join-complaint-free-world-challenge
Taking the challenge with me are The Boo Boos! Yah, we’re in this together. 🙂

If you don’t like something, change it.

If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

Don’t complain.

Maya Angelou

Have you ever found yourself complaining about people who complain a lot? *raises my hand*

Oh, so you’re gonna let me be the only one with my hand up??? Get ’em up. Yes, YOU.

Hypocrites! 🙂 Yes, I’m sure we all are guilty of not just talking about but also complaining about people who complain.

You might reason, erroneously I might add, that it’s okay because you’re tired of people talking about things over and over again without doing anything about it. 

But do you see the issue here? Let’s try it this way…

Complain (v): Express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event. 

So as we express our dissatisfaction of those who complain, we ourselves have committed the same crime. Sooooo, now do you see the issue?

Note: For those for whom a direct explanation is needed, this, in essence, means we become a hypocrite so own up to it. LOL

Complaining is an epidemic in our world. Most of the complaining we do is just a lot of “ear pollution” detrimental to our happiness and well-being,” states Will Bowen, author of How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted.

A Complaint Free World

This topic actually came up because I found a website, A Complaint Free World, and got too excited about its mission:

 …help people create a positive change in their lives by becoming Complaint Free.

This is pure EPICsauce! (stole borrowed this from my girl Crystal who coined this word!) 🙂

The proposal is to go 21 days without complaining. You know, because it’s been shown that 21 days is the timeframe it takes to create a habit. I’m in; are you?

So I bought the book and some of the purple bracelets and off I go on my own 21 day challenge. I just finished the book and am starting today and so far so good! 

The 21 Day Challenge

How can we become complaint free? It’s as easy simple as pledging to not criticize, complain, or gossip for 21 days and and wearing your bracelet.

“The purple bracelets help us set a trap for our own negativity so it can be caught and then released, never to return.” Will Bowen

Your “purple bracelet” can be anything you choose to symbolize your commitment – a rubber band, bracelet, or a shoe string – whatever floats your boat. However, if you do want a purple bracelet, you can order them on the Complaint’s website.

Whenever you find yourself doing any of the forbidden things, move the bracelet to the other wrist. Some of you may be moving that thang every 5 minutes of your day. Hopefully, you’ll become more aware of when and why you do this which helps change the behavior! However, if you do complain, the challenge starts over at day 1. 

So check yourself before you wreck yourself!

Along with the challenge, Bowen talks about the 4 stages of competency which are:

  1. Unconscious Incompetence
  2. Conscious Incompetence
  3. Conscious Competence
  4. Unconscious Competence

Say whaaaaaat?

You have to read the book to really get the gist of these four stages but just know that in anything in life that requires change or starting something new like this challenge, you go through these stages. 

The Problem With Complaining

So what’s really wrong with complaining? As Marcie, one of Bowen’s assistants states, “Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.

Bowen also states, “When you complain, you are using the incredible power of your mind to seek things that you say you don’t want but nonetheless draw them to you. Then you complain about these new things and attract more of what you don’t want. You get caught in the “complaint loop” – a self-fulfilling prophecy of complaint: manifestion, complain: manifestation, complaint: manifestation, and on and on it goes.”

Therefore, when you complain, you are repelling what you say you want.  tweet-this<< TWEETABLE TRUTH

What You’ll Learn

A Complaint Free World is the bomb! Imagine what it would be like to actually go through life happier and enjoying every moment. How would your life change? Well, Bowen lays out a way we can achieve this. Here’s what you’ll learn in his awesome book:

  1. Why we complain
  2. Benefits you think you get from complaining
  3. When what you’re saying is a complaint versus just a statement of fact << very important!
  4. What the 4 stages of competency are (seen above) in regards to this challenge
  5. Why victims don’t become victors
  6. How to get others around you to stop complaining
  7. Why complaining is safe

…and so much more…

Watch Your Friends

Bowen also highlights a very powerful lesson you should watch out for like an eagle. In the book, he shares that he could hang around some people really well and be successful with the challenge while others caused him to reevaluate his relationship with them. Why? Because he found they were incessant complainers and expressed dissatisfaction and ultimately portrayed a heck of a lot of negativity. 

