The 4 phases of the I Quit Complaining Challenge

20 Jul

IQC phases

I’d like to share with you a lesson I learned and experienced  myself when I was doing my own 21 day challenge in the spring of 2010 ( I was posting a video everyday on the blog  throughout the challenge )

I hope that this will help those who want to start the challenge “21 consecutive days without complaining” and  those who have already started.

As I was doing the challenge, I EXPERIENCED  4  different phases. Each person will go at his or her rhythm. Some will stay longer in the different phases of the challenge.

 The first phase is the phase of euphoria and hope.  The phase in which we tell ourselves ” what if I quit complaining?” This is the phase where ” we don’t know that we don’t know.”  We are not yet aware how much we complain and how we don’t know how to act differently.

The second phase is the phase of becoming aware of the challenge. It is also the phase of the ” bracelet dance”. We complain, we complain , but now we are aware how much we complain  and we are aware that  we don’t know how to act differently.  “We know that we don’t know.”

The third phase is the phase where we are able to spend a few hours, a few days without complaining. We are able to control ourselves, to stop our words before they come out of our mouth, take care of our needs without complaining, communicate our frustrations differently… we are conscious, very focused, and in control of ourselves. We start  to harvest the fruits. It’s the phase where ” we know that we know”  We know that we know how to quit complaining.

The fourth phase is the last phase of the MASTER. The phase where “we don’t know that we know.” . We forget about all  the techniques and  we  start reacting naturally. We have TRANSFORMED our habit of complaining and to quit complaining is becoming second nature. This phase is reached when we are able to reach 21 consecutive days without complaining.

What phase are you in now?

You can still join the on-going Global 21 Day Challenge to Quit Complaining on the Facebook event and invite your friends to do it with you ! 21 days is not easy to do … we are talking about 21 consecutive days, it took me close to 4 months to achieve ! 

 

Love and Respect,

christine-signature

Christine Lewicki

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit”  on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

IQC Visual

Complaining about others can hurt you …

16 Jul

This is an awesome article we read and want to share with you from  Michael Hyatt’s blog . “7 Steps to becoming a happy person others want to be around”  talks about the effects and consequences of complaining about others and how it affects us and the world around us. What kind of person do you want to be? Someone who repels and disgruntles others with their constant complaining and negative outlook on life or someone who brings joy, positive energy and inspires respect and trust in others?

Happy people are positive people and  do not complain

Read a short extract from Michael Hyatt’s article here:

“He grumbled about his literary agent, his booking agent, and his publisher. No one, it seems, measured up to his standards. I tried to change the subject, but he persisted.

The conversation made me feel very uncomfortable. I finally had enough and excused myself. I felt a little rude, but I didn’t want to steep in his brew of negativity.

As I thought about this, I realized how destructive complaining about others is. My author friend didn’t make me think less of the people he grumbled about; it made me think less of him.

Complaining about others has the potential to hurt you in four specific ways.

  1. It trains your brain. I remember when I bought my first Lexus. I never really noticed Lexus cars before. But suddenly, they seemed to be everywhere. This demonstrates the principle that you see more of what you notice. If you focus on people’s faults, you will find even more of them.
  2. It makes you miserable. My author friend was not happy. His humor was biting and sarcastic. He seemed entitled and discontent. His attitude was highly toxic—which was why I felt the need to get away from him. He was contagious!
  3. People pull away. One of the consequences of complaining is that healthy people don’t want to hang around you. They avoid you. As a result, you miss scores of great opportunities, both social and business ones.
  4. People don’t trust you. This is perhaps the saddest consequence of all. As my friend was complaining about others, I began to wonder, What does he say about me when I am not around. I then instinctively thought, I don’t trust him.

After I left the presence of my negative friend, I bumped into an agent friend, who is one of the most positive, encouraging people I know. He told me about all the great things happening in his life and business.

Whenever he mentioned someone’s name, he raved about them. He exuded gratitude. I didn’t want to leave his presence. It was like balm to my soul.

My second friend was such a contrast to the first, it made me realize these are two entirely different mindsets and approaches to life. The good news is that if you are a negative person, you don’t have to stay that way.”

Read the full article here !!!  Thank you

You can still join the on-going  Global 21 Day Challenge to Quit Complaining. and join the Facebook event !

 Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit” on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

IQC Visual

Learning to Express Our Needs and Frustrations Differently – Part 2

15 Jul

Learning to Express Our Needs and Frustrations Differently  – Part 2

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We all have deep-rooted needs for safety, respect, order, comfort, rest, freedom, integrity, belonging…And when these needs aren’t satisfied, we go through different emotions. If you try this challenge, you will also have to find what’s at the center of your emotions and which need isn’t being fulfilled. The situation that seemingly pushes you to complain is only a revelation that a need isn’t being met. Take this opportunity to identify this deep-rooted need and to  respond  efficiently.

One very important thing taught by Marshall B. Rosenberg is that an emotion isn’t good or bad. It just is. There is no shame in being disgusted, overwhelmed, bothered, discouraged, embarrassed, horrified. It is essential however to take the time to name our frustration (see the detailed list of emotions and needs on p.179). The important thing, with this challenge, is our reaction when faced by frustration. We can either complain and accuse someone, or try to force others to do something, or take the matter into our own hands; express it healthily and move forward while respecting everyone. This challenge invites us to deeply realize that complaining will not help us to satisfy our need or suppress our frustration. It’ll actually feed your frustration.

Marshall B. Rosenberg, psychologist and founder of Nonviolent Communication, explains in his book Words are Windows, or They’re Walls that if we want to communicate without violence and be heard, we have to follow the four steps below:

  • describe the situation that contributes or not to my well-being: When I see the little bits of papers on the floor in the living room”. Note that when I describe, I talk about myself, about what I see, what I experience. I’m not talking about others and I don’t judge anyone. I’m not saying: “When you leave your mess on the floor”;
  • express what you feel towards the situation: “I feel discouraged because I cleaned up the living room this morning.” Again, I’m speaking as “I” and not “you” and I stay away from judgment. I’m not saying “I feel like you’re laughing at me” or “You’re always making a mess, you never clean up your stuff”;
  • express the needs that are the cause of your feelings: “I need a minimum of order in my home to function, to feel happy and available for my family”;
  • clearly express a request (without expectation) of what could contribute to my well-being. Be specific in actions that could help the present situation (this step is often forgotten) and with positive language: “Could you sweep the floor before dinner?” (say when we’d like for it to be done increases the chance of it being done, because the individual will have a clear image of what’s expected).

And to this I’d like to add a last step, which is somewhat of a “negotiation”. Since our demand is not an order, the other person can very well answer “no”. So, we have to extend the process to come up with an agreement.

People around me know very well what I mean when I say that we have to come up with an agreement. They hear my assertiveness and the fact that I’ve taken on responsibility to fulfill my need. I tell them: “I won’t give up on my need, we have to find a solution”, and at the same time “I’m not going to force you, let’s be creative and come up with an agreement.” Sometimes, the individual can refuse my first demand, but suggest something else that they can do, such as “Mom, you sweep the floor and I’ll take care of setting the table.”

As you can see, this requires a bit of distance from our own frustration. We aren’t using brutality, or force. Here, to successfully not complain, we really have to learn to connect with our needs and our emotions in order to give them a name. We have to be able to tell ourselves “In the end, why do I want to complain, what’s bothering me?” And mostly, we can’t forget to enunciate our demand all the while accepting that it might be negotiated.

Once you try to put this into practice, you’ll quickly realize that what you’re complaining about is very rarely what’s actually making you complain! As a matter of fact, you’ll discover that what bothers you is rarely in front of you. The papers on the floor don’t really bother me. I could even pick them up myself, or leave all of it there. I could ignore my frustration and force myself to look through rose-colored glasses. But this would be to ignore what’s really bothering me, which is much deeper: the lack of collaboration in keeping the house clean and my need for order and cleanliness to function. If I can’t fulfill this need, there’s no way I can go on without complaining for 21 days!

If you are considering the challenge but are still hesitant, ask yourself these questions.

# What kind of message are you currently sending your kids, your husband or wife, your parents, brothers and sisters, your friends, your colleagues and everybody else around you? How much longer are you prepared to live surrounded by drama, conflict and misunderstanding?

# How much longer are you ready to complain about yourself?

# Are you satisfied with the life you are fostering? Are you happy every day, or suffering and complaining?

# Think about yesterday, or the past week, and decide if you are  satisfied with the space occupied by complaints in your life.

