Do You Complain Too Much? 5 Ways to Overcome Negativity

“Like most people, you spend much of your time swimming in a sea of negativity and complaints.
Just as a fish may not even be aware of the water that surrounds it,
you may not be aware of all the complaints you hear and speak.”
-Will Bowen

Complaining is so much a part of our society, it can be difficult to recognize what is and is not a complaint.  So let’s begin with a definition…

The dictionary defines the word ‘complain’ as: an expression of dissatisfaction, pain, or grief; to find fault.

Basically, complaining is the counter-opposite of being grateful, content, and self-responsible.

And boy, do people love to complain.

Open your ears and you’ll hear that complaining has become an integral part of most people’s daily exchanges.  Many times, people use complaints as icebreakers – beginning a conversation with a negative observation because they believe it will elicit a greater response than something positive (and, unfortunately, they’re often right).

People complain about cold weather, hot weather, traffic, lack of sleep, hunger, fullness, uncomfortable clothes, jobs, lack of jobs… the list is endless.

It would seem that we believe complaining somehow releases our frustration with the situation at hand, but in fact we are only perpetuating the negativity.  And that very negativity can distort our perception of reality.

Like air pollution (or rather, ear pollution), the negative toxicity of complaints dirties up our mental environment, draining the happiness, motivation and creativity from entire experiences.

Complaining never helps us attract what we want – it attracts more of what we DON’T want, because that is what we’ve chosen to focus on.  It distracts us from what’s really important. And it removes us as the responsible party in our own lives.

To complain means to give away your personal power. 

It’s a VICTIM response, which implies that life is cruel and unfair, and you are its prey – powerless, vulnerable and grumbling.

You remove yourself as the creator of your experience and place the authority in the hands of outside circumstances… and oftentimes those very circumstances are within your power to transform, if only you would stop whining and start creating.

“The tendency to whining and complaining may be taken as the surest sign of little souls and inferior intellects.”
-Lord Jeffrey

As Lifebook Members know all too well, it’s not what happens to us, but how we react to it that will determine the outcomes in our lives.

The words we attach to our experience become our experience.  So we better choose them very carefully.

By becoming conscious of and changing our words, we have the power to change our thoughts, feelings, and the quality of our lives.

“Consciously striving to reformat your mental hard drive is not easy,
but you can start now and in a short period of time
—time that will pass anyway—
you can have the life you’ve always dreamed of having.”
-Will Bowen

Here are 5 Ways to Overcome Negativity and Choose Your Words More Wisely:
1. Become PROactive, Rather Than REactive

Seize every chance to step in between the stimuli of life and choose your most empowered response… to steer life where you want it to go, and maintain your position as the creator at the center of your own existence.

2. Stay Solution Focused

Spend far LESS time focusing on your problems and far MORE time focusing on solutions. By focusing your mind, you can create distance between yourself and the symptoms of your problems, so you can rise above them and begin finding positive solutions.

3. Understand the Difference Between Factual Statement and Complaint

Complaining is not to be confused with informing someone of a mistake or deficiency, so that it may be remedied.  To refrain from complaining doesn’t mean to squelch your own thoughts or feelings brought on by another person’s behavior. But when you stick to communicating with objective facts, you remain neutral, fair, and in control of your reaction to the experience at hand.

4. Distance Yourself from the Situation

If you have the opportunity to (which won’t always be the case) give yourself some space. If you don’t have to react in the immediate moment, don’t. Pull back from the situation, expand to a wider view, and take the opportunity to compose yourself.

5. Keep EVERYTHING in Perspective

To be a happy person who has mastered your thoughts and begun creating your life by design, you need a very, very high threshold for what leads you to express grief, pain, and discontent.  As Brian Johnson so brilliantly demonstrated to us in his video, How to Get Your Mind Right, reacting negatively to circumstances puts your problems ABOVE you.  When you become infuriated by something like traffic, which might rate as a .5 size problem on a scale of 1-10, you are behaving like LESS than a .5 size person. Not very impressive.  Always be bigger than your problems, and keep everything in perspective.

What are your strategies for overcoming negativity and focusing your positive energy?  Share your thoughts with us by commenting below!

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