Do we have a habit of complaining but want to break free of our negative thinking? Yes! Writing down our complaints was the first step to our awareness. This awareness of negativity can help us find the lies that we are believing that trap us in our complaining hamster wheel of thinking. By addressing these lies with the truth of positivity, we can start writing positive truths to combat our negative thought habits.
To do this, we created an exercise that we hope you will find helpful too. We free wrote our complaints using the starter “Why can’t I…” Then we countered these statements with the truth, using “I can…” as our jumping off point. Pick up your FREE worksheet here!
Why can’t I be healthy like other people?
Why can’t I have normal pain levels?
Why can’t I ever get enough sleep?
Why can’t I eat whatever I want?
Why can’t I make more money?
Why can’t I have an easier life?
Why can’t I have nicer clothes?
Why can’t I have a better car?
Why can’t I do my job better?
Why can’t I be a size 0?
Why can’t I just be perfect?
I can take care of my health, but I did not create my body.
I can go to doctors, physical therapy, and take medicine, but I cannot control my pain levels.
I can go to bed, but I do not have the ability to make myself sleep.
I can count calories and avoid certain foods, but I don’t tell my stomach how to react.
I can budget, but I am called to my particular job.
I can decide to make life easier by not working hard, but I choose my best life.
I can be thankful that I have clothes and am provided for.
I can be joyful that my car still works, and praise God for yet another blessing.
I can look at my improvement, and thank God for learning opportunities.
I can exercise and eat well, but the way my body responds is not my responsibility.
I can look forward to complete perfection.
My complaining showed a desire for control over parts of my life that I don’t have control over. In my positive counter thinking, I addressed the underlying lie that things out of my control were my responsibility. I also saw that practicing thankfulness helped me to put my complaints in the proper perspective, just as Ann Voskamp suggests. Finally, looking forward to heaven put my desire for perfection in its place, as an expectation for the future.
Why can’t I? An important question to ask when dissatisfied with your current situation. What are your “Why can’t I?” questions? How do you respond to this question? What do you see as a result of this exercise?
Don’t forget to pick up your FREE worksheet!