Dealing With Frustration

Dealing With Frustration

Dealing with frustration is like a super power these days!

No matter how many people I meet, we’re all facing some sort of challenge or struggle and it can be very frustrating and taking on the mind and body to carry this weight on our shoulders.

I come from a very long line of “worry warts”. I watched my dad nearly grind himself into the ground when I was younger because he was a natural worrier. I never thought much of it at the time and just thought, “he’s my dad and he’s tough…he’ll muscle through it” and muscle through it he did but i wonder at what cost.

Years later, I possess the exact same trait and I’m constantly striving to get better at dealing with the frustrations of…well, basically being adult!

Here are 5 learnings or tips I can share to help minimize frustration and free your mind up for more constructive thoughts…

1: Be Aware of The Trigger
What caused the frustration in the first place?

If something negative happens, you can choose how to react to it.  Yes, this is easier said than done but with practice, it will become a very powerful skill to develop.  Suppose someone you know “wrongs” you. Maybe the do or say something that you find offensive or hurtful.  You could choose to respond and throw something back at them (thus prolonging the pain for both of you) or you could simply flush it away and be done with it.

In this example, giving the frustrating event attention is the trigger that caused it to get under your skin.

2: Use a pattern interrupt
Change the focus, change the feeling.

Pattern interrupt may sound like a fancy pants marketing or hypnosis term but i promise you, if you’ve been “adulting” for any length of time, you’ve used pattern interrupts in your life.

Suppose your dog poops on the floor. Do you stand there and yell at him? If so, congrats…you’ll still have a floor pooping dog tomorrow and you’ll likely say that he “can’t be trained” or “doesn’t listen”.

Change the environment, point to the poop and say NO!! Then take the doggy by the collar, bring him outside, point to the ground and happily say YES…good boy, poop here!

Pattern interrupts work great with human animals too.  This is why we squat down to eye level to correct a child’s behavior.

It will also work well with that arsehole that gave you grief at work yesterday.  Ask them to take a walk and talk to them about something unrelated to the incident. If you’re super ninja, you can talk about something that you can relate back to the incident to draw parallels so you can better understand each other and prevent future frustrating events.

3: Stop Dragging Things Around
Your problems aren’t anchors!

I am totally guilty as charged on this one man! Sometimes I let things wedge themselves under my skin and fester there for way too long.
It’s a total waste of time and energy and sucks the life right out of me.

Resist the urge. We’ll do it together and both wind up happier for it.

Have a client piss you off? Purge them and replace them with a client that lights you up and adds value to your life.

Get into a scuffle with your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend…(can we just say significant other for every post from now on please?)
Try to see things from their point of view, apologize to them (even if you think you’re right) and say “we”re better than this, wanna just move on to something more fun?

NOTE: if they say NO, solid judo chop to the throat. They feed on negativity and it’s not your job to fix them 😉

4: See the challenge as an opportunity
Turn problems into profits!

My friend Tony Teegarden has a killer podcast called “Turning Problems into Profits”, you can check that out here: http://tonyteegarden.com/category/podcast/
…and he’s totally onto something.

Look, this won’t happen every time. I mean if your kid throws a tantrum and smokes you in the eye with her Duplo block (do those still exist), you may be hard pressed to come up with a way to spin that to a positive.

On the other hand, you might have a lightbulb moment and say “holy sh*t, what if there were SOFT building blocks…?”.  BOOM. Million dollar idea. (send me my cut).

The point isn’t really to turn sucky moments into dollars but it worked pretty good for the self cleaning cat litter box, Blue Blockers, Snuggie and Spanx so…….

The point is to look for the positive in everything. Almost every crap situation can be spun positive if you want it to.

5: Disconnect
Stop it, just stop it!

This one is related to the pattern interrupt and the invitation to stop dragging things around but it’s much more abrupt and highly effective.

Imagine you’re out in the driveway shoveling heavy, wet snow and it’s freezing rain. Your face is freezing and stinging as the ice pellets are hitting it.
Now imagine your best friend walks up in shorts and a tank top, says “we’re GONE” and claps their hands. You blink and you’re on a beautiful, warm sunny tropical beach.

That.

One super power power that I’m cultivating is the power to disconnect quickly when things go south.

If I’m in a negative conversation. CLAP. I’m gone.
Some object or item isn’t working. CLAP. Gone.
Eating something gross. CLAP. Garbage can.
Working with someone who I KNOW isn’t a good fit. CLAP. Goodbye.

It sounds harsh and we don’t have to be rude about it. The goal is to simply disconnect as fast as possible.

Please let me know in the comments, which of these 5 tips you can see yourself implementing today to kill frustration in your life!

 

 

 

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