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With “that” time of year rapidly approaching, we smiled to ourselves at a challenge posed by one of the blogs we subscribe to. On one hand it sounds deceptively simple. Not doing something we all say we don’t want to do AND only for 30 days. 
With most challenges involving doing something we HAVE to do every day, it makes a very refreshing change. 
It’s something we all do at one time or another. And, in some cases, much, much more often (!). 
Not only does this simple challenge help us break a habit that does more harm than good – both to ourselves and those around us – it also allows us to take back a little more control of our lives from the Little Monster in our Heads. 
And, even better, helps get us back on to a much more positive track, making our lives flow more easily. 
Which just leaves the icing on the cake. We won’t get labelled with one of those labels we definitely don’t want. 
So, with all those positives, it sounds like a “win win” all round. 
What could possibly be difficult about that?!? 
Well, as so often is the case, the devil is in the detail. 
Have you guessed what the challenge is yet? 
Not complaining for 30 days. 
We can hear the collective deep breaths from here… 
However positive our outlook, there are always going to be times when we feel less than our usual happy / grateful / fill in the blank selves. When things – or people (!) – that wouldn’t not affect us seem to hit our buttons. And, some days, every button plus a few more… 
From there it’s all too easy to be sucked into a very downward spiral and, before we realise it, we’re finding fault with everything and everyone who crosses our path. Not to mention ourselves. 
There are no prizes for guessing who’s in the driving seat. The Little Monster in our Heads. Busy telling us that “Life’s not fair”, “Why does this happen to me” and much more. We’re sure you know the script. 
However, rather than making our lives flow more easily, it does the exact opposite. Shutting us off from all the good things – and people – in our lives. Making us less than easy – probably an understatement (!) – to be around, whether by our friends, family, work colleagues or anyone unlucky enough to cross our paths in the world at large. After all, who would you prefer to be around or help? Someone who’s appreciative or a moaner. It really is a no brainer. No one likes a moaner. 
So why did mention of this challenge cause such a deep intake of breath? 
Well, as a Pattern Interrupt, it certainly makes us stop and think. While the Little Monster in our Heads is probably very busy telling us that it doesn’t apply to us – us, complain, as if (!) – our hearts may be telling us something very different. Perhaps, we do have the odd moan. Or, may be, it’s become more of a habit without us realising it. 
Whichever is the case – and to help stop the Little Monster in its tracks – this simple realisation is all good. Yes, it is! After all, how can we do anything about it, if we hadn’t realised what we’ve been doing… 
So, having given ourselves a quick pat on the backs, all that’s needed is for us to become a little more aware of what we’re thinking and, just as important, how we’re acting / reacting to people and events as we go about our day. Noticing if the “Moaning Monster” is raising its head. 
Sometimes it’s as simple as “zipping that lip”, whether spoken out loud or not (!). Not forgetting a deep breath – or two – to make sure the Little Monster in our Heads doesn’t take over the controls. 
However, there’s a much simpler solution. Keeping our focus set on the positive. In every person or situation. Now we’re sure the Little Monster can come up with lots of reasons why this can’t be the case but – and it’s a big BUT (!) – there are ALWAYS positives, it’s just a case of looking for them. Put another way, everything is sent to help us IF we allow it to. Yes, it really is that simple. 
And, if you need a few more incentives to banish the Moaning Monster for good, here are some more: 
• You’ll instantly become a much better friend / family member / work colleague, who people want to be with and help. 
• You’ll feel much more grateful and appreciative of all the little things that make life flow more easily – and would previously have missed while in “moaner mode.” 
• You’ll become much more aware of what’s going on in your head AND how the Little Monster so easily hijacks your thinking and mood. 
• You’ll be much more adaptable to change, particularly when things don’t quite go to plan. 
• You’ll be much kinder and more open minded about yourself, those around you and life in general. 
• You’ll feel much stronger and more grounded, rather than being at the mercy of external events and people. 
• You’ll be less stressed and reactive to whatever’s happening around you. 
So now it’s over to you. 
Are you going to take the challenge and banish the “Moaning Monster” for good?!? 
As always, the choice is yours. 
Picture by unknown author 
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