A situation today made you frustrated. Was the situation frustrating, or did it appear frustrating because one of your rules was broken?
Frustration is a slippery slope into an unwanted feeling you don’t always know is have a negative effect on you. When you feel frustrated, the feeling takes control of you and creates noise in your head. You are frustrated often because you are used to getting what you want or you are impatient.
The desire to have everything occur to the timeline you have allocated to a goal leads you into frustration when the reality takes longer.
The fact that so much of our life is now instantaneous and we no longer have to wait to buy a new item of clothing, or search for a new job, or reach out to our favorite idol, has led us to seek increasing levels of impatience.
You can’t apply the same expectations you have for having your take away food delivered in fifteen minutes as you can to achieve your goal to write a book or release your first short film.
Right now, I feel frustrated because a goal I have in my career is taking longer, when my mind is telling me that significant progress should already have been made.
Walking home from the train station tonight, my mind was busy and the walk was forgotten rather than savored. All I could think about was how unfair it was that my goal hadn’t been achieved and someone was standing in the way purposely stopping me.
Then I realized that those thoughts are just me being selfishly frustrated. Ever since I can remember, I have been easily frustrated when it comes to career goals. The new job always has to be off to a flying start within a few weeks. The new romantic partner always has to be completely into me as quick as possible.
When the goal is delayed, so is my happiness.
Frustration sets in far too easily and the only thing that is helpful is to be disciplined and call it out. If the frustration is allowed to win, selfish thoughts set in and before I know it, the situation is out of control.
Frustration can cause you to do something stupid
This is the biggest risk of frustration. You may, out of frustration, do something or say something you don’t mean.
You may act in a way that is harmful to your future and feel nothing but regret afterward. Frustration takes the simple standards you live by and puts them on pause for a while. During this downtime, any action becomes fair game.
You unleash on innocent victims because you are unconsciously trying to dispose of your frustration.
You make the mistake of feeling that if you act on your frustration, you can quickly solve the problem and that will allow the frustration to disappear.
Acting in frustration only causes you to make decisions you will regret later.
Decisions such as saying something hurtful, making an assumption about a situation that is unfounded, or walking away from someone who is good for you. Don’t act when you are burned out from frustration.
The answer to frustration
Sleep on the frustration. Trying sharing a tent with frustration for a week or two. You might find, as I frequently do, that the frustration begins to dissipate. If you can delay acting on the negative feeling that frustration often brings, you can embrace patience and eventually find another path.
Patience is the opposite of frustration and you can use it as your secret weapon if you commit to being disciplined in a moment of frustration.
The temptation of frustration is hard to avoid, but the more times you are disciplined and reject frustration, and replace it with patience, the better you become at not letting frustration control you.
The patience to sit with a goal not achieved, or an outcome not reached, or a dream not yet realized, will setup you up later on for bigger wins. All you have to do is be disciplined enough to be patient.