You’re not alone if you’re struggling to express gratitude on the job. That’s the “bad” news.

Here’s the “good” news though. You have a job, you’re getting paid, and you sidestepped a major financial crisis even though the company you work for struggled during the pandemic.

But still, it’s hard to be grateful when everything in your life in the last year or so feels completely out of your control. So, you unintentionally lash out at your team leader or the business owner who kept you on payroll.

What if you could flip the script and express on-the-job gratitude instead?

APPRECIATION IS A CHOICE

Choosing appreciation means having an awareness of the sacrifices made by the company to keep your role intact.

Even if it meant operating at breakeven, or potentially at a loss to do so. Which ultimately equates to the owner taking a pay cut.

This alone speaks volumes as to the value you hold as a key player to help execute the company mission.

AWARENESS IS YOUR TICKET TO GRATITUDE AT WORK 

The first step to on-the-job gratitude is awareness…

Awareness of what’s going on around you and how you react when things are uncertain or unsettling.

It also includes awareness of your own thoughts, especially the dialogue you allow to run unchecked in your head.

Because, as a human, you are hard-wired towards a negative bias. Always on the lookout for potential threats, problems, and doomsday scenarios.

It’s a throwback to that reptilian brain thinking that kept humans alive early in our evolution…And it no longer serves us today. Instead, it causes undue stress, heightened anxiety, and often locks people into long-term depressive states.

MINDFULNESS IS A PRACTICE

It’s not easy to be mindful all the time…At least until you decide to create a habit of being mindful.

Mindfulness requires intention as well as attention, plus the already mentioned awareness of how you’re showing up.

When you catch your dialogue running towards resentment, scarcity, or what you don’t have (which in most cases is a lack of feeling safe or in control of circumstances), that’s when it’s time to shift.

Not after looking for company for your misery (recruiting other team members to complain to about it).

Not after mentally chalking one up to being “right” about something happening that you didn’t want to happen.

And, especially not after being reactionary towards your team leader, officer, or owner of the company where you work.

REACTING VERSUS RESPONDING

If you focus on being aware of the reaction you’re having when things aren’t working out as you would like them to, that’s when you get to practice being more mindful in responding. 

One simple way to shift is to say “W.A.I.T.” out loud (or to yourself if you’ll “hear” it over the other negative thoughts racing in your brain).

Acknowledge the recurring negative thought as separate from you. Remind yourself that this is a thought, it’s not real. What is real is your ability to think.

Then, proceed to acknowledge that you are the thinker of your thoughts.

For the final step, aloud (or mentally) say, “I chose to move my attention to…” and choose something to replace the reactionary or negative thought.

In this case, an ideal shift would be to move your attention to gratitude to have a job that’s been preserved and is waiting for you every day.

FLIPPING THE SCRIPT TO GRATITUDE TAKES A LITTLE TIME

It’s not about being perfect. It’s more about acknowledging that you’re human too.

You can create a work culture of gratitude and joy, enabling others on your team to feel safe to share their fears, concerns, and feelings.

Effectively, you can flip the script not just for yourself, but for everyone else by modeling transparency and vulnerability.

All it takes is a little patience, practice, and persistence. But perhaps most importantly, it takes you making the commitment to choose gratitude.And, if you or your team needs some guidance on modeling gratitude, feel free to drop me an email so I can share more tips and resources with you.