Even as a young kid, I knew how important it was to be grateful. We were thankful for the roof over our heads, the clothes on our backs and the food on our plates. We realized that nothing in life was promised, so it was essential to recognize how different things could’ve been for us. I believe that gratitude makes us more appreciative of what we create and experience. As an adult I’ve continued to be thankful for so much – especially my family, health and career.
I’ve come to realize that while gratitude enables us to be present and connected to the ‘now’, it can also become an anchor of sorts that drags down our dreams. Maybe you’ve considered making a shift at work to earn more money or challenge yourself in novel ways but you’ve held back because you don’t want others to think that you’re greedy, aggressive or shallow (all fears, by the way, that serve to suck the joy right out of our self-advocacy). Or perhaps you’ve thought “I know people who wish they had my salary, who am I to earn more?” or “I’ve invested a decade plus cultivating my expertise, why would I throw that all away just because I don’t feel fulfilled?” We often hold these limiting beliefs and proactively filter such questions instead of exploring them.
So real talk – Gratitude and growth are not mutually exclusive when it comes to your job or anything else for that matter. The mistake that so many of us make is to think that if we were truly grateful we wouldn’t have a desire to do and be more. Trust and believe that’s a bunch of noise.
You can deeply value what’s already in your life and still want to expand personally and professionally – it’s absolutely true. Because facts.
Your longing for more meaning, growth, connections, income or impact doesn’t mean that you don’t honor what you have in this moment. I promise that your gratitude guilt-fest serves no one. We short circuit our potential when we shame ourselves into settling for less than we know that we deserve in our head and hearts. Let’s cut that out. Seriously.
Gratitude can absolutely be a ‘yes and’ proposition, especially when it comes to making a change at the office. You can be thankful for the opportunity to learn new skills and still want to add something new to your proverbial toolkit. You can appreciate a long-term role within an organization and decide to look for a different position at another company. Use gratitude to open doors instead of close them.
Get Your Reflection On: What are you grateful for that can help you level up to reach a bigger, bolder goal?