A Coaching Power Tool By Aneta Kantarowska, Life Coach, NETHERLANDS
Life Appreciation vs. Disregard
Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance. Eckhart Tolle
Nathaniel has just retired. His wife was happy he would spend more time with her. Their kids had their own families and flew home a long time ago. They could finally enjoy each other and their free time. On one of the sunny summer days, Anne found Nathaniel on a floor, it turned out he had a stroke. Rushed into a hospital Anne was praying for her husband’s life and that she could enjoy a few more years with him. A few months later he was transported back home not being able to walk, talk, take a shower or go to a bathroom on his own. Despite this, they were both happy he has survived. It took a lot of courage for Nathaniel to do his rehab and speech therapy but a few months later after lots of rehabilitation, he was able to walk on his own. He was very happy however at the same time he was getting frustrated because his right hand was still paralyzed and his speech was hard to follow.
We, humans, often take things for granted. We are healthy, have good jobs, and nice houses, and our kids are doing well, yet we are not entirely happy. Only when something bad happens, and we lose what we had we tend to think how happy we must have been back then. We often want more and more. We are satisfied with a brand-new car for the first 6 months and afterward, we start to think that there are better, more beautiful and more comfortable cars that we wish to have!
Appreciation vs. Disregard Definition
Disregard means the act of treating somebody/something as not important and not caring about them/it. We are often unhappy because things do not go as we expected, or we simply want more. We tend to forget what we just received, and achieved and we keep dreaming about something new. We are not used to pausing and reflecting on what we have achieved so far, how happy we are with our current job as we compare ourselves with others or what other people have and we constantly want more.
The truth is that we will always aim at having more. It is how our society taught us to live and how we are used to doing things. When we achieve one thing, we jump straight into something else until we are happy again.
According to the Oxford, dictionary appreciation is a feeling of being grateful for something. We feel appreciated when we notice small things that we are grateful for. We often do not pay attention to small things such as having hot water, food in a fridge, and even being able to breathe or walk. We believe that these are normal and happen to everyone which is not true. Appreciation should come from everything we experience in our life. Each of us will feel grateful for something else as we are all different and come from different backgrounds.
Appreciation vs. Disregard “To Not Value Something or Someone”
On the day when Nathaniel felt ill, his whole family was praying for him to survive the stroke. When he was recovering in a hospital, they would all hope he would walk one day. When he started walking, Nathaniel was hoping he would be fully mobile one day. Even though his family appreciated for a short while him being back home and walking they always wanted more.
I noticed that very often clients do not value what they already have but keep asking for more. That is the nature of human beings. Sometimes they do not even know what exactly they want but they are feeling stuck or unhappy. They want something else but are not sure what this else actually is. Pausing and rethinking what clients already have in their lives often surprises them. They do not realize how much they already have and that they should appreciate it. When they realize that their concept of feeling stuck or unhappy suddenly changes.
Questions to ask:
- What does it make you feel disregard?
- What does it serve?
- What does it not serve?
- By feeling disregard, what does it do to growth?
Questions to ask:
- What are you grateful for at this very moment?
- What do you have at this moment that others do not have?
- How does it make you feel when you think of 3 things, you are currently grateful for?
- What can you do every day/moment to remind yourself of what you feel grateful for?
- What are the feelings and emotions when feeling grateful?
Feeling grateful for simple things can change lives. The trick is it does not have to be something big, it can be as simple as having breakfast each day, talking to a neighbor, or receiving a hug from a friend. Study shows that if we do it regularly, we become more positive about everything that happens in our lives. We do not have to walk all day long and say how thankful we are for every single thing, but we can do it after waking up, during breakfast, or while taking a shower. Starting with one thing we are grateful for until we feel comfortable increasing it to more. Journaling can be also a good way to write down what we feel grateful for.
Shetty, J., 2020: Think like a monk. Insignis Media, Krakow
Bennewicz M., Prelewicz A., 2021; Happiness without feeling guilty. How to find happiness without feeling guilty. Helion S.A.
Maciag A., 2021; Wellbeing, Warsaw