Could something as simple as complaining be wreaking havoc on to not only you, but your level of success?
Last night was one of those nights... I went to sleep with good intentions, but then woke up way too early with all kinds of thoughts and ideas going through my head.
It actually happens to me quite often...
I crawled out of bed and walked into the other room, the whole time mumbling to myself things like, "What the hell am I doing up so early?!?"
I flipped on the TV and started going about my day, tired and frustrated. All of the ideas that I had for my business (that woke me up early) were no where to be found! I sat in front of the computer and stared at the monitor...
"I'm too tired to do this now."
I gave up... stood up... and walked away.
THEN THE MAGIC HAPPENED!
Just by chance my ear caught an old story that ran on ABC's Good Morning America about the author Tim Ferriss. The original story was about how he decided to take a "21 Day No Complaint Challenge"
I had heard about it before, I know it's not a new concept, but didn't pay any attention to it.
But this time it definitely grabbed my attention.
Tim Ferriss was talking about how taking this No Complaint Challenge, "Totally changed his life and way of thinking."
The segment was short, so I decided to look into it a little bit more and I found this post that Tim Ferriss wrote about it for The Huffington Post. (you can read it by clicking HERE)
I learned two things from reading this post:
- I complain A LOT...
- If I sit and actually look at it, complaining is really hurting my productivity and business.
It sounds easy... Place a band around one wrist. If you complain in the next 21 days, take the band off and switch it to the other wrist and start over. Simple, right? Maybe in theory...
I am one who absolutely loves challenges, so I ACCEPT!
What about you?
But what is actually considered complaining?
Tim Ferriss writes
"I defined "complaining" for myself as follows: describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem. I later added the usual four-letter words and other common profanity as complaint qualifiers, which forced me to reword, thus forcing awareness and more precise thinking.
Following the above definition, both of the following would require a wrist switch:
"Man, I went into the post office and had to stand behind this rude jerk for 30 minutes. What a waste of time."
"John can be such an a**hole. Totally uncalled for."
The following variations would not:
"Man, I went into the post office and had to stand behind this rude guy for 30 minutes. It was a waste of time. From now on, I'll go in the mornings before 10 a.m. to avoid the crowd."
"John was a bit of muppet in there, wasn't he? I suppose I'll just send the e-mails directly to Mary in engineering for the next two weeks to get buy-in, then he'll have to agree."
-Tim Ferriss from Huffington Post
It made me instantly take a long look at myself. Maybe I have been sabotaging myself for awhile now!
"It's too hard"
"There are already so many people who know and do this better"
"It will take too much time"
"I don't know how to do it"
Do any of those sound familiar to you?
They sure do to me, because I was using them almost daily. There are so many things that I complained about without offering a solution, or even trying. I would just give up!
Not only are they excuses, and don't get anything accomplished, but they are actually counterproductive and harmful in the long run! It re-programs your brain into a negative thinking juggernaut... and soon it snowballs and turns into non-stop complaining about every situation!
If you are going to complain (because let's face it, we all do it at times) make sure to offer yourself a solution to that problem that you are complaining about in the same statement. But to only offer a solution is not good enough... follow through with it!
Let's see what happens in 21 days from now! I will keep you updated.
Now for a couple of questions for you... Do you ever find yourself not doing things that you should be doing? Complaining and then quitting? Are there any techniques that you have used to stop the complaints from coming that have worked out really well for you? How do you think that complaining about different situations has negatively affected you? And finally... do you think that you could gain anything from going 21 days complaint free?
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All The Best,
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