Feelings of frustration are something we may all feel occasionally. How successful you will be depends on how you choose to manage those feelings. Since they hamper success, it is important to know what to do when this happens.
The feeling of frustration is a signal that something is not going well. It can happen in your personal or professional life. Its purpose is to get your attention – like a flashing red light. Different things cause frustration for different people.
If frustration is not managed or stopped, it drains your energy. Not only is it unfulfilling and disappointing. It can prevent you from achieving your goals.
Because this feeling is nonproductive, it is important to identify it and learn as much about it as soon as possible. The initial step in being able to stop feeling frustrated is to answer the following two questions:
- How do you know when you are frustrated?
- Do you feel it in your body? If so, where?
Understanding your answers to those two questions about yourself prepares you to follow the next five steps in order to stop feeling frustrated so you can move forward:
- What are you saying or telling yourself about what is happening? This is your belief about the situation. It may or may not be true.
- Stop reacting to the stimuli. You may need to withdraw from the situation for a few minutes and take some slow, deep breaths. It is important to have positive self-talk while you are focusing on your breathing. For example, tell yourself, “I can help myself by staying calm.” Then picture yourself being calm.
- Be aware of your values. These are the things in your life that are most important to you. The more closely a situation matches your main values, the more satisfaction you will feel. Try to connect some aspect of the situation to one or more of your main values. If you cannot, you may need to think about how you can eventually remove yourself from the situation.
- Be aware of your strengths. Think about how you can use one or more of your top strengths in the situation. When you are able to use one of your strengths, you are more focused and fulfilled.
- Make new goals or choices in a timely way. When appropriate, simplify what you can. Chunk down your goal into small steps so that it is easier to experience success. Even achieving small steps can help relieve frustration.
Steady forward movement in something that is important to you decreases frustration. The next time you are frustrated, I hope you will follow the above steps. You might want to write the steeps down on a small card and carry it with you until the steps become more automatic.
After several weeks of practicing these steps, it is possible to decrease your frustration, renew your energy, be more productive, and experience more satisfaction and fulfillment in your life.
What helps you manage your frustration? I look forward to hearing from you.
Until next time,