Do you ever talk to yourself? If so, good job! If not? Hey, maybe it’s time to start. Because it’s okay to talk to yourself. It’s a useful way to encourage yourself to keep moving forward. Studies suggest that gratitude’s a good choice for self-talk.

Do you want to succeed? I start with gratitude because that works. My practice of gratitude lifts me up and gets me to work on the right stuff. Simply observing my own gratitude throughout each day helps me trust the path that I’m on.

Because I notice clues to what I’m successful at right now. Because gratefulness helps me adjust course. Because I tend to be more able to seek more of what matters to me when I’m aware of what I appreciate in the present moment.

Trusting myself to find the right path no matter what happens arises from my practice of gratitude. Because trust needs to be earned. Practicing gratitude gets me in the habit of earning trust every day because I become aware of my consistent, persistent progress.

In fact, each time I recognize what I appreciate most in that moment, I become aware of yet another clue to what success means to me. Knowing that helps me know what to do now – and what to do next. Knowing what matters helps me consistently, persistently find delight in doing the next step. No matter how mundane a task may be. No matter how rough a day may be. No matter what happens.

I act because I recognize action matters to me.

It took a lot to get there. Success in getting through challenges, crises and disasters. Learning to manage health issues. Reflection on what I learned when I earned a degree in psychology, focused on the psychology of learning. Experimentation with moving forward no matter what happens.

Along the way, I gained trust as I deepened my practice of gratitude. I’ve also continued lifting myself up by the works of others. For example, I continue studying the research work that’s out there, reading the works of folks with lots of credentials (like PhD, M.D. and the like!) who are doing studies to find out more.

Hey! Look around YOUR life, here and now.

Notice what you’re grateful for in the present moment.

Observe what you feel right now.

Recognize what matters to you in this day.

Pick one thing you feel would make a positive difference for you or someone you love.

Think of the smallest possible action you might take right now that you can do.

Decide to find a way to do it.

Maybe it’s as easy as sending a loving text to a family member.

Perhaps it’s as straightforward as going for a 12-minute walk to reduce stress.

Or as simple as getting a book on a topic you want to learn about – a printed book you can hold in your hands and read before bedtime for a bit to relax! Or calling your library to ask what would be a good choice for what you’d appreciate and asking them to hold it for you or to bring it in on interlibrary loan.

I start the process with gratitude.

Gratitude earns trust because I follow through.

I act.

You begin to follow through – and to trust yourself to do what you need to do to succeed – when you’re in a practice of gratitude. You begin to trust yourself when you see that you do the next step now. And now. And now. And now…

Each time you do a small step, it helps you. Each action brings that step closer to being a habit. Habits build the routines that lead to success with effort over time.

Building a habit of doing a step makes it familiar. You get used to it. It feels comfortable. It becomes simple. It becomes natural. Yes, it takes time to build a habit. It takes effort over time to keep moving forward to whatever success means to you. Yes, there will be bumps along the way. And… it works!

Good habits serve you well by giving you good feelings for doing your action steps. Your chosen steps are about something that’s important to you, and these good feelings will remind you that you’re on the right path to getting what matters to you to happen.

Many of the things that are important to you will take a lot of effort over a long time. Making the time and effort to get yourself started into good habits that really fit you and what you want is worth it. You give yourself a way to set yourself up to succeed over the long haul that works.

Some days, especially when you’ve first chosen a new course of action, doing the next step requires more out of you. More patience, more persistence, more figuring things out than you feel like responding with today!

When that happens, stay the course. Persistently do the next step.

Encourage yourself, urgently if necessary, that now you’re going to do the next step. Use that self-talk to remind you of how your next step matters. Allow yourself to pick smaller steps on the days you need smaller steps. Allow yourself to evaluate whether you’re still headed the right direction – and to adjust course when you need to. Give yourself breaks when you need to, as well – and get back to what you need to do as soon as you can.

Simply do what you need to do.
Yes, there will be times when fear creeps in. You may fear that you’ll never accomplish what you’ve set out to do; you may even fear you cannot do a simple step today.

When that happens, don’t give up. Instead, trust yourself enough to realize that there will be times you cannot do a simple step – and that you’re not quitting, you’re taking a break or changing course. A practice of gratitude gives the grounding necessary to make these adjustments on the fly in ways that fit who you are and what phase of life you are handling.

Trust that you’ve chosen a path that helps you respond in a way that’s going to help you grow into the person you want to be. Trust yourself that if it’s truly a day when you cannot do a step, that you’ll give yourself that day off. Trust your judgement that you really don’t need to take days off at other times.

Trust yourself to allow habits to form. Done persistently, daily steps become a habit.

It can take months to form a habit of doing an action step. Habits of doing things a certain way make it easier for you to persistently do the next step — now and each day going forward.

Once you form habits, you’ll also find that it’s easier to trust yourself to do the steps you’ve set out as important to your life. You’ll find yourself letting go of the things that stand in your way!

In fact, over time, as you develop a habit of taking your action steps, you’ll find there’s more days when it’s easier to take those steps. Even when obstacles arise!

You’ll begin to trust yourself to do what you need to do to accomplish what’s important to you. Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself, encouraging yourself to keep on taking the action steps you’ve chosen as your response to your situation. Encourage yourself!

Author's Bio: 

Cynthia Ann Leighton inspires you to encourage yourself to keep moving forward with what fits you.

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