Frustration – A familiar but unwanted sidekick that many of us carry. What causes frustration? Usually, we feel frustrated when there’s opposition towards progress or lack of fulfillment of something. For those of us women with go-getter mentalities, not achieving goals or reaching certain standards can lead to extreme frustration and unhealthy outcomes. Frustration is inevitable, however, it is manageable to a point where it doesn’t consume you. Being frustrated isn’t a pleasant but it has its benefits. For one thing, it’s a sign that you believe you should be doing better. It’s also a sign that what you’re currently doing isn’t working.
Don’t let frustration stop you from moving forward! Try these techniques to keep your head in the game:
Focus on the progress you’ve made. Frustration festers if you you’re constantly focused on how far you are from your goal. Celebrate the milestones you make along the way. For example, if you’re in the midst of a job transition and you haven’t gotten the new job yet but you’ve updated your resume, that’s a milestone worth being proud of!
Jot it down. Instead of replaying conversations and events over and over in your head, write down your thoughts and feelings. Take your time and list what’s frustrating you. Once you’ve gotten it out of your system, write out a few possible solutions. You can also journal during your quiet time. Often times you’ll find that God speaks to you in those moments when you aren’t thinking clearly.
Give yourself more time. You’ll need it. Whether you’re planning to buy your first house by a certain age or trying to achieve a flat belly by beach body season, you should ALWAYS give yourself more time than you initially thought. According to Hofstadter’s law, human beings are naturally prone to optimistic bias that causes us to underestimate the time it takes to complete a task – especially a complex or multifaceted one. Therefore, be kind to yourself and allot more time to accomplish the things that are important to you.
Learn what’s causing your frustration. Certain situations and people can trigger your frustration. Make a list of those triggers. Is it possible to avoid those people and situations? If not, prepare yourself ahead of time and plan to do something comforting and relaxing after this encounter.
Have reasonable expectations of others. Are you expecting too much from others? Sometimes we unfairly pose assumptions and expectations on people where, in some cases, they may not even be aware of it! As a result, we get frustrated once our expectations go unmet. First, accept people for who they are. Then, focus on your own needs and address your assumptions.
Remember the times you’ve been frustrated in the past. Consider the times you were frustrated as a teenager. They all seem silly now. It’s likely you’ll feel the same way about your current issues 10 years from now.
Make a list of ways to alleviate frustration. You are the best judge of what makes you feel good. Make a list of 10 - 15 healthy ways that will serve as your “go-tos” to alleviate frustration . Consider your average day and the frustrating moments you’re likely to face. Perhaps you can take a walk to get some sunshine on your face and ultimately get back in the right head space.
Take advantage of your frustration. Frustration isn’t entirely negative. It’s a sign that you believe you should be doing better! You might even find that your ability to focus and find solutions is enhanced because of your desire to mitigate the disappointment or fear you feel.
Phone a friend. Sometimes you just can’t get out of your funk alone. Reach out to friends that can encourage you and remind you of how great you are. Frustration can cloud how well you believe in yourself, which, can wreak havoc on the journey to accomplish your goals. A good friend can pour good vibes and positivity back into your mental atmosphere and push back the negative undertones of your day.
If you’re never frustrated, then you’re not trying. The key is to take charge of your frustration, and use it to your advantage. Frustration is a sign that a new approach is needed. You are stronger and more creative than you think! Use your creative abilities to find a solution. If you’re frustrated today, examine it and utilize the techniques above to grow from it and move more aggressively towards accomplishing your goals. When you keep pressing forward the sting of your circumstance will fade away.