Frequently, when people are unable to reach their goals, they start to look for flaws in themselves, others, or their project. They might think, \”What is wrong with me?\” Or, \”Why is it every time I try to move forward I have problems with this person or that person?\” Or, they think, \”Is this even the right idea? Maybe I have been wrong about the idea from the beginning.\”

Sometimes people can even miss everything that is going right because of the fact that they are looking at only part of the information — the negative part.

This results in a loss of drive, focus, enthusiasm, and happiness. Chances are, if you are losing steam, there are some habits causing this that could benefit from being remedied. For example:

Perfectionism: A perfectionist sometimes gives up before even starting. Their standards are so high that starting new tasks is difficult because there is no way to master something and begin it at the same time.

Shoulds: Some people have come to believe there are absolutes guiding their life. For example: a person believes he or she should be an accountant instead of an artist. Or that other people should have done something different. Or he or she should have known better.

Same Wrong Way: People often think their success depends on their ability to do it the way others have done it even if they are completely unlike the others they are comparing themselves to. So they compare themselves to others, looking for what is lacking. Eventually, if you look hard enough, you can find it.

The simple but profound practice of gratitude is helpful in taming all of these beasts. When we remember to be grateful for who we are, the people we have around us, and the things we have, problems like perfectionism melt away.

It is impossible to be grateful and negative at the same time. Remember to tell yourself and others what you are grateful for, what is working and what positive difference you believe it is making.

by Dr. Kate Siner