Be conscious of the impact of your words on your own life as well as others’. Maybe before you could say you didn’t know better. But now that you do know, you know to what extent you complain and the power of decision is in your hand. It’s up to you.

Are you ready to  join me for the on-going  Global 21 Day Challenge to Quit Complaining ?  Click here to join the Facebook event and invite your friends!

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit” on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

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If you missed Part 1 of article click here !

Learning to Express Our Needs and Frustrations Differently – Part 1

7 Jul

Learning to Express Our Needs and Frustrations Differently – Part 1

IQC change“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”  Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics

To quit complaining also means to find the right words to express our frustrations and our needs. The most important, for us, is really to find the words that will “work”, the words that will allow us to be heard and understood.

We complain because our needs aren’t being fulfilled, and even if sometimes it’s possible to consider the positive side of things, often times it is very important to express what we  need, to communicate what is not working for us  in order to create change. It is our duty to find a way to be heard in order to fulfill  our  needs.

With this challenge, many people came up to me to try and convince me that complaining served a purpose! And I told them that I shared their opinion. Complaining has a purpose, I’m sure of it. Complaining is an attempt to fulfill a need:

# to be heard;

# to express frustration;

# of compassion;

# to blow off steam.

The real questions brought up by this challenge are:

  • Does complaining really fulfill my need?
  • Does it work?  
  • Is there another way, a more efficient way, to fulfill my need?

I have learned that it can be very interesting to distinguish between needs that can be fulfilled without a third party, such as the need to rest that can be satisfied by going to bed earlier and only depends on us – complaining doesn’t serve any purpose in this case, we have to choose not to watch that movie so we can go to sleep earlier; the solution is right there in front of us – and needs which require the intervention of other people to be fulfilled. If I don’t want my need to be ignored, I’ll have to communicate and “convince” others to help me.

I realized all this when I finally came to the realization that I needed help at home. I need things to be somewhat in order to live, and between my three young children and my lack of interest for cleaning, I wasn’t able to catch up on everything that needed to be put back in place. I tried complaining, without convincing results, I tried to clean up everything myself but this was a complete failure (I’m not very domestic!), I tried to ignore the mess, but I wasn’t happy…

I had to find a way to communicate this need and to feel heard and supported. For this purpose, I turned to Marshall B. Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication, and I started to express clearly, without judgment or accusations, what was happening within me. One day, for example, I entered the living room to find the floor covered with little bits of paper left there after a “crafty cutting frenzy”. I wanted to complain because I had swept the floor that same morning.

Marshall B. Rosenberg, psychologist and founder of Nonviolent Communication, explains in his book Words are Windows, or They’re Walls that if we want to communicate without violence and be heard, we have to follow the four steps below:

  • describe the situation without judgment
  • express how we feel
  • express the needs that force the frustration
  • clearly express a demand while being ready to negotiate to find an agreement.

Read Part 2 for more !

Are you ready to  join me on July 1st for the Global 21 Day Challenge to Quit Complaining ?  Click here to join the Facebook event and invite your friends!

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit” on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

IQC Visual

I Quit Complaining : A Tool for Reprogramming your Brain

26 Jun

Brain Reprogramming

By embarking on the “I Quit Complaining Challenge”, we are choosing to undergo a reprogramming work. To change our outlook on life and our daily life especially, we have to learn how to think and live things differently, and especially choose what and how we want to communicate with others.

We have to realize and understand that our words have a great impact on our lives and the people that surround us. Our words nourish our beliefs. By complaining all the time, we end up believing what we say : that people are stupid, that life is hard, that nobody is helping us, that our efforts are left unacknowledged or unrewarded, that we are exhausted, that we are burned out … and finally our complaints impact our actions and in the end our very life.  Our words, whether we like it or not, are to be taken very seriously because our reality is  created by our words and our world is made up of words.

 Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words,  your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become  your values, your values become your destiny. – Mahatma Gandhi

It is crucial to  «reprogram»  the way we choose to communicate with life, with the world, with others, with ourselves. By modifying our language and communication reflexes, we will little by little modify our thoughts and feelings, anchored deep down in our belief system for many years.

The challenge  I Quit Complaining and Bitching Challenge, allows us to do this work. Even if at the beginning the challenge seems impossible, you will realize that by freeing yourself from this bad habit of complaining, which is real pollution, you will reeducate yourself and your way of thinking. Complaining creates ways of thinking and reacting that our brain uses over and over again and this becomes our dominant reaction excluding  any other possible alternative.

