Business

Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Gratitude List by @nskbelanger

by Nicole Belanger | Featured Contributor

What are you grateful for right this moment?

When was the last time you stopped to reflect on that question?

When did you last make room for gratitude amidst the chaos and clutter that is the mind of an entrepreneur?

I’m guessing it’s probably been a while…let’s fix that.

Old Fashioned, All-Natural Stress Solution

Entrepreneurship, while exhilarating and challenging, doesn’t always make for an easy life.

It can come with a great deal of stress and anxiety — and that’s only the business part of your life. Add on work-life balance challenges, family stress, and health challenges and life starts to look pretty rough.

But despite the many challenges we face, we know one thing to be true: that life — especially the entrepreneurial life — is a beautiful, special, and precious thing.

So what if we could ‘bottle’ all those great days filled with joy and positive energy and use them as a store to build us up when the grind is getting us down?

The good news is that we can and the even better news is that it is absolutely free and you can start today.

It’s called gratitude.

Gratitude Is Worth Your Time — I Promise!

Like anyone, I’ve experienced my fair share of challenges in life.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the challenging times where I am actively practicing gratitude end up being far less painful and detrimental to my overall wellbeing than the difficult times where I refuse to make time to take note of all the incredible gifts that I have in my life.

Consistently practicing gratitude also has a positive effect on my relationships and my productivity.

But don’t just take my word for it — numerous academic studies done over the last several years have confirmed that has very real positive impacts on our emotional, mental, and physical health.

And on top of the personal benefits that we get when we are grateful, extending that gratitude to others helps to “share the wealth”, so to speak:

As Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project, explains “Feeling genuinely appreciated lifts people up. At the most basic level, it makes us feel safe, which is what frees us to do our best work. It’s also energizing”.

How to Incorporate Gratitude Into Your Daily Life

The good news is that your gratitude practice can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

In fact, the most important element of my gratitude practice takes all of 30 seconds, costs absolutely nothing, and requires no fancy tools: it’s a note on my iPhone.

It’s simple as can be: I keep a running note in my phone called ‘Gratitude’ where I jot done in point-form all the things that I’m grateful for in that moment. I try to make time for it every night, but I’ve made the choice not to force myself to stick to a daily habit to preserve the organic and spontaneous feel of this practice. The notes range from the little things like finding a great parking spot, to the bigger things like my health and my family.

For those of you who are analog junkies out there, a paper gratitude journal works just as well. You can also try using a day planner, or a whiteboard in your office.

Practice Makes Awesome

As Dr. Robert A Emmons, Professor at UC Davis and author of Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, has found in his research, individuals who maintained a gratitude journal for 10 weeks reported feeling happier, more optimistic about the future, and generally felt better about their lives.

The key to successfully cultivating an attitude of gratitude is consistency.  Kate Durie, creator of {theGRATITUDEkit} workshop series taught me, gratitude truly is a practice. It requires you to make an ongoing investment of time and energy. It doesn’t need to take hours, but it requires you to make the effort to show up for yourself on a daily basis.

I know that your life is full to the brim, but I promise that the return on even the smallest investment in your gratitude practice will dramatically improve your personal and professional life.

Photo courtesy of Coley Christine Catalano on Unsplash

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Nicole Belanger – Women’s Leadership Advocate – Ottawa, Canada

Nicole Nicole Belanger is on a mission to help you live a full and intentional life. The opportunity to connect someone to their highest potential is what gets her out of bed (early) in the morning!

She is an Ottawa, Canada-based writer, blogger, entrepreneur, and community organizer. A passionate advocate for women’s leadership, Nicole’s life revolves around finding new ways to support emerging women leaders in her community.

Nicole is the founder of the Ottawa Chapter of Ladies Learning Code, a women-run non-profit offering beginner-friendly technology education, as well as the National Sponsorships and Partnerships Manager for the organization.

She is also actively involved in the startup community, and is a former organizer of Startup Weekend Ottawa.

Nicole’s writings on personal development, leadership, and entrepreneurship have been published in Levo League, Business Insider, Intern Queen, and Urban Native Magazine, among others.

In her spare time, you can find Nicole reading, making gratitude lists, enjoying a glass of cab sauv, meditating, going on roadtrips, and learning to golf!

Nicole loves nothing more than hearing from amazing women doing amazing things…so please say hello!

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2 Replies to “Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Gratitude List by @nskbelanger”

  1. Nina

    Hi Nicole. Thank you for this post. It is so true that practicing gratitude improves all aspects of our lives. I always felt pressured to make the practice every day but I like your suggestion of keeping it organic, and jotting down all of the things you feel grateful for in a moment instead of just one. I’ve been using this site thankaday.com to keep track of mine. It’s cool because I can see other people’s entries and sometimes I’m reminded of additional things I am grateful for, too.

  2. Amanda Hoffmann

    What a encouraging a beautiful article. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

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