Everyone likes to win in all moments of life. Unfortunately, we cannot always win; sometimes, we fall flat. When one fails, one could experience 2 emotions: one, it is a temporary defeat that I can surpass; two, it is a justified defeat that I need to move on. When we accept our failure as a justified defeat for what-so-ever reasons, we fall into a frustration zone; we find it difficult to divert our focus to productive things. In this post, let us discuss ways to come out of the frustration zone with a few learnings from my life.
When it is a temporary defeat, people have the motivation to continue the tasks at hand because they are confident about the long-term benefits. On the other hand, when it is justified defeat, people blame themselves as they are one of the reasons for failure. For example, choosing between higher studies and a job is a critical decision. One has to spend enough time to understand the possible outcomes. If one chooses a wrong decision without deliberate thinking, then it will lead to suboptimal performance. The person who took the decision is also one of the reasons for the poor outcome. Whenever we face situations where we are part of the reasons for failure, frustration arises.
Feeling low, comparing self with other people, negative perception about the future are few symptoms of frustration. In life, it is important to overcome frustration and move on to the next productive thing. From my life experiences, I will share with you 3 learnings that could help you move forward during tough times:
- Take a day off and do what you like.
- Evaluate self on holistic performance.
- Stand up for what you believe.
Take a day off and do what you like
The solution seems simple but very effective. Imagine you have put your full efforts and eagerly waiting for results. If the results disappoint you because of something you have done, then there is nothing to blame except you. What is the point of self-blaming? What benefit does it give to anyone? We make efforts to be happy in life. So, when you are frustrated, you need some diversion to get back on track. Take a day or two off and enjoy what you like. For example, recently, my company has announced a promotion list, and I was not part of it. I was frustrated as I had delivered my best performance in the last 4 years. Beyond a point, I couldn’t blame myself. So, I took the day off; binge-watched a TV show on amazon prime, the whole night. The next day morning, I felt relieved.
In total, release your tension by doing what you like. As time passes, you will get satisfied with what you are doing and come back to normal mode.
Evaluate self on holistic performance
When you fail at one thing, you should look at other things around you. For example, in my previous example, though I was denied promotion, it is not impacting my career. I still have a chance to get my promotion in the second slot which is 3 months from now. Beyond this, I have also taken a break for 5 months which is not the case with other people. Taking all these factors into account, I am doing fine without promotion; I utilised the break to improve my mental health and to prepare for PhD admission. So, if I evaluate on holistic terms, I see myself doing well.
In a nutshell, when you are upset about something, take a step back and see the bigger picture. If the holistic performance seems good, don’t take too much stress.
Stand up for what you believe
Sometimes, you could be a victim of injustice, and you are frustrated about it. For example, if a person is denied equality due to race, ethnicity, religion, caste, economic status etc. then the person will get frustrated. Though it could be a social norm in some parts of the world, still it creates stress and frustration. In such cases, one should stand up for what one believes in. There is no need to get frustrated; fight back against them. For example, one of my past line managers always criticized people to get the work done. Even when he knew it would not be possible to meet the expectations, he still verbally abused everyone to extract the maximum work. I was frustrated by this behaviour but stood up against him whenever he exceeded the boundaries.
When someone is oppressing you, the fault lies with them and not you. Stand tall!
Overall, avoid frustration by taking a break, viewing from a holistic lens, and giving it back.
Thanks for reading the full article. I hope you have learnt a few ways to overcome frustration in life. Please share your thoughts in the comments section!