Mar 27, 2024

That feeling of…

Well, probably so many things let’s be honest.

Have you ever felt the heat of frustration so intensely that it seemed to echo through every part of your being? It's that moment when your heart races, your palms sweat, and you feel as though you're standing at the edge of a cliff. You see zero solution in sight and are drenched in overwhelm. This isn't just about being irked or mildly inconvenienced; it's the soul-deep frustration that comes from deep within, whispering (or sometimes shouting) that something isn't right or the feeling of you're not right.

Do you know what I’m talking about???

Go deeper with me.

The Definition of Frustration

Frustration is the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something. It arises when someone is blocked from reaching a desired outcome or goal, leading to feelings of dissatisfaction, disappointment, and often, a sense of helplessness. This emotional response can be triggered by circumstances beyond one’s control, personal limitations, or external obstacles that impede progress or fulfillment.

The Essence of Frustration

Frustration is more than a feeling; it's a signal. A nudge from the deepest parts of ourselves that we are at odds with something fundamental. It might arise from the loving chaos of our families, where despite our best efforts, disconnection creeps in, leaving us feeling more like ships passing in the night than a cohesive unit. Or perhaps it's in the silent scream of our finances, when no matter how meticulously we plan, the numbers seem to mock us, widening the gap between our dreams and our reality. And then there's the journey of our physical selves, where the mirror and the scale refuse to reflect the blood, sweat, and tears we've poured into our fitness goals.

Does any of this resonate with you?

Diving Deeper: A Closer Look

In the Heart of Family:

Picture this — a Sunday morning, sunlight filtering through the curtains, a perfect setting for family bonding. Yet, there's an invisible barrier: SCREENS! Each ping, each vibration, stealing a piece of what could be 'us time.' The frustration here isn't just about the lack of connection; it's about what that represents — the fear that we're losing touch with those we hold dearest.

This is an example for many. I used to be afraid and had thoughts like this. Now, I use it as a tool to engage. Jump into games, family facetime hide and seek (so fun), tic tac toe, snapchat filters and gamify it. But this took a mindset shift and a new take on how to engage and leverage these tools we all have these days.

The Financial Quagmire:

You've played by the rules, saved every penny, yet life throws curveball after curveball, derailing your financial security. It's not just the unexpected bills or the relentless pursuit of stability; it's the feeling of being perpetually one step behind, of your aspirations slipping like sand through your fingers.

For me, it has been the rebuilding process after massive loss during covid. It’s been the frustration of not putting my own oxygen mask first, years ago to solidify the foundation I need for my family. That is why I got myself in a situation. Rebuilding with limited resources, time, five kids and a lot of stress has not been easy and extremely frustrating. The gift however, was learning what actual input creates output and leveraging the 80/20 principle. What 20% input creates 80% output for the results I need? It has taught me to do more with less, work smarter, be more resourceful and completely build a new model for my family. You’ll see a pattern in my mindset with frustration here. It’s a mindset thing. Are you reacting or responding in your situation?

The Battle of the Body:

You've pushed, pulled, run, and sweated, but the reflection in the mirror stubbornly refuses to change. This frustration is visceral, a betrayal by your own body. It's a daily war where the victories are invisible, where every effort feels Sisyphean.

This could be a whole article in itself. SO many factors here. Genetics, nutrition, emotions, environment, stress, self image and concept and on and on. I will not try to cut this short and tackle it all today. What I will tell you is that your self image, your self concept of YOU at the core plays a vital role in your results. You have to decide what you see in the mirror and create it. Your inner world shows you your outer world. Every time, all the time. This is hard work. This is also one of the most frustrating in my opinion.

Allowing Frustration

Yes. acceptance matters. We can control frustration, although it often requires practice and mindfulness to do so effectively. Controlling frustration involves recognizing the early signs of this emotion, understanding its triggers, and developing strategies to manage our responses. Here are some ways to control or manage frustration:


Becoming aware of the physical and emotional signs that indicate you're becoming frustrated is the first step. This might include recognizing when your heartbeat quickens, your breathing becomes shallow, or you feel a surge of irritability. Take ownership immediately.

Identify the triggers:

Knowing what situations, people, or challenges typically trigger your frustration can help you prepare or avoid certain triggers when possible. Choose your environment.

Pause and breathe:

When you feel frustration building, take a moment to pause. Deep, slow breaths can help calm the physiological response and give you a moment to collect your thoughts. I call that runway. It may be five minutes, five hours or five days. Allow it.

Reframe the situation:

Changing how you think about a frustrating situation can alter your emotional response to it. Try to view challenges as opportunities to learn or grow rather than insurmountable obstacles. This is the gift, I promise.

Seek solutions:

Instead of fixating on the frustration, focus on what actions you can take to address the problem or alleviate the situation. This proactive approach can help reduce feelings of helplessness that often accompany frustration. Stand in the solution oriented mindset.

Practice relaxation techniques:

Regularly practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or mindfulness can reduce overall stress levels and improve your ability to manage frustration. It’s a perspective shift.

Set realistic expectations:

Sometimes, frustration stems from expectations that are too high or unrealistic. Adjusting your expectations to be more in line with reality can help prevent frustration. This is subjective, of course.

Communicate effectively:

If your frustration is related to another person, try to communicate your feelings and needs clearly and calmly. Effective communication can often resolve the root cause of frustration. Just remember, you cannot force your viewpoint on anyone. You can only share it.

Seek support:

Talking about your frustrations with friends, family, or a professional can provide relief and offer new perspectives on the situation. Share and listen.

Take a break:

Sometimes, the best way to deal with frustration is to step away from the situation for a while. This can provide a fresh perspective and reduce the intensity of your emotions.

While it's not possible to eliminate frustration entirely, these strategies can help you manage it more effectively, reducing its impact on your life and well-being. Success is not allowing frustration to control YOU.

Action Items:

Breathe Through the Moment:

When frustration mounts, let's not allow it to cascade. Pause. Breathe. In these breaths, we find space — not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. It's in this space that we can begin to untangle the roots of our frustration.

Embrace the Imperfect Journey:

Our family, our finances, our fitness — they're all journeys without a perfect roadmap. Accepting that the path will have its potholes and detours is liberating. It shifts our focus from the frustration of the moment to the progress of a lifetime.

Seek the Lesson Within:

Every moment of frustration hides a lesson, a whisper of wisdom waiting to be heard. In family, it's the reminder to cherish the imperfect moments. In finance, it's understanding that resilience is born from adversity. In fitness, it's the realization that our worth isn't measured by a number on a scale but by the strength of our spirit.

Let's not view frustration as a door slamming in our faces but as an invitation to grow, to pivot, and to find a new door waiting to be opened. It's in our deepest challenges that we find our truest strengths. Together, let's transform our frustrations into the stepping stones of our personal evolution. I personally have adopted the mindset of “frustration simply gives me permission to begin again”. Give yourself that space.

Thanks for reading.

I hope you found value today.

Please share with anyone this can help.

P.S. - What is one thing you can do today to help you manage frustration?

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