Recently, I was in a meeting with other start-up entrepreneurs and we were all speaking candidly about our new business endeavors.
One of the participants in the group spoke so candidly about her situation that I was blown-away by her courage, and complete mindset shift. With her permission she allowed me to tell her story.
Danielle is an aspiring writer. She describers herself as an introvert and feels completely safe and comfortable when she is alone or with others that she knows well. She has always been a quiet person and never the person to initiate conversation in a group or voluntarily share her thoughts in a meeting. She feels much more comfortable observing and listening to others. She decided to join this entrepreneurs group because she thought it would be helpful to be around other entrepreneurs and to learn from others.
At the first meeting, we were asked to go around the table to talk about ourselves, the businesses that we were trying to start and what we hoped to get out of these sessions. After Danielle heard everyone speak, it was her turn to tell her story.
She was so incredibly nervous about speaking that her palms began to sweat, she was feeling extremely anxious, tightness in her chest, and when she began to speak she was partly stuttering trying to describe who she was and what she is doing. Not only did she feel nervous she was completely intimidated. She had felt as though everyone else’s business ideas were better than hers, everyone else seemed much more outgoing and lively, and she felt completely out of place.
Danielle finally managed to get through the moment of being in the spotlight, but by the end of the meeting, she was so uncomfortable, she felt so out of place that she was just going to quit. She told herself,”I can’t be a part of this group, I’m not as outgoing as the rest of these people, and besides, I’m a writer. I am not even starting my own business.”
She dwelled in this place and in this mindset for weeks and trying to get the courage to tell the leader of the group that this was not for her and that she wants to quit.
The Power of Gratitude:
However, right before she was going to call the leader, something on the inside of her said to be grateful. She doesn’t even know where this came from but she began to look at her entire life, not just this entrepreneurial group from the eyes of gratitude. She was grateful for her family, friends, her job, the talent of being a writer and more.
Once Danielle, began to open her mind of being grateful for what she already had, her mind began to expand to other areas of her life, including the entrepreneur group.
Danielle realized that she had a group of people that she could learn from. She realized that this group of people could help her grow through this anxiety of speaking in a small group. She could be grateful for the opportunity to stretch herself and be able to offer the group her gifts as well. It was a complete transformation in the way of her thinking and it all stemmed from looking at the situation through the eyes of gratitude.
Gratitude or even gratefulness statements can be a great exercise that can help build up your muscle for encountering situations that may be uncomfortable or that stretch you out of your comfort zone. Ultimately, uncomfortable situations can lead you to growth.
When Danielle told us this story in our 2nd group session I was so moved by her courage and her profound transformation of looking at the same situation through the eyes of gratitude. I was truly in awe of her and the courage it took to tell her story.
What would it look like if we looked at our challenges through the eyes of gratitude?
How might our difficulties be transformed or how could WE be transformed by looking at our challenges through the eyes of gratitude?
Thank you so much Danielle for sharing your story and inspiring us all to be more grateful.