Be aware that you may need at least 10 different attempts to start to learn a new response mode. This is the benefit of this challenge which allows you to “practice” , “learn” and “reeducate” your way of thinking to create new connections in your brain.

Progressively, the automatic reflex or habit of complaining  will dissipate until it disappears completely.  Later, you will not need to spend a lot of energy to avoid complaining, because your mind will have deeply recorded this new way of being and thinking.  Your “complaint muscle” will be weakened and your “happiness muscle” will be strong and powerful. What may start off as an impossible challenge,  will become like second nature.

* K. Ferlic, Habit of your mind : a releasing your unlimited creativity discussion topic, RYUC, 2008.

Are you ready to  join me on July 1st for the Global 21 Day Challenge to Quit Complaining ?  Click here to join the Facebook event and invite your friends!

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit” on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

IQC Visual

First, I had to decide…

16 Jun

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Doing this 21 days challenge to quit complaining was more a decision to do the challenge for myself ( than for the ones bearing with me and my complaining !). I didn’t do this challenge because I wanted to be a better person for my kids or my spouse  ( even-thought this challenge truly transformed my relationship with them). I did this challenge because I wanted to transform my relationship with my life !

To be honest, I had plenty of reasons NOT  to do the challenge:  I was busy with work, kids, and I was moving…. etc. So I postponed for many months, until one day, I found myself drained and exhausted in my bed at the end of a “normal” day. That night, I realized I was letting my life pass me by without truly experiencing and savoring it. Even though,  I had a husband, children, and a job I loved, I found out I was complaining way too much ( to be honest, I always considered myself to be positive and it took me a while to admit that I was a complainer).  It hit me that, one day… ( who knows when?)  I was going to die and realize that I had spent my entire life resisting my life ! Something had to change… NOW !

Let me tell you that if you want to embark on this challenge, first, you need to do this from a place of curiosity ( and not guilt). Imagine how your life  would look like if you could quit complaining ? How much is it costing you to complain? Start everyday wondering what opportunities this day is  going to give you to be who you really want to be ?  Go one day at a time and don’t give up ! You will fail, you’ll have to start over many, many times but each time you will learn. You’ll learn about what you need to change in your life ( how about trying a new morning routine?), you’ll learn to surrender sometimes, you’ll learn to communicate better and to express your needs while resisting the urge to make people wrong….   It takes an average of 6 to 9 months to achieve 21 consecutive days without complaining, but what a journey !
 
Before my challenge I had this habit of pointing fingers at all the “guilty people” in my life ( those who were not doing what I wanted them to !). They were the  reason for my misery! With this challenge,  I took a stand in  my life and decided that not matter what was going to happen during my day, I was not going to be a victim of anything or anyone.  One of my biggest lessons on this journey is that what was really  preventing me to live the life I wanted was me. I had to stop blaming ” the others” and I had to look within myself.

When you wake up in the morning and you decide that no matter what is going to happen, you won’t be a victim of anything or anyone… then everything becomes possible !
 
Please join us on July 1st as we are starting a Global 21 day challenge to Quit Complaining.
 

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit” on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

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Join the 21 Day Quit Complaining Challenge!

8 Jun

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 Have you ever noticed how when we desire to create change or give birth to a new reality in our life, we have a tendency to wait until everything is perfect ?

Today, I’d like to invite you to join me and start your 21 Day Challenge !

THE CHALLENGE:

Goal: 21 consecutive days without complaining

Why 21 days?

According to scientists a new habit is created or takes place in 21 days and it so happens that complaining is very much a habit for many of us.

A few rules to follow:
1. Start by wearing a bracelet on the wrist of your choice

2. If you find yourself complaining simply change the bracelet to the other wrist and start all over

3. Don’t get discouraged and remain confident. It may take a few weeks or months to reach your goal but in the end you’ll discover a new life filled with joy and love

Why wear a bracelet?

The bracelet is a tool that allows us to become aware and simply reminds us about the challenge to better manage our progress on the path to a more serene life without complaining.

I also invite you to read through the blog articles  if you want to dig deeper on this topic and find out the back story of my personal challenge to quit complaining and bitching!

Click here to join the 21 Day Quit Complaining Challenge  on Facebook !

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author. She is committed  to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit”  on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

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