Many of us may feel we have been dealt an unfair hand. We may feel the obstacles with which we are confronted are insurmountable. We may feel like we are not in the ‘inner circle’ at our company. We may feel that we are being ‘set-up’ and there is no way out of the current situation. We may believe we have been passed over unjustly.
I have heard many of these over the past few years. Often, they become recurring stories we tell ourselves, which then become larger and more unfair each time they are retold.
How can we tame the urge to whine, complain, and make excuses for where we find ourselves?
- First, we have to come to grips with the fact that ‘we own it.’ We may not like where we find ourselves; regardless, we own it. If we don’t own it, we have just defined ourselves as victims, as opposed to persons who have absolute control over our choices. We do not control anyone else’s behaviors, yet, we certainly can and do control our own responses to what happens to us.
- We need to take notice of when and why we make excuses and whine about where we are. By noticing when the urge surfaces, we can become aware of the triggers. Then, we take responsibility for altering our response, changing the frame, and taking action to change our approach or actually remove ourselves from the situation.
- Finally, we need to choose the company we keep. We need to intentionally surround ourselves with others who will help us be the ‘best we can be,’ not those that keep us stewing in the negative. We need to foster relationships with those who have a ‘can do’ attitude, who are positive, and who want only the best for us, which may mean delivering tough love on occasion.
Whining is a sure path to nowhere. It’s worth choosing another direction.