The Benefits Of Frustrations
This blog post was featured in the Huffington Post on June 16, 2016.
No one likes to be frustrated. Frustrations take an enormous amount of energy and they might even have physiological repercussions of making one sick from them.
Are there benefits of being frustrated, and what should you do to make a lemonade out of a lemon?
Let us see:
Why do we get frustrated?
Because we are struggling with an issue we have difficulty solving, like not having clear understanding of the cost benefit ratios of our different alternative solutions or, not being clear in our diagnosis what the real problem is or, being unhappy with what we are doing because it is not giving the results we would like to have, etc., etc.
In other words we are struggling with something real important, major and thus significant and we are frustrated because we cannot find an easy answer to our questions.
If we could solve the issue frustrating us easily, if it was simple, we would have made a decision there and than and there would not have been a frustration. The fact that we are frustrated means that we are struggling with a strategic issue.
The bigger the frustration, the bigger the pain, the bigger is the problem and its complexity, the more significant is the subject frustrating us.
For how long?
Frustrations do end. May be not the same day, week or even months. But they do. Eventually we get that Aha experience. Our struggling eventually leads to a solution and since we were frustrated by major issues, our solution is a major one too. In other words, whenever we are frustrated, the more frustrated we are, the more we are in front of a major strategic solution that might change our life.
Show me a person that cares about big, complex, significant, issues and tries to solve them, and I will show you a very frustrated person. I can imagine how frustrated the President of the United States has to be.
How should you handle frustrations?
Accept them as a collateral effect of what you worry or struggle with. May be even welcome the frustration because you are finally ready now to deal with the issues that frustrate you . Up to now, may be, you have lived in denial of the problem, you have been running away from it. If you are frustrated, it means there is no more escaping. You have to struggle and deal with the issues although they are not easy to deal with. Look forward to the day when you will go through the frustration and come to a realization of the solution; Another major issue in your life would have been removed.
It is imperative that during the period you are frustrated, you do not criticize yourself. You do not put yourself down for not being able to solve the problem easily . This kind of an attitude accentuates the frustration. Accept being frustrated with the difficulty of the problem you are facing , but reject being frustrated with who you are and how good you are.
Another mistaken reaction to frustrations is to feel pressure to solve the issue as soon as possible. Since it is a difficult issue you are struggling with, there is pain and to shorten the period you feel the pain there is tendency to run away from the pain by trying to solve the problem as fast as possible. In this case you might remove the frustration, but the resolution will be a superficial one. It will hold but only for a short period of time. Such solutions are only band aids. The issues and thus the frustrations to deal with them will come back to haunt you with extra strength.
Accept frustrations because they are a manifestation of something significant going on that might change in your life and take your time to resolve the issues that frustrate you. They are too significant to rush through them. No pain , no gain.
Ichak Kalderon Adizes