I have thought a lot about positivity and the contagiousness of complaints. Recently, I have made a personal commitment to myself (that is now totaly out there for all of you to see) to maximize positivity and minimize negativity in my life: in my actions, words, thoughts and relationships. Boundaries are important. [Even personal boundaries about what is, and is not, acceptable within our own consciousness.]
One of my favorite CrossFit couples of all time, the Bergerons, shares this sentiment. Ben Bergeron owns CrossFit New England (CFNE), among a slew of other accomplishments – you can read about them here). Ben has talked about the power of positivity frequently in his podcast, as well as during the Affiliate Excellence Seminar Dave and I recently attended.
One way CFNE has incorporated positivity practices into their CrossFit Community is with the distribution of white bracelets. You may have noticed a fairly popular CFNE Athlete, Katrin (aka the Fittest Woman on Earth), wearing a white bracelet as a personal reminder to perpetuate positivity. Each time she complains or is negative, she switches the adorning wrist; her goal is to keep it on the same wrist for as long as possible.
I fell in love with this idea and wanted to bring it home to Captain CrossFit. Last week, I pulled the trigger and ordered white bracelets of our very own (in two sizes). Members are welcomed and encouraged to pick their bracelets up at the front desk. I would love to hear how the Captain CrossFit Complaint Free initiative is going for all of our Captain CrossFit Community Members. Please send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: Not convinced that a white bracelet will impact your life? Here is a personal account summarizing the impact of CFNE’s Complaint Free World from Ben’s wife, Heather Bergeron: “If you haven’t heard about CFNE’s Complaint Free World, we’ve handed out these white wristbands to all of our members to wear. Whenever we complain about something, we have to move the band from one wrist to the other. Obviously, there’s no major “penalty” for complaining; the point is to make yourself aware of how much you complain and to train yourself to look for the good in your life instead of the things that irritate you.
I have to say, I used to consider myself a non-complainer. But, after I listened to Ben’s lecture on what is really considered “complaining”, I’ve realized that I complain a lot. A WHOLE lot. Complaining really is an awful personality trait. I notice it in other people and, to be totally honest, I think it’s one of the worst characteristics for so many reasons. When you focus your thoughts, either consciously or subconsciously, on negative thoughts you end up seeing life through a more and more negative lens. But, the exact opposite can happen, too: when you start looking for the good in everything, you end up thinking good thoughts more often instead. Remember, too: your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, and your actions dictate your destiny. When you stop complaining, you start breaking the chain. If you stop talking about all the bad stuff, you’ll stop thinking it in the first place.
My favorite take away from this whole thing: “Suffer in silence.” Complaining is contagious. There is no real need for you to share with other people about all of the stuff that you’re dealing with: not enough sleep, your shoulder pain, you were stuck in awful traffic all morning, you’re overbooked today. No one needs to hear all of that, and all that does is ruin other peoples’ days and/or cause them to want to jump on the bandwagon and start thinking and complaining about all sorts of other things.
Just keep that stuff to yourself. Don’t talk about it. Before you know it, you won’t even see the bad stuff.
The band works. I wish it didn’t, but it does. And, the more consistent you are with it, and the
more strict you are with calling yourself out when you do, in fact, “complain” the quicker you’ll see the change in your life.
Don’t be stubborn and avoid doing this like I did…because I did just that. But, I gave in and it’s changing my life. For real.”