How to Stop Being Frustrated

Frustration © Erik Back 2012

Frustration © Erik Back 2012

Well, actually you don’t stop being frustrated, because the frustrations are part of life and you need them to get success. I have done a bit of research in the concept of frustration and that made me understand the essence and how to deal with frustration. I will attempt to explain what I believe frustration is and how you can get in control of your frustrations.

Understand frustration

Get in control of your frustrations

Learn to deal with your frustrations

Turn frustration into positive growth

While researching and writing a working paper I saw an important connection to some of my early work on this blog. I saw how I can manage my frustrations by working on my habits and basic needs.

Frustration is good

First of all I want to make clear that frustration is a good thing. We need frustrations to grow. We don’t develop if we don’t have frustrations. But for some people, myself included, frustrations are more frequent and they tend to do more harm than good. Sometimes I overreact dramatise.

It can be awfully distressing for people around me when I let my frustrations get out of control. The reason that my frustrations seem to do more harm than good is that I don’t know how to deal with them.

The feeling of frustration comes from not being able to satisfy a need or desire.

Seven common emotions that give frustration

  1. Boredom (the need for mental stimulation)
  2. Anger (a feeling that something is unjust)
  3. Fear (you feel threatend by something)
  4. Sadness (you are not happy with the way things are)
  5. Loneliness (the need to be with others)
  6. Stress (you need some time to relax)
  7. Feelings of inadequacy (you don’t feel confident in your abilities)
Habits based on Maslow and Frankl

Hierarchy of Habits © Erik Back 2011

Out of these seven emotions I have identified three that I know I handle the wrong way: stress, anger and fear. While thinking about this and asking myself what to do about it, I came to think about a model I made on this blog. I called it the hierarchy of habits.

It is based on Maslows hierarchy of needs. If I plot in the emotions and needs that are connected to frustration I get this:

Boredom has to do with the need for self-actualisation.

Feelings of inadequacy have to do with the need for esteem.

Sadness and loneliness have to do with the need for love and belonging.

Anger, stress and fear have to do with the need for safety.

The purpose of the hierarchy of habits is to show what is important to build a good foundation for your life. You have to get balance in your physiological needs before you can start building your safety needs etc. If you don’t have at stable foundation, you will face problems like frustration at other levels. To stop being frustrated you need to work on your basic needs.

To deal with anger I first have to fulfill my physiological needs. Get enough sleep, exercise, eat healthy food and cleanse my body. Then I can start working on my needs for safety at home, at work, balance my economy and order.

For a few weeks I have been working on sleep and exercise; and I can already feel a change in my frustrations.



Understanding Frustration

Frustration © Erik Back 2012

Frustration © Erik Back 2012

I’m writing this bit because I easily get frustrated. When something goes wrong I immediately twist the event in my mind and suddently everything seems to go bad. I can’t help wondering what makes people feel frustrated and what can we do to stop the frustrations?

Browsing the Internet gave me a few insights from an article at Erupting Minds:

  • Ignoring frustration leads to pain
  • Fustration is due to unfulfilled needs
  • Long term ignoring results in depression
  • The feeling of frustration comes from not being able to satisfy your needs, wants or desires through your own actions and efforts.
  • Frustration is lack of control of your life.
  • Lack of control leads to uncertainty and fear.
  • Frustration is loss of personal control
  • A person that is frustrated feel trapped; this cause them to feel fear
  • Frustration is a means to success

This morning I listened to a speech by Tony Robbins; he explained how we need uncertainty in our life. Uncertainty will give frustrations, so, how can uncertainty be something we need?

Maybe the problem in my frustrations are that I don’t know how to deal with them. By learning about my frustrations I will turn uncertainty and frustration into an asset that will fulfill my needs?

There a basically three ways to deal with a situation:

  1. Accept things as they are
  2. Leave the situation
  3. Try to change the situation

Four ways to stop frustration

  1. What I’m doing now is not working; find a different apporoach.
  2. Identify the feeling: Fear or anger?
  3. What am I doing that is not working?
  4. Do something to satisfy a currently unfulfilled need

Seven feelings and their message

  1. Boredom (the need for mental stimulation)
  2. Anger (a feeling that something is unjust)
  3. Fear (you feel threatend by something)
  4. Sadness (you are not happy with the way things are)
  5. Loneliness (the need to be with others)
  6. Stress (you need some time to relax)
  7. Feelings of inadequacy (you don’t feel confident in your abilities)

To find out what to do to satisfy a currently unfulfilled need, Ihave to be persistent. I have to try again and again before I succeed. Frustration often comes out of failure of some kind; but success, says Edison, comes from faliure. So, in som bizarre way, my frustration is the first step to success, provided I choose to act upon it.

How to find the need to fulfill

Step 1: What is causing me to feel frustrated?

Step 2: What is it I am trying to do?

Step 3: What need am I trying to fulfill?

