Being organized is as much mind management as it is time management.
Studies show that complaining can be brutally harmful to your health, efficiency and life in general. That’s because complaining is negative and it takes a toll on your energy. People who are always complaining tend to have poor health, are disorganized in their jobs and at home, and have relationships that are not good and don’t last very long. And they aren’t that much fun to be around!
If you’re a complainer, why do you do it? First, most people don’t realize how often they complain because it has become a habit and, like all habits, it tends to be so familiar that it becomes invisible (like those shoes you left in the entryway to take to the shoe repair guy). Second, a complaint can be a good conversation starter because it’s easy to find common ground using one and third, people complain because they want sympathy and understanding. They subconsciously enjoy a pity party.
You might think that by complaining you’re merely observing what’s going on, but complaining, like all thought patterns, is not mere observation, it’s a creative act. When you complain, you’re simply reinforcing negative thoughts and, the more you complain, the more you summon your creative energies to attract the very thing you complain about. How’s that for a something to complain about?
It’s been said that when you complain, you’re really placing your order for more of the same, or as the law of attraction reminds us, you are creating a brochure of your life (almost in living color). At the very least when you complain you’re dwelling on the negative and definitely reinforcing what you don’t want. Complaining also keeps you from taking action. It gives you excuses to procrastinate and keep from taking those shoes to the repair guy. Have you found it’s always much easier to complain than to find a solution?
Another reason people complain is to avoid responsibility. Think about arriving at work late with the excuse that the traffic was awful or the line at Starbucks was extremely long or the wait at the gas pump took forever. Sure, stuff happens but, perhaps, you could have left earlier or been more prepared. The real danger for people who are constant complainers is that it traps them in a negative reality, giving them more to complain about. The reasons for their circumstances are endless: “I never get any real breaks. I always have bad luck. Life seems totally and consistently unfair.” A complainers’ circumstances are always unfortunate and can seem to be beyond their control. But the reality is that their thinking seriously needs an overhaul. If you want to change your circumstances, you must change the thinking that created those circumstances. Your reality is always congruent with your thoughts.
Complaining doesn’t make you a bad person. It just puts a horrible damper on the possibility of living an exceptional life. It’s a denial of responsibility, and just another way of excusing yourself from being responsible.
Here are some tips to help you break a habit, stop complaining and manage your thinking.
1. BE AWARE. The first and most important step is to catch yourself in the act of complaining. Commit to an eight-hour watch and every time you catch yourself, write it down. Also, see if you can stop yourself in the middle of a grumble. See what your creative mind comes up with to fill the gap. “My back is ach…carefully designed structure and I’m going to take better care of it.”
2. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. Take responsibility for your thoughts. Taking responsibility doesn’t mean that you feel guilty and beat yourself up. It just means that you recognize the negative thoughts that are going through your mind and realize those thoughts are not – you. They’re just thoughts. Once you accept that you are the creator of your thoughts, you can change them. Ask yourself, “What is the positive intention of complaining about this issue.” The answer will help lead you to the next step. If you were going to complain that your back aches, could you use that thought as a wake-up call to lose weight or do exercises that strengthen your back?
3. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU REALLY WANT. Observe your complaint and the positive intention behind it and ask yourself, “What do I really want?” Be very clear about what you do want, not what you don’t want. You want a healthy back that’s strong and supports you in all that you do.
4. REPLACE YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS. Replace your negative thoughts with possible alternatives. Once you are clear about what you do want, seek a solution. What actions can you take now? It will help reverse the tide of negativity if every time you catch yourself complaining, you make yourself think of a compliment. It’s actually fun to use your creativity this way.