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Future-You Uses Gratitude Differently

brené brown future-you gratitude personal growth Nov 24, 2023
Gratitude in a cup of coffee

Gratitude is a feeling; but it’s also a practice.

I don’t know about you, but this year’s been a bit rough at our house. And last year. And the year before.

The thing is, life keeps on life-ing. And it’s going to. It’s supposed to. We never arrive at a place where things are all good. No matter how much we want it to be that way.

In the past, I was waiting. I was waiting for life to finally ease up, waiting for people to express their gratitude, waiting to feel “good enough” or that I had done enough. Sadly, this day never came.

But here’s the problem. We won’t feel the gratitude of others if we aren’t open to feeling grateful or believing that we are enough. It’s a bit convoluted, but no one can make you feel their gratitude. They can express their gratitude, but only you can feel it. The same way if you express gratitude to someone else, and they aren’t open to it (grouchy child for example), they won’t feel it in that moment either.

Gratitude, the feeling of being grateful is an emotion, but it’s also something most of us need to practice experiencing. Including feeling grateful to ourselves.

So pause with me here. Put your hand on your heart, and take a breath. And feel me thanking you. Feel me, expressing my gratitude to you for being here, reading this. I’m grateful for your readership, grateful if we have had a chance to work together, grateful to you being the kind of human that you are, who cares for other people. 

Thank you!

And now, I invite you to do the same for yourself. Thank yourself for the wonderful human, with mad skills, intense love and caring for others, and yes, the flaws that make us all human. Thank yourself for who you are.

If you practice feeling gratitude, whether it’s directed towards yourself (a practice I highly recommend and that won’t make you an @$$-hole) or towards other humans, you will start to notice more gratitude in your life. You’ll notice it coming from other people (staff, family, patients, etc). You’ll notice other people practicing gratitude. You’ll notice more things and experiences to feel grateful for.

What we pay attention to grows. Choose to pay attention to gratitude.

If you want more practice, here are a few things to try:

  1. Search for your favorite “loving kindness meditation” on YouTube or a meditation app; repeat this daily
  2. Keep a different kind of gratitude journal: Each day, write down 1 thing you are grateful to yourself for, 1 thing you are grateful to another human for, and 1 joyful experience from the day
  3. If you are a woman physician, come join the next round of Healing Perfectionism in Women Physicians ( and do this in community. 

Hi There!

I'm Megan. I'm a Physician and a Life Coach and a Mom. I created this blog to help other Physicians and Physician-Moms learn more about why they feel exhausted, burned-out and overwhelmed, and how to start to make changes. I hope that you enjoy what you read, and that it helps you along your journey. And hey, if you want to talk about coaching with me, I'm here for that too! I offer a free 1:1 call to see if we are a good fit. Click the button below to register today.

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