We all get frustrated at work — sometimes with colleagues, our schedules, or our work-load.
If we look closely, we may recognize we have a pattern of repeatedly being frustrated by the same things. We are seemingly pre-wired for those triggers and when they occur, we feel like we might blow our top! Or quit! Or both!!
My client, Robert, has ongoing challenges with his peer who heads another department.
He revealed that he is already predisposed to expecting the worst to happen each time they meet. His frustration has reached an all-time high. He can’t take it one more minute! He pleads: PLEASE HELP ME!
So often in a situation like this, we look at what “THEY” are doing to “ME.” This perspective is a powerless one.
The truth is Robert is choosing frustration by feeding the BEAST of his anger.
Robert feeds on his own righteousness. He stews over and over. He talks to others in the office about his anger and frustration, looks for sympathy, and gets to feel “right” about his suffering.
I know I’ve done the same thing in similar circumstances to Robert.
And now, I also know our frustration stems from an attachment to the “the way things should be” . . . in contrast to the way the world is actually showing up for us. Emotions seem to take over. You can’t control it, right?
But the question to ask is: how much do you feed that emotion?
What if I said it doesn’t matter whether your “claims” or “frustrations” are valid or not? What matters is the impact that frustration has on you.
Robert said he feels powerless and it makes his daily work life much less enjoyable. He is not sleeping well, his anger is boiling over, and over time his health is compromised.
What is your frustration doing to you?
If you are near or have reached your boiling point, it’s time to employ some new tactics.
1. DON’T TAKE THE BAIT:
Your reaction and judgment about what’s going on “out there” is what’s harming you inside (i.e. your health & happiness). Regardless of how it may seem, you actually do have a choice in how you want to respond. Do what you can to interrupt the “fight or flight” response – go for a walk, go get a latte, take 5 of the deepest breaths you’ve ever taken.
2. TAME THE BEAST:
Make the choice about NOT feeding the Beast of your frustration by complaining to your colleagues, by stewing over it, or going round and round in your head. All this does is feed your own sense of righteousness.
3. ENLIST HELP TO GET A NEW PERSPECTIVE:
Speak to a trusted advisor or coach, but don’t make it a bitch session (that gets tiring to listen to anyway.) Instead frame the conversation as a request to help you find a new perspective on the issue. You’ll have a far more productive conversation, and your listener should be able to get creative and point you down a new path.
What are your best tactics to “tame the beast” of frustration? Would love to hear from you.