I don’t know about you but I’ve been surrounded by a lot of “No’s” recently. There’s a plethora of gloom and doom scenarios about our economy, grant competitions being cancelled, dire predictions of grants shriveling up. In this kind of environment it’s easy to fall into just experiencing the world as one big ‘No’. But, when we say ‘Yes’ to the world around us it has an impact.
Saying ‘Yes’ can feel a little difficult when it seems as though the world is geared to tell us ‘No’ so it’s best to start off with something small and easy. Gratitude is a great place to start.
We all have something in our lives to be grateful for but we often breeze through our day without stopping to be thankful for the sweetnesses of life. Try taking 5 minutes a day to make a list of all the things that you are grateful for both large and small. The list might include:
- the little kid who walked into your office on her way to her preschool class to give you a smile and a hug;
- the helpful piece of advice you received from a colleague;
- the email that you got with links to some resources that will help you in grantseeking;
- the cookies that someone brought to work;
- the beautiful weather outside that you enjoyed on your way to work.
Just look for a few little good things and you will start to notice more. It’s like when you buy a new cute red car, all of a sudden you notice all the other cute red cars on the road. Gratitude works the same way. When you acknowledge the good things in your life then you seem to notice more and more good things when they show up.
They may seem like small, little things to appreciate but they add up over time so that you are walking around looking for what is good around you. I find it helpful to do this exercise at the end of the day because it helps me appreciate the good things that have come into my life and sets me up to notice more the following morning.
Practice Saying Yes to Yourself Exercise
Try seeing how many times you can say ‘yes’ to yourself each day. Again, this can be about anything. If you’re in the mood for a fancy juice drink and are thinking “hmm, too many calories, too expensive” just decide that for today you’ll say “yes, I can have that and enjoy it.” Then relish in enjoying that drink knowing that it’s nourishing both body and soul.