Thanksgiving and Christmas are times when being grateful for things we have in life and expressing such gratitude to others come easy. However, as the old year winds down and the pace of life speeds us again with the new one, we often forget about gratitude until next Thanksgiving.
And yet, practicing gratitude all year round offers a multitude of benefits that can positively influence not only our personal lives but also our business.
Let’s start with personal benefits.
For brevity’s sake, I will only mention 3 out of many of them.
1. Gratitude frees us from toxic emotions.
In other words, it improves our psychological and mental health. When we write down what we are grateful for each day, even if the day wasn’t the best one, we focus on positive emotions. This, in turn, keeps us away from the negative ones such as resentment, frustration, regret, or envy. And when we do it consistently, over time, not only do we find more things to be grateful for each day, but also increase our happiness and resiliency.
2. Gratitude improves our self-esteem.
Secondly, a study published in 2012 in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude improved athletes’ self-esteem and with that, their confidence. And we know that confidence is essential for athletes to achieve optimal performance. For one thing, they are not the only people who need to reach their full potential to be successful. We all do. In my work as a coach with business owners, I find that one of the things that hold them back most, especially at the beginning of their journey, is weak or lack of confidence. Practicing gratitude is one of the ways you can boost your confidence successfully because it has lasting benefits on the brain.
3. Gratitude improves physical health.
Thirdly, because it reduces stress by helping us deal with toxic and negative emotions, it also benefits our physical health. People who practice gratitude are reported to experience fewer pains and aches. We all know that a lot of our physical pain does come from daily stress! Additionally, naturally grateful people are more likely to take care of their health, which further contributes to feeling at their best.
I’m sure you can see from the above that even these three personal benefits would have a tremendous positive impact on you as a business owner.
Now let’s move on to three main benefits gratitude can bring into your business.
1. Gratitude strengthens relationships and opens the door to new ones.
This first one should be a no brainer. If you express gratitude to your clients, suppliers, and employees, they will be more likely to seek an ongoing relationship with you and give back more. Who doesn’t like to be appreciated or do business with a grateful and kind person?
2. Gratitude builds trust and promotes excellence
When your appreciation is consistent and comes from heart, the underlying personal values, it’s genuine. People who receive it then trust that you mean it. Secondly, it also empowers them to do the best they can for you in return. Your business will benefit whether it’s a supplier, who won’t be late on their deliveries, your employee doing excellent work, or a client refereeing you with joy to someone.
3. The way you express gratitude can become your competitive advantage.
Yes, I know, you might not have expected that. But think about it, what if you took this practice a bit beyond traditional thank you card or expensive box of chocolates and made it more personal? What if you expressed your thanks in a way that shows the recipient that you know them well, care about them, and took time to think about making it tangible for THEM? I guarantee it will bring effects you don’t even expect. Finally, it can also generate positive talk about your business; you wouldn’t be able to create otherwise. In fact, word-of-mouth marketing has a power many business owners underestimate. To learn more about word-of-mouth marketing, join my fabulous online community Businesswomen with Passion 4 Life here, and watch a video on its goodness.
With all the above benefits in mind, it wouldn’t be Stairway to Leadership’s blog, if I didn’t share some tips on how to go about starting a consistent gratitude practice 😊. Therefore, here they are.
Three Powerful Tips on How to Start a Consistent Gratitude Practice
- Every evening take time to write down min 5 things you’re grateful for that day. (P.S. It will also help you sleep better – proven by research 😉)
- Take time to express your heartfelt gratitude to at least three people a day.
- Find a minimum of 3 business partners (client, supplier, employee) a month to whom you can give a token of appreciation that’s valuable to them.
Are you ready to start with those three easy steps? Take the challenge of doing it for 30 days and see what happens. And if you do it and then reach out and tell me how it affected your life, I’ll express my gratitude to you. How? By gifting you a token of my appreciation for making the world a better place one “thank you” at a time. What is it? Well, you need to do the challenge and then connect with me to find out 😉.
In the meantime, though, because I didn’t want to leave you empty-handed, I’d like to gift you the Ultimate Guide to Reduce Stress and Increase Results. And yes, you guessed, gratitude is one of the strategies I share in there, but there are MANY MORE. So, don’t miss out and grab it here.