How To Be Grateful & Want More At The Same Time

Doctor of Psychology By Danielle Dowling, Psy.D.
Doctor of Psychology
Danielle Dowling, Psy.D. is a doctor of psychology and life coach, helping ambitious, driven women achieve the financial, spiritual, and lifestyle abundance they desire and deserve. She holds a bachelor's in business from American University, and her master's and doctor of psychology degree from Ryokan College.

We all do it: Long for more. We want what’s next and pine for expansion. And doing this doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t appreciate what we have. Unfortunately, our desire for more can feel like a betrayal to our reality. We tell ourselves that we are small, ungrateful people for dreaming bigger. Guilt sets in.

Our fear convinces us that if we reach for the promotion, the home, the body, or the paycheck, we decimate the value of what lays before us.

Of course, our fear is wrong. Because it rarely, if ever, speaks the truth.

We get panicky in our well-intentioned desire to get this life “right.” We can sound like this: “I want it. But I feel guilty for wanting it.” This is a empty place to be. It’s full of mixed messages + will keep us stuck.

The reality is: You are entirely capable of entertaining two states of consciousness at once. You can be grateful for what you have now and desire more. You can be content here in the now and simultaneously be scanning the horizons of potential. You can say, “Yes! thank you for this gorgeous, beautiful life and by the way I AM ready for more!”

This is the perfect, imperfection of our humanity. The gratitude AND the striving. Not quite sure how to be grateful while leaning into those desires? Here are three ways to be grateful for what you have right now while being ambitious and wanting more:

1. Party in “the now.”

This is it.This moment is your life. And so is the next one. And the one after that. Make the most of them. Treat this moment like it is the most amazing moment of your life.

Look at your current world and make it the best it can possibly be. Wherever you’re at? That’s where the party is - emotionally, psychologically, literally.

Find yourself in a really long line at Starbucks and everyone’s grumpy? Hang out. Talk to people. Really appreciate where you are. Enjoying the moment doesn’t stop you from having big dreams.

2. Watch how much you complain.

If you find yourself complaining, you’ve slipped out of being grateful for what you have. It’s going to be hard to attract great things or be ambitious and have the energy you need to achieve those big dreams. Use complaining as a bit of a barometer (and stop it). Don’t beat yourself up for doing it (we all do) just notice it, and then pivot yourself back into grateful mode.

3. Acknowledge the good things you have that you’d like more of.

Pair your gratitude with your ambition. Sit down and make a list of the good things you have that you’d like more of. You love your four clients and you’d love to have 10 clients. Write down why you love those four clients and how you could help more clients. You’ve lost 10 pounds? Awesome! You’d like to lose 10 more? Also awesome! Write down what you did to lose those 10 pounds, how you feel in your new body, and what you’ll do to lose 10 more. Pairing ambition with gratitude shows the universe you can be trusted with good things.

Practice being aware of your desires and bubbling preferences … minus the judgement. Judgement will mitigate and crush potential. Gratitude for the now, mixed with celebrated desires will give you great, big, expansive wings.

End the guilt trip. Roll around in gratitude. Look forward.

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