Atime2write - Fiona Tarr

Living A Creative Life

5 Ways to Fight Frustration!

What is Frustration?

Frustration is a type of fear. The fear of losing control. The inability to bring about the outcome you want, now! Frustration comes from that feeling you get when your dreams are put on hold. When your mind tells you that you may never reach your goals or get another opportunity.


If you get frustrated often, then you are one of those people who is driven. You harbour a sense of determination to set the bench mark high and to strive to achieve it. You are that way for a purpose, even if you don’t know what that is yet. You can never really be free of frustration and you should probably not seek to be, but you can fight for a sense of control over your emotions. In truth, your sanity may depend on it, but at the very least, the sanity of those around you likely does. I find there are a number of options I use to fight or subdue my levels of frustration.

  1. Count My Blessings – Really, it sounds very simple but I often have to remind myself to look at just how lucky and blessed I am. Acknowledging that ‘life is good’ can refocus my attention on appreciating the now instead of getting too lost in the future.
  2. Make Plans – Accepting that all projects have a timeline and making achievable plans can relieve the tension. I try not to set the expectation beyond realistic levels. Miracles can happen and plans can come to fruition early, but expecting them to always go perfectly can frustrate me when they don’t.
  3. Put it on Hold – Occasionally I realise that the plans I have made are simply out of sync with the rest of my family or my current work life. My frustration will often peak before this realisation hits me, but once it does I have to accept that this project isn’t meant to happen just now. ‘To Everything there is a Season’.
  4. Take Time Out – If none of the above options are working, I will push everything out of my schedule and take time out. It might be an extra day off work. A long weekend away. Or a full blown holiday, but if I don’t do something along these lines I will usually have a minor melt down and I will be forced to take the time off. Prevention is better than cure as they say and over the years I have become better at identifying the warning signs.
  5. Total Reboot – Now this one is in extreme circumstances only. Like any emergency procedure there is fall out. After a fire, when the water and fire extinguishers have done their work, there is a massive clean up operation needed. I have instigated this procedure a number of times in my life. You will know when this is required but for me the time is when I can’t move past the frustration, when the motivation for the things I love is waining, when the path I am on just doesn’t seem right; that is when I press reboot.

More on what a reboot looks like later!

  • How do you manage frustration? What would your 5 tips be?


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