One of the best things I’m able to do for myself to boost my mood quickly is to focus intentionally on some aspect of my life I’m exceptionally grateful for.
It’s wonderful to rummage through our minds for the many positives that deserve our gratitude. However, our gratitude shouldn’t stem from only the obvious good stuff in life. Rather, it’s helpful to explore every challenge that allows us to grow stronger and wiser and that provides us with new opportunities.
If you find yourself in a time of low energy, or in a rut, or if you’ve felt a little down or lost due to a recent professional experience, consider picking up a pen and exploring one of my favorite gratitude activities.
Journal On The Not So Obvious
Whether or not you’re a regular journal writer, this exercise can help you reframe something that’s been bugging you related to a past or present work situation. Identify one thing that initially doesn’t seem it deserves gratitude. Perhaps it’s an irritating boss who undermined you, an interview you didn’t do your best during, or a job that started out strong but quickly soured so you parted ways with it. Write down what comes up for you.
Then, think in detail about whatever scenario you choose. For example, say you’ve decided to focus on a job that began in a promising way, but quickly became a huge disappointment, causing you to leave it after several months. Been there, done that!
Naturally you might feel sad, frustrated, unsure of where to go next, and you might question why you thought it would be such a great fit for you. Perhaps you weren’t treated well; the reality of it didn’t come close to matching the description; or the organization itself was rife with conflict and bogged down by outmoded procedures.
Sounds pretty awful. But consider: Was it really ALL bad?
Consider: Was It Really ALL Bad??
Leaving it allowed you to be out of a toxic work environment.
You saw others act in ways you vow never to imitate.
You learned exactly how not to run a meeting.
Now you are free to find a better way to carry out your mission.
Now you know what to look for ahead of time in organizational culture.
You have gained a better sense of your value and strengths.
Now you’re more aware of behaviors you might want to tweak to serve you better.
Those are all things to be grateful for. List as many possible aspects as you can think of that somehow taught you a valuable lesson; gave you new insights on people, teamwork or communications; boosted your skill set; or provided you the experience you needed to pursue a better fit. Consider everything that was a blessing of some sort.
Maybe your experience is too new, and you’re not yet ready to realize these epiphanies. But when you are, take the time to delve. The more we explore an experience in a fresh way, the more it becomes a gratitude rather than an irritation or a regret.
Journal To Boost Your Career Change
In fact, if you’re thinking about starting a career change or you’re in the midst of it, it’s an excellent idea to spend time reviewing situations, conditions, projects, people and work cultures that held disappointment, fear, annoyance or frustration.
Think about them in depth, identify what it was that bothered you and how you might either avoid a repeat occurrence or how you can respond differently if a similar situation crops up. Then see it through this gratitude lens to identify what’s there to be grateful for and what better path it points you to. You’ll be grateful you did. :)
Trie Angeleva, MA, MA
As a Mindful Dream-Job Career Coach, Owner of Planet Reimagine and with Manhattan as her backdrop, Trie thrives when collaborating with others to reimagine their life, work, leadership or organization. She developed and taught Career Success Preparation for The Media School at Indiana University, where she taught 21 classes. A 30-year vegetarian, adopted-dog mom and travel-happy meditator and yogi, Trie is a former CIO and COO and founder of Embark and The Love Monday Method. She has two Master's degrees, six coaching certifications and a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University. Connect with Trie at email@example.com.