By Michael Angier
"I'm so frustrated!" These words, or something perhaps even
more colourful, are things we've all said at one time or another. Several
times over the past few days, I said them myself--at least in my head.
We recently incorporated a new computer into our network and it raised
all kinds of havoc. An installation that should have taken only a few
hours turned into a three-day exercise in aggravation and frustration.
If you're an achiever, someone who gets things done, you can feel quite
frustrated when things don't go according to plan. This is natural. The
issue is how you handle it.
In our recent experience, my wife and I dealt with it better than we
thought. We never lost our patience with one another, and we were never
rude to each other, or to the people we worked with in resolving the
As I look at what happened, I can see things that allowed us to get
through the installation with no upset. Here are what I see as the key
strategies we used--although not perfectly-to avoid being victims of the
Emotional Bank Accounts
One of the things that made our recent ordeal more bearable was that my
wife and I had high balances in our respective "emotional bank
accounts." When these bank balances are low, the little things can
easily become big things. Little "forgotten" resentments can
turn into major issues. By making daily deposits into our emotional bank
accounts with people we're close to, we can avoid having unnecessary
upsets make a difficult situation impossible.
Ask Good Questions
When we get frustrated, it's easy to ask fruitless, impotent questions,
questions that exacerbate the situation rather than improve upon it.
Questions like, "Why did this happen to me?" "Why is
life so unfair?" "Why are people so unreasonable?" are the
kind of questions that keep us stuck and feeling unresourceful. We need to
ask questions that move us forward. Keep asking, "What's really
Stay Focused … Identify the Problem
In the midst of a crisis (whether perceived or real) it's easy to lose our
focus. We have to keep coming back to what the problems are and what we
can do to solve them.
Charles Kettering, the great American industrialist and inventor said,
"A problem clearly stated is a problem half solved." I believe
that. As the experience and drama unfolds, stay with the intended result
and keep redefining the problem.
Take a Break
It's important to take breaks. Don't become obsessed with the problem(s)
and keep at it without any let-up. We can't be at our best when we operate
non-stop without a chance to step back and gain some perspective … and
Stop. Get some exercise. Take a walk. Work out. Take a nap. Watch a
movie. You'll be surprised how much more resourceful you can be after a
break. In the whole scheme of things, how much difference will a few
minutes (or hours) make?
Remember to breathe. As someone once said, "Inspiration is the art
of breathing in."
Keep in mind that frustration is an emotional reaction. It doesn't happen
"out there", it happens inside us. And we have choice about
whether we indulge it.
Be aware. Notice when you're feeling frustrated. Don't judge it.
Blaming oneself, or others, will not work. Ninety percent of overcoming
the problem is your conscious awareness that you're stressed. Ask
yourself, "In three years' time, will this situation be worth being
upset?" Chances are, it won't.
We stress ourselves out by taking things too seriously. Being serious
doesn't mean we have to be grim. Learn to laugh at yourself as well as the
situation. The things that seem upsetting now will usually be things that
we'll find humorous later. If we're going to laugh about it then, we might
as well laugh about it now.
Going through any challenging situation is more bearable and often more
fun when we experience it with a friend or team member. Ask for help.
Where is it written that you need to go it alone?
What was the end result of that week's computer fiasco? Well, one of
our publications was delayed two days and it's doubtful anyone noticed. We
learned a lot. And, we ended up with a better system than we'd originally
planned because we exchanged the first computer for a better one.
© Copyright 1995-2001 Success Networks International.
Success Net is a worldwide association committed to helping people become
more knowledgeable, productive and effective. Their mission is to inform,
inspire and empower people to be their best-personally and professionally.
Free subscriptions, memberships, books and SuccessMark™ Cards available
|An error occurred on the server when processing the URL. Please contact the system administrator. If you are the system administrator please click here to find out more about this error.|