Turning Frustration Into Positive Action


Turning Frustration Into Positive Action


Frustrations are so annoying, aren’t they?


Seems like they always hit us when we’re not in the mood or when we don’t have time for them. The goal of this article is to give you some new insights into frustration so you’ll realize that staying frustrated about something is a choice within your control. We’ll review the causes, the costs, the surprising benefits and some alternatives to feeling unavoidably frustrated. Then I’ll offer some new ideas to try next time frustration knocks at your door and tries to ruin your day. [EXPERT]

An old tale: What’s the difference between a good and a bad day of fishing? It’s clearly NOT how many fish you catch or the weather. The difference is the attitude and intention of the one fishing. Catching a spare tire, three cans and a log can be very frustrating and ruin your day or the same set of circumstances can become a favorite “fish tale” for years to come. Once we realize we’re in charge of choosing how we’re going to feel about something, we can see that there are many different ways we can feel about an event or action or thought. It’s an eye-opener that we have more control over our feelings than we may think. [EXPERT]

Back in the 70’s, I watched Phil Donahue interview two daughters of an abusive and alcoholic father, one became an alcoholic and the other one had never had a drink. As they had taken two extremely different paths he asked them, “Why did you make the choice you did?” I found myself stunned for a moment when they answered the same way. “With an alcoholic father, what did you expect?”

Wow! That really hit me. They each thought they were making the only logical choice and yet they made two completely different choices under the exact same circumstances. That’s an example of the impact and the power of our choices. What we think and how we feel about what happens to us everyday shapes our lives. Becoming frustrated is part of being human. Staying frustrated is a choice. And that’s the good news about all human behavior. We can make new choices at any time. [EXPERT]

What is frustration?

The dictionary tells us it’s, “a state of mind or being when prevented from accomplishing a purpose, fulfilling a desire or solving a problem.” The intensity of frustration is often related to the degree of control we have to change things. This is why children and senior citizens often get so frustrated at situations where they have little or no control over what happens to them: the less control, the more frustration. [EXPERT]

Why do we STAY frustrated when things go wrong?

Upon reflection, some people find they’re kind of addicted to being frustrated. When people are addicted to something, they don’t continue doing whatever to feel good, they do it to stop from feeling something worse. When we’re frustrated it can distract us from our own feelings and we can justify making someone else responsible for our situation. Feelings of frustration can mask our own guilt about something we’d rather not face and help us legitimize non-action. In the business world, people prefer frustration because they think if they take action to solve a problem, someone might think they’re to blame. [EXPERT]

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