The nature of gratitude helps dispel the idea that we do not have enough, that we will never have enough, and that we ourselves are not enough.”
The beloved late Dr. Wayne Dyer knew a thing or two about the power of gratitude. And this is one aspect of gratitude that we don’t usually consider, but it can make a huge difference in our lives. Practicing proactive gratitude can actually help us see and experience that we are enough exactly as we are. It can counteract the messages that our society thrives on giving us that we are not enough. It tells us that we aren’t thin enough, smart enough, pretty enough, together enough, sexy enough, rich enough or up-to-date with our gadgets enough.
These messages become embedded in our consciousness at a young age and they tend to stay there until we do something proactive to reverse them. The thing is, most of us are unaware they’re there. So they act as a force pushing us into an endless loop of trying to fix ourselves. We try one diet after another, one shampoo after another, one teeth whitening paste after another, one self-help book after another, one self-improvement course after another, one new gadget after another. And still it’s not enough. It leaves us feeling that we will never be enough.
Now, some people might think that’s a good thing. “Striving for perfection is part of human evolution,” some might feel. But it isn’t really. Striving for excellence is a positive endeavor, but constantly striving for perfection just reinforces that message that we are not enough now and we will never really be enough, because perfection doesn’t really exist.
And that constant rumbling in the back of our minds that we are not enough the way we are now, and that our lives are not perfect the way they are now, effects the way we feel about ourselves — and that’s the source of all the trouble. Believing at our core that we are not good enough causes us to feel that we don’t deserve to be loved; that we don’t deserve to be well-paid; that we don’t deserve to have what we truly desire; that we don’t deserve to be truly happy. And so we unconsciously repel those good things when they come our way.
For example, let’s say that I am looking for a new job (perhaps, in part, because I feel my current job is not good enough) and I’m looking online at various listings. I may completely skip right over several that might well be a good fit for me, but in looking at the qualifications I notice that I don’t have everything they’re looking for…whether that’s education or experience or skill sets. I automatically reject them before I even discover that I could develop those skills quickly on the job, or maybe having a doctorate is actually not that important to them after all. But I’ll never know that if I don’t apply. Then, when I show up for an interview at the one job for which I do completely qualify, I still feel somehow inadequate and deep down that I don’t deserve to have something really good in my life. Or, I somehow feel compelled to tell them that I have a hard time with follow-through (or whatever I feel my weakness is.)
When we feel, at our core, that we don’t have enough, or that we are not enough, it shows up in every aspect of our lives — in our relationships, in our ability to finish projects, in our ability enjoy the things we do have, and in our ability to make good decisions about important things.
So, how does something as simple as practicing gratitude help change this whole dynamic? Well, when I make a conscious effort to notice and be grateful for specific good that’s in my life on a daily basis, I eventually begin to believe that my life is pretty darn good right now. When I am grateful for all that I have, I begin, over time, to feel abundant. That feeling of being abundant leads me to places and experiences where that abundance can grow. When I train myself to notice and be grateful for all of my gifts and talents, it eventually leads me to believe that I am pretty awesome. When I feel I am pretty awesome I believe that there is nothing I can’t do.
And if there are areas where I can improve, I now believe that I have the power to actually do it…from staying with an exercise program to getting an advance degree. And as I express my gratitude to the universe for the guidance, wisdom, opportunity and strength I have been given it carries me every step of the way.
You have enough right now. You are enough right now. Open your vision to see the blessings all around you and the greatness within you. Focus on it. Be grateful for it daily and before you know it, that old core belief that you are not enough will disappear; and in its place will be an amazing you living an abundant life.