Do you ever feel frustrated with life and/or yourself because you think you should be doing more in life? Do you feel like life keeps throwing up obstacles at you when you feel like you’re getting a few steps ahead?
When the reality of life, work, responsibilities, stress, and our personal goals collide, they can often compete for our time and attention. If we’re not careful, these can cause frustration and throw us into a cycle of negative talk, and trigger poor physical, emotional, and mental habits.
Two months ago I wrote a blog post about having faith in yourself. It was a great reminder that we have to rethink the mental and emotional limits we place on ourselves. Yes, it is true that sometimes the world, circumstances, and people can feel like they are working against us; but, it is also true that the person staring right back at you in the mirror has control over how they respond to that frustration.
Perspective and peace are crucial in life, especially when you feel frustrated.
It is so easy to fall into the trap of focusing so much on the big picture that we overlook our past and present victories. Yes, life is frustrating right now, but this too can and shall pass. Sometimes we need to slow down, count the blessings, weigh the good versus the bad, and appreciate the accomplishments and victories written in our life’s story.
When I start feeling like life is not moving at my pace, or like things are not going as planned, I try to take some time to evaluate whether my frustrations are warranted, healthy, logical, or accurate. Listen, this little brain of ours is POWERFUL! If we let it, it will control our mood and energy—for better or for worse.
When things are starting to feel overly frustrating, I try to process using some of these questions:
- What is within my locus of control that I can change right now?
- Where can I spend more energy on the things I can control?
- Am I extending enough grace to myself in this situation?
- How am I contributing to this ongoing frustration?
- Is this situation more frustrating for me because there are things I still need to heal within myself?
- Do I feel frustrated because I am out of balance in important areas of my life?
- Has this frustration been the result of comparing myself to other people’s timelines and successes?
- What can I learn from this moment in life? How can I readjust, reset, and rest?
- Do I just need to adjust my attitude?
- Have I contributed to this frustration by not monitoring my time and energy?
- Am I taking enough time to take care of my mental health or just pushing forward in life?
- Who and what do I need to take a break from in order to regroup?
- Am I in misalignment with my deepest and truest self?
- Do I have a vision for my life or am I just winging it? Could this be adding to my frustration?
- Do I need to learn to be more flexible?
- Have I been getting enough sleep and taking care of my body? (Believe it or not, this does influence your mood!)
- Am I taking responsibility for my life or waiting to blame my problems on other people?
- Am I projecting my frustration in this situation and avoiding addressing the root concern(s) in my life?
- How willing am I to take different actions to have a different outcome? Do I secretly enjoy the misery?
- To what extent am I living in a box that is too small for me? Is it possible that this frustration is really a catalyst for growth?
Before or after processing these questions, I encourage you to spend some time also recording a few things that you are grateful for. Gratitude is the best thing you can do to start changing your attitude and mindset. It really is all that it’s hyped up to be.
If we are willing to learn from our mistakes and successes in life, then we are growing and learning! The faster we learn the lessons, the less time we will waste repeating the same test(s). Life can change overnight (for the better or worse), so there is no point in staying stuck in a frustrated mindset.
We will inevitably get frustrated, but we can overcome it, move forward, and find greater balance than before. Remember, you are only stuck if you keep repeating the same mistakes. Life is full of frustrations, but we don’t have to let them become the overarching theme of our lives.
Let’s take back our control, power, and just take life one deep breath at a time.