Challenge: No Complaining


A new year upon us inspires a refresh, restart, reset. This January, I was intrigued by a LinkedIn contact's post about 'no complaining'. So, I kicked off a challenge:

A 10 Day No Complaining Challenge, the results were fantastic.

“Never tell your problems to anyone...20% don't care and the other 80% are glad you have them.” - Lou Holtz

Multiple blogs and articles mention that consistent, purpose-less complaining can 'rewire' your brain so it is easier to complain, and, in both our professional and personal lives can lead to a poor reputation as one who cannot handle change, brings down others, and does not know how to problem solve.

The 10 Day No Complaining Challenge yielded revelations of how I interact with others, and saved me on Day 3 from 'jumping the gun'.


Day 1:   
The beauty of this challenge this morning has been a shift in LANGUAGE. Rather than, 'this line is taking forever' or 'it's too cold outside' -- it's 'I appreciate the time and attention the clerks have given each of us customers' OR 'Thank goodness for the seat heater in my car and these extra few minutes of conversation with my babies as we waited for the car to warm up'.

Day 2:
FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT! Anyone else felt like they were ‘faking’ it though some of the challenge on day 1? At the Hille house we faked it sometimes by switching complaints to facts- such as 'oh, it is so cold out!' With a smile on our faces and a few laughs too.

But- the naturalness set in, as we paused a bit more before responding- to each other, to the children, to colleagues. Gave us a chance to reflect on something we enjoyed rather than an obstacle in our way. We rather enjoyed the challenge, and the results.

Day 3:
The power of the PAUSE- take a breath between action and reaction or any response for that matter. My pause today granted me the opportunity to identify root cause before I mistakenly judged the actions of another. Thankful for avoiding misjudgment- instead of complaining I asked questions. 

Day 4:
. Sometimes the easiest 'complaints' are those judgments of ourselves, right? I caught myself once- and haven't dared gone there again. Actually, I put on mascara and hugged one of my babies. Share the love, and make sure to save some for yourself, too.

Day 5 & 6:
I was stressed and didn’t feel like playing, or had a different idea for the moment. When I consciously said 'GET OVER YOURSELF’ and looked and listened to those around me, I didn’t need to push my agenda. Take your time, leave earlier, organize the night before, be prepared- and then it’s easier to ‘ get over yourself’ and move on with your day without complaining!

Day 7, 8, & 9:
Rallying to the end of challenge while away on business, surrounded by brilliant colleagues at our annual kickoff. Our company is not one for negativity- rather our water cooler / Keurig conversations are about problem-solving, leveraging resources and empowering one another during evening events and dinners. Not that there isn't room for small talk, or for venting, but it is with PURPOSE. To build, to grow, to connect, to move one mission forward together, as a work family. Terrific three days.

Day 10:
No complaining doesn’t mean that nothing negative or challenging happens! It doesn’t mean faux positivity! It does mean that we question THE WHY - why we would complain in the first place: To fill a space? To relate to someone? To start a conversation?

The no complaining challenge over these 10 Days has taught me to be more conscious of my language, my quick judgement, my way of connecting with others.

Kickstart this challenge today, and share your journey using #nocomplainingchallengeJvH. Can't wait to hear your results.