As we grew up, we learned that certain bad habits can bring disaster and that we should avoid them at all costs. We learned that smoking can cause cancer, that leading a sedentary lifestyle and eating unhealthy food brings all sorts of diseases, and that bad financial habits lead to money problems. Aside from those, there is one psychological habit that’s just as horrible. If you have a habit of complaining about problems and inconveniences every change you get, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Here are three BIG reasons why you should stop complaining as soon as possible!
3 Major Reasons to Stop Complaining
1. Complaining makes you Useless
Like taking all the gasoline out of a car, complaining disempowers you. Sure, you can have a high quality car in your garage, but without fuel it’s just a gigantic waste of space. If you can’t use it to travel, then it’s useless. Similar to that, what’s the use of your arms, legs, body, and mind if you’re not going to use them to improve your life?
You can complain every day and every moment about your low wage, your lack of skills, your terrible boss and job, terrible commutes, and everything else. What will that accomplish? Nothing. You wasted hours of effort complaining, and the problems remain. That’s time and energy that you’ll never get back. Time that you COULD have spent solving problems and changing things for the better. You have arms, legs, and a brain, but since didn’t use them to make things right you might as well have cut them off. This is just the first reason why you should get rid of the habit of complaining.
“If it’s never our fault, we can’t take responsibility for it. If we can’t take responsibility for it, we’ll always be its victim.” – Richard Bach
2. Complaining blinds you to your Opportunities
The human mind is wired to run one thought or activity at a time. While we think we’re multitasking when we try to do a lot of things at once, in reality we’re simply switching focus from one thing to the next. What does that have to do with complaining and opportunities? Simple: If you’re too busy complaining about your terrible job, your lack of money, or your lack of customers, then you’re NOT thinking about ways to improve them. As we’ve explored in previous articles, you get what you think about. That time you spent complaining? You could have been searching for a better job, learning good financial habits like saving and investing a part of your paycheck or searching for income opportunities, or searching for ways to reach new and better customers instead. Again, every minute spent complaining is a minute which could have been spent doing something more productive.
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar
3. Complaining Attracts Toxic People and Repels the Good Ones
It’s been said that you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most. If you complain a lot, you’ll attract other complainers who do nothing but spread negativity all day. Even worse, you’ll likely also attract scammers and frauds who’d love to offer you “quick and easy” solutions to your problems (and then their scams give you MORE problems for you to complain about). Aside from that, you’ll also drive away the good people who are working to become successful. People who COULD have helped you become successful too. Why would they avoid you? They’re too busy trying to win so they won’t want to hang out with anyone who only brings negativity to their lives.
“There are two types of people-anchors and motors. You want to lose the anchors and get with the motors because the motors are going somewhere and they’re having more fun. The anchors will just drag you down.” – Robert Wyland
ACTION, not Words
Now you might think that I’ll simply suggest that you stop complaining and bear with what you have, but that’s not really the best solution. After all, you can bear with a horrible boss in a terrible job, you can bear with an abusive friend or neighbor, and you can bear with your family suffering in poverty and hunger, but again just bearing with hardships fixes nothing.
There are three ways to handle things you complain about:
First, you can reframe it into something positive. This technique is very useful for things you have no control over, like weather or disappointing events. It’s hot outside? It’s a good time to hit the pool and go for a swim. Your weekend plan to hang out with friends got cancelled? You get to stay home, relax, and save money. A client canceled their contract? This is the perfect opportunity to learn the flaws of your service or business so you can improve them.
The second way is by taking action and resolving the issue. Minimize contact with an abusive boss, move to another department, or leave that company and move to a better one. Slowly minimize contact with that abusive friend until you finally cut them off completely. Spend your leisure time finding ways to earn more money through a different career or business, work a tiny bit harder to get that promotion, or find another way to increase your income.
This was one lesson I’ve learned from Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” Don’t complain that you “can’t afford it.” Find out HOW you can afford it! That principle applies to everything else in life. Instead of simply complaining about your problems and annoyances, it’s more productive to go out there and find solutions.
To Recap, there are three major reasons why you should stop complaining:
1. Complaining makes you useless.
2. Complaining blinds you from your opportunities.
3. Complaining attracts toxic people and repels the good ones.
Instead of complaining about some inconvenience or problem, reframe it into something positive, do something to improve your situation, or try to benefit from it. Do this every day, and eventually it will develop into a great habit.