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Thursday, July 22, 2010

The 2 Keys To Defeating Frustration - Instantly

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 Is there a more pointless emotion than frustration? It serves no useful purpose other than emotional feedback that something in our status quo needs to change. More than likely that change is one of perception.

A long and mentally challenging day at work is rarely a factor of the actual activities we’ve engaged in, but rather the sense of impotence in achieving our goals.

There are many ways to define frustration; I like to define it as:

the gap between what we want and what we’ve got.

To eliminate this debilitating emotion we need to do one of two things: 

change our focus on what we want or accept that something’s are not in our control and move in the direction of that which we can control.

If the kids are doing your head in, or the boss, or your spouse, you do have a choice. Regression is the response of what I call the spoilt brat! Throw a tantrum, sulk, cry and any number of other manipulative performances.

However whilst this may provide temporary respite from our feelings of helplessness as we hook others into our ‘poor me drama,’ the long-term consequences are that people start to treat us like kids and become immune to our cravings.

Sadly, frustration is no laughing matter and there are many unstable individuals locked up due to letting emotions such as disappointment gradually escalate into despair, anger and eventually into irrational out pourings of anger and sometimes violence.

We are all calibrated differently with different trigger points and coping abilities. However once we become self aware of what’s actually going on emotionally then we start to become empowered with regard to our calculated response as opposed to the more typical knee jerk reaction.

Impulse control is mostly a factor of being tuned in to the moment and being aware of the bigger picture and consequences of our actions. Many regrets in life are the result of acting on impulse, when in the clear light of day we wonder why we acted so irrationally.

Alcohol for example is a well-known inhibitor of rational thought and the consequences of impulsive drunken behavior are well documented.

The message? Be aware of your ability to handle frustration before it consumes you. If you feel you can’t, then make some changes. Change job, relationship, or whatever is creating the most stress OR adapt and start to care less.

As the line in Desiderata (click for free download) states: perhaps “the universe is unfolding as it should”

Below is a recent Video I did on the subject of dealing with frustration and a few personal experiences i had along the way. Its about 4 mins- if it resonates -then your comments would be appreciated

Cheers Kiaran


  1. Kiaran,

    Great message and one that everyone can relate to. Again, it all comes down to mindset and how you chose to handle various situations in your life. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Reading this post Kiaran & I am reminded of the Serenity Prayer...

    "May God grant me the serenity to be able to change the things that I can,
    To accept the things that I cannot,
    And the wisdom to know the difference!"

    Stay inspired,

  3. Great post Kiaran

    A long time ago I realized that my frustrations were not caused by circumstances or other people. They were cause by by choices.

    Since then I am rarely frustrated :)

  4. I think this is a brilliant way to define frustration. It's not about the circumstances, but about not reaching our goals.

    My way of dealing with that is to take a deep breath, have a cup of good coffee, and start all over.

    Loved the post, Kiaran.

    Ana Hoffmam

  5. Great tips on dealing with frustrations, Kiaran.

    I agree with Karen - a positive mindset helps to deal with any frustrations and challenges you encounter in life.

    Your path to success will not be free of them! :( Successful people encounter challenges all the way to the top and have learned to deal with them.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    All the best,
    Mavis Nong

  6. Hi Kiaran,

    nobody likes being frustrated. On the other hand, it can lead to success if we handle it properly. If the gap between what we have and what we want is too large, we might reconsider our goals. Goal setting is a matter of time frame. If someone feels pressure and frustration regarding a goal, he or she might consider to put the goal further into the past, for example to make a 5-year-goal out of a 3-year-year and to plan the steps accordingly.

    Take care


  7. Hi Kiaran - Your great comment on my blog led me right back to this wonderful post. You hit the proverbial nail right smack center on the head with your video. It really is all about changing focus and putting your energies into building relationships. People are inundated with information all the time, but so many are lacking in the human touch side. People still do business with people!

  8. Great post Kiaran,
    Indeed perhaps the Universe is unfolding as it should, and we can trust that we do not need to have certainty about how we will achieve the goals we have set ourselves, but simply need to continue taking those next steps we need to with as much ease and passion as we can..and off course keep shifting our focus and our energy vibration every time we feel stuck or frustrated to the elation and excitement for the work we are doing, for what we are creating, to envisaging and feeling that we already have what we want..
    Thanks for tackling this important subject and for the great insights about frustration as a feedback mechanism.