The Positive Power of Frustration

Posted by Amanda Fleming on May 7, 2013 10:25:51 AM

Do you know anyone who feels held back and frustrated by a lack of confidence? Do you know anyone who is frustrated because theydon’t have time to do all the things they want to do or learn all the things they want to learn? Do you know anyone who is frustrated with the seemingly endless obstacles that are in the way of living the best version of life they can imagine? Do you know anyone who hasn’t got the ‘head space’ to even imagine what that ‘best life’ is? Am I perhaps talking to you?

The Positive Power of Frustration the icehouse amanda fleming
Frustration is an irritant that can hold us back – or it can propel us forward! 

Sometimes we just have to get frustrated – enough – to make a change. In this way, frustration can be our friend. Whether the questions (above) apply to you or someone you know, there is much we can do to put frustrations behind us and make them part of history instead of recurring themes that keep resurfacing here in the present moment, and worse, carried forward into our tomorrows.

Take the following tips to heart and watch your life transform. The tips themselves are nothing new but if you forget them, there are consequences and they are usually uncomfortable. The good news is, even of you do forget these tips, life will lead you back around to frustration again - and that can become your #1 indicator for change. Frustration can be a tool for conscious evolution - where the real action is these days! 


Tip One

Reframe frustration generally. Shift the way you look at frustration. Move it from irritant to teacher. Frustration is a feeling. It is a response and therefore a messenger. Frustration is informative. Use your frustration to enquire as to what is really going on inside you.

Frustration can help you discover a deeper truth. When you face that truth square on, the energy in the feeling dissipates. This leaves a space inside to make a choice about what to do next – very powerful indeed.


Tip Two

If your frustration is about yourself, your patterns of thinking and behaviour or just life in general, decide to treat that feeling as a kick in the butt. There is a truth we cannot escape and that is that nothing changes while we keep doing the same things. 

Use frustration as a clue to follow. It will lead you to more personal responsibility - and empowerment. Your habits will change if you get frustrated – enough! (Note: If you are not frustrated enough to make a change yet – intentionally amplify your frustration using your Imagination – see where the path leads and let that provoke you into changing direction.)


Tip Three

If your frustration is about other people and what they are doing (or not doing) and it impacts you in ways that evokes frustration, immediately STOP blaming them or the situation for how you feel. Focus instead on what you can control and influence and take action there. Trust the rest to take care of itself.

YOU are responsible for your own feelings and responses. Other people only show us where we are up to inside ourselves (if we are willing to see others as our mirror). This can feel uncomfortable until humility settles in and we surrender to truth. The faster we can do that, the faster we can laugh about it.


Tip Four

If your frustrations are about the world and how it is or the government or God or some other entity or dynamic you cannot control, Notice what the feeling is really about – especially if frustration is a frequent visitor. Dig until you get to the truth – you will feel it when you do. That truth is a clue as to what you could be doing to make change in that direction. Maybe it is a feeling that can inform your purpose in life, your true calling?

As the late Buckminster Fuller said, “If you see a job that needs doing – guess whose job it is?” We can get very frustrated at why ‘someone’ isn’t doing something about something, when perhaps that job is actually ours. If you are still seeking a purpose for life – start consulting that which frustrates you and you may find a precious clue to what you are for in this life.

Read blog:  Leaders - Are They Born or Made?

Tip Five

Keep your dreams alive. By regularly reminding yourself of what you are working towards (this presupposes you are clear about that!), frustrations can be seen in perspective as little hints and taps that help keep you on track. In this way frustration can be a tuning fork that is resonant with who you truly are in essence. Even if some frustrations seem insurmountable and hang around for years, they will change in time – all the more rapidly if you are engaged in your own conscious evolution. 

Go for the highest purpose you can, with a really long goal (even longer than your lifetime). Align it with your very deepest passion and greatest love – all this will help you overcome any frustration you encounter and help you use it to your advantage. Frustration is a need, asking to be met. Its soul mate is patience.

When we live a conscious life, frustration ceases to linger because it simply cannot exist in the face of patience and personal responsibility.

Apply these tips to your personal and business life and watch frustration become your growth-promoting friend!

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This blog is written by Amanda Fleming. Amanda is a speaker on The Icehouse progammes and is director of Presenter at Large Ltd, an organisation dedicated to contributing to the evolution of human consciousness in individuals and organisations by designing and presenting highly stimulating and effective learning events that produce lasting positive results.

Amanda's work enhances personal and professional effectiveness, grows resilience, emotional intelligence, conscious communication and influencing skills and generally accesses more potential in individuals and groups.