Over the last couple of decades, gratitude has become a popular buzz word in the field of self-empowerment. Being grateful is now considered to be one of the most effective ways to create an abundant and joyful state of mind. By simply paying attention to our blessings, we can instantly get rid of unpleasant feelings of lack and dissatisfaction.

According to the metaphysical law, the law of attraction, whatever we focus on expands. If we focus on all the abundance around us, we can attract more prosperity into our lives. On the other hand, if we focus on what’s wrong or missing in our situation, we’ll block anything good from entering our life.

Clearly, gratitude is an essential ingredient for building a successful and healthy mindset. We can significantly enhance the quality of our life by maintaining a regular gratitude ritual, such as writing a gratitude journal, praying and giving thanks, or training our mind to see the silver lining in any situation.

But could being too grateful possibly deflate our desire for progress? Can we delude ourselves into believing that our life is good enough because we have plenty to be grateful for? Can we experience feelings of guilt when wanting more because we see it as a sign of not being grateful?

The answer is yes to all these questions.

People can use gratitude to hide from the truth of their lives and avoid making the changes that they know they need to make. Gratitude is a practice that can help us, only if it’s complemented with strong self-awareness and honesty about our life situation.

The good news is that we can turn things around by learning how to maintain a balance between being grateful and being pulled by our goals and vision. The trick is to create just the right amount of tension to feel driven but not so much that we feel weary and deprived.

Here are some ideas on how we can find and stay in this sweet spot:

1. Set challenging goals and remind yourself of them on a daily basis

Goal setting is a must if we want to be successful because it makes our dreams more real, tangible and attainable.

2. Acknowledge your progress and milestones

Most people tend to want the “whole enchilada” as soon as possible. However, sometimes our goals take time to unfold. During this process, it’s important to reward ourselves for the small successes that we achieve along the way to keep us motivated to stay on the course.

3. Balance your life with relaxation and play

While attempting to achieve our goals, it’s essential to have a balanced life by making time in our schedule for relaxation and play. Attempts to stay the course can be exhausting, and there’s always a chance that we will burn out and crash without taking breaks.

4. Have lots of self-compassion

You will inevitably face challenges and make mistakes along the way. Accept that this is a necessary part of your learning curve and don’t beat yourself up for it.

5. Maintain a practice of gratitude

When we engage in all the above activities and shift to healthier perspectives, it becomes much easier for us to connect to a genuine sense of gratitude. This is because we develop a strong internal foundation and an exciting vision for our life.

William Arthur Ward once said that “feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” I believe that if we wrap this present up with a full sense of our most authentic self, before handing it over to the Universe, we can make the gift so much more special.

Seline Shenoy

Seline Shenoy is an Author, Podcast Host and Coach on a mission to inspire others to live fully and authentically + coax them to chase their biggest dreams (yes, even those scary ones!). She is the founder and writer of the blog, The Dream Catcher.