What better way to better yourself in 2021 but with a challenge, right? I stated my 2021 with a 30 day No Complaint Challenge. I honestly thought that I can go pass this challenge easily, as I do not see myself as a complaining person. But I was wrong. It was not what I was expecting.
To make things exciting, I need to drop a peso in the jar every time I complain.
It didn’t take long before I paid my first peso. This is after I said, “nakakaloka.” Nakakaloka talaga! This is my go to expression to everything! I was so bitter, so I protested. I looked for the meaning of complaint and by definition (from Merriam-Webster), a complaint is:
- expression of grief, pain, or dissatisfaction
- something that is the cause or subject of protest or outcry
- a formal allegation against a party
I lost because technically “nakakaloka” is a complaint. It was an eye opening moment for me. I never thought that what seems to be a plain expression is actually a complaint.
Over the course of the 1st week, I’ve noticed that a lot of my habits fall under the “complaint” definition. I was having a hard time expressing myself in a non-protesting manner. Week 1 gave me an insight on how I express myself in words and actions. To be honest, I was not really a fan of my methods. I was determined to change my ways because I really don’t want to put all my money in the complaints jar.
Week 2 was better. I was able to figure out a better way to convey discomfort. That is to present your statement as a request. Instead of saying, “It’s too hot in here”, I opted to mention, “Can we turn the AC on because I feel hot”. I actually learned this request from various dating coaches. They said that making a request to your partner, instead of nagging, will get you want you want. I never thought that I could use this technique for this challenge.
I also started learning the art of not giving a f*ck. I normally entertain every single thing that is happening to me. But since I do not want to pay Php 1.00, I just shut my mouth and ignore the negativity instead.
I also find myself searching for solutions as my initial response. This is in contrast with what I used to do, which is open my mouth first.
On the same week, I encountered a person complaining because our building’s elevators are not working up to full capacity. She seems to be looking for support as she tries to talk to me. I decided to take the stairs instead of joining her grieve.
Week 3 was fun because my family members were also getting involved. They assist me track my complaints and they also try not to complain because they will be called out. They were doing their best to make me complain, but I always succeed. Ha ha!
It was in 4th week that I was able to avoid complaining in a day. It was actually a wonderful feeling. I have never felt so tranquil and so present in the moment. There was a shift with my perspective. When I was waiting on queue, instead of getting angry, I read an e-book. When there’s an idle moment, I jot down ideas on my phone. It became a habit of mine!
Now that the challenge has ended, I still try to avoid complaining. Here’s my takeaways by the end of 30 days:
- Instead of complaining, I either find a solution to solve the problem or just shut my mouth and deal with it.
- I now take my time to notice things, internalize my thoughts and acknowledge my emotions. In contrast with what I used to do, which is pouring my discomforts without thinking twice.
- I am more conscious of my expressions. I choose positive ways of projecting myself whenever possible.
- I keep an eye of my opinions. I try to stick with fact and avoid judging and assuming things.
- I put conscious effort to communicate my feelings in a non-judgmental and non-accusing manner.
- I now enjoy solitude. I no longer try to fill the void of silence.
- I started setting my boundaries and learned to choose my battles. This was possible when I embraced the art of not giving a f*ck and letting go.