A new approach to gratitude

Have you heard a load of people say ‘oh practice gratitude!’ ‘gratitude will make you feel better’ ‘you’ve got to be grateful’.

Whilst I agree gratitude is something I’d like to experience rather than envy, anger, jealousy or anything else, we don’t always get the guidance on it we need. I’ve been there listing or saying things like ‘I am grateful for water’ ‘I am grateful I have a roof over my head’ ‘I am grateful I have friends’ etc, it doesn’t always feel effective.

So today I wanted to share a way I’ve found useful, on transforming challenges around using a different frame.

Contrast frame
This is a concept I learned from Peter Sage in particular his book: The Inside Track. It’s when you may have a challenging situation but look at much worse alternatives and count your blessings for what you have now.
For example: someone saying ‘Work was frustrating today’, you’d then look at it like this:
‘Work was challenging but I am grateful to have a job as many don’t and this will develop my skill set long term’
Another example…‘The hot water has gone for today’ and then look at it like ‘I’m so blessed to have water in my life, many people don’t have clean water so I am grateful to have this’
In the book Peter is sent to prison for 6 months (ending from an unfortunate lose in a legal battle in court rather than a serious crime) he looks at it like ‘I am grateful to be given the opportunity to give my work to inmates who would never discover my work and I grateful I didn’t get a longer sentence’…. He was actually sent to one of the most violent prisons in the UK, he reports too.

So think… how can you look at your challenges (rather than the word problem) and be grateful in some way for them? Obviously a serious traumatic event may be a bit different (even then though longer term there is opportunity to grow) but a lot of challenges we blow out of proportion. So how can you put a different frame on challenges and be grateful?

At the end of the day, it isn’t for anyone to tell you what to do but you. Find what works for you. This is a method of gratitude that has really helped me and in some way hope can guide you.
Thank you for reading.

By Jonny Pardoe

Podcast Host, Confidence & Podcast Coach and Author

© The Self Esteem and Confidence Mindset Ltd March 2022
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