you may not even realize how much you complain in a day. Or what you tend to complain the most about. For me, I complain about being tired all the time! Here’s the thing about complaining: it doesn’t accomplish anything! Well, that’s not entirely true. Complaining doesn’t solve the issue causing the complaint, but what it does accomplish is justifying your thoughts and feelings. For me, being tired can often become my excuse for not taking action, for not being present, for not doing all the things I know to do in my day.
The first step in interrupting the cycle was becoming aware it was there in the first place. You see, I had no idea how often I complained about being tired! It was just such an engrained pattern. I was like a fish not aware of the water it was swimming in. It was just my normal existence. It took my friends and my tribe pointing it out to me. What that looked like was having them draw my attention to it every time the words: “I’m so tired” came out of my mouth. That was an eye-opening exercise! And I’m not going to lie a little annoying! It helped me realize how annoying it was for the people around me listening to me complain all the time! It also helped me see how all pervasive my habit was.
The second step, once I became aware, was to just stop it! I enlisted my friends again. I was not allowed to tell them I was tired anymore. And to make it really count, if I did complain I had to pay them $25! Let me tell you, I was biting my tongue really fast after that was put in place!
The third step was taking responsibility. You see, I had no one to blame for being tired other than myself! I was the one not getting to bed when I knew I had to. I was the one perpetuating my bad habits. I was the epitome of insanity: I was doing all the same things that insured I would remain tired and lethargic and somehow expecting different results!
The fourth step was putting in structures that addressed my bad habits. I put in hard stops to my work in the evenings. I scheduled the end of my screen time at night. And, I had a friend act as my accountability buddy. It started off as a phone call at night to make sure I was heading to bed. Once it started to become a habit, the accountability call became a text. And then I didn’t need anyone to hold me accountable, because I was able to hold myself accountable on my own. I do find myself slip back occasionally, especially as life gets busier, and I start to notice those words escape my lips again. The great thing is that now my complaint has become my warning light letting me know that I have stopped being my word around my wellbeing. And then I take a step back, and look at where I’ve let my structures slide and start putting them back in place.
Becoming aware of my constant complaints has given me my power back. There is no personal power inside a complaint. Take it on and you will see! It is time to close the complaints department! Become aware, take responsibility, enlist your friends or an accountability buddy, and create better structures. In a short period of time, you will notice that your outlook on life has transformed!
Written by: Alanna Carr