- Travis Bradberry
Gratitude is primarily about re-framing perspective. It makes us search for the good in every situation, something constructive, something to learn from. We all deal with negative self-talk, challenges, and stagnation, but gratitude shifts our focus to the brighter side. When we practice gratitude, we can’t help but want to do more for ourselves, be happier, and look for ways to grow. Gratitude is the fuel that drives our self-improvement journey.
You can find more posts like the ones above in the Gratitude mobile app, updated daily, with other tools like a gratitude journal, affirmations, and vision board.
Have a great day!