Name me someone who’s never felt frustrated. You can’t. It’s impossible.
We all get frustrated at some point, either in business or in life.
A payment doesn’t come in on time.
A service provider lets you down.
A washing machine goes on the blink.
A flight is delayed.
Things like this happen all the time and they’re enough to drive you mad if you let them.
You can’t, though. You’ve got to overcome the frustration for the good of your mental health and for the good of your business.
The power of action
What is frustration, anyway?
A dictionary will tell you something like “it’s the feeling of being upset or annoyed about being unable to change something or achieve something”.
Being unable to change or achieve something. Those are key points.
Key points because you need to identify what the cause of your frustration is and decide if it really is a situation you can’t change or if the achievement is truly beyond you.
…And if there is something you can do to improve things, take action.
Action stops us from feeling stuck. We get a sense of momentum, a sense that we’re finally getting things moving again and we’re going to get things done. We start to feel we’re regaining control of the situation. Fantastic.
What if something is beyond your control, however?
If you can’t control the situation, I’m afraid it’s up to you to keep control of yourself.
Frustration makes us disagreeable, unpleasant, ugly even. Eventually, it overwhelms us. Unfortunately, the people around us bear the brunt of our frustrations. We use our interactions with them to release this frustration — and often the results aren’t nice.
You can’t afford to let this happen in your business or in your life. It will cloud your judgment and ruin your relationships with others.
So, what do you do?
Journal or document what’s going on
This is a superb way to free your mind of frustration. Journaling will clear your mind of the negative thoughts, leaving space for more productive ones.
It’s not just about the thoughts, though. Go back to what you’ve written a little later. Patterns will begin to emerge. You could just have that ‘Eureka!’ moment that will turn things around when, originally, you thought it was all out of your hands.
Speak to someone
Precisely because we’re bottling all inside is why we end up exploding. Let’s not create unnecessary animosity and tension by doing that.
Instead, chat to someone, whether that’s a family member, close friend or even a counsellor. Ideally, it should be someone who’s not connected to the frustrating situation. Otherwise, it could turn into a whinge-athon and you might even say something you later regret.
You’ll feel someone is listening to you. The other person may even propose some new solutions.
Many of my Mastermind members find the meetings a great place for coming up with new ideas to their business frustrations.
It’s all about generating a change in how you’re feeling.
As you know, two of my major passions are tennis and golf, and I could happily turn them into business lessons on here all day.
Exercise clears the mind, relieves stress and allows feelings of calm and balance to set in again. You regain focus.
You feel ready to take on the world once more, whether it’s throwing frustrating situations at you or not.
Practise mindful breathing
Frustration can build up over time or it can strike fast and overwhelm us suddenly.
If you feel yourself about to explode, take three slow, deep breaths. Do for three to six cycles.
Breathing in this way slows things down for us. It halts the frustration in its tracks before it takes control.
Looking on the bright side
The one thing that you’ve got to do is stay positive. Sure, you might feel frustrated now, but the situation isn’t permanent. It will pass.
Know, too, that there are things that will be going right, even though the overall situation seems a lot different. Staying positive will keep you alert to the smoother running parts of your life or business and also to potential opportunities you have to turn things around.
Frustration will try to overwhelm you, wrestle control from you.
You have the tools to show it who’s boss.