Why Entrepreneurs Should Always Express Gratitude
Studies published through the years have shown that expressing gratitude increases self-esteem and resilience
We’ve all heard about the importance of being grateful. Being thankful is easy when things are going your way – when someone is nice to you or helps you out of a tight spot, or when things happen according to your wish.
Entrepreneurship however, is far from a smooth happy ride. It is packed with challenges and uncertainties, and a million highs and lows. So how is it possible to be grateful then?
Let’s start by first understanding why being grateful is important.
Why be Grateful
Studies have shown that expressing gratitude increases self-esteem and resilience. It also increases determination and energy. People who express gratitude have fewer aches and pains, fewer psychological problems and get better rest. All of these factors helps them to be more productive.
Gratitude makes people connect better and win the trust of others. It can help you sell better. Being thankful also makes you appreciate the efforts of your team members and improves team morale, making you a better leader.
How to Express Gratitude, When You Don’t Feel It
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted. Under the aura of excitement, riches and glory that surround it, entrepreneurship requires hard work and contains hard knocks.
Being grateful when you are living in the trenches of entrepreneurship is difficult. But it is during these times that gratitude should be practiced deliberately and actively
Here are a few simple ways to do just that:
Say Thank You
Start by simply saying the words to those around you, whether friends, family or strangers. They may be meant for a restaurant staff who brings your coffee or a bus driver, for a colleague who is just doing their job or for your mother when she has cooked a favourite dish. These simple words are sure to bring on a smile – a much needed antidote to your despairing mood.
Make a List
Look around you for the common everyday things you take for granted, like the bed you sleep on and the blankets on it, hot meals, cold showers, the house you live in, and all the appliances in it. This list needn’t be a long one and could even include people and events
Now imagine how your life would be without them, and you will recognise the comforts that surrounds you.
Give thanks for these good things in your life. Just a minute spent doing this will change the way you feel and work.
Do Something you are Good At
Are you good at cleaning? Or training the dog? Or gardening, or fixing broken things, or cooking? Whatever it is that you are good at, spend some time doing just that. It will not only take your attention away from your worries, but will also remind you of your talents and your abilities, hence boosting your self-confidence.
When times get difficult, we all look at what’s going wrong and start complaining. Avoid talking excessively about these things. Avoid even thinking obsessively about them. What you think and say affects how you feel and how you act. Complaints don’t provide solutions and they put you in a negative state of mind. Instead look for all the things that are working and keep your attention on them.
Recognize the Challenge
“Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” said Thomas Wayne, in Batman. This adage holds true for every entrepreneur. Think of a fall as no more than a lesson to be learnt and instead an opportunity to try again in a different way. Once you start to look at a setback as a challenge, you will find ways to face it and you will come out stronger and wiser.
It may not be possible to be grateful for a fall at the time, but when you think of all the setbacks in your life and see yourself still standing, that is definitely something to be grateful for.
Gratitude is a proven coping strategy. It is a psychological immune system booster that helps you deal with crisis. Gratitude brings calm in the midst of restlessness. It steers you way from worries and provides encouragement when you need it most.
Being grateful is a practice that can have an immensely positive effect on you, on the choices you make and on the performance of your business.