Are Your Complaints Complaint-worthy?

My favorite U.S. holiday is this week – Thanksgiving! It’s that time of year when we take a pause to reflect on our blessings and may even be forced to articulate verbally what we are thankful for with our family and friends around the feast table!

always be thankful

After properly stuffing ourselves, we waddle over to the sofa and tune in some football, holiday movies … or maybe even try to work off some of those calories in a friendly tag football game. Of course some even begin their holiday shopping — ugh! Not my bag, but hey it’s YOUR holiday so do whatever tickles your fancy!

In the spirit of the season, I’ve caught myself complaining about things I have no reason to complain about given the many blessings in my life. I’ve also started noticing others’ comments and thought it was a good time for a thankfulness reality check.

Instead of complaining about: Limited Career Growth

Be thankful for: Having a job – are you taking advantage of the training & development opportunities available? You OWN your career so take charge of your own development. IF YOU DON’T LIKE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION, TAKE ACTION TO MAKE CHANGES!

Instead of complaining about: The content of your work

Be thankful for: The skills you have – maybe those skills could be better leveraged OR you may just need to begin to look for other opportunities and talk to others about your ideal job. Perhaps even return to school! I repeat … IF YOU DON’T LIKE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION, TAKE ACTION TO MAKE CHANGES!

Instead of complaining about: Your boss

Be thankful for: Learning what NOT to do! We learn the most from mistakes … ours and watching the impact of others’ mistakes.

Instead of complaining about: Your commute

Be thankful for: Time that can be used for your development or mental health – listen to books, NPR radio or simply turn the noise off and enjoy the peace of silence to regroup and get in a healthy frame of mind.

Instead of complaining about: All the holiday gifts you have to buy

Be thankful for: The people in your life. It’s an awful lonely place without friends and family. If gift-giving is super stressful for you, agree to not exchange gifts and instead mark the calendar to just spend time together.

We in the U.S. have much to be thankful for ~ our health, safety and opportunities. Make this Thanksgiving a day to begin a paradigm shift and recognize all the goodness that is available.

Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect via email at