You know what happens when you surround yourself with pessis (pessimists, negativists, complaintists << yep, I just made those up) – you start to act like and/or absorb that same behavior. So remember above when I said so far so good on my challenge so far? Well, I have a feeling that some people in my extended circles are really gonna put me to the test and may have to be removed. FYI – if you feel I’m not talking with you as often as before, then just know that it’s YOU I’ve removed! :p

But wait, there’s more!

There’s even a downloadable widget on their website for you to track your progress, connect with others, and receive inspiration. So cool and I recommend you check it out!

Try this exercise

Bowen challenges us to change the words we use and watch our lives automagically change!

For instance, among other examples in the book, instead of using the word problem, use opportunity.

Instead of setback, use challenge.

Instead of pain, use signal.

Instead of ‘You did this,’ use ‘I created this.’ << Love this one as it flips the script on ya and makes you hold yourself accountable for your own actions!

Over to you…

…good things happen for you in abundance if you can just leave your grumbling behind,” excerpt from How to Stop Complaining.

So check out A Complaint Free World (Facebook, Twitter) for yourself and join me on this challenge. I’m sure you can fathom the need to live in a complaint free world by now right? Over 6 million people have taken the challenge and completed at least one round of 21 days without complaining, gossiping, or criticizing. Guys, this is HUGE! Our world can become a much better, healthier, happier place if we committed to banishing the complaints, [hurtful] criticism, and gossip. Will you? Can you go a day, week, 21 days without complaining?

Wassuper, it's yo girl, Kesha and I believe we should Be the Fruit Loop in a world full of Cheerios because life is more interesting when you dare to be different and challenge what's "normal!" I am wildly passionate about helping highly driven women pursue fantabulous relationships, juicytastic careers/bizzes, and authentically inspired lives.
Complain About People Complaining? Such a Hypocrite…

Must Reads:

  • I completed this challenge last year. It took me almost a month to get past day 1 but after 2 months I finally completed it and I must say, it changed my life. It not only makes you aware of your own complaining but also how much others complain. It becomes like nails on a chalkboard. Once it’s over though, you take what you learned with you and you’re a much better person for it.

    • Ugh, nails on a chalkboard – one of the most unbearable sounds ever right?!

      And that is AWESOME Marc! (I’m over here jumping up and down!!) I love to hear that and hope that others read your comment and know that this does change lives!

      My other hope with this is that as parents take the challenge, they teach their kids this same concept so that they can grow into non-complaining, happier adults too. We can do it – one person at a time!

      • That’s true…so much negativity is self perpetuating and it’s a cycle we can totally break!

  • I did this challenge years ago, I think I still have the bracelets in my bedroom somewhere; I actually got a bunch for those closest to me, I did it with my boyfriend, my mom and some of my closest friends. It was a good reminder to not complain, and to open your eyes as to how much you actually do complain. Great post, I may actually try and do it again; I’ll have to check my jewelry box 🙂

    • Yes girl, find those old bracelets and let’s get it going again! This time, I’m sure you guys will go even longer since you’re more aware from doing the challenge before 🙂 Would love to hear your thoughts throughout the process!

  • I never heard of this program before. However, I know my family would LOVE it if I tried it out. I think I will try to go one day at a time like the people in AA. I will try for a week and let you know how things work out. It really does seem like a lovely idea.

    • One day at a time with anything, right? I’d venture to say that life is a big AA meeting LOL

      I’m definitely interested to hear how you’re doing too Janeane!

  • I love this! So first, a confession: I do complain about people who complain. Hm. What a conundrum! I come from a whole family of complainers! At some point in my life I thought holy cow, we really do nothing but complain! And so I tried to be better ever since then. I try to look at things differently – that doesn’t always mean positively, hey I’m not a starry-eyes optimist, but you can look at something and just let it be, not have to make it good or bad.

    I laughed when I read Marc’s comment about needing a month to get past day one. That will be me! As much as I try to behave, no doubt it’s still a challenge. But once you see past the ordinary daily griping, you do start to become more sensitive to it and realize that it’s everywhere. But you don’t have to participate! Going to put on my purple bracelet now 🙂 Thanks for an uplifting message today.

