Finding Margin in Business and in Life

Breaking Through Frustration

Some time ago, I found myself battling frustration on several fronts.  Frustration with a client, frustration with several project delays and frustration in an organization where I volunteer.   dreamstime_m_12479074While frustration is normal every now and then, it is never good to get stuck there.  Frustration leads to anger or apathy; played out in sarcasm, gossip, heated interactions or just plain passive aggressiveness.  None of these are positive, nor do they lead to resolution, so what do we do?

    • First, you need to create some space to figure out why you are frustrated.  You will not figure this out by going through the same motions and activities every day.  Introspection and discovery require intentionality and separation from the norm.  Purposefully schedule a time an place to take a step back and think things through.
    • Second, you need to understand what exactly is the source of our frustration? The root cause of frustration is an unmet or failed expectation.  When reality doesn’t meet our expectations, disappointment is a natural outcome.  When our expectations are failed repeatedly, disappointment turns into frustration. So what are those expectations that are not being met?  Write them out.
    • Third, meditate or, better yet, pray about the situation.  For me praying about a touchy situation helps me get clarity about it.  Often times, I find my expectations are unrealistic or my management of the situation has been less than effective.  It is within my relationship with God that I find I am able to give grace to others and resolve my frustration.
    • Fourth, consult with a mentor, spouse or close friend who will give you the honest truth, even when it is painful.  Share what is frustrating, give them the good, the bad, the ugly.  Don’t hold back.  Give all perspectives and invite them to speak into the situation.  If they love you, they will undoubtedly give you valuable insight and advice.
    • Once you have clarity regarding the situation and insight into how to deal with it, only one thing remains.  Putting the input you’ve received into play.  Make it part of who you are; embrace it and own it.  It may require a difficult conversation with someone at work or it may simply require an adjustment to your expectations.

Breaking through frustration takes time, patience, intentionality and often a good dose of humility.  When we invite God into the situation and the input of those who have our best interests at heart, we position ourselves to be far more effective in working through frustrations in a manner that is likely to produce positive results.

How do you break through frustration?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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