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Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Morning Check In: Limits and Complaints

This article was updated on December 21, 2016.

When we cast a look back at our lives up to this point in time, we can see that there are goals and plans that we did not accomplish. As we map out a new plan for the upcoming new year, we would do well to consider why we have not succeeded. This thought process brings us to question four in Jinny Ditzler's "Best Year Yet!" program: "how do I limit myself and how can I stop?"

In order to have a best year in the coming new year, we need to discover how we limit ourselves and own up to the responsibility for our lives turning out just the way we planned them, thought about them, created them. What are our reasons for not succeeding?

Here are Jinny Ditzler's basic questions to consider:
  • How do I limit myself?
  • What has it cost me to do so?
  • How have my limits benefited me?
  • Am I willing to stop limiting myself?
When we examine ourselves within the framework of the above questions, we uncover the true focus that guides us to the kind of life results we get. But, instead of accepting a limiting paradigm, we can create and focus on an empowering paradigm. Here are Jinny Ditzler's four steps to shift a paradigm:
  • Discover your limiting paradigm.
  • List your limiting thoughts, feelings, and perceived benefits.
  • Create a new empowering paradigm.
  • Shift to the new paradigm whenever you are haunted by your old, limiting one.
One of the trickiest parts to make a paradigm shift in thinking is to find ways to remind yourself whenever you slip from the new way of thinking to the old way. Let me share one technique with you -- the complaint-free world campaign.

Started by Will Bowen in 2006, his complaint-free idea has reached possibly 6 million people or more from 106 countries. Will Bowen's idea was to wear a purple bracelet on one arm. Any time he caught himself complaining, gossiping, or criticizing, he would switch the bracelet to the other arm and renew his commitment to focus on the positive instead. The goal is to go at least 21 consecutive days (which could take 4 months to complete!), and ideally make this a new life habit. It counts if you speak it, but there is no proscription if you think it.

I bought some black hairbands so that I could wear the "bracelet" while performing with the symphony. I was prepared to move my bracelet back and forth several times during the day and was pleasantly surprised that I went one or two days without a single complaint. I have had to switch the bracelet to the other arm a few times over the course of the week, but I am surprised to find out that I did not complain as often as I thought I did.

I think the reason for my success was due to the bracelet as a reminder. The bracelet helped me to remember not to complain. Another benefit to this enterprise was that I considered any negative aspect about anything in order to see whether it qualified as a complaint. In so doing, I discovered that there was a subtler aspect to negativity that I had not considered before. Now that I wear my bracelet, I have evaluated the words I say and sift them carefully before I speak them to be sure that they contain nothing that others might consider a complaint. This is probably the greatest gift from wearing the bracelet: thinking before I speak.

As you explore this week how you might be limiting your achievements, consider using the complaint-free technique I have outlined above. The bracelet can represent any aspect of change that you wish to make.

If you are interested in exploring more of Jinny Ditzler's program for the best year yet, click on the book link below (affiliate link):

Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----

© 2016 by Paula E. Bird

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