    • Marc and others who I’ve seen go through this process say it can take a while to go through the full 21 days and I’ve had to start over 3 times already! I’m loving this process though because just today I caught myself complaining about something and immediately went into “Why?” mode – to get to the root of why I was complaining in the first place. Once I got to the root of the problem, I could move on.

      I wouldn’t consider myself a complainer but it comes up every now and then and now I’m more aware of it and can make myself understand why and then either do something about the situation or accept it as is (love that you said we don’t have to make things good or bad; it just IS!) 🙂

      Thanks Carol for your valued feedback!

  • Val

    I read about this and wanted to do it. I actually NEEDED this post today. Thanks so much. Just need to adjust my attitude a bit.

    • Okay, so have we moved from “wanting” to actually doing it yet Val? Keep me posted on your progress! We’re in this together. I’ve started over 3 times already!! 🙂

  • Okay Kesha, before I comment on this I have to reiterate that I’ve been working at home for five years now. That’s right, not around others are you getting that! So with that said, I don’t complain about others complaining because I don’t hear that anymore. Oh yeah, it’s nice too…

    I use to so I’m not going to lie to you but once you’re not around those constant complainers then life is just darn good. When you do finally encounter them your attitude is different. I now think to myself, but not complain, that I actually feel sorry for them. They’ll never have a better life stuck in that rut.

    Now I learned earlier this year about the competencies and it was a big wake up call for me too. I so “get it now” you know. How our thoughts become so habitual that we don’t even think about them the majority of the time.

    I’m happy to hear you’re doing this challenge and I have no doubt that now you’re aware of your thoughts that you’ll do better. It will take time but you’ll get there.

    Yay Kesha!!!

    ~Adrienne

    • Heeeey Adrienne! Yes, girl, I am TOTALLY more aware now to the point where I immediately question myself when I’ve caught myself complaining about something…if I haven’t told you before, I talk to myself aloud a lot – especially in the car! Those are my best self-therapy sessions! 🙂

      And I totally feel what you mean about not having to be around people much and as I work from home too. I’m in total peace and have time to work on myself. So when I’m out in public, it’s even more evident how much people complain without even thinking about entertaining solutions or just like to hear themselves talk – either one. LOL

      So I’m interested to see how long it takes me to actually complete 21 days 🙂

  • Nae

    Great post! I took the challenge a couple of years ago (before I began blogging). It was extremely insightful regarding my relationships with others but most insightful regarding how others perceive me which led to a lot of self-reflection and introspection. I look forward to hearing about your journey on this challenge.

    • Hey Nae! Yes, self-reflection is definitely one of the many direct benefits from this type of challenge! When you took the challenge, how long did it take you to go a full 21 days (or whatever your goal was)?

  • I’d LOVE to try this one out. There is so much negativity around – I like that we may be able to control it by stopping ourselves from doing it first. I bet it is not an easy task to complete. Life happens, right? It sure would be worth it, thanks!

    • Okay Lisa, it’s been a few days…how have you fared on the challenge so far? I will tell you that I’ve started over a couple of times already! LOL

      Let’s keep each other motivated!

  • This is the first time I have heard of this! I can just imagine once you do get through it how annoying complaining about and being complained to will be. I think I am up for this 🙂

    • Caroll, have you paid attention to complaints (made by you and/or by others) in the past few days? Challenges like this are real eye openers for self-reflection which is what I love.

      I’ve found myself complaining and immediately go into reflection mode asking “why” until I get to the issue. If I find that it’s something I can’t do anything about, I work to accept the situation as is so I can move on. Awesome!

  • I’m in! I even have a purple bracelet I can use – it’s Flourite which is said to, among other things, absorb and neutralise negative energy!
    It all makes sense and knowing this is not enough. Got to take the 21 day challenge!
    Thanks for this Lakesha!
    Lori

    • Ooooooh Lori, I have one of those types of bracelets too – maybe I’ll wear it on the other wrist and swap them both when I find myself complaining! 🙂

      How have you been doing so far this past week on the challenge?

