It sucks to fail.
But what sucks more, is the frustration and pain that can come after failing.
Especially when we’ve pinned so much on our succeeding.
Failure is a part of life, and the better we deal with it, the more we achieve.
And our lives are happier, as a consequence.
What can you do to overcome the frustration of failure?
Get rid of perfectionism
We get frustrated because we expect to succeed, right away, and then we don’t. We don’t meet our expectations, and get frustrated.
Because if you’re a perfectionist, if you have an “all or nothing” mindset, then you’ll never reach your expectations. You won’t even be brave enough to try, and face the consequences of failing.
Of figuring out what doesn’t work.
The focus should be on finding what works, not making sure everything works the first time out.
If your mindset is to keep on finding what works, then you won’t have space to be frustrated, because you’re always looking for constant improvement, and you feel the progress.
Instead of the “all or nothing” mindset of perfectionism.
You’re afraid to fail.
How you interpret failure, is how you will experience it, and how it will come true for you.
If you tie your self-worth to the results that you get, then of course you’ll be afraid of failure! Every time you fail, you’ll be thinking of how less of a person you are, and how lacking your abilities must be.
If you interpret and accept failure as a label, then you’d do anything to avoid it, and be frustrated when it does happen to you. You see it as a mark that can’t be removed, labeling you and staying with you for life.
But that’s not what failure is.
Failure is an event borne from decisions we have made in the past, and can learn from. Progress and growth doesn’t stop when we fail.
And only, if we let it stop us.
Failure is an event. It is what happens when we find something that does not work, and yet, we let the event become a label for us, thereby dictating our self-worth, our abilities, and our future.
That concept of failure, is a limiting belief,
And an outright lie.
As Jocko Willink, ex-Navy SEAL says, the way to be tougher, is to be tougher.
Same with facing frustration. You’ve got to recognize that you are frustrated, you’re feeling frustrated, the signs, symptoms, and effects are there.
And you go through with what you need to do, regardless.
Frustration does happen, often as a byproduct of failure, of failing, repeatedly.
Surely, Edison must have felt frustration sometime amongst the hundreds of failed attempts at creating a lightbulb.
What if he let the frustration get the better of him, and stop him? Maybe, we wouldn’t have the lighting systems and options that we have now. Or maybe, he wouldn’t be credited with its discovery.
But he didn’t let that stop him, and just soldiered on, eyes on the prize, finding little by little, what works, and what doesn’t work.
Face the frustration. You’re better than that, stronger than that.
You are capable of so much more than what you give yourself credit for. That includes overcoming frustration.
Go for the small wins
To overcome frustration, is to always see the meaningful progress in what you’re doing, and in the outcomes that you’re getting.
Recognize the progress that you’re making. Make a deliberate action to celebrate the small wins that you’re making, and how those bring you closer to your goal.
Don’t take small wins lightly. It’s these small wins that will prove to you your idea works, that shows you how it can be done, that points the way how you can expand, grow, and scale.
So even in your daily habits and routines, celebrate the small wins that you’re doing, and those slowly build momentum, pushing you to do bigger, faster, stronger, and wiser.
This also works when you’re sunk in the middle of frustration. Look for the small win.
Go for the small wins, then the big wins will follow.
Overcome, don’t avoid
When you avoid it, you’re not facing it.
You’re just letting it be, letting it live in a corner of your world, gathering power, until the time comes to rear its ugly head, and take momentary control of your life.
Or in the worst cases, complete, total, control.
Learn how to overcome frustration, instead of avoiding it.
And the skills to overcoming frustration are like muscles – the more you use them, the stronger they get.
And the weaker the effect frustration has on your life.
So think of one small thing that you can do to overcome frustration when it hits, when you feel it, or when you foresee it coming.
Exercise, and practice that muscle.
And you’ll go far.
What’s one thing you do to overcome frustration? Please share in the comments and let me know!