Week #50: Is it time to stop complaining and solve the problem?
December 11, 2006
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This Week's Topic: Is it time to stop complaining and solve the problem?
"Do all things without grumbling, faultfinding, and complaining."
- Philippians 2:14
do you find yourself complaining about in your day-to-day life? A moody
client, boss, or employee? Messy spouse? Clutter? Poor service? When it
comes to learning and growing, a useful tool for making meaningful
changes can be your own complaints. After all, the things that you
complain about are the things that, if changed, have the potential to
dramatically improve the quality of your life.
In a world
sometimes filled with negativity and complaining, it can be tempting at
times to complain for the sake of complaining. Instead, use your
complaints about your life as an opportunity to improve your life. Ask,
"What could be done about it? What request or change could I make to
eliminate this complaint from my life?" If your complaint is bad
traffic for example, you may simply have to make a decision to quit
complaining about it. Make a decision to relax in traffic, accept it as
a part of your day, and find a constructive way to use your drive time
- like listening to relaxing music, books or tapes, or catching up with
friends or family (on your hands-free phone of course!). I have found
that complaining without taking action to do something about it is very
disempowering. When you stop having problems and start solving them,
your life becomes more productive, joyful, and powerful.
week, I challenge you to notice the message that your complaints are
sending you. Complaints often indicate that an expectation or need is
not being met. Complaints continue to plague you when you do not make
requests of others to change or do not challenge yourself to make
changes that will turn the problem around.
1. MAKE A LIST OF 10 COMPLAINTS.
week, I challenge you to make a list of ten complaints in your life (or
more, if you have them!). Your "complaints" are things that just are
not going as you would like to see them. From the friend who drains
your energy with negativity, to the client or boss with unrealistic or
unfair expectations, to the computer that is on its last leg, make a
list of everything that drains your energy, unsettles or annoys you, or
detracts from your quality of life.
2. MAKE A LIST OF 10 REQUESTS.
requests could you make to address each complaint? Even if your
complaint seems beyond your control to change, write it down anyway. If
you have a complaint you feel at a loss to resolve, you can always take
it directly to God in prayer. You may be surprised to see them resolved
- sometimes even more quickly than the ones you feel you have more
control over. Keep in mind that some of your requests will be of
yourself. You may need to challenge yourself to do something
differently in a particular area of your life, or to take a specific
action to resolve the problem.
3. FOLLOW THROUGH WITH SPECIFIC REQUESTS TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM.
for what you want is one of the keys to success. Often change is
nothing more than a conversation away. (For step-by-step instructions
on the best way to succeed at asking for what you want, read the
chapter on this subject in What's Really Holding You Back?)Have you
been clear about your expectations? Have you voiced your
dissatisfaction and requested a specific change or solution? Until you
do, you may find yourself stuck with the same complaints indefinitely.
Tired of a neighbor, co-worker, or someone crossing your boundaries?
Speak up! Ask them to make a specific change. You can simply say, "What
you are doing is causing me a problem. Would you please not do that
anymore?" You may have to practice your words before you say them if
you are "shy" about speaking up for yourself, but whatever it takes,
take action by verbalizing specific requests.
My challenge to you this week: Take action!
week, stop complaining and become proactive about resolving the things
that cause you problems. Write down your list of complaints, and begin
with your biggest one. Then create a solution and move forward with
What is the
payoff I get when I complain rather than taking steps to fix the
problem? What will it take for me to make a shift to being proactive?
Until next time ...
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Burton, a life coach and speaker, is the author of Listen to Your Life,
Rich Minds, Rich Rewards and her latest, What's Really Holding You
Back?. She coaches groups and individuals to live their best lives.
Learn about her coaching groups and subscribe to her FREE,
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