This Week’s Challenge

My coworker, Christina, and I have a lot of stress in our lives right now. Real stress. Real walls-collapsing-around-us-loss-of-control-emotional-rollercoaster kind of stress. And it is so easy to get into the habit of complaining. Which just makes life uglier.

So, Christina and I have taken up the challenge to NOT complain this week. Starting tomorrow, if we complain, we put $1 in a jar. We’re still contemplating what to do with the money.

My goal is obviously to keep my hard-earned money, but the challenge is about more than not allowing negative comments to come out of my mouth. This is an opportunity for me to get my attitude in check.

Our situations are not going to change. And we’re not going to just shut our mouths and not talk about life. This week is going to challenge us to see the positive in our lives, and to learn to express what’s going on around us in a positive way.

For instance, rather than exclaiming, “Why are my eyes always so dang dry?”. I could simply say, “I need some eye lubricant!” Maybe a silly example, unless you’re like me and have chronic dry eyes… then you get it! Plus, this change in statement took me from victim mentality to problem solver.

Not all negative comments are inherently complaining… but you can make them a complaint. It’s all about attitude. “Safeway was out of chicken”. Scrunch up your face, roll your eyes, emphasize ‘out’, maybe throw in some shoulder action as you say this and it’s a complaint. Say the same statement, now with an even tone, and a mindset on what the solution is… what else you can eat, or where you will go to find chicken… then it is just a statement of fact, with no emotional energy spent.

My attitude drives my day, and affects every relationship I have. This week I will make a conscious effort to cut the complaining and keep my attitude in check. Because no matter the stress that lives in my life right now, I am so very very blessed and I need to act like it.