Frustration may be commonplace, but it isn’t inevitable. Furthermore, there are constructive things you can do to get past it. Before you give up and give in to this insidious emotion, check out these 10 ways to beat frustration.
1. You always need a plan.
It may be tempting to wing it, coming up with an approach on the fly, but this is no way to deal with attempting to achieve goals. Without a solid plan, you’re left adrift, vulnerable to the first strong challenge or obstacle in your path.
Not only do you always need a plan, you also need a backup plan. With more than one plan, you have options. Knowing you have choices when one approach falters or fails gives you more control. This increases your self-confidence at the same time as it reduces your level of frustration.
2. Resolve to stay flexible.
Having a plan, while highly recommended, doesn’t mean rigidly adhering to it even when it proves unworkable. Frustration sets in when you try to force a plan to work. Not only does stress build from mounting frustration, anxiety also increases as you see your plan slipping further away.
You need to stay open to new ideas, to be willing to modify your plan and capitalize on opportunities that present themselves. When you resolve to stay flexible, you’re more likely to recognize opportunities that come along, see solutions within challenges and be more creative in reorganizing or prioritizing tasks. With practice, you should be able to diminish your level of frustration.
3. Make reasonable expectations.
If you consistently take on challenges you know you’re not ready for, frustration is bound to set in. Not only that, but you’ll defeat your goals at the same time. How do you get around this? The answer is to make reasonable expectations. While you may want to go for the toughest task just to prove you’re up for the challenge, now may not be the best time to do so. Start with ones you’re more suited for, that you know you can accomplish on a short-term basis, are familiar with, and have the knowledge and skill level to be able to complete.
4. Lighten up.
Frustration exacts another unfortunate toll: It makes everything seem so serious. All your mistakes become magnified, taking on too much importance. It may seem like nothing you do works out right, which only adds to your frustration. When this occurs, you need to lighten up. It isn’t the end of the world if you don’t accomplish your goal right now. And you’re not a failure because of it either. Learn to take things in stride. This will help you cut down on frustration that keeps you from achieving your goals.
5. Learn from all your mistakes.
Instead of running from your mistakes, take some time to glean the lessons you need to learn from them. And there are always lessons. Sometimes it’s easier to gloss over them, but that may mean you’ll repeat the mistakes. Granted, it’s frustrating to make mistakes and no one relishes them. But the mistake may be an opportunity for you to slow down and think things through before rushing ahead. Learn from all your mistakes. It will help you cut down on the frustration that almost always accompanies them.
6. Be positive.
When something fails, you can look on the bright side or the side of failure. Always seeing things in a negative light reinforces the sense of frustration, while finding the positive helps frustration to dissipate.
Another reason to be positive is that the more positive you are, the easier it is to be positive in the face of difficulties and challenges. If you want to beat frustration and achieve your goals, be positive.
7. Network where it counts.
It might seem odd to advise being selective about networking. Yet the truth is that spending too much time networking can add to your level of frustration. Instead of scattering your energy, target where to network most effectively. You’ll reduce the frustration of trying to be everywhere at once and likely make contacts that will prove more beneficial.
8. Explore new approaches.
Falling back on the same plan you’ve always used may backfire. Even if it doesn’t, you might be wasting an opportunity to discover something new. Be willing to keep an open mind, experiment with new approaches, get outside your comfort zone. Having a healthy curiosity is also beneficial and helps to lower levels of frustration. Besides, life is a lot more fun when you’re eager to explore new approaches.
9. Evaluate successes.
Occasional frustration notwithstanding, it’s always helpful to review your past successes. By looking over your accomplishments to-date, you have concrete results to point to. This tends to motivate and inspire you to continue, especially if you’re currently experiencing some frustration. Knowing that you’ve been able to overcome obstacles and problems in prior situations reinforces your self-confidence that you have what it takes to get the job done. This can help you be more upbeat and positive about your prospects for success.
10. Begin again.
There’s only one way to be successful in achieving your goals and that is to be willing to begin again. You have to want the goal enough that you’ll put in the time and effort to do the work, even if that means starting over repeatedly. Be sure, however, that you modify your plan going forward, revising as necessary, adding new approaches and ideas that have some likelihood of success.