Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

By Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

5 Methods to Overcome Frustration

5 Methods to Overcome Frustration 150 150 MIchael and Bonnie Harvey

It happens to the best of us—We get stuck, we can’t move on with our work, and we want to scream and pull our hair out. Entrepreneurs have all been there, and often. That place is called Frustration. What we learned about frustration is that it can completely cloud your vision. You’re blind to solutions and alternative paths that you can’t see. All you see is red!

A lot of entrepreneurship is just a hustle. You have to push yourself through times where you seem to be getting very little back for the amount of effort and money you put in. It’s almost like moving the RMS Queen Mary with your hands. You could push for years and years before you eventually conquer the inertia and it finally moves. For most startups, this type of frustration doesn’t seem to stop. It’s to be expected—it comes with the territory.

But there is another all-too-familiar kind of frustration. It happens when trying to work with authority, compliance, or other types of legal paperwork. Their overly generalized approach to management and regulation can become extremely frustrating, especially if you don’t have every bit of information that they need. Or, if the agencies that have the information shuffle you around between other agencies that are even less helpful. Hours, days, and even weeks can go by before you finally hear from someone—if you do at all. And meanwhile, you have deadlines to meet.

What can you do when you’re stuck in a situation like this?

Here’s our 5 tips to deal with frustration:

1. Take a Break. Put your focus on something else—something that you can do in a shorter period of time. Something that brings immediate results. This will serve as a reminder that you indeed are It’ll encourage you to get back to the bigger issues—later.

2. Go for a Walk. Just stop for a second. Get some exercise and fresh air. And don’t you dare bring your phone! Walking without distraction will clear your mind and give you a fresh perspective, even if only for a little while. The change of scenery will cheer you up.

3. Ask for Help. If you’re dealing with an agency, ask their supervisor for help. Describe the issue, recall the steps you’ve taken so far without seeing results, and ask them what you could do differently. See what advice they’ll offer. Tell them you’re frustrated. You could get lucky and connect with someone who actually understands—someone who will be able to help!

4. Ask About an Extension. If you’re really getting nowhere, see if you can get a deadline extension. This way, you can give up for a while, and come back fresh and ready to face the issues ahead. You’ll be much more likely to make some headway once you’re able to see the big picture without your blinders on. You’ll be able to think objectively and will embrace suggestions. Sometimes even just the time you’ve committed can turn persistence into stubbornness, which makes frustration even worse.

5. Welcome Different Approaches. Stop for a minute and look at what you’ve done so far. Is there an alternative path to take? Did you miss something along the way? Don’t forget—frustration is caused by lack of progress over an extended period of time. Try tackling the issue in short bursts instead of one long marathon. Shorter time periods will help you ease your frustrations while keeping you focused on your goals.

We can’t prevent frustration all the time, but we can lessen it by understanding when and where we aggravate it ourselves. Take the necessary steps to manage it and save all of the yelling and hair-pulling!

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