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  • Writer's pictureJennifer

When Life Gets Hard, Get Grateful || NC Lifestyle & DITL Photographer

November 27, 2019

Life is hard sometimes.

I admittedly get stuck.

Stuck in the emotions of worry, fear, disappointment, frustration…you name it.

They are negative emotions and they are familiar and rise up during tough times.

They’re my “go-to” when life gets hard.

About 4-years ago, I finally came to a place in my life when I decided I no longer wanted these feelings to be my normal. I wanted to take back control of my thoughts and my actions. I wanted new skills and new ways of coping. I wanted to learn healthier, positive ways to handle tough times.

I wanted control of my life in the areas I knew I could control.

The fact that I was seeking and curious about doing something different was a clue that I was aware that change was needed. Being aware of these emotions—what triggered them, how they made me feel and behave and what I needed to do to change them—was the first step to true transformation. And transformation is an on-going process.

I am a curious being.

I like having proven techniques at my disposal.

I like finding positive solutions.

So I sought knowledge. I sought it in books, and people and mentors that spoke in a way that resonated with me. That gave me actionable steps to implement. That spoke hard truths and gave me pause for thought.

And I’ve learned so much.

I’ve learned that the mind is a powerful tool.

Like a muscle, it needs to be exercised in healthy ways.

And taking the reins of our thoughts will change our state of being with practice.

I’ve learned that when I implement the actions required of me for change, life is good no matter what is going on. I can find the silver lining in anything. When I don’t apply my new skills, I get stuck again. Old habits raise their ugly heads and try to get comfortable again.

We can all feed and fuel these negative feelings. We can find circumstances and life experiences that support and justify them.

I am 100% guilty of this at times. It’s been a battle recently.

But staying stuck in negative thoughts is destructive. That I know.

They are confidence killers.

They are killers of dreams and change.

They are hard on relationships of any kind.

Becoming aware of our present thoughts and practicing positive ones is important for change, but the real power to changing those self-sabotaging thoughts lies in gratitude and appreciation.

Every day offers something to be grateful for. Something or someone worthy of appreciation. On this Thanksgiving Eve, I am committing to finding gratitude in each day. I am committing to journaling it, making a list and/or speaking gratitude and appreciation.

Today, I am grateful for:

Owning a business that is congruent with my lifestyle and values;

For family and amazing friends that encourage and support me and offer kind words of hope;

For children that are creative, and unique and kind and caring and healthy.

I am grateful for the experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today and I am grateful that with each challenge I have become wiser, better, stronger and more resilient.

So when life gets hard, get grateful.

And as Ed Mylett likes to put it: “Life is happening for me, not to me.”

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