How to be Grateful for the Negative

30 Days of Gratitude Challenge – Week 2

Gratitude in and of itself is a skill you have to master. Learning to find gratitude in the experiences that weren’t so great in life – that’s a whole different beast.

Before you decide to close your computer or drop your phone, I challenge you to read through. What you’ve been through shaped you, whether it was good or bad. Reaching your full potential involves being grateful for who you are and what got you here.

You’ve got this.

Let’s go!

Lessons learned

This is one of the hardest things to be grateful for. No one ever likes to look back and try to find gratitude for the bad things that you’ve gone through.

But without what you’ve been through, you wouldn’t be who you are today.

Karleigh, that’s the problem. I don’t like who I am today.

And that’s why you’re here taking part in the 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge.

You have two choices: you can choose to remain where you are and be the victim, or you can choose to heal and become a hero.

This was a question that I’ve had to face time and time again. I had to get real with myself and figure out if I wanted to stay where I was or if I wanted more. I chose more.

I’m not happy that I experienced what I did. No one is going to look back and thank their abuser for hurting them. That’s not what I’m asking you to do.

But once I accepted that I can’t change what happened in my past, I wanted to do everything in my power to help women who’ve experienced the same things I did. Because of what I’ve been through, I’m able to connect with women on a very deep level. I can relate in a way that not everyone can. And for that I’m grateful.

Your challenge is to look back on the experiences that shaped you and find gratitude for them. The keyword here is “find”. It took me a long time to dig through and find gratitude for what I went through, so I don’t want to act like this is easy. But once you do find that gratitude, there’s a freedom that comes with it. You can’t change your past, but you can use it to change your future.

That’s powerful.

Without the negative, you wouldn’t appreciate the positive

I used to get so angry when people would say this to me.

Just shut up already. I haven’t had much positive in my life to appreciate. Get over yourself.

What I didn’t realize is that with this attitude, I was missing all of the beautiful things around me. I was missing out on time with my friends, throwing away full appreciation of good music and food. I was missing out on precious time with family that honestly I would do anything to get back.

If it were sunny all the time, you’d never have an appreciation for it. It would just be your normal. That’s why here in Western Washington, we get excited for snow. It’s not here often so when it is, we take full advantage of it.

You have more around you to be grateful for than you realize.

I used to hate the fact that we were on government assistance and needed help getting food when I was younger. But if it wasn’t for that experience, it wouldn’t have meant so much when our neighbor brought us a fresh baked lasagna and salad. She had no idea we were struggling so bad, she just wanted to be nice. It meant more to my family than we were ever able to express.

It really freaking sucks that the world took a massive pause and we’re all scrambling. But if it wasn’t for everything going on, I wouldn’t have fully committed to spreading my message. I wouldn’t have gone all in on my podcast or started a YouTube channel. I wouldn’t be making the impact I’m making now.

If it wasn’t for what I went through as a kid, I wouldn’t be able to recognize the signs in kids and be able to relate to them.

Take some time to appreciate the “negative” things in your life. Chances are, you wouldn’t have a lot of the positives you have without them.


  • What’s a lesson that I’ve learned this week?
  • What was a situation I thought was absolutely awful but led to something amazing?
  • What is a situation that made me so angry as a kid but taught me something invaluable?
  • What’s a “negative” moment in my life that I can be grateful for?
  • How can I be grateful for something bad that happened to me?
  • How can I lean into gratitude when bad things are going on?

I know this is all easier said than done. But if you can master the skill of gratitude in the worst experiences, not only are you going to feel better. You’re going to train your brain to lean into that instead of worry, meaning that it will have more energy to help you figure it out.

Don’t skip the prompts.

I know that sitting down and journaling isn’t always fun. But if you make it a habit, not only are you going to help your brain heal, but you’ll realize things you never thought you needed to know. Journaling is an incredibly powerful way to unlock your brain and push toward your full potential. For more info on that, read this post.

After doing some journaling, tag me on Instagram and tell me how it’s going! I want to reshare your success and cheer you on! This isn’t easy and I want to tell you personally how proud I am of you for making the commitment!

Click here to find me on Insta!

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