Negativity breeds negativity and 'No Complaining' is one of the mindsets that I want to encourage you to think about. It's hard to measure the impact of what complaining does to people, but I've seen it and it becomes a negativity trap that's really hard to get out of, and ultimately leads to excuse making.
I first came up with the 'No Complaining' idea personally when, being in Chicago as a lifelong resident, every year I found myself complaining about the snow and how cold it was. One day in February I asked myself "why am I living here if it's so bad? It's not that bad! It's, like, a couple months a year!" Chicago winters are so overrated as far as the negativity goes, it's crazy. It's not a long winter. It's not a big deal. I have heated seats in my car! So, I made a decision a few years ago to not complain about winter ever again. Because if it's that bad I should move to somewhere warm.
About a year and a half ago I listened to a Tim Ferriss podcast and he talked about a 'No Complaining' challenge where people wouldn't complain for thirty days. Thirty days you can't complain about anything. You can't complain about the weather, you can't complain about the traffic, you can't complain about your job, you can't complain. It's really hard! But once you have the challenge you'll start noticing some of the self-talk that you've given yourself that is right now affecting you in a negative way that you don't realize.
This also raises the reticular activator. In sales, specifically:
- It could be complaining about our accounts or a list of accounts (you know I just have a bad territory).
- It could be the pricing (you know our pricing is just too high, it's not competitive with the marketplace. We just had a price increase).
- It could be the marketing (our marketing is not great, and because of that we're not getting good leads).
- It could even be things like complaining about the time of year when people aren't buying as much or it's hard to reach people.
- It could be about technology. (I hear this one a lot. People are so hard to get ahold of. It's all voicemails and trying to get through emails).
People tend to want to complain, not create. Meaning they want to complain versus create a solution and I'd suggest creating solutions are way more productive. Complaining is just this negativity loop that we get into.
So, the challenge I'll give you is both personally and professionally, how long will you give to totally eliminate complaining? You'll catch yourself and you'll notice it, but it'll get you to a good spot. Give it the time frame you want, and follow through. Tell people around you what you're doing so they can bust you on it. They will catch you when you miss it.
I hope you're up for the challenge. Commit to a day and make it public.
If you would like to sign up for our weekly video tips, click here.