One of the scariest things I’ve ever had to undergo is a 360. You know – you get feedback from those around you about your performance (I know, I’ve had a tough life). While in the Applied Positive Psychology program, we did a different type of 360. We did a VIA character strengths 360. In other words, our classmates commented on the strengths they saw in us.
Like all 360s, this was illuminating because others see the strengths in us that we don’t see. They also don’t see the strengths in us that we are not good at demonstrating. Though I’m gratified to hear of the strength that others saw in me that I do not tend to recognize in myself, I was dismayed to hear about the strength that I’m not so good at displaying: gratitude.
The truth is that my heart overflows with gratitude each day, especially after going through the MAPP program. Equally true is that my world view prevents me from displaying it as much as I probably should. There’s that little part of me that is afraid of showing my affection, appreciation or love because of my fear of rejection, ridicule or indifference. It doesn’t take a lot for me to overcome this fear, but it does take a conscious decision. For me to show my gratitude proportional to the degree I feel it would mean that several times per day (a lot), I would have to make a conscious effort to express my gratitude beyond a mere “thank you”, an effort probably worth making.
Until my expression and feelings of gratitude are in alignment, I’ll have to settle for making it up by blogging about my gratitude. I’m going to skip over the physical world ranging from clean air to the realm of technology and go straight to you, the ones that really matters.
You, whether I know you or not, are what gives meaning to anything we have or anything we do.
You are this incredible, sparkling, effervescent being whose spirit is as unique as your DNA. You’re full of hidden talents and love, and you make a one-of-a-kind contribution to mankind.
You are capable of unbelievable acts of courage, kindness, generosity, love, creativity, wisdom and ingenuity.
However, like me, you may not always know it or show it.
But you are also capable of incredible growth and change. Within you, within all of us, is the power to do almost anything. In 2015, my wish for you is the ability to believe in that power, and grow it.
Happy New Year!