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I Don’t Like “Thankfulness” by Lisa McCourt

 Lisa“I Don’t Like “Thankfulness.” Crazy, right? Everyone says gratitude’s the shZizzle! But in working with my Joy-Training clients, I’ve found that very often there’s a smidge of a belief — way underneath there — that if we’re really grateful, it means we don’t deserve the thing we’re grateful for. Like: “Oh, thank you; I’m so grateful to you; I don’t deserve this . . .” In a super-subtle way, it puts you in a slightly lower position to the thing you’re grateful for. And if you don’t fully believe – on every level – that you deserve a thing, you are most definitely subconsciously blocking yourself from receiving it.

Know what word I like better? “Appreciation.” You can appreciate a gorgeous work of art, for example, without any of that subtext. When you’re appreciating something, you’re merging with the wonderfulness of it. It’s like you share its energy; you’re feeling joy from this thing, period. You’re not feeling indebted to it, the way “gratitude” almost, sort-of implies.

The most insidious side-effect of all this focus on the importance of gratitude is this: It causes a lot of people to look at their lives and say, “Wow, I should be thankful for this.” But what if that feeling isn’t authentic for you? Then you add the “should be thankful” judgement to that laundry-list of judgements you carry around about yourself. And compounding that list does nothing for your self-love. So if you’re feeling like your life sucks right now, I want you stop trying to be grateful for it. It’s too hard. I’m going to show you how to “appreciate” it instead.

Let’s say, for instance, you feel a financial lack right now. You’d like to have more money. Well, you have some money, right? If I said to you now, “I want you to be grateful for your money,” you could probably stretch and do it, but you’d most likely feel a little resistance when I suggest that. Like: “Ha! Money is the source of all my stress. How can I feel grateful? Sure I have some money, but it’s hard to feel grateful when it’s not nearly as much as I need/want, blah, blah, blah . . .”

But what if I said, “Can you appreciate the money you have?” It’s easier, right? You do have some money, and you did have breakfast, and I presume no one reading this is sleeping under a bridge tonight. So . . . that’s something to appreciate, right?

Maybe it’s not money for you. Maybe there’s something else in your life you feel you’re lacking. What one thing, if it were to materialize tomorrow, would make you feel complete, joyful, like you’d arrived at peace? See if you can identify it as a concept word like money, fitness, success, love . . . .

Now whatever it is, I want you to acknowledge that there is some of this thing in your life. If you want to be thinner, or more fit, or more healthy, you can probably acknowledge that you possess some degree of health in this moment, right? There are people who have less health than you have. If love is what you’re lacking, I want to congratulate you for loving yourself enough to read this post. You do have some love in your life.

Point is: I guarantee you that there are multiple people in this universe walking around right now with half of whatever you have in this area of lack that you identified. Half your money, half your health, half your love.

So you can see that there’s something you can appreciate about this specific area of your life. Not necessarily be thankful about it – not if it hurts – but you can appreciate it, right?

Well, guess what. Appreciation has a causative effect on growth. What you appreciate grows. Even in the financial world, this is the word they use! In the bank, if your money is “appreciating,” what is it doing? It’s growing. You’re getting more of it.

It’s okay to want more of this thing. But only, only, only from the space of appreciation. If you didn’t appreciate it, you wouldn’t want it to begin with! Why do you even want more money? Because you have some money, and you appreciate what you’re able to do with it! If you lived on Krypton and you’d never heard of money, you wouldn’t want it. I want you to internalize this right now. This is an opportunity to make an energetic shift that can have freakin’ miraculous repercussions for you!

If you want from a space of lack, you’ll never manifest jack. Wanting needs to be exciting! Fun! That’s where the creative energy is. In Juicy Joy Training, we wiggle our hips when we say the word “want.” We have a gleam in our eyes.

Wanting a thing = loving it. You can’t know you love it unless you have — or have had — some degree of it. Ergo: Wanting = Having and Loving! Wanting = Having and Loving!

