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11th December 2019

9 Reasons why Complaining is Killing your Success!

9 reasons why complaining is killing your progress!

We can choose to adopt from an infinite number of mindsets that carry us through life. These mindsets change throughout our lives and that is our choice. You can choose to adopt a mindset that empowers you or one that disempowers you. People generally feel that life happens to them and not for them. If we take the mindset that life happens to us then it dissolves us of responsibility of what is happening in our lives, and if we don’t take responsibility for life’s ups and down’s then nothing will change. If we take the responsibility of life happening for us then we take the mindset that even the problems are gifts, if we choose to learn from them.

Everyone complains, but it is literally killing us. It rewires our brains and it becomes more difficult not to complain. It’s so very easy to complain and blame others, it’s a protective mechanism. Your brain function, memories, processing and emotions are simply neurons that bridge different parts of the brain. If we make an action (touch something hot) and it causes pain, a strong neuron will form between an action and the pain centre, warning you not to touch again! If I touched it again and again and got burnt again and again, a really strong neuron will form like a super highway from the action to pain. This is how addictions work. Someone uses cocaine which forms a powerful link from the action to the pleasure centre. Do more and more cocaine and you have an incredibly powerful association to pleasure. It then becomes incredibly hard to break that neuron and parts of it will always be there, which is why it is so easy to relapse.

So, if we complain again and again and get some kind of response from it, we tend to complain some more. And the problem with complaining is it becomes contagious, resulting in more people complaining and so on. One poisonous root can kill the bush. You become toxic to the people around you.

So why do people even start to complain? They will try and drag you down to elevate themselves and make them feel better. By dragging others down, it makes it easier for them. Complaining can make you feel nice in the very short term! By voicing it, it can somehow lessen the internal narrative that makes you feel temporarily better.

Instead of being a victor, complainers think they’re being a victim. This victim’s mentality is incredibly toxic to your own progress. I’ve always liked a Bruce lee quote, ‘If I’m locked in a room with 100 of my enemies, you should tell yourself, I am not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me. Get rid of that victims’ mentality.’

A lot of the reason for complaining is that it results from very weak parenting, by allowing their kids to be a victim it gives them a sense of entitlement.

1) Complaining drains you of energy.
There are two types of people in this world. Energy givers and energy vampires. Energy givers are the type that always turn up, support others and the coach with an energy that contributes to creating a positive environment. Complaining doesn’t just drain you of energy, it sucks the life out of everyone around you. Energy vampires force the people around them to waste their time and energy on them instead of focusing on improving and moving forward. They force the people around them to focus on their terrible attitude instead of what they can do to contribute to the environment.

While you may think it’s cool that the people around you are thinking about you, playing the victim is a distraction to everyone’s success.

2) Complaining kills motivation.

Try and find an example of someone who is miserable and complains every day with poor body language that is successful at the same time. Unicorns. It becomes extremely difficult to stay motivated towards achieving your goals while you’re spending time fixated on negative thinking. You could probably do both but you’re making life so much more difficult for yourself. If you want to get to the top 1% of anything you have to have such a burning desire in your belly that you literally have no time or room to complain. Complaining is such a massive distraction towards staying motivated that distracts you from having a growth mindset. You can’t be excited to grow when you spend all your time complaining.

3) Complaining alters your focus.

Focus is like a camera lens at a party. If you look in one corner of the room you’ll find a bunch of people having a great time, laughing and joking around. Yet you can look in another corner and see people with sullen faces and fighting. Same party, different focus.

Instead of focusing on what you’re trying to achieve, you’re focusing on why you’re upset and what you think needs to be done to make your situation better.

It’s absolute science that do better when we are focused on one single task at a time. Many books have been written about this and one of my mentors explained this concept in his business. He operates a scrum board. Essentially a board with 4 columns going from ‘ideas’ to ‘to do’ to ‘doing’, to ‘done’. When his staff comes in, in the morning, he gives them a high priority task from the scrum board. He then tells them to switch their phone off and be distracted by absolutely nothing until the task is complete. If there is an emergency then they can always be contacted but essentially it is a single focus until task complete.

When you try and mentally multi-task and do several things at once, the almost always tend to make mistakes and become distracted. Complaining is nothing but a distraction from what you need to be focused on which is getting better on a daily basis. Yes, you may not be where you want right now but pour all of your mental resources into making better progress.

4) Complaining makes you weak.

Athletes that complain are displaying a weak mind. There is no way of doing mental gymnastics to justify your reasons for complaining. It makes you look weak minded and gives off the perception that you lack the capacity to lead. In short, it makes everyone around you interact with you differently. When you complain you offer everyone around you a glimpse of what you’re outlook on life is. High achievers don’t complain about their situation, they just work towards making it better.

It’s completely understandable that we can get overwhelmed sometime and throw a comment of frustration out there. There is little wrong with that, we are only human after all. It only becomes a problem when you make it a habit to voice your opinion because it shows everyone around you that you think your opinion is gospel. News flash: it’s not.

5) Complaining shows a lack of discipline.

Have you ever met someone that complains all the time and think to yourself: ‘wow, that person really has it all together’ – you haven’t. That’s because when successful people listen to others that complain a lot then tend to think, ‘I’m out of here’. If you don’t have the discipline to stay focused, there is no discipline to do the difficult things. Complainers lack strength and the necessary fortitude that is required to carry out difficult tasks.

6) Complaining takes a ton of effort.

In fact, complaining takes the same amount of effort as it does to find the answer. All that time spent complaining is being wasted, you can’t get it back. The hours of complaining about your environment could be spent in training and practicing to get better. All you have to do is put your opinion in your complaint balloon, blow it up, and let go of your problems. Then you can start making progress into being a better athlete than trying to be a politician.

7) Complaining gives you a bad reputation.

And reputation matters. Although not aware of it, people truly care about the character of people close to them. At the highest level of coaching, coaches want athletes that will buy in to the philosophy, grind on a daily basis and continue to persist when results aren’t there. The last thing they want to do is manage someone who brings everyone down around them, playing the victim card. There are a ton of athletes in the world with unbelievable talent but the reason they didn’t make it is their terrible attitude. It gives a reputation of being un-coachable.

8) Complaining will never put you in a position of leadership.

You may not want to lead, but quite often, leadership will be thrust upon you and you’ll need to be ready for the task. I’m a firm believer that the only thing complaining does is convince people you are not in control of your life. Others are not motivated by complainers, they’re not inspired by complainers. It shows that you’re incapable of not only leading others, but leading yourself. Don’t expect to rise up the ranks in your work place if you constantly ridicule and voice your opinion on things that are bothering you. You don’t have to be a positivity cheerleader to lead others, the best leaders keep their mouth shut, speak when they have to and lead by example.

9) Voicing your opinion on social media is just as bad.

I used to do this. I relapse every now and again but rarely. I mostly use social media for awareness and communication. In fact, sharing an opinion on social media may be worse because the reach can be worldwide. I can’t tell you the amount of people I unfollow because of their negativity, and its empowering to do so.

In summary, it can be hard for some people to understand. Being in a victim mindset is disempowering and renders you incapable of seeing what you’re doing isn’t working. Everyone has an opinion but not everyone has the discipline. Not everyone has the mental fortitude to swallow their pride and work harder. It’s so very easy to pipe up and criticise the people around you and its hard for people to realise that what matters most in the world is their character. I’ve known members and coaches to moan that the white boards aren’t wiped. All I do is pick it up, wipe it, carry on.

Ben

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