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.

 

 

The Nature of Attitude

Attitude © Erik Back 2012

I’m working on an ebook titled “6 Powerful Mechanisms Behind Personal Change”. This post is a part of the chapter about positive attitude. I will show you what attitude is and how you can use it to be proactive.

The Nature of Attitude

Daniel D. Droba claims he was the first to define the attitude concept and he did so in his article The Nature of Attitude from 1933.

Droba based his study on 55 books on sociology and psychology and he concluded that attitude is a state of preparation to action.

“Attitude is a state of preparation to action”

Carl Jung’s definition of attitude

I’m surprised that Droba only used American sources and studies because the attitude concept has a central role in Carl Jung’s Psychological Types published in 1923.

Jung’s work is used today in personality tests and development of organisations.

In his work “Psychological Types” (pp. 526-30) Jung gave his definition of attitude:

“Attitude is a readiness of the psyche to act or react in a certain direction.”

Jung places great emphasis on the attitude concept because it is a powerful mechanism that is based on experience:

“To have a certain attitude means to be ready for something definite […] having an attitude is synonymous with an a priori direction towards a definite thing.”

Jung believes that we have both a conscious and an unconscious attitude. I you want to act in a certain direction you have to be conscious about it; for that you need attitude.

“Active apperception is impossible without an attitude.”

Jung has identified certain types of attitudes that are based on habits.

“When a function habitually predominates, a typical attitude is thereby produced.”

This means, that habits can develop both consciously and unconsciously; these habits will produce some kind of attitude.

If you want to change something you need the right attitude to do so. That is why you can combine habits and attitudes and thereby create personal change.

Example

Experience → Attitude → Action

It’s raining. Rain is wet and cold. → Rain is bad → Cancel date

Habits → Attitude → Action

Bad habit → Negative attitude → Negative projection to other people

Unhealthy diet → feeling of guilt → healthy people are patronising

You can use this mechanism to create change. Changing a habit is difficult and it takes time, but you can choose to adopt a certain attitude, e.g. a positive attitude, and thereby change your action.

Another type of action will lead to a new experience. That new experience is your resource to the attitude you desire.

Your attitude is not predetermined. You can choose to take responsibility for your actions and adopt an attitude that will help you to personal change. This is being proactive.

Make your choice:

I choose to be reactive and let my bad habits control my life and actions I choose to be proactive and take charge of my life and actions

Is it that simple? – Yes, it is that simple! The difficult part is to make the decision about being reactive or proactive. If you chose to be reactive then you don’t have to read anymore – just carry on with your life as usual.

Did you choose to be proactive? What are you going to do to be proactive?

Maybe you are already in charge of your personal development, please share how you did in the comments.

The Habits of Productivity

List © Erik Back 2012

Do you know the concept called Getting Things Done (GTD)? I have just discovered it and it sounds great.

GTD is developed by David Allen and it is a work-life management system.

I like to keep things simple and I like to get things done. But sometimes there are too many things I want to do and everything ends in a mess.

I stumbled upon GTD while I was searching the Internet for more energy. At first the concept seemed overwhelming to me, but then I found a bunch of articles about GTD at Zen Habits.

Leo Babauta, who runs Zen Habits, has studied GTD closely and he too found that it was very complex. Leo decided to combine GTD with his own habit management system and the result was Zen To Done (ZTD) – the ultimate simple productivity system.

He wrote a series of articles with 10 steps on how to implement this system.

Get the habit

After discovering this ZTD I started to think about how I could implement this system in my life. I would love to become more productive because I have a million projects at work and my wife is an inexhaustible source to projects at home.

My first task was to find a way to take notes and capture them. For this purpose I searched for apps for my iPhone. It was difficult to find some simple apps to do the job but I settled on iPhone’s own app ‘Notes’ for taking notes.

I have downloaded a million different todo-lists but none of them are simple enough. After a while I found an app called ‘All-Done’. It is a very simple list you can manage online as well.

Now I just have to work on my new habit: Capture things on Notes and transform them to a todo-list.

I will do this for about one month and I will keep you posted on the project.

Work Is a Bad Habit

SAPPORO - fatigue dans le metro! © by chacrebleu

I work too much and that is not good for me. The result of working 80 hours this week is an incredible urge to do nothing. There is no creativity and no motivation to do anything.

My work this week has resulted in poor writing and right now I am not able to elaborate on that. My working habits need to be revised.

Today’s advice on healthy habits: Work hard, but not too hard!

When You Rephrase Reality You Gain Exciting Opportunities

Rephrase

Rephrase © Erik Back 2012

Your phrasing habits make your reality. The words you use and the way you put them together form your perception of reality.

If you have a habit of applying negative words to all your sentences then your reality will be negative. The wind ruins your haircut; the rain wets your car; the dog next door keeps you awake and the sales assistant frowns upon your choice of style.

Choosing words that support your dreams and goals will attract people that can relate to what you say because they share your view of reality.

In the examples above you will attract self-centered people who focus on negative aspects of life. How will they help you reach your life goals? – They won’t!

Share realities

Imagine that all people have a pair of glasses; each pair of glasses are different so, reality looks different depending on the glasses you see through.

When you exchange glasses with someone, you see how this person’s reality looks like and to combine the two realities you adjust both pair of glasses to represent a reality you both agree on.

To exchange glasses you have to listen to the other person and tell about your own reality.

1. Listen to other people’s points of view; it is most likely that they don’t see reality the way you do. If you listen to people you will understand their reality and you can combine it with your own reality.

2. Tell your stories, but mind inappropriate phrasing. Pay attention to the words you choose and how they help convey your perception of reality. It is possible that you have to change some phrasing habits.

When you share or combine two or more perceptions of realities then a new one will emerge. That reality will be filled with new and exciting opportunities waiting to be explored. These opportunities will clear the way to your dreams and goals.


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