Becoming Complaint Free.

How often do you complain?
Often we complain more than we think, because we are not aware that we are complaining.
Sometimes the complaints are internal, making us believe we don’t complain that often.
Could you go complaint free for a day, for a week?

Welcome to Authentic Living Coaching, The Podcast,
I’m your hostess, Linda Codlin

I am a certified life coach, and the founder of Authentic Living Coaching.
I am passionate about helping you to help yourself.
It is my intention that each and every one of us has the
information we need to make the best decisions about the way we choose to live our lives.

Living life on your terms, and being your authentic self.

Hello, My Friends

Welcome to Episode # 38

How often do you complain?
Sometimes complaints hide themselves in plain sight as observations.
You might tell yourself I’m just stating it as it is.
Sometimes we enjoy the complaining to and with other people, our relationship is built around this conversation.
It could be with our work colleagues about the supervisor, or the working conditions or the pay rates.
Complaining can be internal, it can be the way you speak to yourself about the things you do.
For instance you might complain about how you look when you catch your reflection in a window or mirror.
You might complain about the food you eat, or the home you live in, or the traffic you endure as you drive your car.
A lot of our complaints are aimed at those closest to us. Our partners, children, family members, even our pets.

How often do you complain?
What are the things you mainly complain about?
We all have our pet peeves, the one thing that will set off a rant, what is yours?
Mine is the hair our cats leave on the furniture.
I complain about the mess, the extra work they make for me, how irritating it is that even when I groom them, they seem to have a never ending supply of fur to distribute.
Does this complaining change anything?
Nope! I still get to clean up after the animals. I still get to feel annoyed, and by ranting and verbalising it, the entire household also know how much I dislike cleaning up after the cats.
What happens to me as I voice my dislike?
You would think that the more I voice my dislike of the animals leaving hair all over the furniture the emotion would diminish.
It doesn’t it gets bigger. I am feeding the emotion. The more I complain the more brain space I am giving the situation.
The more brain space, the more emotion it receives, the more emotion I feel the greater the tension in my body.
It’s a self perpetuating cycle.
One day I decided I was done complaining about the cats and their fur.
As I saw it there were three ways to deal with this.
Number 1 was get rid of the cats.
Number 2 was to ignore the mess, and act as if it wasn’t there or didn’t matter.
Number 3 was to make peace with the cats and they will leave hair on the furniture, and I will clean it up.

I wasn’t about to get rid of our delightful pets, as much as the thought had crossed my mind.
I also know myself enough to know I can not leave the mess, it would drive me crazy seeing hair on the chairs, knowing that our clothes will be covered in pet fur everytime we sat down.
So my best option was to make peace with the cats, stop blaming them for doing what cats do, leaving their hair where they sleep, and know that I will clean up the chairs.
Turning the complaint into a question became part of the game to find an easier solution.

The things we complain about fall into three categories.
Things we can’t do anything about. They are beyond our control.
Things other people do, that we think they shouldn’t be doing, also beyond our control.
Things we can do something about, but often don’t want to change.

There are three ways to overcome complaining.
Number 1 is to leave it.
Number 2 is to accept it.
Number 3 is to change it.

Rather than sitting in a situation that we don’t like, and having it drain our energy we can run the situation through our complaint meter.
When I complain about a situation, am I willing to do something about it?
Yes or no.
Is what I’m complaining about within my power to do something about?
Yes or no.
What is the upside to complaining about this situation?
There is always a benefit for everything we do, or don’t do. What is the benefit I’m getting from voicing my complaint to others?
Or what is the benefit I’m getting from complaining internally to myself?

How do you leave a situation you are complaining about?
Great question, you move your body and your thoughts away from the situation. With the cat’s hair on the chairs, I could have removed the cats from our home. This was within my power to do. Although there would have been a mutiny within my family, who happen to enjoy these animals immensely.
If break time is the time everyone gets together to complain about the supervisor, you can remove yourself from the table.
If going to work a certain way always triggers complaining, go to work a different way.

How do you accept a situation that you are complaining about?
You acknowledge that it is what it is and it’s not likely to change any time soon.
If you have a friend who is always late, you get to accept that this is how your friend rolls, you choose not to complain, you choose to find ways to be grateful for your friend, if you can’t accept their lateness, then you have the opportunity to leave. You can’t change anyone else’s behaviours.
If you are unable to drive to work a different way, accepting that you have an hour drive, three traffic lights, and two train stops along the way as part of your daily routine and making allowances for that. Knowing you are going to meet inconsiderate drivers is also accepting that this is part of the journey.
For me accepting that cats have hair, and they leave it wherever they sleep, was part of having a pet. Accepting that since I didn’t like the hair on the furniture, I was choosing to clean it up. I also accepted that I didn’t enjoy the process of cleaning, but I did like the result.

How do you change a situation you keep complaining about?
You work out what is within your power to change.
Asking yourself quality questions is a great place to start.
What would you rather was happening? Where would you rather be? How would you rather your life looked?
Beginning by identifying what you don’t like, (the complaint) you can find out what you do like.
How would you want the situation to be if you could have it any way you wanted?
Then you set about making a plan that you are willing to follow through with.
You might want to work from home, eliminating the commute altogether. What steps do you need to set up to make this happen?
You might decide to have a conversation with your supervisor. What preliminary information would you require? What emotional work needs to happen to clean up your thoughts and attitude?
For me I decided to add couch and chair covers that I could change easily, covers that could be washed and dried quickly, giving me d├ęcor choices and quick hair removal options.

I want to slide in a fourth way to deal with complaining, that is to begin to be grateful for the situation, person or activity.
Gratitude is a huge attitude shifter. It gets you thinking about how you can appreciate other people, how you can be grateful for what you already have.
Gratitude is a game changer, especially when you can move into the genuine feelings of love and appreciation and past the platitudes of mindless thank you’s.

To overcome the habit of complaining, you get to decide how you want to deal with the complaint.
You can leave it, you can accept it, or you can change it. And at any point you can be grateful for it.

Until next time

have a fabulous day my friend.
Challenge yourself to become complaint free for a week. Leave the complaint, accept the complaint, change the complaint and through it all be grateful.

Live your best life, love yourself, Know yourself and live your life authentically.
For coaching you can find me on Facebook, Instagram and on my website.
This is Linda Codlin, authentic living coaching.

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Thank you for listening.

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