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.





Frustration! – A Bloggers Block

Frustrated Blogger © Erik Back 2012

I have been blogging for about eight months now. Lately I haven’t published much because I’m so frustrated.

My problem is that my interests are very wide and I can’t focus on one interest enough to write about it every day.

I have trouble finding the voice of my blog and I find it difficult to find a good topic.

One day I feel I have seen the light and the next day everything seems hopeless.

What do I have to give?

I keep asking myself what I have that people would want to read? I know I have a lot to offer but I cannot find a label to put on it.

I don’t know what people want to hear and a lot of bloggers say it doesn’t matter. Just write for one person, they say.

What is my passion?

My passion, they ask. What is my passion? I know what my passion is: Everything! I love living; I love to get new knowledge and new experiences; I love to meet new people; I love to read.

But what is my true passion? Does it have a label or maybe I don’t have a passion at all?

If I asked you about your passion, what would you reply?

The quest for a passion

I have this idea that all my interests have something in common and when I find out what that is I will know what the label for my passion is.

It’s like the quest for the Holy Grail. I’m never going to find it. What would happen if I stopped looking? Would it pop up right in front of me and present itself as if it has been there all the time?

I don’t know.

I have read post after post about finding my blogging voice and unique topic/niche. Maybe I’m not that unique?

Well, I must be unique, because no man is alike. We all have different personalities. Logically I must be unique – but how do I communicate that?

Just be yourself, they say.

This post is definitely me. It’s me communicating my frustration.

Communication – is that it?

Could it be that my true passion is communication? Writing this post makes me realise that communication is one thing all my interests have in common.

The topics are never as important for me as the communication of the topics.

  • I love to chat.
  • I love to write.
  • I love to tell stories.
  • I love to read.
  • I love to play with words.
  • I collect books and articles.
  • I would love to have my own private library!
  • I love to watch films.
  • I love to do lectures.
  • I love networking.
  • I love social activities on my computer and iPhone.

Come to think of it, everything I’m passionate about has to do with communication!

From passion to topic/niche

Let’s assume my passion is communication. Then what topic should I choose? Blogging, television, books, iPhone, writing?

By focusing on one topic I elevate myself to be an expert. I don’t believe that I’m an expert on communication I just like doing it.

I have to think about this. I’m not ready to give up blogging.

6 Ways to Stop Being Over Sensitive

Follow my More Energy Project in 180 days
over sensitive

Rome visit, June 2008 – 57 © by Ed Yourdon

I admit it. I am highly sensitive! I know I am highly sensitive and I accept that fact; now my challenge is to learn how to deal with it and I will share what I have learned. (also read: How to Stop Being Frustrated)
Over sensitivity is said to come from a negative thinking pattern, but that way of thinking, is there for a reason and that is the first thing you need to learn. You have to understand what is going on inside your brain!

  1. Understand. According to research about 20 % of all people are highly sensitive. Carl Jung called it innate sensitiveness. Thus, you and I have a more detailed nervous system than normal and this makes us over analyse. Some people get introverted, some are shy and some get a social phobia. I get irritated and angry with people who affect me negatively. How do you react? If you know how you react then you can do something about it.
  2. Build self-esteem. Often sensitive people have problems with self-esteem because they over analyse everything and they tend to turn negative conclusions inwards and blame themselves. Read my series about building self-esteem.
  3. Focus. When you feel highly sensitive it is often because you have had a negative experience that awakes memories of experiences from the past. You will start comparing, analysing and jump to negative conclusions. What you have to practise is to move focus to something positive. It can be difficult to change focus but you have to be persistent and if you have to then fake it till you make it!
  4. Put sensitiveness to good use. I have chosen a life path that fit my personality. It is difficult for me to have someone telling me what to do all the time. It makes me over analyse the situation and I end up arguing with my boss. That is why I run my own business as a writer and therapist. I try to be true to myself and put my sensitivity to good use and to the benefit of others. What can you do?
  5. Lighten up. Do not take critics too serious and try not to analyse. Use meditation, do sports, have a massage or a nice cup of tea. Do anything you can to loosen up and be less serious. Use humour and self-irony.
  6. Listen. Instead of analysing then repeat the sentence that made you feel hurt and listen to the person who delivered the message. Try to understand what was actually said and see the world from this person’s point of view.

If you really want to make a personal change and stop being over sensitive, then read my ebook that discovers the six mechanisms behind personal change. The six mechanisms are: Attitude, worldview, language, sensemaking, action learning and faith.

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