When you think about achieving success, you might think it’s all about the bold actions you need to take. But that’s not entirely true.
While action is an essential piece of the success puzzle, there are other factors at play that have the potential to make or break your goals.
One of those is your ability to be grateful for where you are while you’re walking the path to where you want to go next.
Keep reading, and I’ll explain why gratitude can skyrocket your success - and make you feel happier too.
What is gratitude?
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions.” – Zig Ziglar
In simple terms, gratitude is the practice of being consciously thankful for the things in your life.
It’s the emotion you feel when you acknowledge and appreciate the people you love, the things you have, and the person you are.
What’s more, it’s an emotion that you can evoke anytime you choose - because you get to decide what you will and won’t feel gratitude towards.
How does gratitude create success and happiness?
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” —Willie Nelson
1. Gratitude makes you feel better
Take a moment right now to acknowledge something in your life that you’re grateful for.
You could choose to focus on your health, your family, or your security. What’s equally valid is focusing on the little things - such as the feel of a hot cup of tea on a cold day, the sun glinting through the clouds, or the book you’re reading that’s igniting something inside of you.
As you allow yourself to feel grateful, notice how you feel - then allow yourself to intensify and elevate those good feelings until they wash all over you.
This simple experiment is proof that gratitude can transform the way you feel - almost instantly. Through the practice of gratitude, you can switch on feelings of happiness, contentment, peace, satisfaction, and abundance at will.
You are in control.
Because there’s ALWAYS something to be grateful for [regardless of what’s happening in your life], gratitude is a tool you can lean on to elevate your emotions anytime you want to feel differently.
In this way, gratitude can change your experience of life.
Your experience of life is related to your perspective. You get to choose whether you see the upside or the downside in the situations and circumstances that come your way.
In other words, happiness is always within your grasp because through gratitude; you get to feel more of the emotions that make you feel good.
The reason gratitude works is because this practice releases the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin - two vital feel-good chemicals.
In turn, gratitude can help you better navigate stress and anxiety.
2. Gratitude improves your relationships
We all lead busy lives, and in the hustle and bustle of everyday living, it is easy to take the people you love the most for granted.
We don’t mean too; it’s just that other things grab our attention and create distractions and points of focus.
Gratitude in our relationships creates space inside which you can pause and reflect on the things you love and appreciate about others.
Again, the small things matter as much as the big things.
For example, when was the last time you sent an “I appreciate you” text to your partner, your children, a friend or a family member?
What would happen if you told your partner how grateful you are for them taking care of the tasks you hate?
Gratitude brings us closer to the people we love because through gratitude, we demonstrate our love. In this way, gratitude ignites a spiral of increasing connection.
Appreciation makes people feel more seen, heard, and valued. It builds trust and respect. In turn, they feel more inspired to show up fully in the relationship. This strengthens your connection, which deepens your love.
Consistent appreciation is one way to make your relationship stronger the longer you are together.
Healthy relationships create a robust foundation for you to explore and discover the next version of your best self. When you feel seen, loved, and supported by the people closest to you, it’s easier to step up and take risks. It’s easier to dream bigger, and in turn, your success and happiness builds.
3. Gratitude inspires confident action
You can’t achieve your goals unless you take action, and some of your biggest goals will require you to take a risk and do things you’ve never done before.
You have to encourage yourself to put courage over comfort and put yourself out there - even if you’re feeling nauseous and your heart’s pumping like a drum!
Gratitude is a powerful foundation to take action upon.
That’s because gratitude elevates feelings of optimism and abundance, making it easier for you to do the things that feel scary.
Imagine how powerfully you’d show up for life if you were ALWAYS able to find something to be grateful for.
When you’re grateful, you’re able to imagine ‘what if I CAN do this’ instead of instantly undermining yourself and your capabilities.
Gratitude also helps you bounce back from disappointment, failure, and mistakes quicker. If you’re able to look for the silver lining and focus your energy on that, you feel empowered to navigate and rise from setbacks more powerfully and purposefully.
It’s true! Gratitude does make you braver.
Which, by default, means gratitude also makes you more successful!
Tips for practicing gratitude
“Enjoy the little things. For one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
When you consciously acknowledge the good in your life, you can’t help but feel good. Gratitude is a practice that purposefully creates those feelings. Best of all, you can create them anytime you like.
All you have to do is notice something, pause, and be grateful.
Ready to integrate more gratitude into your life?
You can, with the help of these three simple tips.
- Reflect on what you're grateful for - the Gratitude Journal or Self Journal will help.
- Weave this practice into your daily routine and make gratitude a habit.
- Download the 101 Small Things To Be Grateful For PDF and use it to inspire and shake up your gratitude practice.