Coming in at the number eight spot on my list for personal growth is avoiding criticizing, condemning, and complaining. 

Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. This line comes from the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, written by Dale Carnegie in 1936. So yeah, it’s definitely a classic! And one that I circle back to every year to reread. 

Here is a line for the book that hits this point home: “The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members, and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned.” So, basically, criticizing, condemning, and complaining, do absolutely no good,.ever, in any situation! 

The first step to practicing this personal growth technique in your life is becoming aware. For example, how often are you criticizing, condemning, and complaining? Does it happen without you even being aware of it? 

Statements like these all fit into the negative trap/habit: 

  • “I can’t believe she’s wearing that outfit.” 
  • “My brother is such an idiot.” 
  • “This food is too salty.” 
  • “My job sucks.” 

Once you are conscious of it (and notice when it’s happening), you can take the steps and actions to decrease doing it in your life. 

Here’s an exercise that worked for me and my wife, Dori. We read A Complaint Free World and then bought the bracelets. You can get one for free here or just a rubber band or any bracelet you have already. The goal of this journey is to go 21 days without complaining (in words and writing). If you complain, you have to move the bracelet to your other wrist. 

I made it 12 consecutive days, and Dori successfully made it the full 21! 

So, in the weeks ahead, grab a bracelet and give it a shot! It was definitely a great experience and one that helped me become more aware of the words I speak. 

Life is good. – Jeff 

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