I’m going to admit to you one of my biggest character flaws. Perhaps, even my fatal flaw. This flaw goes hand-in-hand with some of my biggest strengths, as flaws often do.
I expect a lot of my self and others. I hold myself to high standards, which propels me to work towards excellence. But I also expect the same of those around me and when others don’t live up to my high expectations, I get annoyed. I get frustrated. I get mad. I then have a tendency to fume. To rail. To express my frustration verbally to whomever is around me. There it is -- my character flaw.
However, I know this is a flaw. It is unprofessional, unbecoming, and can prevent me from achieving the goals and connections with others I am working towards. So, how can I work against this flaw? How can I work on being more understanding? Kinder? And have less, let's be honest, tantrums?
I have found that the antidote for my fatal flaw is gratitude.
I was recently listening to one of my favorite podcast series, Chase Jarvis Live, and Chase was interviewing Lewis Howes. They were talking about how anger and gratitude cannot exist in the same place, at the same time. It is next to impossible.
This was an epiphany to me. This was an answer to my blaringly obvious character flaw. Show Gratitude. Express Thanks. Acknowledge Blessings.
So, I have taken ACTION on this. And implemented the following three step plan to help me improve and become a better version of myself.
Step 1- Daily Acknowledgement of Blessings.
Each morning, John and I have committed to expressing three things we are grateful for to each other. This is so we can start our day from a place of gratitude. Acknowledging the good things we have, even on the hardest of days.
It’s simple. It doesn’t take long, but it does have an incredible impact. It allows me to start my day from a positive, thankful place.
Step 2- Express Thanks.
I am working on truly expressing my appreciation and thanks for the people in my life and the wonderful things they do for me. NOT just saying THANK YOU, but really taking the time to tell them how they impact me and why their actions mean so much.
My commitment is to find three times during the day to express that thanks to another. Big or Small. Bank teller or child. I know that expression of thanksgiving will help me be more positive, but it will also uplift another and have a ripple affect far beyond myself.
Step 3- Stop. And Be Grateful.
When I find myself in a place where I am annoyed or frustrated with another and I am prepared to rant, I am working on first acknowledging the moment, and then thinking of three things I am thankful for in that moment to counteract my annoyance, frustration, or anger.
This simple act stops the frustration in its place. You cannot be angry and grateful at the same time. Try it. It doesn’t work. The gratitude will take over and the anger will leave.
I believe if I can cultivate these three things on a daily basis, I will be a happier person. I will live in a state of gratitude and be less likely to get frustrated with others. Instead, I will be able to see the good in them and understand that they are doing the best they can. And maybe I will be able to be a little kinder with myself and realize that I too, am doing the best I can.
So, when I put on my “grateful, thankful, blessed” t-shirt from Cents of Style, it is a tangible reminder of how I am working on being a better version of myself.