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Have you ever been frustrated? Probably a time or two! Frustration isn’t actually a problem for most people; it’s what we don’t do about it that’s the problem.
Frustration frequently leads to worry, anger, inaction, and stress. So who needs frustration? No one. While you probably can’t avoid frustration, you can do something about it. Here are some recommendations to overcome frustration:
1. What’s frustrating me?
Identify the issue, event or person and honestly recognize what is frustrating you. Is it an action, non-action, comment or situation? Look deep into it and seek out the core of the issue. Identification is critical. Now the challenge with the identification process is one of ownership. Most of us know someone who’s always frustrated about something, and it’s always someone else’s fault. The biggest challenge of the “what’s” segment is to recognize how much of the “what” is you. Even if you only own five per cent of the problem, start with what you can change and work from there.
2. Who can help?
We don’t always have to be lone wolves. A friend, colleague or even a stranger can help. Think about the times you’ve talked to a total stranger and came away refreshed and happy. You can learn more about fellow travellers in airports than you know about some of the people you’ve worked with for years. You may also received some unbiased suggestions from these folks and been helped by their suggestions.
Another take on the “who” is to not make the mistake of always going to the same person for your uplifting. First of all, it becomes tiresome for them, and they may not be as uplifting as you need. If you’ve ever moved in a new direction with your life that’s outside the “norm”, you know how many concerned friends and relatives have tried to talk you out of taking the leap. You scare people when you do things differently. They don’t like you to scare them. Consequently they may just be giving you advice that’s keeping you frustrated.
3. Why did this happen?
Why did you become frustrated with the situation? Stop and analyze. Is it a reoccurring frustration? Why? How can you change? In her book, If Life is a Game, These are the Rules, Cherie Charter-Scott’s rule number four is lessons are repeated until learned. It’s a rare human being, if they exist, who learns the lesson on the first try. We do repeat our mistakes and the repetition leads to frustration. The only way to stop the repetition is to become aware of what you’re doing and make changes. Change is good and it’s the only thing in life that’s constant.
4. Where are you when you get frustrated?
“I get so frustrated when I go to that store!” So don’t go. It goes along with rule number three. It’s amazing how often people go back to the same situation or location, again and again. Why? Comfort? It’s hardly comfort that makes the abused person return to the abuser, yet that too is a real pattern. In a less damaging situation we still repeat and return. Continue taking the inventory to see where you experience your greatest frustrations.
5. When are you most likely to get frustrated?
If you’re a night person you may not function well first thing in the morning. Plan your day the night before to anticipate this. Don’t try to accomplish tasks at the start of the day. Ease into the day. On the other hand, early risers need to get going early and quit early. These are a couple of simple examples relating to the when. Learn more about yourself by sitting down with your favourite beverage and taking an inventory of the locations and situations that frustrate you.
6. Why do you continue to be frustrated?
Do you repeat actions that frustrate you? Do you still hang out with people who frustrate you? Again, why? Go take a look in the bathroom mirror. See that person and have an honest conversation about your habits. You may be responsible for the bulk of your own frustration; however, even if life has “dealt you a hard hand”, you’re still the only one who can change it.
7. How can you change?
You’ll note there’s a recurring theme above and it has to do with taking an inventory. You can’t change anything about yourself unless you know what it is you’re doing or not doing. Recognize when you’re frustrated, unhappy, tense or really happy and make choices on how you will respond. You also have a choice.
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