      • I’m having trouble getting through the first day! Ooops! Was that a complaint? 😮

        • Nope, not a complaint – just a fact 😉 As long as you’re recognizing when it happens, you’re on the right path!

  • Brandi

    Wow! This is powerful! I’m in. I’m in, I’m IN! Thank you for sharing this!

    • No problem Brandi….keep me posted on your journey too deary!

  • Hi Kesha,

    Wow, this sounds like fun, because, yes we all complain. It so engrossed in most of us we all need this type of exercise, even the ones who are trying to teach others that complaining is not healthy 🙂

    Thanks for this great post!

    • No problem Sylviane! It IS fun and very self-reflecting which is why I love these types of challenges.

  • Hi Kesha, I love this! The thing is, complaining is the way we interpret reality, it’s a story we make up and it’s not reality itself. Already being conscious of complaining is a first step 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Oooh I like that Emmanuelle! I’m gonna share this 🙂

  • OMG I SO need to join in on this challenge in invite my friends and family to do the same!! Thank you!! 🙂

    • Yes, Christine, the more the merrier! If everybody did this, a complaint free and happier world is not too far away! 🙂

  • I’ve been challenging myself to do this for a while and I fall off the wagon every now and again.

    I started responding to complaints with a positive come back. What this does is drive off the chronic complainers – they want to be heard and they want to hear complaints. And I feel that I’m shooting off rockets of desire about what I want.

    I recently read that when we’re in a down place, we’re also in the perfect spot to start manifesting what we want. So instead of complaining that my car’s alternator went out, I’m excited that my boyfriend was with me when it happened, that I had the money to have it towed home, that I have the money to have it fixed, and that all my other bills are paid, that my boyfriend can be my chauffer for a couple of days, and I’m so happy that I have a boyfriend who knows cars so I didn’t get taken to the cleaners by the mechanic – in fact, he’s giving me 10% off for being a loyal customer.

    Boy am I looking forward to a new car next building up my savings balance.

    • Now THIS is a perfect example of perspective and I love it Kim! I’m sure your boyfriend is even more happy about how you handled the situation 🙂

      And you know, it’s funny that you said you come back with something positive to chronic complainers. I do that sometimes too and am surprised at how those type of people don’t hear anything else but instead keep complaining about whatever it is and aren’t open to trying to find solutions or think differently about the issue. SMH

      It’s those types of people I steer clear of!

      Oh and we all fall off the wagon every now and then, but as long as we get back on one more time than we fall off, we’re winning! 🙂

  • I’ve heard of this but never have done it. Count me in!

    • Awesome Martha, so glad you’re joining us! So in the past week, how have you done so far? Would love to hear your progress. Let’s keep each other going!

  • Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

    OK, time for a contrarian view. (Note: This is NOT a complaint 🙂

    I have a problem in that many folks consider constructive criticism complaints. Let’s give an example. You are walking down the street and see a few folks picking on someone because s/he is (presumably) gay or a minority. I’m sorry- that’s my duty to stop it. Or, you are the second person in line and someone cuts in behind you, because the “little old lady” won’t stop him/her. Excuse me? That doesn’t fly, either.

    But, I do admit that I complain. I complain about the myriad idiots who never vote and complain that the country is not doing what they think is proper….

    • Actually, I don’t think this is a contrarian view Roy. What you’ve described is taking action against stupid people LOL

      Constructive criticism and “criticizing just to be criticizing” are 2 different things in my book. Here’s an example – a guys goes to a job that he doesn’t like and tells everybody who will listen how much he hates his job, how his boss is an idiot and the boss doesn’t know how to do anything and can’t manage people effectively. But when I ask him what he plans to do about it, he scratches his head and proceeds to complain, gripe, and criticize other people at his job.

      That’s the type of stuff I’m talking about that doesn’t make sense. Sometimes, I think it helps to express dissatisfaction because at least it lets one know that something is not right. Well, the next step is to figure out how to make it right or accept it and move on if nothing can be changed.

      Constructive criticism is perfectly acceptable in my book….complaining and criticizing just to hear yourself talk – NOT 🙂

  • I love this!! Count me in!