By asking these questions I can better identify what my primary feeling is.

Tony Robbins: Resources are not success, resourcefulness is!

Trying harder will not help you fulfill your need, but trying a different approach will!

This post is a working paper. It’s purpose is to explore frustration.





The 6 Most Important Routines in Your Life!

By Dawn

You need routines in your life, because without them you do not have a stable foundation. Routines are what stabilise your life and you need them to get success in life. Mind that routines change in time and one routine may be good today but useless tomorrow and if you stubbornly stick to a routine that is useless it will become damaging instead. Thus, always work on your routines; tune them and refine them; and when the time comes, change your routines.

Do not change all routines at the same time. You need a stable foundation while changing parts of your life. If you break up all of your foundation you will not have anywhere to stand and you will feel lost. Now, here are some of the most basic and important routines you need.

  1. Sleep: You need about 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Some people, including me, have a slightly different sleeping pattern and we prefer to sleep 6 to 6.5 hours at night and then 45-60 minutes nap in the middle of the day. If you do not get your sleep you will become discouraged, angry tempered, irritated and depressed. To accomplish something you need your sleep! If you want to experiment with other sleeping patterns then have a look at Steve Pavlina’s articles about sleep.
  2. Eat: Make sure you get a proper breakfast and make it your most important meal of the day. Next most important meal is lunch. Your food is your body’s fuel; if you do not feed your body then you will not work. Work on eating habits; eat a healthy and varied diet; keep eating times that comply with your body’s need for fuel.
  3. Exercise: You know what I mean! Get your b… of the chair and do some proper exercising! If you make excuses like – I do not have the time, then think about this: What would you rather do – spend 3 hours exercising every week or 24 hours every day being dead?
  4. Perspective. Set things into perspective and keep a cool head. You need to understand what you are doing and how to do it. If you loose perspective you will become stressed.
  5. Set goals. Every day when you get up you have to set goals for the day. Having a goal for today, tomorrow, next week, next year gives your life meaning.
  6. To-dos. Every day you should make a list of things you are going to do. To-dos are small lists of 5-6 items with tasks that are easy to do. In the evening you will be able to review all the things you have accomplished that day and you will feel success!

The Secret About Consistency

No matter what your beliefs are and no matter what you think or want in life then consistency is important. It does not matter if you are a liberal or a socialist, if you are Christian or a Buddhist, consistency is still extremely important. If you want people to trust you, if you want people to take you seriously then you have to demonstrate consistency.

You have to be consistent in what you say and what you do. If you say one thing then you have to act accordingly. Unconsciously your brain catches signals that are inconsistent and that makes you alert and take a step back. It is a natural behaviour and it is a convenient part of your defence system.

If you want to be the next president you need to act accordingly or you will not be elected. It may seem unfair that you will be judged on the way you look and act in public, but whether you like it or not, people will judge you on your consistency. Does a president wear a t-shirt in congress? No he does not! But why does he not? Does his clothing have any influence on his qualifications? No it does not! But it does influence the unconscious of people from whom he needs trust.

If you were to hire a sales representative and you have to choose between two candidates. They are both highly qualified and both dressed for success, but one of them did not shake hands when you met the first time. Then whom do you choose? There could be hundreds of reasons for not shaking hands but most people will think of it as negative and rude. Thereby the candidate has made a bad impression and he was inconsistent. He lost credibility!

Consistency is important if you need other people’s trust and credibility. This is especially important for public figures like politicians, actors, businessmen etc. If you make one stupid mistake as a public figure, then it does not matter if you are qualified or otherwise trustworthy. If people scent inconsistency then you will loose credibility.

The mistakes can be anything and they do not have to be relevant for your function. Is it fair? No it is not, but that is how it works!

3 Steps To Use Intuition

(Too much) Thinking © by the Italian voice

We use our intuition to make choices and often it is very hard choices we have to make. When we make choices that are based on intuition they turn out to be the best choices we could make. It is impossible to know which choice is the best choice, but we can try to optimise a choice by using intuition. When we use intuition we do not use rational thinking but we involve feelings.

Step 1: Stop analysing! Shut down your brain for a while and stop thinking, stop worrying about possible consequences.

Step 2: Listen! Start to listen to your body, what does it say? How do you feel about each option you have. Look at your options one at a time and define your feelings to each option. You know when to make a choice and you will know if it is the right choice.

Step 3: Trust! You have to trust yourself and your intuition. Do not try to analyse why your choice feels right, because there is no way you can explain intuition. If you do you will be in doubt and make the wrong choice.

Now that you have made a good choice then be happy about it, enjoy it and move on because you cannot remake that choice. It belongs to the past.

Just for fun: Next time you check your mailbox then look at it and listen to your intuition – is there any mail in the mailbox today? Statistically you would be right half the times you do this, but you will be surprised that you will be right much more than that.