Gratitude Expert: Lori Saitz
“Lori, I’m pretty sure I’m having a nervous breakdown.”
“That place where you feel you simply can NOT go one more step.”
That’s the text I got from my friend Tracy after her incredibly challenging week at a new job while dealing with personal relationship issues, some financial struggles, and a broken phone on top of everything. The last straw was her inability to get online because, unbeknownst to her, her internet provider was experiencing an outage. She was at her wit’s end.
We’ve all been there. That place where you feel you simply can NOT go one more step. It’s all too much to handle. And you want to curl up into a ball and cry until there’s nothing left of you.
This situation was magnified even more for Tracy because she takes responsibility for manifesting all these situations into her life. So, on top of what was already stressful, she was berating herself for creating this mess.
Here’s what I advised her.
You Control You:
Set boundaries. Other people will take from you all you’re willing to give them. If your new boss wants you to work 14-hour days and you say yes, you are setting her expectations from here on out.
While I’m not a big fan of Dr. Phil, the one brilliant thing I always quote him on is “We teach people how to treat us.”
You control you. And you control the behavior you accept from others. When you allow and make excuses for bad behavior, you are giving them permission to keep doing it.
“The reason we hesitate to set those boundaries comes back to fear.”
The reason we hesitate to set those boundaries comes back to fear. Fear others won’t like us, will leave us, or fire us. Then we’ll be left out in the cold, alone, and penniless. None of which is likely to actually happen.
You can use gratitude to set boundaries with grace and not come across like a petulant child.
Here’s an example. “Lisa, I really appreciate what I’m learning this week and the trust you have in me to do this job well. You deserve my full enthusiasm and energy for the tasks at hand. The only way I can do that is to take time to recharge when my batteries are drained. I am at that point now, so I need to leave. When I come back tomorrow, you’ll have my full attention again for this project.”
Yes, that may be difficult to say. However, it’s going to be more difficult to push through the exhaustion and resentment that’s inevitably coming.
Gratitude is Buried in There, Somewhere:
Secondly, when it feels like everything is sliding downhill, it’s easy to get caught in the momentum. Practice finding gratitude within EVERY circumstance. Make a game of it. It’s in there…. somewhere.
I’m grateful a new boss is a nice person with good intentions and a willingness to act on my suggestions. I’m grateful the geniuses at the Apple store were kind and helpful. And I’m grateful I have some money in the bank and available credit on my credit cards I can tap into.
Absolutely every situation provides you an opportunity to find gratitude somewhere within it.
“We DO create our own realities..”
Your tire blew out while you were driving? Scary! But at least you can feel grateful you weren’t on the highway. You WERE on the highway? At least you got to the side of the road. Or you didn’t cause an accident. Or you’re still here to talk about it.
Even the most awful, horrible, gut-wrenching situation will allow for a small opening of appreciation. Granted, maybe not right away in that very moment. But fortunately, most of us are not facing life-changing catastrophes on the regular. In perspective, we’re facing over-comeable challenges.
We DO create our own realities – even if we’re not sure what we did to manifest the chaos, (and this is certainly not something you always consciously control). The good news then is this means you can also change your perspective. So, look for gratitude. You’ll always find what you’re looking for. It’s always buried somewhere.
About the Author:
Lori Saitz loves sharing the power of gratitude and meditation with entrepreneurial professionals who hire her to help them boost business success and achieve life goals faster – without working harder. She is the CEO of Zen Rabbit, host of the podcast “FINE is a 4-Letter Word,” and a sought-after speaker. When she’s not working, you can find Lori in the weight room at the gym, because she also loves baking and eating. See more at the Zen Rabbit website and connect with her on LinkedIn.