Today marks the official end of the no complaining or being negative two week challenge that Candace and I committed to.
Here’s what I recognized:
It takes effort to think before we talk
We are such creatures of habit with what we say and do that often times we don’t even recognize that we’re being negative or complaining. It’s become part of us. Gross.
I am most negative with Lucy, our dog. And guess what? I have up-leveled my relationship with her by being aware of what I’m saying. She likes it and I secretly do too
Stating opinions as facts is a huge!
“It’s raining” (fact) is waaaaay different and much less dramatic than “OMGosh! I can’t believe it’s raining again. Rain is so damn depressing.” (opinion) (drama)
This one tripped me up several times especially when I encountered injustices like when the Russian Olympic swimmer was allowed to race even after she tested positive for drugs. I had a lot of negative opinions and few facts about that!
How something is said matters a lot!
“I don’t like broccoli” is waaaaay different than, “OMGosh! Broccoli? That’s so disgusting! Gross!”
It’s funny how no one ever thinks they’re a drama king/queen but that’s exactly what’s going on when we embellish.
You are hyper aware how much everyone else complains
I had a few clients who did this experiment with me and they noticed the same thing.
All of the sudden you just don’t have tolerance for complainers and negativity because you see how draining it all is.
I also recognized that I really don’t complain much and that I’m genuinely positive as a rule. This makes me happy because it shows me how far I’ve come and that the time I spent doing my inner work WORKED!
Trust me, if they gave out awards for negative, pessimistic complainers I’m pretty sure I could have scored a bronze back in the day. Not something you want to medal in.
Here’s the top four reasons you complain and how to stop!
1. It’s just a habit
If you grew up in a negative environment it’s easy to develop the same habit and not think a thing of it. It turns into who you are and how you operate.
But you can soooo change it if you want by starving the negative and feeding the positive.
Sure, in the beginning it feels foreign and odd but before you know it you have shifted your neuron patterns to focus on what’s going right and what you’re grateful for vs. what’s negative and what there is to complain about.
2. Complaining is a way you bond with others
It’s a social way to create common and non-threatening ground.
Gross. Don’t play small or dim your light to help someone else feel bright. Surround yourself with people who embrace the light! Choose people (as much as possible) who have positive outlooks and lives. It matters.
3. You don’t want to take responsibility or action to do anything about the situation
In some weird twisted way complaining can seem like you’re taking action. “Look how much I care about this, I complain about it all the time!”
No! You’ve got to take responsibility and positive action towards a solution that moves you into a healthier situation.
Example: You’re in a dead end job that you complain about all the time. Take responsibility and set some small daily positive actions that move you toward a new one.
Or you’re three months into a year long contract and you’re miserable. Take responsibility and action by changing your attitude about the situation.
4. Your needs are not being met
Remember last week when I wrote about the movie Bad Moms? Damn, that mom wasn’t getting any of her needs met. How about with her husband? She referred to him as her third child. Bleh.
So she complained and skirted around their troubled marriage until one day she decided to take responsibility and action. Divorce turned into needs being met and happiness.
Sure, this is an extreme example but the point is to start paying attention to why you’re complaining and ask yourself what you need that you’re not getting.
You may need to…
– Take time off from doing so much for everyone
– Say no
– Speak up!
– Respect yourself
– Reevaluate your passions/goals
WHAT YOU FOCUS ON GROWS
AND WHERE YOUR ENERGY FLOWS.
WHEN YOU FOCUS ON COMPLAINING AND BEING NEGATIVE YOU GET MORE OF THE VERY THING YOU’RE COMPLAINING ABOUT.
Complaining about the jerks you work with? Guess what? They will multiply.
Complaining about your marriage for the past year? Start looking forward to more years of shit.
Complaining about being taken advantage of? Lay down in front of that door to make it easier for people to walk all over you.
OR CHOOSE TO TAKE BACK YOUR POWER!
I challenge you to take the two week NO COMPLAINING challenge. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want the details.