When you’re used to something, you can end up creating situations in your life where you get more of it, even when it’s not helpful.
I recently had a conversation about a problem. From my perspective it was fairly easy to solve. From the perspective of the person I was with it was something challenging, the sort of thing to go back and forth and around and around about without actually finding a solution.
An easy way to work through solving your problems is to establish where you’re at and where you want to be. Then, fill in the gaps. What can you do to get to where you want to be?
But we sometimes end up making things difficult for ourselves. We get so wrapped up in the problem that we’re not even really trying to solve it. We’re not stuck because we can’t solve the problem, we’re stuck because we’re addicted to limbo.
This is why you can sit and talk with someone who is upset or frustrated and even when they ask for your advice and you offer it. They just go right back to the problem.
And the thing is, it gets boring and even exhausting to listen to after a while. Nobody wants to sit and listen to someone complain about something they aren’t even trying to change.
Complaints can be categorised into 2 groups, things you can change and things you can’t change.
If you are able to sort the issue that feel the need to complain about, it’s probably not worth the effort to complain. Instead take action, do something about it.
Lets say that you’re cold. You could fix this by putting on another layer or closing the window. But instead you choose to complain. Maybe you’re usually the one that has to close the window and you want someone else to do it for a change.
If you can easily fix something that bothers you and you choose to do nothing then maybe you don’t actually care, maybe you just like complaining. I think that can be a difficult thing to admit but it’s the truth for many people even if it’s just for something small.
And sometimes the case is that you care but you want someone else to fix the problem. Perhaps you feel like it’s always on you.
However, as much as that’s understandable, it is also of very little benefit to you.
If you have something bad to say about something but have nothing to say when it comes to how it could be better. I think that it’s a useless criticism.
It’s easy to be a critic or to complain about the way that something is but what’s the point if you can’t even offer a solution.
It’s far more useful and far more helpful to say ‘I don’t think this works very well but here’s what I think would work better…’, rather than just saying ‘That’s not a good idea’.
I think what a person says comes down to their intention to speaking up. Do you just enjoy complaining or do you want to try and find a way to make things better?
There is power in the meaning we attach to words.
The Bare Minimum Betty concept is something I came up with because I enjoy playing around with ideas and creating characters. But it’s about more than just a made up character that doesn’t go above and beyond.
What started as just part of my writing practice resulted in me reflecting on my own behaviour.
I began identifying moments in my life where I was being bare minimum, not in a critical way but in a gentle way. Like ‘oh, I could put in more effort here’ or ‘I can feel myself holding back’.
And in these moments of reflection I began to understand what it really means to be bare minimum.
It’s complaining or being frustrated with where you’re at because you’re not putting much effort in and not getting much back.
It’s going through life without letting your core self be seen.
It’s following instructions and not being willing to ask questions.
It’s being tossed about by the waves of life because you aren’t willing to pick up an oar.
It’s noticing a problem but waiting for someone else to offer a solution.
That’s not the kind of person I want to be, yet I like many others sometimes fall into being a bare minimum Betty.
But in recognising those things in myself I’m able to push past them. So, when I notice I’m holding back, I’ll push past those feelings and speak up.
On the flipside I’m also aware that some people are totally satisfied with being good enough or bare minimum that is totally okay as long as you don’t pretend you’re offering your best.
Which one are you?
The first kind is the one we all know and love (or perhaps just tolerate through excessive eye rolls). This person is problem focused. They find a problem with anything and everything.
What’s worse is if you offer a potential solution they’ll probably find a problem with that too.
The second person is solution focused. They’ll complain as a way to vent their frustrations but then they’ll move on and do something about it.
The first person never manages to progress nearly as much as the second.