First of all I would like to thank everyone for the warm reactions on Facebook for Part 1. of this article. It wasn’t easy to put it together. I wrote most of it while “it was happening” and ended editing the article like 40 times. In Part 2. I will conclude the story and I want you to know that I dont want to misguide anyone, Gratitude isn’t a super power that will solve all your issues. I want to show the advantage it can bring to you, as share bit more about it with one Ted Talk at the end of this article.
If you missed the first part: The Devastating Power of Doubt, I will highly suggest you read it to get a more clear picture of what happened!
The trigger: Gratitude
Last Saturday morning, I was about to go to the bathroom. As I do at times I started a YouTube video to listen to while I finished preparing for work. I wanted to listen again to a video about the 7 common denominators of people who are successful. The video is in French but if you understand French there you go.
I didn’t finish the video the day before, so it started on the summary of the last common denominator: Gratitude. 30 seconds in, my Fiancée enters the room. It felt to me, because we had a hard time, I wanted to share my Gratitude towards her. I asked her for a moment, and we sat on the edge of the bed.
“I am grateful to you for trying all you can to hold space for me”
“I am grateful to you for loving me very much”
“I am grateful to you because you are available and listen”
“I am grateful to you as you do your best to accept me for who I am”
As soon as I shared the last one, I snapped out of my doubts, I felt the change inside. I kissed her and we had a nice, strong and long hug, just in time before I had to go to work. I left her with my Heart filled with emotions; emotions freed from the cage of Fear.
It is funny to see at times how a detail such as me “randomly” starting an unfinished video (I meant to start it at the beginning!), could have such an impact. It is,of course, not just the video that created the “miracle” but the whole build up from our previous efforts and everything that happened in the previous days. Still…
I’ve put Randomly under quotes because it isn’t that random after all. I have been building up a list of many YouTube channels talking about Self-Development or Emotional Intelligence and I am listening to this kind of content on daily basis for months now. I had a good chance of getting something useful for this situation from one of them! I wasn’t counting on it nor I was hoping for that to happen. But the surroundings of positiveness and knowledge I created is driving my own growth and that day, had a fantastic impact on my life!
What happened next?
After my breakthrough , the day went amazingly well, my head wasn’t foggy anymore, I wasn’t afraid nor doubting. The evening was refreshing, we had already planned a few days ago to have the evening together to re-connect and I felt in Love and sincere, honest and genuine in all my interactions and praises.
Sunday morning? Feeling amazing! Later Sunday, we even went for lunch together, so we could have a bit more of togetherness! Long story short, I’m over it and it feels great!
A story like that isn’t ending so easily. I still didn’t fix why I doubt about many aspects of my Life. This is a demon that will come back at me soon enough. But overtime I am making it smaller and less dangerous. I tame it so it is not scary anymore. I love my doubts and accept my doubts, I try not to push them away. If I would, they would grow and come back bigger than ever. My doubts were what I needed at that time; they showed me the lack of confidence in myself, they showed me I do not love myself enough and they showed me I could be more connected to my feelings and emotions. I did project my own doubts onto my relationship and it is the last thing I want. My doubts are exactly what I needed to better myself.
These two articles are mostly about my side of the story, but I will touch on my partner’s side for a bit. She had to go through her own journey of course. We moved at different speed in this crisis. She spent a day at work and I spend that day browsing the web, thinking working on it and making progress during my weekend. When she got home, I’m wasn’t where I was when she left in the morning. After sharing my gratitude, it was mostly solved for me but “I left her behind “as I moved quickly and forward. She didn’t had time to resolve her side of the situation yet. She was happy to see I was better but that doesn’t make everything go away for her. She needed time to process. She needed time for herself and it was my turn to hold space. She had to de-construct the fears she built in her head from her Certainty not being met. She had all the time she needed. We both understand the importance of each of us having our own experience and coming to a resolution and we work diligently towards it.
When Gratitude strikes again…
Out of care and curiosity, two days after I shared my gratitude, I asked her if she would be willing to try to sharing what she was grateful towards me. Guess what happened? It worked for her too! I felt she was in a similar situation when I did that, she made great progress and maybe this little boost of positiveness will help her make the jump and it did-brilliantly!
One thing you will find about Gratitude is that it is very hard to be grateful towards someone or something and being angry at the same time.
