How to Say ‘Thanks’ Even for the ‘Bad’ Stuff
The awesome power of gratitude & how to use it as your secret weapon for happiness & success
Hi again, I’m Jackie Courtney the Founder & CEO of Nearly Newlywed, the global destination to shop the best new and preowned wedding dresses, jewelry, accessories & bridal gifts. I am also a writer, startup advisor and love supporting other female founders & entrepreneurs.
Since turning 35 (ah!) I have been trying to share more of my experience and the experiences of other female business owners I’ve met with transparency and honesty. My hope is that it can be helpful and empowering to other women in business and in life.
So today, on the eve before Thanksgiving & the heels of #NationalEntrepreneursDay yesterday, I thought I would chat a bit about gratitude and giving thanks as it applies to business, life and how I try to use it on repeat. Also found a way to work in pie, because, always yes to pie especially during the holidays.
Gratitude. It’s important. It’s like the gateway drug to happiness. And it’s a cornerstone of finding, as well as enjoying, success.
But alas, it's not a little pill or something that takes a few little ‘yay thanks for that’ here and there and then you are set. It’s a practice. And like all such things it takes work. And it’s often the first thing to go in times of stress.
And having a business and being a brand is hard work and is often stressful. So in times of stress, times of omg I don’t know what I am doing or why I am doing it. Times of I am going to quit because no one gets it, no one gets me, the world is out to get me, this isn’t worth it at all… these are the times you need to pull out the big guns. And the big guns, I am telling you, are the transformational feel good vibes of gratitude.
Because…. And here’s the thing. The really big thing.
Gratitude is awesome. For the ‘good’ and for the ‘bad’ - for all of it.
It is awesome for your personal life.
It is awesome for your brain.
It is awesome for your brand.
It is awesome for your business.
It. Is. Awesome.
And perhaps perhaps most importantly, it is awesome when you use it to say ‘thank you’ for the not so great stuff.
Let me explain.
There is this photo I love. I have it on the center of my wall in my office. It is a black and white picture of Lucille Ball getting a pie smashed into her face. And you can tell in the image that that pie had velocity. It was thrown at her. It wasn’t just placed there it was thrown at her face, hard and center. Smash crash plop.
I love it for so many reasons. I love it because it reminds me to put myself out there. I love it because it reminds me that the worst thing that usually can happen isn’t honestly probably that bad, certainly not as bad as I imagine it. It reminds me that criticism is something that is outside of you, and even when it hits you in the face and smarts, it isn’t you, it’s outside. And it reminds me that you can reframe the story you tell yourself about anything, that you can be grateful for most things and sometimes actually like the by definition crappy things that happen to you.
You can see that pie in the face as ‘OUCH! OMG! I CANT BELIEVE THAT HATER JUST THREW A PIE AT MY FACE I AM NEVER TRYING TO BE FUNNY AGAIN I QUIT UGH! TODAY IS THE WORST!’
Or, you can be, thankful for it.
You can say, YUMMMMMMMMM, PIE!!!
And take the power away from that negative thing and see it as a positive. … because you can learn and become smarter from it… because you can transcend it… own it… learn from criticism or the experience perhaps… and if not, at the least, you can know and appreciate that you weathered it and lived through it and wipe the whipped cream off your nose.
Gratitude makes you a happier and more empowered human. It’s like magic. It gets into your bones just like stress and negativity does, but instead, it pops into your head that you are grateful that the sun is bright and warm on your face. That swedish fish were invented. That someone sent you a nice email. That you crossed something off your to do list. That you started your own business and HAVE the power to write your own to do list. That you can wear printed socks, and that emojis are super fun to use. That you aren’t the jerk that threw the pie but instead are the person on the STAGE putting yourself out there and on the line while that other person is just sitting in the pit, on the sideline, lobbing judgments instead of living their own truth out loud.
And you can just, revel in the beauty of yourself, and all that is around you, and you can get power and energy from it. All of it.
Gratitude is big. It’s really, really, really big. And it feels good. To think about it. To practice it. To sprinkle it on the people around you and the days that you walk and most importantly on yourself, no matter the day.
So this holiday, this year, and as I resolve what to work on for the next one, in life and in business, I am trying to practice even more thankful thankfulness and will be filling my holiday cup with oodles of gratitude.
And i hope you will try to too. Because it can change you. It can help you be a better person. And it can help you propel yourself further in the world and with your business.