“The biggest ghosts exist within us, created by our very own minds; and we can either let it haunt us, or we can take conscious effort to fight them.”
Prelude: When I was younger, like primary school age kinda young, I always had this dreamy conceptualization of what growing up and being an adult would be like. Even up until a few years ago, I used to think that once you reach a certain age, you would learn how to be “adult”. But through every birthday and new years that have passed, I realized, physical time or age cannot make you more mature. There is no magic spell that can turn you into an adult at the stroke of midnight. This whole process, it is all on you.
This realization, combined with the natural course of changes after graduating from university and entering the journey of finding independence, has made me want to push myself to become a better version of myself more so than ever. Other than the physical act of getting shit together (don’t mind my language), I want to go the extra mile. What better way to do that than to start from within myself? Hence, I am starting a series of self-improvement challenges, namely, The Ghostbuster Challenge.
The Ghostbuster Challenge: A series of challenges to combat the various “ghosts” within me, to fight off the evil voice in my head that stops me from reaching my best potential. This is to remind me, and you too, if it is relevant; to fend off the unnecessary negativity or toxicity within ourselves that limits us to become who we desire to be.
After giving it so much thought, and asking myself “you sure you can do it or not?” repeatedly, I decided to go full on headstrong and eat the frogs first to kickstart this challenge. That is, to try and STOP COMPLAINING (you know I am serious when it is in full caps).
So many people around me do it. I do it all the time. In fact, complaining is one of the main topics of conversations. You come out for a gathering, and everyone seems to be complaining. We complain about our job, our bosses, our family, our friends, our lack of finances etc. When one small thing goes wrong, we indulge in the process of whining and ranting on about it. Oh, and trust me, it is indeed a guilty pleasure of mine. I think it is time to take a conscious effort to work on it, and here is why it is so important to do so.
1. It does not solve anything
It is all common sense. Everyone knows that complaining does not solve the problems, but we do it anyway. I used to make up excuses for myself and say that it is a form of catharsis to feel better about the situation by talking about it. Sure, it does help when we get to let out our frustrations. But when it becomes a form of habit, we enter a vicious cycle of self-pity and self-victimization.
When that happens, we tend to make up excuses. We do not take responsibility and create the changes we want to see. We stop striving to gain control of the problems and solve them. Thus, it handicaps us from grinding it out and working hard to achieve the things we want to. Isn’t this causing more harm than good?
2. “We gotta do what we gotta do”
Back again with this famous mantra, I learned recently, as it makes so much sense. When we allow ourselves to complain too much, we forget what is important. Yes, sometimes things go wrong, sometimes we encounter difficult people and situations, sometimes we cannot get what we want when we want it. But that is the way things are. No one has a perfect life or the ideal situations. Even if they do, that does not entitle us to that form of flawlessness.
When things get difficult, we just have to buckle up and see it through. Remind ourselves, that this is a challenge, and we are going to learn how to deal with it. Instead of complaining, make use of that time to make the most out of the situation. If all fails, despite your best efforts, it is still a good lesson learned.
3. It creates more negativity
There is nothing more tiresome than to constantly hear someone complain about every single aspect of their lives. Good friends around you love you, and they are always willing to lend you an ear when you need to rant. However, when you indulge in constant whining, be it consciously or subconsciously, you are creating so much negativity to the people around you.
Why be that person, to bring down the mood? Nobody needs that kind of negativity, not even yourself. Take that time, to talk about things that inspire you, share what are your plans to get you the results you want. Whatever you do, just don’t complain.
Complaining is one big ghost that haunts many of us to make up excuses for ourselves to not put it the effort we should in the things we do. I stand here saying all these, not to judge anyone else, but only to point the finger at myself. That is why I believe it is time, for me to take action. To take that extra conscious effort to stop myself from going on autopilot and indulge in complaining each time something does not go as plan. To remind myself, that complaining does not do anyone any good. To push myself to be stronger and “man up” to the obstacles that come my way, no matter how big or small.
Throughout this process of changing, I am going to fall lots of times, this I will admit now; but I am still willing to try my very best, to fight this ghost that lives within me. It is time, to learn to tweak this very toxic habit of complaining and turn it to something much more conducive and helpful.
If you find this to be a ghost within you too, are you ready to challenge yourself, to take a conscious effort to lessen your complaints?