It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to start preparing for Thanksgiving. It seems as though you get together with friends and family to celebrate Labor Day, you blink your eyes, and the holidays are here. As you start counting down the days to your festive Thanksgiving feast, you’ll likely be reminded by friends, family members, and advertisements to “be grateful” for all you have in life. Finding time to acknowledge and appreciate life’s blessings is extremely important, but I think all of us can admit when we’re up against a wall of stress, anxiety, change, and adversity, feeling grateful is far easier said than done.
I’ve been through a lot of these situations in my own life, and it was only after learning a new gratitude method from my personal development coach David Neagle that I found a way to get through some of my life’s hardest challenges with my head held high. The method requires you to look past the stress stemming from a difficult situation in front of you to imagine what your ideal outcome looks like, and then show gratitude for it.
Let’s say, for example, you have spent the last few weeks racked with anxiety about a parent’s health, your kid’s school, or your ability to pay all your bills. When big stressors like these happen, your mind can be your worst enemy. You can slide into a place of fear and feel so paralyzed by worry that you lose the creativity to solve problems. The situation only worsens as time goes on.
Neagle’s approach to these types of situations suggests you imagine your ideal outcome — your parent’s medical labs coming back with a clean bill of health, your child’s teacher finding a better way to explain algebra, and your finances being in order — then feel gratitude for those enjoyable conclusions. By expressing gratitude for outcomes you hope will happen, even though they haven’t physically manifested yet, you are exercising your faith muscle. You are taking yourself out of that frightening box of mental doubt and opening yourself up to faith and opportunity. You are allowing for your ideal scenario to occur rather than accepting it will never come to fruition.
Just like everyone else, I’ve experienced more than my fair share of life’s challenges, and I’ve often felt there was no clear way out of them. But, once I started practicing Neagle’s approach, I found it 100% effective.
If the future looks unclear for you right now, start using Neagle’s method to initiate the process of determining your own future. Rather than assuming the worst-case scenario, imagine your best-case scenario and let the feelings of gratitude weave through your thoughts. It might even help to take some time every morning to write them down.
If you’re transitioning out of a marriage, chances are you have a number of worries plaguing you. Instead of allowing yourself to stay in a constant state of fear, close your eyes and picture the solutions you hope to find. Focusing on all the good that can grow out of stressful situations not only strengthens your faith, but it also opens your mind to the opportunities you can seize to bring the solutions to fruition. It might take a little practice, but I promise you it’s a helpful and effective way to bring genuine gratitude into your everyday life. If you have any other questions about Neagle’s approach, I’m only a phone call away.