I Went 7 Days Without Complaining, Here’s What I Learned...
This time last week, I was in a slight rut.
My mind felt foggy and I had that aching feeling in my heart that you get when you know something’s off but you can’t quite pinpoint where the urge is coming from. All I knew was that I didn’t like how it felt.
The following night, I found myself up at the hour where I feel most clearheaded, 2 AM. I kept running all these different scenarios in my head about “why this/why that?” And how I “wanted this/wanted that,” until it finally dawned on me that I needed to stop complaining and start doing. The thought caught me off guard because, in my own eyes, I wasn’t a “complainer” perse. I’m typically the person who develops plans and sets goals to complete, so to stop doing something I didn’t think I actually did was pretty self-convicting, as most reality checks tend to be.
How was I expecting to change my life if all I was doing was complaining about what I didn’t have? I had to create strategic steps to get what I needed or simply accept the things I couldn’t change. And that’s where the #nocomplaintzzz challenge was birthed; I had to put my complaints to rest.
The rules were:
Start each day with FIVE things I’m grateful for.
Show more gratitude.
Show more love.
Develop plans for the things I wanted to change.
So boom, when I first started the challenge, everything was copasetic. My mind was clear and focused on the intentions I set forth. It was as if I had to hyper-deliberate which thoughts I allowed myself to entertain. It honestly felt like a cleanse; I was getting all the toxins out of my mind which actually made me feel lighter.
But it wouldn’t be a challenge if there weren’t... of course... some challenges.
Keeping a positive outlook is not the easiest of tasks if, for so long, your default setting has been to embrace the negative. There were moments when I felt low and wanted to revert back to my peevish ways and I noticed how those days usually came when I spent more time on social media (I know, I know, this topic again).
But this is a real thing, people.
It’s like I always say: when you’re watching someone else’s highlight reel, you start to feel discouraged about your bigger picture and that’s messed up. What I chose to do was intentionally realigned my focus. I’d have to take things for what they were – just pictures and tweets – and keep it moving. And once I adopted that method, my moping lessened, leaving me more energized to tackle my own goals.
When I brought this challenge up to my sister, aka: my confidant, she told me, “I don’t even know why you’re doing this, you don’t even complain that much.” And although this came as a surprise to me and, I’ll admit, was quite flattered by her observation, what I had to share with her was that I’m an inward complainer. A lot of the complaining that takes place for me stays in my head and I typically don’t get around to vocalizing it until I absolutely can no longer keep them inside.
Is that healthy? Maybe not.
But it’s how I’ve been and it’s something I’m working to unlearn.
And that’s one of the main things I got out of this week-long challenge, it’s the idea of taking control of your mind and unlearning the habits that we’ve formed over the years.
As mentioned, “complaining” is most of ours default setting, it’s easier to give into the bunnytrail of Murphy’s Laws scenarios than it is to imagine the possibilities for change and greatness.
If we knew the tribe of people who were waiting on us to stay consistent, waiting on us to choose bravery over fear, waiting on us to give what we’re too afraid to release into the world, we wouldn’t have time to complain because we’d be too busy getting our “WHY” done.
We tend to complain when it’s taking “too long,” or because we reached some opposition along our way, or because we just don’t see the point, but the bottom line is that we can’t quit.
Nations are depending on us to do what we’ve been called to do on this Earth. Generations are depending on us to fulfill our purpose; do you recognize your power?
Just chew on that for a moment.
It's not easy to train your mind to realign your focus when times get hard, but it's necessary; and I look forward to turning this week-long challenge of no complaints into a lifestyle of gratitude.
Before you go: thank you again to everyone who joined me in the 7 Days of #NoComplaintzzz Challenge, comment below if you joined or if you plan on doing this is your own time! I’d love to hear how it went!