Complaining was a way of life for me. Until I learned to use it as a tool to change my life.
This blog and my mission in life is to share the kind of information that enabled me to shift from needing someone to tell me what was “wrong” with me to a place where I could recognize, on my own, the patterns that may have helped me to survive in the drama trauma and dysfunction but that have become patterns that perpetuate the problems that keep coming up for me today.
One of those patterns?
Was the famous bitch and moan.
It’s that place where starting first thing in the morning and then throughout the day, all day every day, my focus is that of finding fault, error and in general anything that I can focus on that can distract me from my feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and powerlessness.
Complaining. Bitch and moan. Griping.
Whatever you want to call it.
We all do it.
The thing is that those of us from background of drama and dysfunction tend to get lost and stay there.
Are you a complainer?
Are you able to move past complaining and find your solutions?
Or do you get stuck in the muck and feel like life is just a bitch all the time?
For us from backgrounds of drama, trauma and dysfunction – complaining can become a way of life.
It can become a part of who we are and anyone who says anything other than our dark gloom and doom attitude is possible can cause us to defend our darkness.
We become very resistant to the idea that we have any control over our thinking patterns, our beliefs or our feelings of darkness.
We will even go so far as to surround ourselves with others who are stuck in this same pattern and may even feel uncomfortable, judged, insignificant, “less than”, or criticized when we are around those who don’t engage in this behavior pattern.
TIPS FOR TODAY TO LEARN TO USE COMPLAINING AS A TOOL TO PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT
So today a few tips to help you start recognizing this particular pattern and how to use this as a trigger to make new neuropathways as you retrain your brain to see things from a solution focus vs a problem focus.
Yes. There is such a thing as helpful complaining.
If you are able to “work through” those feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and overwhelm when life throws you a curve ball – you are likely using “support” in a way that is helping you to “process” your thoughts and feelings while putting the challenge at hand into a hopeful perspective.
You are likely finding it helpful to have someone to listen while your brain sifts through your experiences to discover a workable solution. You may seek advice or suggestions and then are able to try different things to find what might work for you.
Or maybe you’ve gotten to a point where you are able to work through this process by yourself without needing to “bend someones ear”. In this situation complaining can become a sort of guide that helps us to see it’s time to shift from a problem focus to a solution focus and with practice we are able to do so more easily.
On the other hand….
Do you struggle to get past complaining to processing and find that you often need “support” where others let you vent -but you still feel unable to shift to finding solutions for yourself?
Do you seek advice from many yet find yourself unable to implement that advice or even find yourself finding reasons why their suggestions won’t work for you?
Living in this place of chronic complaining with little or no resolution or a sense that we can find a resolution is TYPICAL for survivors of bad things.
We have often grown up being told no, you can’t, do do that, you are incabable and so on.
Oftentime helpers that we turn to want to protect us from feeling overwhelmed instead of teaching us to overcome overwhelm.
The truth that can set us free is when we realize no one can “help” us to do what only we can do.
The empowering solution
Using a notebook, paper and pencil or note app on your phone – or even just a notecard with pencil marks – although a journal with notes about what triggered our complaining can be helpful as we start analyzing our patterns.
- start keeping track of the times you are complaining about something
- Do this WITHOUT JUDGEMENT OF THIS AS RIGHT OR WRONG. This is a LEARNED behavior and therefore it is through this self awareness that we can UNlearn it and learn something new.
- Notice, again without judgement, the the critical, negative thought patterns just under the sruface that fuel these feelings of darkness.
- Start making notes of the times others offer you ideas to solve your presenting problem and your inner reaction to that:
- Do present a reason why you can’t for every solution they offer?
- Do you thank them then forget it and go back to complaining about it?
- Do you pretend they never said anything?
- Do you feel like you are being criticized if someone offers you a solution, suggestion or idea to solve your problem?
- Are you secretly relieved when someone steps up and solves your problem for you?
As we develop self awareness around our pattern of complaining and the dark thoughts, the voices in our head that often resemble those from our past (which IS NORMAL) we are empowered by this awareness to start finding our own answers.
Try using “I’m complaining again” as a guide to “what am I feeling hopeless, helpless and/or powerless over?
Then start asking yourself:
- Is this mine to change? Ie my thoughts, feelings, behaviors….
- what are my choices? We ALWAYS have choices. The problem is we have never been allowed to excercise our choices in the abuse/trauma/dysfunction so it FEELS like we don’t have choices
- What am I willing to do?
- What am I NOTwilling to do?
- Do I need more information? What books might be helpful?
- Is there someone I know who has already overcome this issue that might be able to share their experiences that I could learn from (vs needing them to tell us how to do it they tell us how they did it)
The goal is to help our brain shift from “no choices” to “I am capable to discover my options”.
This is the doing of the process – the empowering solutions that help us shift from “I can’t” to “I am the only one who can”.
This is NOT a passive process, changing our lives.
This is a process that requires constant priority and adjustment to find what works and when something isn’t working to find what will work better.
This is creating the change that can change our lives.
This is “doing the work” instead of just talking about what we could do, should have have done or want to do.
This is taking life off autopilot and choosing to live life on purpose; owning our power and believing we are completely capable to create the life we want.
I hope this post is helpful to you in some way….
You are more than enough and I am always so happy to share the journey.