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Hate what you’re doing? How to use frustration to fuel your success

What do you do when it feels like you’re out of options? How do you handle not having a handle? What happens to you when frustration sets in?

While it’s our responsibility to lead a life of intention — a life where we’re proactive, not reactive — there will most certainly be aspects of life that are absolutely out of our control.

A family member passing, resources dwindling, receiving multiple “no’s”, you name it — life goes left all the time. And while we’re allowed to process the emotions that come as a result, how we handle ourselves during these times will often make or break us.

The answer isn’t cursing out your manager and walking out of your dead-end job. Neither is it abusing substances nor even allowing yourself to fall into depression. Frustration is not a precursor to defeat; if anything, it’s a test of fortitude and a sign that you may have to do something different.

It’s important we recognize, identify, and handle frustration when it arises. We should not run, mask, or destructively channel it. Frustration is enraging — but somehow energizing. We win when we use this energy to our advantage.

Switch it up

If you don’t like where you’re going, you should probably change what you’re doing. It’s as simple as that. You’d be surprised at how refreshing and how much of a reset a switch up could be. It can be a detox.

Picking up a new hobby, going dark on social media, or even ridding toxic people from your life are all things that can help you get out of a funk. Switching up your routine instantly changes the direction of your life, which can alleviate the frustrations you’re facing.

Sometimes we think it takes something drastic and life-altering, but really solving the feeling of being stuck is in the little details. Breaking down our lives to rebuild it in a refreshing way opens new realities and allows us to assess where we are through a different lens.

When you’re frustrated, don’t get down or beat yourself up. Try and shake your life up.

Draw out a real plan

One of the easiest and fastest ways to dissipate feelings of frustration is to etch out a gameplan. Sometimes direction is all we need for reassurance.

There’s peace in knowing that although you may not be doing what you want, you’re doing something in the meanwhile to change that.

Making a plan allows you to sit down and look at your life as a whole, which when we’re in the midst of living, is hard to do. We hardly ever slow down to take a step back, and that is why we often feel overwhelmed.

Assess where you are, have an idea of where you want to go, then find comfort in knowing that you’re working towards that. Successful people get frustrated, then get better, and never allow it to limit them.

Pace yourself

A lot of times the frustrations we face in life are a result of impatience. We hate where we are, so we want a quick fix. We find a solution in a gameplan and we expect it to work immediately, but life doesn’t work that way.

We must pace ourselves in everything we do.

Much like our dreams and aspirations, our gameplan to combat frustration is a process. We only stress ourselves more when we rush to get better. This is why it’s imperative the thought of pacing ourselves is at the forefront of our minds when frustration strikes.

We must keep in mind that these emotions won’t necessarily fade overnight and we must build the mental toughness to understand that. At times, it is a high climb to get out of a rut.

Your situation is not going to change overnight and wanting it to won’t help. When we breathe, trust in the plan we’ve laid forth, and take it a day at a time, we’ll find that we’ll be a lot less overwhelmed.

Frustrating times have no time limit. They can be as quick as a term in college to as long as the big break of an aspiring artist. Pacing ourselves and trusting that we’re doing what we can with what we have limits how frustrating it can actually be.

Frustration does not have to be crippling. It can be motivating and inspiring — it’s all about how we use it.