6 Habits That Destroy Gratitude

November is just around the corner!

And with it comes Thanksgiving and the focus on gratitude. I love the idea of intentionally cultivating the habit of thankfulness all year!  In fact, every Thursday is #ThankfulThursday on my social media feed, which challenges me to consistently be aware of what I love and feel blessed by so that I can share it with you!  I’ve been thinking lately…. Why, even with this weekly practice, can I sometimes still fall short in the grateful department! Why? What is it that trips me up?

What is it that derails our efforts to be more grateful? ……. Our habits.

Underlying habits that we may not even be aware of can sneak in and trip us up. Certain habits, like weeds in a garden, can creep into our garden of gratitude and strangle our grateful heart, prevent its growth. Many habits come to mind, but these six habits are particularly lethal for gratitude; comparing, self-pity, complaining, isolation, entitlement and busyness.  

Certain habits can derail our efforts to cultivate gratitude!

Read more

6 WAYS TO RE-ENERGIZE YOUR 4TH QUARTER!

Hello dear friends!

It’s hard to believe, but here we are! We’re heading into the last quarter of the year.  In my conversations with different people about 2020 and how they will live this last quarter, I’ve gotten a variety of reactions.  But most of them are some variation of, “This year has been horrible! I can’t wait for it to be over!”.  They dream of 2021 and the promise of “a better life”.  Read more

How to live Your Optimal Life

Achieve Your Optimal Life!

Are you stuck? Uncertain about life or your direction? Are you looking for your unique purpose? Are you wondering who God created you to be? Maybe you’re wondering what’s next? Or what else there is? Or where the heck your confidence went?

So often, we’re told that to “be happy” all we need to do is to fix, improve or change this that or the other thing about ourselves.  Rarely are we encouraged to invest our time, energy and financial resources on discovering and developing what we are already good at. 

How could your life be different if you knew how to identify and nurture your unique gifts and talents?  What if you spent the same amount of time, money and energy striving to improve what you are already good at?  Although it is true that learning and growing is an essential part of optimal living, it’s what we focus on that matters. Having a “strengths focus” is the key to effectively learning and growing in a way that gets us to where we ultimately want to go. 

Read more

SPOT YOUR STRENGTHS IN 4 EASY STEPS

 

Even though we’ve made great progress in the areas of positive psychology and strengths-based living, it seems we still like to focus on what needs to be fixed. From the time we were young the messages have been about developing, improving, and changing.  While those are wonderful goals, it’s “what” we focus on developing, changing, and improving that will determine our greatest success.  

Read more

5 Steps to Cultivate Positive Outcomes

a-little-spade-1-1489765-639x852
It’s more important than ever to know what you think and know how you came to that thought.

Whatever you call it… perspective, mindset, outlook, or viewpoint- we each carry around a set of beliefs that influence everything about how we show up in the world. Let me put that another way…..

Right now, each of us has a set of operating beliefs that direct our thinking. These thoughts influence our feelings which lead us to act a certain way in response to the feeling. Because we acted that way, our actions produce some kind of result. These results can sometimes be positive, and sometimes not so positive. Whether positive or negative, our operating beliefs direct our thinking, feeling, acting and doing. Eventually they give us some kind of result. The following illustrates the process from belief to outcome:

  • Beliefs -> direct thinking
  • Thinking -> influences feelings
  • Feelings -> produce action
  • Actions -> lead to outcomes
  • Outcomes -> lead to patterns of behavior….that can either help or hinder our efforts to live our best life.

The great news is that you can choose to experience more consistent positive outcomes by choosing to be more intentional about what you think and by understanding where it came from! Positive outcomes come from positive thinking. Positive thinking comes from positive beliefs.

When is the last time you checked in on your operating beliefs?

If our thinking is what eventually drives the outcomes we experience, and our thinking is a result of our beliefs, it seems to me that we need to have a really good look at what we actually believe! The easiest way to do this is to reverse the process I described above and ask some hard questions.

Grab a pen and paper and think of a frustrating outcome or result you experienced recently. Now, write it down, and work your way from the outcome back to the belief by following these steps:

  • Outcome = Name the outcome.
  • Actions = What actions led to this outcome? List the actions.
  • Feelings = What feelings led me to act this way? List your feelings. Be honest with yourself! (For example -Jealousy? Fear of losing something or someone? Did you feel inferior or left out?)
  • Thought = What thought led you to feel this way? (For example – If you felt left out, where did that come from? Maybe the thought you have is that “people never include me”)
  • Belief = What belief led me to this thought? (Using our previous example – Perhaps somewhere along the line you adopted the belief that “I should be included in everything”) How does this belief serve me? Is this belief realistic? Does it help me move toward my goals? Does it help bring out the best in me so that I can live my optimal life?

This is amazing news isn’t it?! We can direct our thinking to lead us toward optimal outcomes by intentionally cultivating a positive set of operating beliefs! Beliefs that serve us well and help us live the life we were meant to live, one thought at a time.

Happy thinking!

Love and Blessings,
Ruth