Working your way out of a bad scenario
Complaining about bosses, co-workers, and policies is de rigeur in the business world. But there’s a fine line between expressing your frustrations and gripes as a release of the negative energy, and bitching—complaining just to complain. How can you keep complaints healthy while creating a better workplace scenario for yourself? Take action.
“The chief condition on which life, health, and vigor depend on is action. It is by action that an organism develops its faculties, increases its energy, and attains the fulfillment of its destiny.” – Colin Powell, 65th US Secretary of State
Action may seem daunting in the face of large corporate problems or even odd coworkers, but it’s important that you stand up for yourself in order to make sure you don’t fall prey to relentless negativity. The actions you take can be large or small, and they may or may not work, but that doesn’t actually matter.
That’s right, action doesn’t have to “succeed” to be valuable. The mere fact that you took action against a complaint or irksome behavior is enough to keep you happy, sane, and stress-free.
Say you’ve been bored or unmotivated at work. Taking action, you ask for more responsibility or a new project, and while your boss is supportive, she doesn’t give you a clear answer—you’re in somewhat of a holding pattern. Rather than sitting at your desk unmotivated, the fact that you took action will actually inspire you: to re-engage in the work you do have, to launch a project or work on an idea that isn’t technically in your job description, or to reach out and ask peers how they might need help.
Of course, those actions will probably inspire your boss to officially give you more responsibility. But even if it doesn’t, you’ve gotten what you wanted: inspiration at work.
While this article focuses on work, you can apply the principle to any part of your life. Say a neighbor is annoying you in some way: talk to them about why they’re putting their trash can in your driveway. If someone cuts you in line, politely say something about it. Maybe you want a discount on an item at a store: why not ask? Take action for action’s sake, and the results will follow.