The #1 Way To Transform Your Life
Have you ever noticed how many conversations involve complaining, whining, gossip or criticism?
Think about it. This week, even TODAY, how many conversations did you have that either start with, or contain, a complaint of some sort.
I have a challenge for you. Stop. Cold turkey. Zip. Zilch. Naddaa. No complaining.
Will this be easy? No. But, last I checked you have accomplished far more difficult challenges in your life AND I’m pretty damn sure this one will pay off in the long run so hear me out but before we dive in I want to clarify one thing: this has NOTHING to do with “being nicer” – this is about creating a happier, more prosperous life! This IS about spending more time focusing on the positive instead of the negative. This IS about finding solutions or learn lessons rather than being stuck in what you don’t like. And girlfriend, I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like that shit.
Top two wickedly-important reasons why complaining doesn’t serve you:
#1. Your attention is the single most powerful tool you possess. What you focus on grows.
A few years ago I was looking for a new car. I spend a fair amount of time on the road so as the first phase of my market research I started paying more attention to cars I’d see asking myself if I like the sporty body style, two-door coupe or four-door sedan, a red car, a white car, a black car, leather or cloth interior? Living in Texas I’d decided that a white car would be good and somewhere along the line a Nissan Altima caught my eye. Do you have any idea how many white Nissan Altima’s I saw on the road from that point forward??? Thousands it seemed!
The point is, whatever I was focused on seemed to be everywhere. This was good for a car search but could be deadly if you’re focusing on unhappy or frustrating areas of your life. Focusing on problems – even worse, verbalizing them – creates a continuous stream of energy flowing towards what’s NOT working. Complaining puts your powerful, creative attention on a problem not a solution.
You’ve got a choice:
Do do you want to REACT to your life?
Or you want to CREATE your life?
(fortheloveofgawd, please tell me you’re leaning towards the latter…)
“ENERGY FLOWS WHERE ATTENTION GOES”
Put that truth bomb on a dozen sticky notes and plaster them everywhere you spend time; your car, your bathroom mirror, your computer, your kitchen, your laundry room, your front door, your office desk, hell make it your screensaver (cuz we all know y’all spend some time on the phone). Once you begin to recognize the power of your attention and focus you’ll become hyper-aware of things that do not serve you, and incredibly meticulous about where you place this cherished energy.
What you focus on grows.
Decide what you’d like to grow more of in your life.
Like all the white Nissan Altima’s on the road, you’ll find it.
#2. Complaining is the single most convenient, socially acceptable way, of staying STUCK.
Everybody needs a venting moment to express how pissed off you are and potentially bring your friends along with you down shit-creek for a soap-box-session. ((insert Dionne Warwick singing “that’s what friends are for”)) But is this really helping anyone?
Let’s face it. I know what I want and I’d venture to guess you know what you want too. There is absolutely NO ROOM for distraction, feeling stuck or stressed, but complaining is just that, a distraction from what you want. It steals your time, your energy, your creativity, your passion, your focus, your desires, your goals and most importantly, it’s stealing your happiness.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever said:
“He never helps out around the house.”
Watch for sweeping statements about “always” or “never”. Ask yourself if it’s a true statement. Is it accurate that he never takes the trash out or that he always leaves his shoes in front of the door. I’d venture to guess that may not be the case. Could it be possible that you’re only looking at white Nissan Altima’s and totally missed the red Honda coupe? Just sayin…
“I wish she’d just make a decision.”
Perhaps she values your opinion and you’ve not communicated (in a healthy, positive way) about your wishes in order to make a decision together. Have you asked her why she hasn’t been able to make a decision yet? Could that be a possible solution?
“Why am I the only one who takes on extra projects at work? Becky barely even shows up on time and nobody seems to care about that.”
((no offense to any Becky’s reading this post))
It’s none of your business what time Becky gets to work. Worry about yourself sister!
“ohmygawd everyone is a terrrrrrible driver!”
Okay, actually that one is kinda reasonable. Carry on.
If you take away nothing else from this blog post hear this: You cannot create a happier, more fulfilling life, and future, by focusing on your current unhappiness. Release your identity as a “victim” of unhappy circumstances and OWN your place as an empowered, confident, focused and accomplished woman (or man).
This is where the rubber meets the road sister.
This is where you begin to PRACTICE shifting your focus every single moment of your life. Every. Single. Moment.
This is is also where I usually hear “ummm yeah so, I’m pretty busy, how long is this gonna take…”
Depends on how happy you want to be! The more you work on this, relentlessly practicing to intentionally shift your focus, the more you’ll get out of it and I know no better or more practical way to clear the path to your dreams than to decide, definitively, to STOP complaining, gossiping and criticizing.
The next thing I hear you saying is “but honestly, I don’t complain that much.”
You’d be surprised. Is it covered in your attempt to explain how or why someone did something wrong (IYHO)? Or the simple comment that generally includes a look or the urge to roll your eyes? Do you feel a need to justify why you feel the way you do? BINGO.
Honestly, putting a halt on complaining is hard. Building this muscle to refocus requires a conscious, intentional effort. And you’ll probably slip up but I’ve got you covered.
Here’s a trick to “save” a statement if you hear yourself staring to complain.
“I’m so tired of Larry coming into my office asking me the same stupid question. When is he going to freaking get it.”
((no offense to any readers named Larry))
Instead when you find yourself going down the gossip/whining/criticism/complaining rabbit hole add this simple word to save the conversation: AND.
Your conversation then sounds like this: “I’m so tired of Larry coming into my office asking me the same stupid question AND I think I should ask if it would be helpful for me to write down the process as we review it to see if that will help him commit it to memory.”
This isn’t Larry’s issue. This is your issue. As soon as you command that kind of power over your thoughts you’ll be unstoppable.
Watch yourself for a week. How many times do you find yourself complaining? How many times would you (or COULD you) be a tiny bit happier if you were looking for a solution instead of staying stuck, distracted, resentful, defeated, or stressed?
In the words of my sweet nephew, You Can Do This!