We have been both working on Gratitude, whether having a Gratitude journal or sharing with each other before we go to sleep. This isn’t new for her as she is practicing for years and I myself started this year. Me being stuck in a doubting mindset did cause some damage to our relationship, but nothing compared to what it could have caused if I wasn’t expressing myself and communicating. I actually believe that it is better to resolve things while they occur, it was possibly what we needed to start our soon to be married life in a better position.
I can’t imagine how damaging it could be if I would have build doubt for many more weeks? months? or if it exploded the day before the wedding, without time for us to work the issue out and understand were we stand. This is so common in our lives and one of the reason I started this blog is to show that it is not the only way, we can know better, we can learn better and the best thing is that we have, nowadays, plenty of resources available. If you read and watch the videos I share in this blog and also look at the other content made by their authors, you will hopefully learn as much as I do (possibly more!).
Where it all started!
I’ve been wanting to be a more positive person for the last few years. It started by paying attention to the negativity around me and not wanting to take part in it. If you stop for a minute and listen to friends, colleagues, news or people on the street (don’t even try Internet!^^) you will see the negativity, the whines, the unhappiness, how we play victims and claim life is unfair.
Positive thinking, Positive Feedback or Gratitude have been mentioned in all my centers of interest : Self-Development, Entrepreneurship, Exercising, Well-Being, Management etc. I didn’t practice it regularly though, but I loved the idea and I understood the benefits. For me to start practicing Gratitude, I had to witness the impact it had in my Fiancée’s life. When I met her I was struck by how “light” she can be and part of it is that she was working on her gratitude for years.
I believe that keeping for months a Gratitude journal helped me greatly in being a more positive person. I was writing each day 5 things I am grateful for.
Then we decided to do it with my partner before sleepy time. The best part of doing it with someone is that it opened my mind to certain things I wouldn’t, usually, be grateful for. Let me do my Gratitude with you today:
I am grateful to be alive
I am grateful to be Loved
I am grateful to breathe, hear, smell, see, touch, walk, taste, feel!
I am grateful to have you (my readers)
I am grateful Pukka is making a tea I like so much (Peppermint & Licorice!)
I am grateful to myself for overcoming my laziness and going to the gym today
I am grateful to Tempostorm for their meta snapshot so I can update my Hearthstone decks
I am grateful to all these people who are publishing free and amazing online content, they inspired to do the same!
I am grateful for the Winter to come, I love and miss the snowy mountains and skiing
I am grateful to my Heart, it feels warm while I finish writing this post
Call for action!
Gratitude isn’t a quick fix or a trick. Do your best to construct the healthiest relationships you can with yourself and people you care about. Keep growing individually and together with others so you have a chance to create and maintain supportive loving relationships for life.
Start your own gratitude journal and share your story with me and other readers! #ShareTheLove #ShowYourHappiness
Ask yourself, what is the worst that can happen if you do? 🙂
Now to the Ted Talk!
I would like to close this post with a Ted Talk I really enjoy. The speaker is Shawn Achor and he spoke about: The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance
This talk is filled with stories and jokes so I would leave to you the pleasure of discovering that part and won’t spoil it! The main point of the talk is that positive thinking can have a tremendous impact on our life and I hope my story is proving that point to a certain degree!
Shawn worked with many companies, he identified that when people follow for the next 21 days the below, it can re-wire their brain to look out for the positive.
“Creating lasting positive change”
– 3 Gratitudes
– Random Acts of Kindness
For long-term results, you will need to put more effort otherwise the old habits will come back quickly, but if you want a kick start for being more positive, that is maybe what you need. 🙂 Let me explain a bit more the items mean, each of the below need to happen for at least 21 days and is a daily activity:
- 3 Gratitudes: 3 NEW things you are grateful for
- Journaling: Remember one positive experience you had in the last 24 hours, so you brain can re-live it
- Exercise: “Teaches your brain that your behaviour matters”, so at least, a little workout or physical activities everyday
- Meditation: Meditation helps for focus, it is helping countering the attention deficit (ADHD) our society is creating
- Random/Conscious Acts of Kindness: In companies, he asks people to do that by e-mail and send a praise/thank e-mail to someone in their network. I’m sure face to face works too :
“By training your brain, like we train our bodies, what we’ve found is we can reverse the formula for happiness and success and in doing so, not only create ripples of positivity but a real revolution”
That is it for this week! Thank you everyone for reading and again, for the kind words on Facebook! It is making a difference to me and I appreciate it dearly!