Gratitude and Appreciation: Are they the same?




Are gratitude and appreciation the same? Well yes and no. Often we use these words interchangeably.

 I, being one who loves to play with words, see them differently.

  In the dictionary gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful. Appreciation includes in its definition an increase in value.

 To me gratitude is an energetic mindset. It allows us to focus in the present moment with thankfulness, humility and grace. Appreciation is an energetic awareness of who we become when we nurture our gratitude.

 Others have shared their thoughts about gratitude with us.

 ” Sometimes we fight who we are, struggling against ourselves and our natures. But we must learn to accept who we are and appreciate who we become. We must love ourselves for what and who we are and believe in our talents.” Harley King poet and author

 When my coaching client chooses to focus on gratitude I am guided by IAC Mastery #8: Inviting Possibility. This is when the coach and client create an environment that allows ideas, options and opportunities to emerge.

 I ask my client to speak about his gratitude. I ask him to expand his thinking and ponder why he is grateful for that particular thing or experience.

 For example he might say, “I am grateful for my warm house.” I prompt him with the word “…because…” and he might add, “My warm house helps me to feel safe and when I feel safe I am more available to love my family.”

 Step one is expressing gratitude and step two is expressing appreciation. This simple exercise helps my client enhance, deepen and anchor the experience of feeling grateful.

  “…Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.” Jack Canfield (parenthetical citation)

 This is a time of year that people all around the world express gratitude. To my way of thinking the celebrations of Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa ceremonial dances among our Native American brothers and sisters, to name only a few, are all designed to allow each individual to express gratitude in very unique ways.

 Yet for eons the Sages from all corners of human existence have taught us to express our gratitude every single day. This is my personal practice and when I am faithful to this practice I feel more positive emotions and an overall sense of well being. We can support our clients to courageously explore gratitude and appreciation each and everyday as well. It is energetic self care, simply put.

 Today I am grateful for each of you and the IAC community because, when I am able to be part of a community that is aligned with my values, I feel energized and empowered to do the work I believe is ours to do.




Martha Pasternack, MMC (IAC):

“My passion for witnessing the beauty and mystery of life, healthy healing and the promotion of Peace on Earth are integral to my daily life. I have been life coaching since 2004 as a Fearless Living Coach after working 30 years as a health care professional.


Scroll to Top

IAC Login