Have you ever felt frustrated? I bet. We all have felt frustrated at least once in our lives.
For example, those times you wanted to reach a goal but didn’t go well, when you did your best to achieve something but had some kind of impediment, you lost something valuable and couldn’t get it back…
It sucks to feel frustrated, not only because you feel like nothing seems to go right, it also distracts you and wastes your time.
Another thing is, don’t confuse frustration with defeat. It’s normal to feel frustrated at times, but let’s see what we can do to deal with this unpleasant emotion to end up feeling better.
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What is frustration?
A simple definition of frustration would be “a common emotional response to opposition“.
It’s feeling angry and disappointed at the same time, kind of dissatisfied.
Frustration can arise from situations like losing your car keys to not getting the results you desire while working on a determined goal.
Frustration will occur whenever your actions are producing less and fewer results than you think they should.
Frustration can be internal and external:
- Internal frustration comes from dealing with personal issues like a low self-esteem or self-confidence, challenges in fulfilling personal objectives…
- External frustration comes from situations which involve conditions you don’t have control over, for example a storm, a traffic jam…
Frustration can be very energy consuming. You’re taking action and making an effort to get determined results, but you’re not getting the results you expect, so then you try to solve the problem and that makes you consume more mental energy. Once you run out of energy, you start feeling tired, stressed or angry.
Why are you feeling frustrated?
Perhaps you are feeling frustrated because there are some goals you haven’t achieved yet. It’s tougher than what it seems, it’s difficult to accomplish what we want.
But hey, that’s not negative. If something’s difficult to attain, it will be worth it. Imagine how satisfied you will feel once you have reached that important goal.
Before you get frustrated, find out the reason why you can’t accomplish that goal you set. Talk about it instead of keeping it to yourself.
Perhaps you’re not following the best path to make your dream come true, that’s why I recommend that you ask yourself these questions:
- Is it a S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) goal?
- Why do I want to reach this goal?
- What are the conditions and limitations?
The answers to the questions above will help you know if you need to change your plan to attain your goal. You can follow this process for all your goals and objectives.
Tips to cope with frustration
I’m about to explain what you can do whenever you feel frustrated so you can overcome this uncomfortable emotion or at least reduce it:
- Take breaks. Taking breaks is essential whenever you’re feeling frustrated, since you’ll need to recover your energy so you can increase your effectiveness and productivity once you start working again.
- Look for alternatives. If you haven’t reached a goal, search for another one to achieve. A goal that motivates you and that is possible for you to accomplish. Take into account that your level of frustration will increase if you set unrealistic or unattainable goals.
- Learn from your mistakes. We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but the truth is that making mistakes is not a bad thing, is it a sign that you’ve tried something. Never feel guilty for your mistakes, learn from them and grow.
- Think about your achievements. Yes, there are some goals you haven’t achieved yet, but think about everything you accomplished in the past. This way you’ll remember what you did to reach your other goals, which will help you answer questions like “why did I reach that goal but not this one?” and will give you an idea of what’s possible to attain and what’s not.
- Reward action, not only results. The more action you take, the more closer you’re to your goal. Every time you take action, you’re trying something and this should be rewarded. Giving yourself a little reward could be doing anything you like as listening to your favorite music, watching a movie, eating your favorite food… No matter what it is, it will help you reduce the negative emotions you experience.
- View it in another perspective. Try thinking about how the frustration problem will look to your future self a few weeks or a year from now. Perhaps this problem will not be of major importance in the long term. For example, some of the problems that got you frustrated in the past may no longer be important. Getting perspective will help you put your mind into a state where the problem can be solved.
- See frustration as delayed success. If you’ve done your best to accomplish a goal that you believe you should have reached by now but it hasn’t gone as you had planned, think of it as a delay. For example: it’s 10am and you’re climbing a mountain and you’ve planned to reach the top by 11am. All of a sudden, it starts raining so you have to stop to put on more clothes and you get frustrated because you will not be at the top by 11am. Instead of fixating on not getting to the top when you’d want, remind yourself that it will only set you back a few minutes and that you will overcome the obstacle.
- Manage your expectations. Don’t expect too much from other people, since it will disappoint you to see how they don’t meet your expectations. Not everybody will do for you what you would do for them. You can’t control their behavior, but you can always control your reaction.
Nobody likes to feel frustrated, but frustrations are a part of life unfortunately. It’s important to understand our negative emotions and feelings, accept them and take the positive out of it. Not everything will go as you would like, but never give up on your goals. Failure only happens the moment you quit or stop trying. Resist, persist and in due time you will achieve your goals.
I hope you found this article useful and you put into practise these tips so you can reduce or overcome frustration. If you have any questions or opinions, feel free to leave a comment below and will connect with you. Thanks for reading! 😀