I earned my degree in Frustration and Disappointment at the School of Hard Knocks.
So, for all those times frustration starts to rear its ugly head, I’ve begun developing a set of tools to stop frustration in its tracks so I can keep growing as a creative and creator.
Because growth doesn’t seem to happen when you’re caught in the pendulum of frustration. So, more action rarely if ever solves the issue at hand.
It’s your mindset that needs to shift. It doesn’t always take much to produce that shift but depending on how deeply embedded you are in the frustration cycle it may take something.
Here are several tools you will find useful in dealing with frustration.
1. Review Your Data
Frustration generally occurs when something we’re doing doesn’t seem to be working. But under the guise of productivity and hustle, we tend to bite off more than we can chew.
And no creative or creator likes to be told they are biting off more than they can chew. Ever.
But let’s look at the facts. You’re probably wasting more time on scanning the news, social media, games, and other distractions than you even realize.
It’s fine to have planned time for little diversions in your day. I think it’s important to get up from your desk, walk around, go to the bathroom, have something to eat, meditate, read, and so on.
But if a lot of your time is going towards tasks that don’t move the needle on your project, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that you’re getting nowhere, and therefore frustrated.
And some of the reasons we end up tending towards those low value tasks is because we’re bored, tired (you need rest and sleep to perform at your best), worried, and so forth.
So, I’d suggest reviewing your data. If you’re just getting started, you may not have months or years’ worth of data, but that’s okay.
If, for example, you’ve been blogging on Medium for a few weeks, you can probably see that a few of your stories are getting more traffic than most. And that means you should do more of what’s working, instead of wasting time on what isn’t.
The point is this:
No matter what your project is, there are tasks in your day that deliver disproportionate results. You’ve got to focus on those. Review your data for actionable insights.No matter what your project is, there are tasks in your day that deliver disproportionate results. You’ve got to focus on those. Click To Tweet
2. Take a Break
Resting. Relaxing. Chilling. Sleeping. Taking a break.
These are all four-letter words among creators and creatives.
Yet, it has been my experience that there is immense value in taking a break, long or short. I recently shared about my two weeks in Vernon as well as the lessons I learned while spending time resting, reading, thinking, and reflecting.
Ask business coach Quazi Johir. He will echo these sentiments.
Before leaving for Vernon, I was in a major frustration cycle. There was no growth in my business and everything I was doing wasn’t working. More actions weren’t resulting in desired outcomes.
By the time I returned, I saw that my email list was growing again. I also started making more affiliate sales and my books started selling too. All without lifting a finger. I made no changes to my business whatsoever.
I’m not here to tell you that it’s all about positive thinking. That some magical force will come to your aid if you focus on how you’re feeling.
But if you understand the mirror principle, you know that your internal world is always reflected in your outer world. It’s as if wearing yellow glasses. The entire world will appear yellow until you take the glasses off.
Meaning – if you focus on negative, you will only see more negative.If you focus on negative, you will only see more negative. Click To Tweet
It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s important to take a break occasionally. By doing so, you can stop frustration dead in its tracks.
3. Have Fun
I don’t know anyone who starts a project hoping it will turn into a grind. But for better or for worse, big projects can easily become that.
Whether it’s writing a book, recording an album of music, working on a collection of paintings or otherwise.
It can be frustrating when things don’t go as planned, when they take longer than expected, when they don’t produce desired outcomes, and so forth.
Some of this will naturally fall away as you work on more and more projects. You’ll begin to expect the little twists and turns that inevitably show up.
But I rarely go into any major undertaking expecting that everything will go smoothly anymore.
I’ve found that while you’re busy chopping the carrots, the water in the saucepan overflows.
In other words, while you’re engaged in your projects, something else will go wrong – your health, your relationships, your finances, or something else. It seems to happen like clockwork.
You’ve still got to trust that you’re on the best path to completion, because chances are, you are. It’s just that the road you’re on, as with every other road, has obstacles.
Regardless of what you’re facing, if you want to get out of a frustration cycle, get back to the joy of creating. If there is no joy in it, you probably won’t make much progress. But if you start having more fun, things will come together as if by magic.If you want to get out of a frustration cycle, get back to the joy of creating. Click To Tweet
Frustration, Final Thoughts
If you’re feeling frustrated, you don’t want to stay there. Which isn’t to say you should try to counteract it by force either.
You’ve got to learn to let go. Sometimes that’s the only way to get out of the swing of a pendulum.
Also remember – you may not be able to get out of a frustration cycle instantly. It may take some time. So, try to exercise patience.
Did you find this helpful? How do you cope with frustration?
Let me know in the comments below.
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.
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