“Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes it’s built on catastrophe.“Summer Redstone
Do you wake up in the morning with a spring in your step? Do you jump out of bed with absolute zeal for life? Or, are you just going through the motions, passing the time, hoping and praying that things will change for the better?
I’m guessing it’s the latter, right? Look, most of us have big dreams and aspirations. We want to achieve and accomplish great things. It’s buried deep in our hearts. The trouble is that we often feel frustrated trying to achieve those things in life.
That frustration comes in many forms. It can be stress, anxiety, pressure, overwhelm, fear and more. Sometimes, it can be so powerful that it stops you dead in your tracks. It can lead to procrastination, poor time management, bad habits and addiction.
When you feel frustrated in life, it’s hard to focus on other things, right? It’s tough to make the right choices or to feel empowered or have any enthusiasm. Instead, you feel like you do the same things over and over again, while nothing changes.
Identifying Your Frustrations
Years ago, I went through a major failure. Everything in my life came to a screeching halt. There was so much pain and agony. And although I felt so much frustration leading up to that event, I did nothing to change it. But when my business crashed and I went broke, I could see things more clearly.
Now, it shouldn’t take hitting rock bottom or suffering a major loss to open your eyes, but that’s often the case, right? Usually, you can’t see the error of your ways thanks to that trusty ego working tirelessly to boost your self-image in your mind.
Instead of letting things build and get worse, you have to take action. The ego stops you from doing that. But when you can identify your frustrations, you can work to make monumental changes that can impact your entire life. The trick is breaking free from the pattern.
However, to start, you need to identify and pinpoint your frustrations. What are you frustrated about? When we fail to write these down, they remain in the abstract and they continue to gnaw away at us. Instead, you must take out a pen and paper and start writing.
Ask Yourself This Question
What’s the one thing I could change about my life, right now, if I could wave a magic wand and change it instantly?
Then, start writing. Let it flow from you using stream of consciousness. Meaning, put pen to paper and don’t stop for at least 10 minutes. Just write.
When the dust settles, read what you wrote. And it should be abundantly clear. Often, this boils down to one major thing. in our lives. It’s something that falls short of what we envisioned for our lives long ago. Keep this paper front and center.
Then, do this exercise for the next thing. If you could change one other thing about your life, what would it be? Then, go back into stream of consciousness and start writing. Do this for the top 3 things that you want to change in your life.
This Is Why You Feel Frustrated
There are a few reasons why you feel frustrated. The exercise you did will reveal part of that to you. But at its core, there are three very powerful reasons why you feel this way. When you understand it, you can work towards making the changes required to alleviate the frustration.
First things first, look at the three things you jotted down. Read the streams carefully. What did you identify and what are the events surrounding those things. Usually, this boils down to the way things are versus the way you hoped or envisioned them to be.
For example, let’s say you had a goal that you wanted to do or achieve something. But you settled for something different in life. Or, maybe you failed and got frustrated, then just gave up. You might think you’re over it consciously, but your non-conscious mind likely doesn’t agree.
This creates friction. Understand that the non-conscious mind is extremely powerful. That’s the part of your mind that controls 95% of everything you say, think or do. Yes, it’s that powerful. In fact, it’s one million times more powerful than your conscious mind.
Meaning, your non-conscious mind picks up far more information from the environment than your conscious mind. And it processes that information through the filter of your values and beliefs. Feelings of unworthiness, negativity and fear are compounded in this way. because we tend to look at everything that happens through the lens of our values and beliefs.
1. Set Your Goals The Right Way
Changing your values and beliefs in life is a monumental undertaking. We’re not going to tackle that here. What we will tackle are your goals. Because the truth of the matter is this–there is a gap between where you are and where you want to be that’s causing you to feel frustrated.
Now, you can’t close that gap overnight. What you can do is to work towards closing that gap by setting goals the right way. You do this by setting SMARTER goals. SMARTER goals is simply an acronym for an effective goal setting technique.
Here’s how it works. Your goals must be (S) specific, (M) meaningful, (A) achievable, (R) relevant, and (T) time-based. And you must (E) evaluate your efforts and (R) readjust your approach on your way to your goals. Never change the goal itself. Only the approach to achieving it.
Make sense? If you want to dive deeper into this strategy, make sure you read the post I did on SMARTER goal setting here. When you set your goals the right way, you can work towards their attainment slowly but surely over time. If you don’t actually set your goals this way, you’ll just continue feeling frustrated in life.
2. Manage Your Time Effectively
Most of us waste our time. We don’t manage it wisely. In fact, we piss it away binge-watching Netflix series or mindlessly surfing social media. Now, I’m not saying to never do that or anything else that’s “fun” in life. What I’m saying is that you have to manage your time effectively.
Look, you only have a short amount of time in life. It’s not like money. You can lose money and earn it back. Not time. Once you use time, it’s gone forever. Forever. You can never get it back. So you must become a steward of your time and invest it wisely.
How do you manage your time? Do you waste it or use it wisely? Answer that question honestly. When you realize how vital the time is in your day, you won’t waste. The trouble is that if you’re feeling frustrated, you’re likely wasting time because of sheer overwhelm.
This is all the more reason you have to clamp down on your time usage. Stop saying yes to everyone and wasting so much of your time. Focus on your most important tasks (MITs) of the day early on and knock those out before you do anything.
You must also find an effective time management system. I use the quadrant time management system and it’s helped me achieve epic results. This system was created by the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower and later popularized by Stephen R. Covey in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
3. Create More Discipline In Life
Last, but not least, for why you feel frustrated in life is because you lack discipline. When you lack discipline, you spend your time engrossed in bad habits or other time-wasters. When you have concrete discipline, you embody clarity and have real direction in your life.
However, creating rock-solid self-discipline is not easy. It takes work and real effort. You have to stamp out those bad habits and truly focus. To do that, you need empowering goals that fuel you. And you need a strong enough reason to wake up every single day to keep pushing and striving.
The truth is this. You’re going to have bad days where you feel stressed and overwhelmed. It happens to the best of us. But when your vision is strong and your goals are empowering and you manage your time well, nothing can stand in your way.
Discipline is a muscle. And like any other muscle, it must be used to make it stronger. This is not like willpower. Willpower takes conscious effort. Discipline, when it’s created the right way, becomes non-conscious. But getting there will take time, effort and a lot of energy.
Ask Better Questions
I used to feel so sorry for myself. I’d say things like, why does this always happen to me or, how come I can never catch a break? I was asking the wrong questions. As a result, I was in a state of self-propagation. Meaning, I was inviting more problems, fear and frustration into my life.
When things collapsed, I had to dig deep. And I started asking the right questions. And I became a detective, researching the lives of successful people who failed, but ultimately found a way to succeed. Keep in mind that frustration can be born from failure.
However, you must realize that failure is just a stepping stone. It’s not the end of the road. Life is a journey. And I’m not just saying that to blow hot air. I literally mean that. Now, that doesn’t mean you’re not deserving of success. We all are. But you shouldn’t hinge your happiness on it.
Find reasons that drive you and fuel you beyond money and material things. Money goals are great. Don’t get me wrong. But there must be something that supersedes the thing-related goals. Focus on value, helping others, contribution and serving others, and watch as your frustrations melt away.
Set your goals the right way, and deep enough reasons to support you through your journey. And along the way, manage your time effectively, create some real discipline, and never give up on your hopes and dreams no matter how many times you fail.
And always remember, I’m rooting for you…