I Went One Day Without Complaining And It Wasn't Easy

If you know anything about me, you know that I complain. Like, a lot.

I’ll tell you that I’m tired ten times an hour, that I don’t want to go to class, or that I’m starving. So, when I saw Nabela Noor (a YouTube angel who promotes self love and inclusivity) made an instagram post about going three days without complaining, I was incredibly skeptical. Noor named this the #SpeakGoodnessChallenge, and invited others to join her in the journey to bringing more positivity into the world.

Needless to say, I was doubtful - but also filled with admiration. I’m not sure I’ve ever gone a full day without complaining, so I decided to challenge myself; why not? I was going to start with one day with no complaining, and I was going to succeed.

I woke up that first morning, and the first thing I thought was, “Sh*t, I’m late for class. I hate my life.” I wallowed in this for a few minutes before I remembered I wasn’t supposed to be complaining and groaned internally, which was obviously counter productive.

But I could do this. I would do this.

As the day went on, I probably had to bite my tongue at least 20 times to prevent myself from complaining. I found that I expressed a great deal of negativity toward myself, whether it was about what I was wearing, how I was talking, or what other people were thinking of me.

I also found that I complain a lot as conversation fillers. If I was in a group of people and it grew quiet, I’d start to say, “I’m so tired.” Not because I was tired, but because I wanted something to say - and aren’t all college students tired, anyway?

As I was complaining less, though, I started to notice that I felt better overall. While there were times when I thought I was going to explode if I couldn’t complain about how much I didn’t want to go to class, I was better for it in the long run.

I found that I was focusing a lot less on the negative things, and that the things I tend to complain and dwell on are things out of my control. It’s an interesting realization because I’ve always considered myself someone who doesn’t focus on things I can’t control, but yet, so much time in my day was devoted to exactly that.

By the end of the day, I felt like I had more energy; my chest felt lighter. I was able to actually enjoy my day, while focusing on the good rather than the bad. I was also conscious of how much others complain, and how common it’s become in so many people’s lives.

When I was struggling, I tried to think about all the things I was thankful for. All the things I'm fortunate to have and all the people I’m privileged to know. It was just a switch of perspective, but it changed my whole day.

While it’s extremely unrealistic to think that I’m going to go the rest of my life without complaining (have you seen who’s running our country?), I do want to continue to be mindful of what I say and how it not only affects me, but others as well.

I encourage others to #SpeakGoodness and see where it takes you. We could all use a little more kindness.