When you get really immersed in the appreciation of having the thing you want, you’ll be dialed into the right frequency to allow more of that thing to flow toward you. That’s the zone of effortless creativity. Appreciation is a form of love, so whatever it is you want more of, the secret to getting it is to deliberately focus your attention on your genuine love for this thing!

There’s a Kafka quote I adore: “By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.” So desires are good! Necessary! They just have to come from love, not lack.

I wish you happy fulfillment of all of your desires!

Lisa McCourt is changing millions of lives with her bestselling books and trainings. Her joyful passion for the power of words has propelled a hugely successful 26-year publishing career studded with industry awards, starred reviews, international honors, and mega-sales.

Juicy Joy CoverHer latest release (from Hay House) is Juicy Joy – 7 Simple Steps to Your Glorious, Gutsy Self. It’s the culmination of three decades of full immersion in the world of personal development, training with top gurus to decipher the secrets of radical, lasting joy. Lisa now spends much of her time teaching the principles of her seven-step path—principles grounded in a foundation of authenticity and self-love .Currently Lisa divides her professional time between her roles as a Joy Trainer and a Writing & Creativity Coach. Learn more at  lisamccourt.com

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12 Responses to “I Don’t Like “Thankfulness” by Lisa McCourt”

  1. Great article! Gratitude and feeling thankful has been a real problem for me. You nailed it. It puts me in a place of not feeling worthy or deserving. But appreciation is a whole different energy vibration to work with! For me, it feels more like comingfrom a pace of wholeness, where appreciating something makes both me and that which I appreciate greater, fuller, more… Thank you, :-) , for writing this article! I truly appreciate it!

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  2. Nina says:

    You have missed out on this one.
    Gratitude is of great spiritual significance and changes lives!
    I know it has changed my life in so many ways!
    The truth behind how to work with gratitude is to only speak of those things you are truly, truly grateful for….no matter how small or big. This will then grow to other blessings to be grateful for. It is never to be forced or contrived.
    Start small with little things if need be…and watch how it grows.
    Saying appreciation is just playing games with words and yourself.
    It may take you there, just takes longer.

    Love Touches All,
    Nina

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  3. Leila says:

    Thanks for your article Lisa. I too have a problem with using the gratitude word. Appreciation seems a more natural attitude to take.

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  4. Janice says:

    When I started reading the article I was not so sure about replacing the word Gratitude with the word Appreciate; but, when I tried interchanging them in a statement, it did make a difference in how I perceived my desired want or need.

    In the synonym dictionary, gratitude means appreciate. Interestingly, the definition of appreciate usually includes “to be” as part of the definition, i.e. “to be thankful for”, “to be glad about”, “to be pleased about”, to value, welcome, realize. So, thank you Lisa – I appreciate YOU!

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  5. Tracois Edwards says:

    I love the words gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciate, as well as the emotion that is evoked when in full expression of each. It’s all perspective which serves each person in different ways. Perspectives are great because behind it is choice and making choices is empowering. I appreciate you, Lisa, for your offering; as it has opened me to new ways of viewing gratitude and appreciation. My coaching clients always benefit from my willingness to be flexible, not to mention ME. Thank you!

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  6. Tracie says:

    I have a slightly different issue with using gratitude/”I am grateful for” but it does seem related to your take on it. My problem is that being grateful for something, to me, has the connotation that it was just given to me and could easily be taken away; that it’s not really outright just mine or just is, period, end of subject.

    I noticed this last year when I began using gratitude for the fabulous things I have in my life and it suddenly began occurring to me that these things could be taken or lost somehow. This is something that had never occurred to me before and it scares the hell out of me because I very strongly believe part of how I have what I have, and am how I am, is because it has never once occurred to me that my house would ever not be mine no matter how bad things got, or that my health would ever be anything less than indestructible, etc.

