Have you ever had one of those situations that was so frustrating you just wanted to give up, scream – or even cry? You’ve been working hard on a project and it’s not working out. Or, you expect someone to follow through on something and they don’t. Or, you feel like you’re stuck in a job that’s holding you back. You feel like you’re just spinning your wheels and it’s just, well – FRUSTRATING!
Before you give up and let emotions run amuck, take some time to get clarity.
Frustration is usually caused by a narrow focus on a problem that isn’t getting resolved. It causes us to take shallow breaths, robbing our brains of needed oxygen for the thinking that will take us to the next step. So, take a five-minute break and just breathe. Deeply. Frustration often causes us to take shallow breaths, robbing our brains of needed oxygen for the thinking that will take us to the next step. So, take a walk around the office or around the block. Walk off the emotional steam and increase the oxygen flow. Humor is also a good antidote for anger and frustration. Try turning the frustration into a funny experience in your mind and give yourself permission to laugh.
As humans, it’s natural to look for someone to blame when we’re frustrated. But blaming doesn’t resolve the frustration, or help us figure out how to move forward. Instead of making the situation revolve around you, concentrate on believing in the best of everyone involved. When people don’t have to defend themselves, they are able to come up with solutions, minimizing the risk of the situation presenting itself again.
Look for what is going right.
In most situations, there is at least one thing that’s going right, even if it’s just the collective desire for achieving an outcome. Thomas Edison had 10,000 attempts at making the lightbulb before he found success. He said, “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.” Look for the positive and focus on it. Use it as a building block for next steps.
Refocus on the outcome you want.
Sometimes we get so bogged down in the details, we forget what the original target was. Take a step back. Clearly envision the outcome you want – what success will look like. Think about how things will work, what people will feel. Imagine the problem solved.
Taking a perspective of curiosity helps you look for other options. Ask yourself: Where is the breakdown? What didn’t work? What kept it from working? How can that be done differently next time? What other options are there? What else might work in this situation? How can this situation be a jumping off point for a new idea or step? Use the answers to these questions to help you find the way around the brick wall of frustration.
Sometimes when frustration strikes, you need input. It may be in the form of information, other ideas, or a different perspective. Seek resources to help you formulate new plans.
Frustration happens. Disappointment sets in, and we suffer anxiety, aggravation, and maybe even fear. But the good news is, we get to decide how long we’re going to allow those emotions to guide us: a second, a minute, an hour? Use the above tips to help you move through frustration to purposeful action.
How do you handle the frustrations of business and life?
If you need help navigating and overcoming frustration, contact Joy! Whether it’s one-on-one coaching or team building, Joy can help you and others replace frustration with elation!
About Joy Humbarger
Joy, CEO and founder of Maximize Your Leadership, is considered to be a leading trainer and coach on turning negativity into profitability in the Greater Kansas City area. With more than 30 years of experience in the education and leadership fields, Joy is an expert in transforming mindsets to better business. She is the author of “Coaching the F___!! Out of Change”, a chapter in The Change11, a national collection of tips and stories to empower others to take their leadership to the next level. She provides individual and group leadership coaching. To schedule a training, workshop or consultation with Joy, email Joy@MaximizeYourLeadership.com.