Choosing To Be Grateful

I love being an extra, but I would be lying if I said I always kept a positive attitude while working. This past week I got an email to be a part of a set that I had been dying to work on since we moved here a year ago. I was absolutely pumped… but at the same time a little nervous. My body still goes through immense pain flares and I wondered if I would be able to keep up with the potential high demands of this job.

The night before work, I found out that I would have to be on set 4:50am(meaning I needed to wake up around 3am). I tried to go to sleep early the night before, but I never got to a full state of being asleep. It felt like when you are a kid, the night before the first day of school, and your body is so ready for the next day that it won’t shut off. A couple hours into this tossing and turning I realized, “I am not going to get good sleep tonight….” Or will I?

Recently I have been reading a lot about the power of our thoughts, specifically that we can convince ourselves that we are well rested, even when we are not. In that moment, I made a decision. When I “woke up” in the morning I would say, “I feel so rested! I slept great last night. I am so excited for today!” It may seem silly to tell myself something that isn’t true, but I continued to repeat that to myself all day long. Crazy enough, it worked. I really didn’t think about my poor sleep much at all.

I was also correct that this set was no joke. I worked a total of 16 hours in the heat, sun, and then rain. 4 hours into my day, I thought to myself, “It is so hot out here. My feet hurt so bad. I wish I was resting right now.” I began to tell a story to myself, a story where I was a poor victim of this awful day. In a split second I realized how I was being a complete negative nancy. In fact, I felt ashamed.

How long had I hoped and dreamed to be on this set? How many people would kill to be in my uncomfortable and wet shoes? How silly would my friends think I am if they knew I was complaining about this amazing opportunity?

The funny thing is, just like how my negative thoughts had spread like wildfire, my positive ones began to spread just as fast. I must have walked so many miles that day, but after that point all I could think was, “I have the coolest job. I am so lucky to have a flexible job where I pick my own days of work. Some guy flew from Chicago to be here, how amazing is it that I live so close? I am so thankful that my husband dropped me off so early in the morning and will be here when I get off work. I remember the days I prayed for a husband and now I have the best one.” The positivity and gratitude spread like wildfire. Soon, I was listing things I was thankful for that had nothing to do with my current work day.

I will admit, I can become quite the grouch when I am in pain and tired, but I truly do believe we have a choice on which thoughts to feed. I have been working hard this past year to change my perspective and this work day was a true test. Would I complain about being tired and sweaty? Or would I acknowledge that I am so lucky to live the life I do?

I got into our car after work with a huge smile on my face. I had an amazing day. Was it easy? Heck no! But I made memories I will never forget and walked away with a life lesson I had been trying to put into practice for months now. We can always choose to be grateful. We can always choose to see the good.

36 Comments

  1. Aren’t our minds wonderful?? I’ve been reading some good books about how we can change the way we feel. We can re-train our thoughts just like you did!!! Good for you, and keep it up!!!

  2. I loved reading this whole post! I have anxiety and I let it get in the way of how I feel sometimes when I am going into a new situation. I can definitely relate to the part of your story when you felt like a kid before the first day of school. I have this problem a lot, especially if I need to wake up early for anything! I love your thoughts on the power of positive thinking and looking at a situation from a different perspective. There is SO much power in being grateful =) Thanks for sharing!

  3. This happens to me… the complete attitude shift when I find one thing to be grateful for & then it builds. It continues to amaze me how much power perspective holds. Glad you enjoyed the long anticipated job! Sounds pretty amazing.

  4. This is something I’m working super hard at too! And it’s true, you have to work at it. It’s an active effort sometimes to be positive and keep a good attitude. But my lord it’s worth it! Also, congrats on getting the job on that set! So exciting!

  5. I really struggle with remembering to keep a positive attitude – but I really believe that the key to happiness is perspective. The same situation turned up side down can be a whole different thing. Thanks for the great reminder 🙂

  6. I’m definitely inspired by this! I’m a true believer in thoughts becoming reality. I’ve been working hard on writing and repeating positive affirmations and also telling people something good about themselves that I notice . I’m trying to be grateful and spread positive vibes !

  7. our thoughts are infectious affirming whatever it is we feel or think..glad you got out of your own way to allow such an amazing experience to unfold!!! love your blog! <3

  8. A great message for all of us to hear. No matter how dark, how tired, how anything we’re feeling, we can train ourselves to be grateful. Appreciation changes everything!

  9. What a great reminder that we can set the tone for our lives by improving our attitude and being grateful for what we have!
    From the outside being an extra sounds pretty cool! But a lot of too I’d imagine.
    Thanks for the spirit lift.

  10. I agree with you, I too sometimes complain about the situations and forgetting how grateful I should be experiencing things that others might not even have. That’s why an everyday shift to a positive mindset is so important than collecting the negatives one.

  11. I’ve had the same realization recently. I too found that positive gratitude evoking thoughts began to spread like wildfire. Once I started practicing them it became easier and easier to switch my thinking. Happy to have read your article!

  12. Such a good post and reminder! I’ve spent this year reevaluating things and trying to change my perspective. Its so easy to get down and be negative! Sometimes things are hard but theres so much to be grateful for. I always love your posts❤

  13. I totally love the twist you put on things. You are so correct when we affirm that things are going to work out they always do even if they do not work out as we have imagined it all is still in our favour. Congrats on getting to work on a set you have been wanting to work on 🙂

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