There seems to be little accountability in the world today.
Or maybe it’s just the people I hang around…
Maybe I need to work on that.
Anyway, when it comes to your business, there is nobody to blame for anything other than yourself. Complaining about something won’t get anything done. You’re just looking for a pity party. You’re bringing others down.
You’re not being a good owner, boss or friend.
Here are some ways to stop the complain train.
1. Take A Break
If you catch yourself in a bad mood, it’s almost always better to just get away. Your brain isn’t working in a way that will solve the problem. And you already know that complaining won’t help.
So take a break.
One of my favorites is to take a walk. No phone. No companion. Just me and nature. Alone with my thoughts in the fresh air.
Reminiscing is something we often do. It makes us feel good. There is no reason it can’t work in a situation when you’re complaining.
Think about a time when you felt happy about your business. It can be a great way to remind yourself why you’re in business. And if you can’ think of anything maybe it’s time to just quit.
Normally it’s not good. But compare yourself to other businesses that are less fortunate. This can work in life and it can work in business.
The difficult part will be to avoid comparing yourself to businesses that seem to have it all. You don’t know their full story. They could be struggling or on the brink of disaster.
Compare yourself to a bankrupt business. Or to an entrepreneur you know that can’t seem to get anything right.
There are always people less fortunate.
4. Remember The Last Good Thing You Did
And that your team did.
In business, it’s easy to forget the good things we do. There are so many little issues that pop up. You’re dealing with those. It can seem like the only things that happen are negative. And that can lead to complaining.
So from time to time, especially if you’re whining, think back to the most recent good thing that happened. It will probably be more recent than you think. And it was probably a bigger deal than you realized at the time.
5. Remember The Last “Big” Problem
It probably didn’t turn out to be that “big”. We often have urgency bias in business. Something bad happens and we think it’s the end of the world. But as time goes by, even a day or two, we quickly move on to the next “urgent” thing.
Remembering that bad things have happened before and that you got through them just fine is a good way to stop the complain train.
It’s also a reminder that you can really get through just about anything in life and in business. And that’s a good feeling.
6. Out-Of-Body Perspective
Talk to yourself as if you’re talking to a colleague or friend.
Think about the last time you were with a colleague and they were complaining. To them, it probably felt like the world was coming down. To you, it probably wasn’t that big of a deal. And you prob ably told them so.
Or maybe it was a big deal. You probably still offered up some words of encouragement. You probably told them how wonderful and skilled they are.
Why can’t you do that for yourself?
7. Talk To Former Business Owners
I’m talking about those that are old and wise. Those that have been through it all.
The thing about this world is that we’re not really the first ones to do anything. When it comes to situations, people have been there before.
It’s educating to listen to business owners. Chances are they have been through much worse than you’ve been through now and they can reflect back on their long lives and tell you not to worry about the things that seem big, but that really are small.
8. Validate The Situation
Don’t keep trying to convince yourself that the situation is bad. Accept that it is. Allow yourself to validate it and move on to the solution.
Look for something you can subtract from your business. It usually helps way more than adding something. Clutter causes stress, which often causes complaining.
I got this one from Derek Sivers.
10. Answer The “What”
What do you want?
Seriously, answer that question about your business. It could be about the situation that is causing you to complain. It could be ab out your business and life in general.
If you don’t know you’re just wandering through life and that can lead to complaining. So figure it out.
If none of the above work then maybe it’s time to just quit…
Seriously. Why keep doing something that has you complaining all the time?
Nobody wants to be around someone that complains. That includes the owner or manager of a company. If the leader isn’t happy then nobody will be happy. And nobody will want to commit to a goal and follow that person. If you’re the leader, it’s your job to avoid complaining. The tips above should help.