    • Makeba, you know to keep me posted on your progress! I’ve started over a couple times already LOL

  • Richa

    This is a great share, Kesha. Yes I am too among those who complain about people who complain. I would love to take this challenge too. I do respond to people’s complaints positively but I myself too complain a lot.. Loved your post.

  • I’m very interested in this project! Not complaining about complainers is something that I’ve been working on personally for some time. It would be great to go along the journey with others. I’m going to check it out, thank you!

    Stacy

    • Awesome Stacy!! So glad you’re joining us….please keep me posted on your progress. We have to keep each other uplifted and complaint free 🙂

      ~Kesha

  • Bravo Kesha!

    What a great project this is. Now I know what to buy people for the holidays lol.

    For me, I am not a complainer. Actually I had a problem of being the opposite. I used to hold everything in. I’m one of those people who used to get sick instead.

    But..with therapy (a lot of therapy) I’m OK with it now. I let things roll off my shoulders.

    This does seem like a great program. As I was reading through, so many people cam across my mind.

    Donna

    • Yes girl, stuff those stockings with books! No doubt, you’ll get people complaining about it LOL

      Good for you that you now let things go as holding stuff in isn’t good for you either. So keep brushing those shoulders off chica! 🙂

  • Great article Kesha, I think it normal for people to complain. We can call it hypocritical, however it will not stop.

    If we are never dissatisfied with something we are not satisfied. Ironic huh!

    We do this all it in aspects of our lives.

    My brothers favorite joke was “I know I am dark, but if you are dark I am going to talk about you”. A little of course but you see my point.

    We can do the same thing all day, but do not let someone else do it. That is when others need to know.

    Good topic.

    • Hey Michael, yes we’ve all complained about something at some point or other but complaining just to be complaining is what I’m looking to help stop.

      I just gave an example to Roy in my response to his comment (see above) about not having a solution when you’ve found something dissatisfying. Instead of griping ONLY, something must be done – either accept the situation and change the attitude/perspective about it if nothing can be changed or find a way to change the situation to your liking. Those are our options.

      I’m sure we all know people are never satisfied too! Yes, irony at its best! 🙂

  • Hi Kesha,

    Great article with a brilliant heading!

    My many have ‘complain’ as their daily companion. Many are not aware that the habit is not serving them. I like to be with like-minded people who are positive and supportive.

    Feel free to come to my group called ‘Moments of Joy’. Life is beautiful.

    Have a lovely day!

    Viola Tam

    • Hey Viola, yes, surrounding ourselves with positive and supportive people can definitely help decrease complaining and hurtful criticism. I’m already a member so see you there! 🙂

  • This is an awesome idea. I’m going to post the challenge in a group I run. Be very interesting.

    • Great Madonna, the more the merrier! Please share with everyone you know and we’ll be closer on our way to a complaint free world! 🙂

  • What first got me motivated to write my book (Climb Your Stairway to Heaven) was that people were complaining about all sorts of little things rather than taking action to make changes. So instead of complaining, I wrote a guide on how to be happier.

    • Hey David, thanks for popping in!

      Send me a link to your book and I’ll surely help you promote as more people definitely need to find ways to be happier in life (a topic I’ve written about on the blog as well)! 🙂

  • Renee Patel

    It doesn’t take that long after you put that rubber band around your wrist and attempt to go 21 consecutive days without complaining, switching the band to the opposite wrist when you do, to realize this challenge won’t be as easy as you first thought. To be honest, I considered myself to be a pretty positive person but within an hour I caught myself complaining. I believe my first catch was “that song (name withheld) is terrible.” Yes, labeling is complaining. The song wasn’t terrible, in fact all the artists, engineers and producers were extremely talented and the song itself had given joy to millions of people hence producing millions in revenue consequentially supporting thousands of jobs that supported thousands of families and so on. The song wasn’t terrible it just wasn’t the style of music I enjoyed. So my first tip to stop complaining is to stop labeling and take a moment to consider why and what you are saying. This practice alone will improve every relationship you have because you begin to communicate what you truly want to say.

    • I love love love your feedback and so like that you are practicing the difficult art of not complaining so much! 🙂

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