When you’re frustrated, really ticked off, everything becomes a target. You hope that destroying the obstacle that’s pissed you off will solve your problems.
Okay, I’ve never actually thrown a chair at someone, but I have kicked them over. Shoved them against my desk. I’ve been enormously pissed in my life to the point people were afraid to be around me, as a kid and my early adulthood.
We’ve all be in places where frustration takes over. Some of us shut down and cry, while others yell and throw things. I was the second person for a very long time, especially until I was twenty-five.
Through my childhood I expressed my frustration by slamming my fists on tables, throwing things, breaking things. I remember punching a window as a kid, shattering the glass, and getting shards stuck in my knuckle my mother had to pull out.
After these fits I was exhausted and I cried, had trouble breathing, and hid myself away wherever I could. I ran away from school several times. As an adult, I’ve walked out on jobs.
Then I decided to get help. I didn’t do it with the idea that they were right, and I was wrong. That’s the worst perspective to take. No, I did it because I wanted a better quality of life for myself. I was tired of being frustrated.
I knew most people swept their problems under the rug, became complacent, and gave up on achieving their potential. All you need to do is look at 60% of the U.S. population to know where people put their issues with being overweight.
I looked for answers from people who had tons of potential, realized it, and actualized it through success in business and life.
I read several books on psychology and human development, including Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden, Cognitive Therapy by Aaron T. Beck, and Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.
These weren’t the only books I read, but while I read them, I figured out just what it was that caused me to react those ways when I felt frustrated.
Why did I throw things? Why did I yell? Why did I get frustrated in the first place!?
I learned frustration comes from feeling that things are out of control and the perception that the result we want will never happen.
My mother was pessimistic. My oldest brother was pessimistic. Teachers, adults around me were pessimistic. They had a huge influence on causing me to think that great things in life never happened, no matter how hard I worked. That everything was out of anyone’s control.
I began writing my life down, putting my problems into perspective. Literally, taking the thoughts in my head and writing them on paper. I did this around the age of twenty-five.
A great deal of influence to have a better life came from seeing a better life. When I was twenty-two, I moved in with a roommate, who I lived with for the following six years.
It wasn’t long before I came to realize that there are better ways of living than my childhood showed me. That better way of living didn’t come from having nice things, or success. It came from being positive, being objective about yourself and the problems you faced, and solving them objectively.
Most of what we believe in life about how things ought to be, can cause us to respond in a way that can be unhealthy. My childhood gave me very unhealthy ways of seeing myself, people around me, and the world in general.
For example, most of us believe that people at work like to do their job. If you’re like me, the kind of person that strives for the best work he can provide, you tend to develop the belief that it’s how others ought to be, too.
Anyone who has worked long enough knows that there are a great deal of people just looking for a paycheck, doing the minimum not to get fired or laid off.
Then there are those few people, the ones that companies want to hire, who outperform and live an extraordinary life. Even if they’re not rich financially, they are spiritually. That’s where the magic happens.
I began to focus on the things I could give people, and not on the things I couldn’t give them. I focused on what I could control, not what I couldn’t.
Each employer I’ve had has loved having me around. I’ve never been fired or laid off, even with my problems with handling frustration. Maybe I’m lucky. No, I think I’ve been so committed to excellence that employers can’t afford to just let me go.
My frustration problem wasn’t solved though, so I had to get a handle on it. First, I had to know what frustration was. So, here’s my idea of what frustration is:
- A belief that an expectation isn’t and won’t go the way you want it to.
- A message that you almost have it, but not quite there.
- The answer exists. Just find it.
The first tells us that we are succeeding, which is better than most people. If you’re feeling frustrated when attempting to accomplish a goal, you’re simply not headed in the right direction.
The second says that we have the potential to succeed, and we just need to keep trying until we find the answer.
The third says, the answer does exists, and we just need to find it.
One of the best ways to find answers is to ask questions. And while you can ask yourself questions all day long, staying in your head, you’re bound to run into the possibility that the answer isn’t there.
If you already knew the answer, you wouldn’t be frustrated! So, begin by putting things into perspective. I believe in writing problems down, including whatever comes to mind about it.
If nothing is coming to mind, then we know the answer is that you’re not really thinking and holding onto hope that the answer will just show up.
But answers don’t just show up. They’re out there, and you gotta find them.
Read a book. Ask a friend. Search Google if you have to. Somewhere, someone, has done what you’re trying to do, and there’s a great chance that they’ve had the heart to let people know how it can be done.
Have you ever been so pissed, so frustrated, that you yelled at people and threw things?