    My strength, as far as I can tell, has always been my complete lack of self-doubt about things I decide. I “know” things, therefore they are and that’s it. Apparently I had been reasonably successfully practicing LOA most of my life, I just had no idea it was an actual thing and that there was a much more organized way of going about it, lol

    Gratitude, on the other hand, not only struck me as putting myself in a lower position, which I didn’t particularly like, but actually created doubts/concerns/insecurities where there weren’t any ever before. It caused thoughts and fears of loss of the things I love; something I think we all can agree is truly counter-productive. I had to stop using “I am grateful for…” because it made me feel weaker and more subject to outside forces; definitely not stronger and more in control of my reality.

    So, rather than use gratitude, I simply take a minute regularly and specifically think about how happy my husband makes me and how much he loves me, how wonderful my fuzzy people are and how much love they give me, feel how happy my house makes me, etc. Appreciation, like you said! Sooo much better. Now if only those pointless doubts hadn’t been created in the first place. But that’s okay, I’m tapping them back into oblivion where they came from, lol

    Thank you so much for bringing this issue up. I really thought it was just me that felt “gratitude” had seriously unpleasant aspects.

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  7. Kevin Peck says:

    I can relate to this. Thankfulness brings negative feelings to me. Appreciation is indeed a better alternative. It brings positive feelings to me. Releasing the power of appreciation is something I can use in my journeys.

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  8. Tracie says:

    Sorry to write again, but it just occurred to me that your article addresses another concern I’d been having that never seems to be addressed anywhere.

    I’m sure it will sound strange to many people, but I’ve been kind of worried that because I am so happy with what I have, it might actually be getting in the way of moving forward. People, no matter what their position is, generally don’t like change and resist it. People that are happy, it stands to reason, really don’t want things to change, lol!

    So I had begun wondering if the appreciation I feel for the things I have was actually causing the procrastination and resistance I keep getting to fully engaging in the final steps necessary to move forward and get what I want now. As in my subconscious thoughts saying, “We are so happy with our life now but if we get more, that, by definition, would mean things will be different than exactly how things are now and that could be dangerous. What if ‘more’ somehow takes away from the happiness we already have?”

    Do you see where I’m going with this? This is how your thoughts about wanting more of what you already appreciate, I think, will be very helpful to me in overcoming this weird issue of being too happy with what I have but still wanting more. Viewing it through the lens of just wanting more of what I already have is completely different from thinking that what I want has the capacity to throw my life in a completely different direction.

    Thank you so much for this very helpful change of perspective! It is exactly what I needed!

    I can’t tell you how pleased I am that I found your article in my inbox! Although, this sort of thing does happen for me an awful lot, lol! 2 days ago, out of the blue, a trusted source sent me a little piece of code that solved my Google Analytics bounce rate calculation issue that had been driving me nuts for weeks that I couldn’t figure out how to solve. Yesterday I was notified that I won a copy of a piece of software that I really wanted to try but had missed the launch for, etc. I really do appreciate how the things I really want or need have a way of just showing up :) It is a beautiful thing!

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  9. Lisa McCourt says:

    I so love this discussion! Thanks you, one and all, for your insights and sharing — I truly love when a topic I’m passionate about resonates with others and they want to engage with me around it — what fun!
    Tracie, I especially love how you’ve expanded on this concept. I definitely would not worry about being too happy to manifest properly! It’s that happiness with (and appreciation for!) all you have that keeps bringing more wonderful circumstances to you. No surprise to me at all that a code you need would appear in your inbox . . . or that the precisely perfect software would fall magically in your lap. You go, girl!
    Sending yummy buckets of APPRECIATION to you all!

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  10. Robert Camou says:

    APPRECIATION FOR THIS ARTICLE IS GREATLY FELT. THANK YOU!

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  11. Jacquie says:

    I am so happy I got this today,gratitude and thankful are two words I grew up with that didn’t make me feel good, they always made me feel awful,I heard these words used in such a way as meaning you owe me for the cloths on your back the food in your mouth ect. Im so glad I now have a way to express those feelings in a way that feel good Appreciate is the best word ever for me. thank you

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  12. Beth says:

    Great article and posts. I LOVE the shift from gratitude to appreciation! I wonder how that shift will manifest in my life now…perhaps clear some blocks….

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