As it happens, frustration is a great place to be if you want to strengthen your foundation of peace. How else would you learn how to persist and hope? Where else would resilience and motivation come from? When you feel anything but calm and hopeful, remember that one moment of frustration doesn’t ruin everything. In fact, it might be kindling for true liberation and transformation.
“You don’t have to be positive all the time. It’s perfectly okay to feel sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared or anxious. Having feelings doesn’t make you a negative person, it makes you human.” — Lori Deschene
Hitting a low doesn’t mean you’re doomed forever (or even at all). A bad day doesn’t mean a bad life. One moment of frustration doesn’t ruin everything. Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs, failure begets success, tragedies are touchstones for transformation, and a bout of unwelcome overwhelm might be exactly what growth is calling for.
That’s all true, of course, only if we think so. I practice thinking so (believing) these things because it has had a positive and productive impact on my life, helping me overcome small and big hurdles.
The first word of encouragement I have for anyone who feels like they’ve hit rock bottom or are just having a bad morning is this: Believe. If you believe that it’s possible to rise from the ashes and create yourself anew no matter what, cause for hope is inevitable.The key to retaining hope during dark times is to practice hope when all is going well. Click To Tweet
My heart is constantly telling my head that one moment of frustration doesn’t ruin everything. Certain moments require mantras for hope and an almost annoying persistence on my heart’s part. The head can be stubborn. That’s why I think it’s so important to practice the attitude, mindset, and feelings we want for ourselves before we need to call them into action.
Athletes practice before playing a game; they don’t wait until game day to test out their skills. The beauty of hope and motivation is that they can be practiced, learned, and strengthened. That’s great news!
If you can learn how not to run away from the pain, you can walk out of the fire even more beautiful than before. You can’t walk out of it if you never walked through it.
If you’re seeking an ounce of comfort in the middle of a messy situation, I hope you find something here you can use. Save these thoughts for later and, better yet, practice them before you need to use them.
Encouraging Thoughts and Prompts to Contemplate When You’re Struck By (or Stuck in) a Moment of Frustration
1. Turn your inner dialogue into a question.
Let me quote the author, speaker, and teacher Byron Katie for a moment: “When inquiry is alive inside you, every thought you think ends with a question mark, not a period. And that is the end of suffering.”
For instance: Am I absolutely certain that this (thought) is true? I suggest looking into Byron Katie’s self-inquiry work.
Keeping the questions alive inside is one way to test anxiety and fear-driven assumptions.Disappointment opens our eyes to something new if we’re available to change. Click To Tweet
2. Are you evolving past your comfort zone?
You can’t evolve past your comfort zone if you never experience discomfort. What have you yet to tap into, unearth, discover, attain, or grow into?You don’t learn resilience by staying comfortable. Click To Tweet
3. Contemplate your feeling-focused “why.”
The more you contemplate your “why,” the driving force behind what you want to experience or accomplish, the easier it is to cut through the noise of what’s bugging you. Make sure your “why” is 100% yours—not someone else’s, not driven by comparison, fears, wounds, regrets, opinions, or imperfections.
Your “why” is connected to how you want to feel as you live your life.The beauty of transformation isn't possible without a messy middle. Click To Tweet
4. Momentum is better than a total 180-degree turn.
Progress is beautiful. It leaves room for creativity and innovation, ensuring that a step “back” can actually be a good thing, many times necessary for the next right step forward. Perfection forbids it.
Embrace movement in all directions. The righteous requirements of perfection dissolve when we focus on momentum instead of demand that we leap ten steps ahead to be where we think we ought to be. Just do one thing—nothing more, nothing less.
What’s one thing you can do right now to get the momentum going? (Not one thing that will erase frustration or wipe the slate clean. One thing that creates movement.)What if the journey was the destination? What if that's what we needed to learn how to understand? Click To Tweet
5. Your thinking makes it so, but a thought can be changed.
There’s always another way of seeing this, whatever your “this” is right now. There’s never just one way of looking at it and thinking there is cuts us off from a full experience of being alive.
Example: Are you acknowledging your improvements instead of just trash talking your perceived shortcomings and mistakes? Are you mustering up gratitude for what’s going well? If not, do you think you are experiencing the fullness that’s possible here? Might there be another side to the story?
Every experience is tinged with perception and if we’re willing to acknowledge another viewpoint, we’ll probably have an easier time coming out of a mess, and with less regret and bitterness. Actually, we’ll probably have a lot to gain from the mess and likely some things to let go of for the sake of freedom.It takes courage to try out a new perspective, especially if we're not planning on keeping it. Click To Tweet
What thoughts or practices help you build resilience when you’re frustrated?
Please share what works for you and any other words of encouragement with me in the comments.
Pass along the proof that resilience is worth having and hope is worth the effort; share these thoughts with someone who’s absolutely capable and worthy of overcoming every single moment of frustration.
Do just one thing. Ask a question. Ponder what you don’t know. Entertain an alternative. Go for a walk. One thing is all you need—always just one thing.
P.S. The fact the I’m here writing these kinds of things to you is proof that we can walk through the fire without being consumed by it. We can grow better because of it.