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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Stop Complaning

Photo by Bethany Legg
I always feel slightly attacked when someone says ‘stop complaining’.  I’m compelled to respond with, “But you don’t know what I’ve been through, you don’t know my life!” And while my assertion is correct, someone who urges me not to complain is also correct.  As positive as a person as I strive to be, I know that I can always find something to complain about.  Complaining is contagious--one person starts up and then a whole domino effect takes place.  I’m convinced that some friendships were founded upon the mutual desire to complain to one another.  While there is a need to vent from time to time, I’ve noticed that complaining often does nothing to solve my problems.  In fact, complaining can make existing problems linger.
As I go through life I often ask myself “how can I do this better?” If I can recognize something that helps make my life easier or more efficient, I definitely try to implement it.  It’s not always easy for me to do this.  Often, I fail many times before I’ve mastered anything.  It’s a struggle for me to keep calm, remain humble and try not to think about giving up.  I’ve learned that it’s important to surround yourself with people who believe in your success.  People who don’t have your best interests at heart will always try to talk you out of becoming your best self.  You need a support system that is brimming with positivity--anything less will  just impede your progress.

As I embark on my journey to stop complaining, here are a few things that I try to keep in mind:

1.    Take baby steps.

I have to keep reminding myself that nothing changes overnight.  I might start with something like, I will not complain about anything this morning.  While this might sound like a simple command, I often find it difficult to do.  No complaining means no complaining--even when there are unexpected delays, even when the weather isn’t favorable, even if I spill coffee everywhere.  I just find that the more I practice this, the easier it becomes.

2.     Be grateful for all the good things in your life.

I’ve noticed that people (myself included) tend to take it for granted that anything good in their lives is expected to be the norm, while any negative circumstance just happens to be a grave inconvenience.  We forget to consistently be thankful for all the positive things that we have going on and can be so quick to jump on the opportunity to highlight anything negative.  Focusing on the negative aspects of your life too often creates toxic energy that makes it difficult to move forward.  I find that if I start my day with gratitude, I am better able to put any negative situations into perspective.  

3.    Know that everything is not meant to go your way.

I think this is a lesson that we learn as toddlers, but for some reason, I forget this one often in my adulthood.  Living in a society that’s never been more technologically advanced, instant gratification is the name of game.  We’ve come to expect everything in our lives to work immediately and error-free whether it’s our vehicles, our smartphones or even people around us.  The reality is, no matter how good something or someone is, nothing is perfect.  The more readily that I accept this truth, the easier it is for me to refrain from complaining when something goes wrong.

4.    Look back at how far you’ve come.

While I recognize all that I have accomplished throughout my life, sometimes I forget to actually give myself credit for my accomplishments.  We get so caught up in what we want to accomplish next that we fail to realize that at one time, we hoped and prayed to be able to do the things that we’re able to do with ease right now. Looking back doesn’t discount the fact that I am continuing to strive to do more within my life, but it does put into perspective how much I have already done.  I find it hard to complain when I am thinking like this.

I don’t know if I will ever eliminate complaining from my life completely.  But I do know complaining less has had a positive impact on my life.  Do I have days when I forget everything and revert back? Absolutely, but the key is that I never stop trying.  Stop complaining for a minute, an hour, a whole day and see if impacts your life for the better.

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