Freewrite to vent all your complaints
Why do this? Why vent?
Because it’s in there anyway.
Shouldn’t I focus on the positive? Won’t it make things worse to dwell on the negative?
By taking a few minutes to put your woes and complaints into a freewrite, you’re not making anything worse, you’re just letting it out in a way that isn’t creating any drama or asking anyone else to fix anything.
In the act of letting it out, you do create the possibility that something can resolve organically. Think of it as an untwisting or untangling. By expressing your angst, you create space inside and give yourself room to breathe. You gain perspective. You also let your feelings be seen.
It’s likely you feel conflicted
By spending a few minutes to freewrite your feelings, you also create room on the inside to feel more ways than one about it.
There have been plenty of times in my life that I wanted to complain about something, how terrible it was and how I was having a hard time, it wasn’t working, it’s not fair.
And then once I vented my frustrations, it became clear that I had other feelings about it. Unclouded by my frustration, I could also feel what I loved about it.
It’s not that complaints are bad and the other feelings are good.
Not needing to judge or label feelings means just that. Feel however you feel. When you freewrite your feelings, the aim is to be perfectly transparent, not to embellish things or make them seem any different than how they are in the moment. Maybe you’ll say something insightful, but it’s perfectly fine to stutter and ramble and be inarticulate.
Writing it out gives you space from the feelings
Once you vent your complaints, you become more able to tap into an inner certitude. The activity does not need to conclude with venting. Stay with the feeling as it changes or fades. What happens for you?
Let’s say you’re frustrated about a project. Maybe it dawns on you that the subject of your frustration is actually not something you want to continue making space for in your life. Not because it’s hard, but because you just honestly don’t want to do it.
Some skill with navigating your own BS comes in handy here. Many is the time when I have thought that I was at the end of my rope with something because I was not good enough or it wasn’t right for me. And though I would have liked to have concluded that I should just go do something else and abandon the project, my quiet inner knowing beckoned me to stick with it.
Put it into practice
When in doubt, give yourself a few minutes and freewrite about it. Whether you are frustrated, boggy, or even if you don’t know how you are feeling about something, simply commit to writing without stopping for a few minutes. Focus on your feelings and see what emerges. Stay with the feelings and allow yourself to be imperfect and inarticulate. Allow things to feel messy. Stick with it until you feel things move into a different configuration. How do things look from this vantage point?