We’ve covered self-compassion, positivity and mindfulness as keys to developing a success mindset. The fourth and final piece of the puzzle for creating a sustained success mindset is gratitude. Developing a gratitude practice ensures your continued positive mindfulness, in both business and personal life, and prevents your life from becoming the tragic, ubiquitous parable of those who never saw all they had until it was gone.
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” — Zig Ziglar
A success mindset requires gratitude so that we can keep moving forward when the going gets tough. Often we focus on the things we think we lack (clients, skills, confidence, money), rather than seeing and appreciating all the things we have in our lives, such as the clients and skills we do have, the continuous opportunities to evolve, health, love and family support. Lack of gratitude leads to a scarcity mindset, the feeling that there is never enough, and can keep you feeling wanting. To shift from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset (knowing that there’s enough of everything in the world for everyone), try keeping a gratitude journal.
Start by writing down at least three things every morning for which you are grateful. Writing it down is essential because you can keep it nearby and revisit it throughout the day, if you’re feeling stressed, discouraged or lacking. An example of my morning gratitude list goes something like this:
Today I am grateful for
- My friends and family and the love and support they always show me.
- The ability to put thoughts and feelings into words.
- My good physical and mental health.
These are seemingly small things, but if I didn’t have them, life would be much more difficult. Keep writing three things every day and be mindful of what you have. The more mundane, the better. We tend to take for granted things like shelter, family, friends, money enough to get by, community, education, support systems, a car, sunshine, clean water to drink and food to eat. When you expand your consciousness to consider people outside your usual range of contact, you realize that some people don’t have even half of these things. Some people are struggling just to survive.
Practicing gratitude helps you to achieve your goals. To be successful, it helps to visualize your end goal. Whether that be financial freedom, early retirement, travel or raising children to happy adults, you’ll get there faster by visualizing it within a frame of positivity and gratitude. Weight-loss experts and business coaches alike have their clients employ this technique by writing down, in present tense, what they want for their future. For example, my future gratitude writing is “I’m so happy and grateful I make $400,000 a year through copywriting and consulting. I am grateful to be debt-free and that I have an abundance of community, health, wealth, family, support, good work, adventure and stability in my life. I am grateful for all that I have, and all that I do not have.” I don’t currently make that much money in a year, nor am I debt-free, but I’m looking forward to the day it happens. And it will!
As you progress in your business, hitting your goals and making your dream of the writer’s life your reality, celebrate your victories. Stop and notice, and think, “I’m so happy and grateful that my persistence and hard work has resulted in X achievement. I’m grateful to my support system for believing in me and helping me get to where I am today.” By being mindful of all the positive things in your life, you are better able to appreciate and be motivated by them.
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward
Gratitude, in conjunction with the other components of your success mindset (self-compassion, positivity and mindfulness), is essential to your success. We writers are lucky people. Sure we might tear our hair out over deadlines and worry about impressing clients, but at the end of the day, the freedom and flexibility the writer’s life makes it all worthwhile. So remember, be kind to yourself, be kind to others, pay attention and be grateful for what you have, every day. You’ll not only succeed in business, but in life.
**This article is Part IV of a series originally published on Wealthy Web Writer on June 5, 2015.**