So you’re frustrated. Things haven’t been going as planned. There are problems you didn’t anticipate. You’ve encountered obstacles which have thrown you off course. Where you are now is not where you thought you would be.
Frustration is a normal part of life. It flows in and out like the tide. It can be a continual source of stress or it can be used as a springboard to accomplishments. Although an infant learning to walk is frustrated with each fall, their frustration is transformed into determination to succeed.
Frustration can direct you down a different path than the one you intended. When frustrated by obstacles, you alter your course. Initially, the change in direction might seem discouraging. It’s not where you wanted to go. But things happen for a reason. Your new path could very well be taking you to a destination you would have missed had you not been frustrated.
Timing can also be a source of frustration. Perhaps you are too early or too late to accomplish a particular task. You have to examine why this happened. Often there is a reason you missed an opportunity; there is something else you were meant to do instead.
Finding a door closed to you is frustrating. However, a closed door forces you to look for other open doors or windows.
Frustration will either fuel you or stop you. It’s your choice. Should you start blaming other people or circumstances, your frustration will grow into an immovable anchor. Recognize frustration as a normal feedback mechanism in order to transform it into motivation.
A person who is out of shape will become winded after walking up just a few flights of steps. This is very frustrating. If they deal with their frustration by avoiding stairs, their physical condition will deteriorate further.
Conversely, a person who uses their frustration as motivation to improve their condition will experience an improvement in their physical well-being.
Taking action to correct a situation causing frustration leads to reduced frustration. Remaining passive, justifying the frustration or blaming it on someone or something else enables the frustration to become more deeply rooted.
Impatience feeds frustration. People have been conditioned to expect instant results. There is no way to know how long your journey will take. Although being proactive is definitely more effective in reaching goals than passivity, it is not possible to have total control over timing.
If something you desire occurs before you are ready, you may miss an opportunity or squander any good fortune. People who have situations handed to them never develop a true appreciation for what they have nor do they learn the value of persistence.
A mariner who takes his boat out only during perfect conditions never has an opportunity to develop sailing skills essential for surviving adverse conditions. He may pride himself in never being frustrated while on the water. But the first time he encounters a sudden, unexpected storm, he very well may be terrified rather than merely frustrated.
Don’t fight your frustration. Utilize it as the feedback mechanism it is. Your frustration is an indicator. Look deeper to see what your frustration has to teach you. Do you need to alter your behavior? Is procrastination hampering you? Is there a new opportunity that has surfaced? Was there something that was not in your best interest?
Avoid becoming mired in disappointment. You need to move forward. Once you have ascertained the lessons from your frustration, you are ready to make any necessary adjustments and get on the appropriate track. Without frustration, there is no way to measure your progress.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2013 Bryan Golden