For some, frustration is a temporary feeling of not getting their way. For others, frustration is a destination they arrived at after consistently falling short of their destiny.
It’s an unpleasant place to be.
I find it heartbreaking that many people I encounter are so used to being frustrated that they adopt it as part of their routine.
Therefore, I felt the need to touch on frustration because too many professionals get stuck here and make it their home. Have you made your frustrations your home? Do you snuggle up with them every night? For those of you who find yourself consistently missing the mark and end up in perpetual frustration, let me offer to you that the source of this is misalignment.
You’re off track.
Either you are moving at the speed of light in the wrong direction or you are becoming more and more planted in not moving at all. Aligning your efforts, mindset, and boundaries with your purpose is the key to gaining more hits than misses and activating progress.
How do you know if you’re off track or not? Here are the major clues that indicate that your purpose is starved for attention:
You self-sabotage. Some people have been doing this so long that they do not even recognize it. When you self-sabotage, you talk yourself out of things that would lead to success and happiness, you procrastinate for no real reason, and/or you compare yourself harshly to other people (a BIG no-no).
To combat this, make a list of the scenarios and circumstances by which you have sabotaged yourself in the past based on the list above. Take note of how long you have been engaging in these behaviors and why doing so has become more comfortable to you than walking in your real truth.
You don’t tap into the useful knowledge and skills you already have. In today's world, we know more than we EVER have. However, when you approach challenges and obstacles, you most likely first consult Google, your friends, YouTube, your job, your news feed, and other resources BEFORE you consult yourself. Why don't you begin problem solving with all the great things you already know?
True change comes when you trust that your experiences and knowledge are enough to get you started on the right track.
Gain confidence in your wealth of knowledge by imagining what your life would look like if you applied everything you already know. How much farther could you be towards your goals or in your career? You might be convinced that you don't know enough. In reality, you may not be placing your energy in the actions that you know to be effective or you spend too much time in counterproductive activities.
Make a list of every behavior and activity that you’re spending time on right now that you know you shouldn't be. Then make a list of everything you fail to do or avoid doing, but you know that you should. How can you incorporate more of these action or tasks into your daily life?
You are trying to control things out of your control. You may be spending FAR too much time worrying, thinking, talking, fussing, gossiping, liking, and commenting about things that cannot be controlled by you. Conversely, you may not be spending enough time effectively taking action towards controlling those things that are within you sphere of control (justifiable procrastination anyone?).
Usually, we spend most of our childhood and early adulthood trying to control the uncontrollable. Maturity and wisdom is getting clear on what you can control and then determining the best course of action plus the resources needed to control it.
The best way to tackle this is by writing down everything that you are worrying about in this present moment that you cannot control. Then actively remove those thoughts and tasks from your life. Grab an accountability partner to hold you to your word.
You don’t recognize the real motivation behind the things you do. It may be hard to admit this but many of the things we do are for other people. Hear me out before you skip past this paragraph! Is it possible that you might be going to the gym to impress others with your banging body? Are you getting that degree in order to receive the respect from others? Would you be striving to get the car of your dreams if no one would ever knew about it? Think about how much you are actually doing just to make YOURSELF proud. How many things do you do only because others are watching?
Time to have a pure moment of honesty and vulnerability with yourself. Outline ANY goals that you have for today – even those that seem minuscule like going for a run. Ask yourself, “is this goal about satisfying me or impressing those around me?”, “Am I only trying to live up to other people’s expectations?” If you find that you are, be kind to yourself and shine some attention on activities that truly make only YOU alone happy.
You don’t know what is really important to you. You quite possibly spend too much time on frivolous activities/ time wasters largely because you have not defined any real priorities for yourself. It is easy to fall into the trap of mindless tasks (and sometimes you need to do this) when you don’t know why you’re here on this earth.
This takes some digging but it can be really rewarding to understand your WHY .Block out intentional and uninterrupted time to ask yourself the following questions,
“What is most important to me?”
“What are the three things I want to accomplish most?”
“If I could only have one career for the rest of my life, what would it be?”
In one form or another, you might be subconsciously asking yourself, "How can I distract myself until..." as you wait for some special event or the perfect circumstances before you do the inner work needed to walk in your purpose and bypass unnecessary frustration.
By being direct with yourself just as you would a friend who has offended you, you will get the answers needed to stimulate your thought process, put your personal development into overdrive, and exit the cycle of dreams deferred.