By: Alexis Meads, Regular Contributor
It all started when I first began my business. At that time, I had more bad days than good, as fear of failure danced in my head. Starting my own business meant taking a huge pay cut and leaving the financial stability a weekly paycheck brings.
I knew I wasn’t going to accept failure as an option, that this was the path I chose and that I wasn’t going anywhere. However, that didn’t leave me some days in a heap on my own couch wondering how to put the next foot in front of the other.
One day my mentor said to me, “Why don’t you keep a jar for your small wins?”
Making $20 hardly felt like a win. But I got the message, it’s so important to be grateful for every success.
As I started counting up my small wins, more and more of them kept coming.
So I counted up those small wins on tiny, crumpled pieces of paper that went into a special box.
As more of these piled up, I decided to put my attention onto bigger and better things.
Hey, why not set a monetary goal for myself that seemed almost impossible and reward myself when I achieved it?
One thing you may not know about me, is I’m an accessory lover. Purses, shoes, jewelry – ohhh I love it all! I’ve always had cool purses, but I was coveting the Louis Vuitton Never Full bag. So sleek, simple, elegant.
In the past I wouldn’t have even entertained the idea of spending “so much” money on a bag! Or, worse, I’d just go out and buy it for instant gratification and put myself into debt with it. Instead, I wanted something to work for. Because this work was my baby. For the first year I poured my sweat, blood and soul into it with little money to show for.
Fast forward to last week.
I had exceeded the goal that not so long ago felt like a far away dream.
But the bag didn’t seem to matter to me anymore. I’d rather use the money for savings or travel I told myself. Now that I reached my goal, I just felt…over it.
As I was walking to my office, enjoying the sun on my face, I looked down at my now well-worn purse that I’d been carrying around for two years. And I really, truly felt grateful for it. I noticed how much I loved the color of the lining, the feel of the leather; it really was pretty cool.
The thing with gratitude, when you give it, more usually comes your way. But you really have to feel grateful for what you have now, not just pretend.
Of course, when I walked into my office and opened my computer, an email displaying the newest styles of Louis Vuitton bags was the first thing I saw.
Taking it as a sign, I decided to go for it! After all, I’ve worked so hard, and even though I often feel like it’s a long road ahead of me, it’s important to reward ourselves along the way. And even though I had let it go, I was still thrilled to have it!
However, the excitement wasn’t just because of the gorgeous bag itself, but because of the pride of reaching my goal. Of working hard and never giving up. Of knowing that everything will work out exactly as it’s supposed to. That even greater things beyond my wildest imagination are on their way, because I let myself stretch beyond my limits.
And that’s what I want for you, to never accept failure.
Count every small success as it comes as the blessing it is, and watch as they add up. Be grateful for what you have, right now. For any amount of money that is in your bank account. For the clothes on your back, your health, friends, a warm bed to sleep in…anything.
But know that it’s okay to have goals and to reward yourself. We are all a work in progress. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and have fun along the journey!
Gratitude is so bad*ss!!
- Love Alexis' "small win jar" idea? Give it a try! Snap a photo and share your winnings on social using #thatgratitudegirl
Alexis Meads received her M.A. at Harvard University. She is a Certified Wellness Coach and Self-Love Expert. She helps women to fall madly in love, feel sexy and confident every day and create a life full of adventure. For more articles, visit www.AlexisMeads.com or download her Free Video Training here.
Image via amykingsford.com