top of page

From Complaining to Action: Steps to Becoming the Change You Once Complained About

be the change you want to see

In a world brimming with challenges and opportunities, it's all too easy to find ourselves caught in the trap of complaining about the problems we see around us. We've all been there – shaking our heads at the state of affairs, lamenting the lack of positive change, and yearning for someone, somewhere, to step up and make a difference. But what if that someone was you?

Welcome to a transformative journey from mere complainer to empowered changemaker. This is not just a shift in perspective; it's a call to action, an invitation to channel that frustration into fuel, and a roadmap for becoming the change you once complained about. In this exploration, we'll unravel the steps, insights, and mindset shifts that can take you from the sidelines to the forefront of positive transformation.

Get ready to challenge the status quo, embrace your potential, and leave behind the complaint cycle. By the time we're done, you'll be equipped with the tools to turn your concerns into actions, your critiques into solutions, and your voice into a catalyst for meaningful change.

The journey starts now – from complaining to action. Let's embark on a path that leads not just to a better world, but to the better version of yourself that you've always envisioned.

Common Everyday Complaints

Complain about the upbringing

Complaining about coming from an abusive family is often an outlet for deep-seated emotional pain and unresolved trauma. Those who have experienced abuse scars within their own homes may find solace in sharing their stories of adversity. They may seek validation and understanding from others who have faced similar challenges. However, dwelling solely on complaints can inadvertently perpetuate a cycle of victimhood, potentially hindering healing and personal empowerment. It is crucial for individuals in this situation to recognize the power they possess to break free from their past and rewrite their narrative.

Acknowledging pain and frustration is an essential step towards transformation, but it is equally important to shift the focus from complaints to constructive actions. By seeking therapy, support groups, or counseling, survivors of abuse can embark on a journey of healing that enables them to reclaim their sense of self-worth, rebuild broken relationships, and cultivate a healthier outlook on life. This transition from complaint to proactive healing empowers individuals to redefine their identities beyond the shadows of their abusive past, fostering resilience and strength that can inspire others who share similar experiences. By taking charge of their own narrative, survivors can become beacons of hope and catalysts for change, proving that a history of abuse does not determine one's destiny, but rather serves as a starting point for a future defined by resilience and triumph.

If you're between your 20s and 30s, I would say complaining here and there while working through healing is reasonable. However, if you're above mid-30's and still complain, know that you made a choice of hanging on to the abusive and let it control your life. You are also likely using them as excuses and to justify circumstances when you refuse to try, improve, or change. That's on you.

Complain about mistreatment at work

Being a female minority and an immigrant, I cannot tell you how often colleagues and supervisors assume I am submissive, take all the shit in without calling them out. And when I do, I am immediately labeled as "difficult to work with," or a "bitch." In my 30s I would dig into this self-pity hole while building hatred toward racist and discrimination. Then I realized that when people choose or feel entitled to mistreat me, it really reflects on how insecure and ignorant they are. They're the messed up ones.

Well, how is that going to help, you ask. Great question!

People like that live for reactions. When they see you are upset and hurt, they get the extra oxygen dosage. For you, use this opportunity as such to develop your emotional intelligence so that you no longer acknowledge their behavior. When they cannot get a reaction out of you, that is when they become super insecure and uncomfortable. Soon they will have to find their next victim and leave you alone.

Turn every perceived adversity into an opportunity. In this case, use it to develop your emotional intelligence as mentioned earlier. As your EQ increases, you are less likely to be affected by people or circumstances.

Complain about other people

I used to have friends who could giftedly point out faults and flaws in people they knew and did not know. They would complain about people who upset her years ago as if it had just happened. It's draining to sit around and listen to the same shit over and over again. I eventually cut them off to maintain my mental health. What they didn't realize is that these people who annoyed them likely had moved on with their lives already. And yet, the complainants still live and relive the situation over and over again.

Being constantly annoyed by strangers doesn't contribute positively to your own well-being or to the world around you. Cultivating patience, empathy, and focusing on the things you can control can lead to a more fulfilling and harmonious outlook on life.

Annoyance toward strangers is sometimes rooted in assumptions and biases. We might judge or interpret others' actions based on limited information, leading to misunderstandings. Giving people the benefit of the doubt and recognizing that everyone has their own experiences and reasons can reduce annoyance and promote empathy.

Seasoned Complainers

Dr. Wayne Dyer's 10 Secrets to Success and Inner Peace illustrate this behavior best by saying we can't give away what we don't possess. Simply put, how we react to things around us is how we are inside. When we are filled with hatred and frustration, we react negatively to almost every situation.

That said, when people engage in complaining for a variety of reasons, the behavior can serve different psychological and social functions such as emotional release, seeking validation, or in some cases, coping mechanisms. It is important to note that excessive or constant complaining is counterproductive, leading to a negative mindset, strained relationships, and a focus on problems rather than solutions.

Encouraging a balanced approach that includes seeking solutions, practicing gratitude, and fostering positive interactions can help create a healthier and more constructive outlook. Practicing a positive outlook can help individuals and teams to stay focused on their goals. It can also boost morale and create a more constructive working environment. Ultimately, this can lead to increased productivity and better results.

It has been found that those with a positive frame of mind are 31% more productive than those with a negative, stressed, or neutral frame of mind. Do not waste time on things that are beyond your control.

Be the Change

Below are three recommended steps I would like to encourage all of you to take to start being the change versus just complaining. Taking these steps will help you move from simply talking about the problem to actively creating change, and enable you to start making a difference in your own life and the lives of those around you.

1. Be a role model:

Start by reflecting on the issues that truly bother or hurt you. What are the trigger points, and where do they normally occur? Never treat the people who wrong you the same way; but show them the behavior you would prefer to be treated. Be a role model.

2. Focus on self development:

As mentioned earlier, the higher emotional intelligence you possess, the less you will be bothered by other people’s behavior and unpleasant circumstances. In short, you will gain more control versus handing the baton to an area where you have no control of. Having a high emotional intelligence is essential for fostering meaningful relationships, effective communication, and adept navigation of the complex interplay of emotions in both personal and professional interactions.

3. Track your efforts:

Transforming complaints into actions won’t happen overnight. Start small by taking concrete steps as each situation arises. Personally, I love to document in my journal the situation on top and how I handle it below it. It shifted from being pissed, hurt, upset to EQ-infused. As I read through the progress, I began to appreciate each situation as they actually helped me improve myself as a person.

Florence Scovel Shinn says no man is your enemy, no man is your friend. Every man is your teacher.

Before long you’ll see that you can easily turn the unfortunate situation around within seconds and leave your legacy for people to ponder, and hopefully improve.

Remember, the journey from complainer to change agent is gradual. Celebrate even the smallest victories along the way, as they contribute to the larger impact you're striving for.

Your passion, knowledge, and actions will inspire others to join you, creating a ripple effect of positive change that extends beyond your initial efforts.

So, roll up your sleeves, step out of the cycle of complaint, and let your actions become the embodiment of the change you've always wanted to see.


bottom of page