I committed to a month-long practice of not complaining or gossiping.

No complaining

More often than not, I find the positive in a situation. I didn’t expect this challenge was going to be a challenge. It was. On the first morning, I started to complain about a mess my cat made and had to stop myself mid-complaint. Instead, I cleaned up the mess and continued my morning routine.

As the weeks went on, several incidents happened – a phone call from my dad, my teenager having feelings and a client sending a last-minute resume to review when I had a full schedule. All of them complaint worthy. Sometimes I started to complain and caught myself. In doing so, I took a step back. I shifted my focus from the problem to a solution or complaint to a blessing.

How lucky I am to have a relationship with my father.

How great it is to have someone within my household who challenges things and presents an opportunity to grow. Teenagers are so good at this.

How blessed I am to have clients who are going for opportunities and trust me to be there when they need support.

It was not easy at first, but slowly it became more of a habit to stop, reflect and reframe.

No gossiping

Not surprisingly the practice of no gossiping was more of a challenge. I’m a natural connector and talk to a lot of people. I am curious about everything and listen for information, even when it is not meant for me. I am so eager to share information that sometimes I share news that is not mine. I found myself wanting to share news about other people or projects and again took a step back. I asked myself:

  • Is this your news to share?
  • Did you come by this information honestly (not overheard on the elevator)?
  • Does sharing help improve the situation or does it only benefit me by appearing to be in the know?


The result of both practices was an increased awareness of habits. On the first of the month, I happily declared, “Finally, I can complain about stuff!” but I don’t feel like it. Complaining and gossiping don’t add anything to my life or professionalism. They take away.

How about you?

Do you complain a lot? Do you share news about people that you shouldn’t? What habit could you pay deep attention to for a month? Often we think we need to take a course to improve our skills, but self -directed development is valuable too.

What practice could improve the way you show up professionally?