By Chloe Wigan
Playing in the online world is absolutely incredible — but let’s be honest — it isn’t always easy.
There’s the slow growth. The setbacks. The things that don’t turn out the way we thought they would (or the way we really wanted them too!). The never-ending to-do list. And so on...
It can all be overwhelming and totally discouraging.
However, I’ve found that there’s one thing that has been profound in helping me to navigate the tumultuous waters of the online world and that is: GRATITUDE.
My gratitude practice has truly been my lifeline in staying afloat during the past 18 months of blogging, and here are 5 ways you can use gratitude to help you navigate the online world with more ease.
1. Gratitude can help you not get caught up in your stats.
When I first started my blog I put off sending my first newsletter for months, partly because I was terrified, but mostly because I didn’t see the point in sending it to only a few people.
I used gratitude to turn my attention to what I did have — which was 13 people who had chosen to hear more from me (without any kind of incentive!).
And being grateful for these people helped me to appreciate how incredible this really was, and I realised that I couldn’t even fit that many people around my dinner table! Acknowledging and appreciating this helped me to be able to press send on my very first email to them.
I truly know that numbers aren’t everything — however — when we’re playing in the online world it can be super easy to get caught up in thinking we always need more likes, more subscribers and more followers — no matter how many we have.
Putting this into action in my own life:
I have a gratitude ritual that I do at the beginning of each week where I check my stats, enter them into my tracking spreadsheet, and then take 5 minutes to do a gratitude meditation, which I dedicate to every single person in my various online communities. By the time I finish this ritual I always feel so grateful for the people who are already there and this helps me to start off the week focusing on serving them.
2. Gratitude can help you to not feel discouraged by unfollows.
Unfollows and unsubscribes are inevitable in the online world — and they happen to every single person.
It can be easy to fall in the trap of feeling rejected when someone chooses to unfollow or unsubscribe from your community, but I find gratitude to be a really powerful way to stop me feeling inadequate — and to help me move on quickly
I do this by:
- Having a “goodbye” email setup on my mailing list, so when someone does unsubscribe they are automatically sent a note to thank him or her for being apart of my community.
- When I’ve noticed unsubscribes or unfollows and as a result are feeling inadequate, to shift my perspective I take some time to write out or think about how I can be grateful for this person choosing not to hear from me anymore, which might look something like this:
Thank you for choosing to be a part of my community, and I appreciate the time you chose to spend hanging out in my world. I’m grateful that you’ve chosen to leave now that you no longer resonate with my work, thank you for creating space for others who are truly aligned with my message.
3. Gratitude can help you to see failure differently.
You won’t hear a scientist say their experiment was a failure because it didn’t turn out the way they thought it would. Instead, they focus on what they did find and what they could do differently next time.
I take this same approach when trying new things online, because after all everything we do online is an experiment anyway.
I’ve found that gratitude can help me shift away from the “I’m a failure” mentality and instead focus on being more objective about what worked and what didn’t, and to help me take something away from the experience.
Here are 4 questions you can ask yourself to help you explore how you can be grateful for a “failure”:
1. What did I learn from this experience?
2. How can I see this experience differently?
3. In a year what will I appreciate about this experience?
4. If this experience is something I don't want more of — what has it taught me about what I DO want more of?
4. Gratitude can help you avoid falling into the comparison trap.
Ahhh the comparison trap! This can be even more dangerous when you want to keep showing up online, because comparison can make us feel like whatever we do will never be good enough, and can also lead to us not doing anything at all.
I’ve found gratitude to be profound in helping me to not fall into the trap of comparing myself to other people online. And I do this by writing down or thinking about how I can be grateful for this person and what they’re doing.
This might look like:
Dear [person’s name who you’re comparing yourself to],
It’s so amazing to see that you are [whatever awesome thing they’re doing that’s making you feel inadequate].
Thank you for [explore how you can be grateful for them and what they’re doing].
E.g. thank you for being an incredible example of what’s possible for me.
I find that doing this turns comparison turns into appreciation — and inadequacy into possibility.
5. Gratitude can help you celebrate the wins!
So far we’ve been exploring how we can use gratitude to help us navigate things that can get us down in the online world, however, to finish off my absolute favourite way to use gratitude in the online world is to help me celebrate the wins.
It’s not always natural or easy to celebrate ourselves, which is why I love using gratitude to help me to acknowledge — and appreciate — my wins as they happen.
So for example the day I had an article published on The Huffington Post I dedicated part of my gratitude practice to acknowledging and celebrating this win, and the day this article goes live I’ll be sure to do this as well! ;-)
The next time you’ve had a win instead of moving on straight away, take the time to use gratitude to celebrate yourself.
This might look like:
I’m grateful for [the win you want to celebrate] because [why you’re grateful and proud of yourself for this win].
The online world — even with it’s ups and downs — is truly an incredible place to be, and I hope that these tips can help you use gratitude to navigate the online world with more ease.
Chloe read her first self-development book when she was 12, started practicing gratitude and meditating when she was 13, and now she is a certified life coach with a background in psychology.
Her mission is to inspire incredible young humans to transcend what they think is possible.
Connect with Chloe, find out more about The 28 Day Gratitude Project and get access to The Infinite Collection (a free mini library of resources) at oneinfinitelife.com.