No plan is perfect the first time it is created. Most plans to accomplish something new will fail over and over again at the beginning. This is to be expected. Your ability to accept feedback and make corrections to the plan of activity is vital to your success. Keep asking, what’s working? and what’s not working? Be more concerned with what’s right rather than who’s right.
Remember the old saying, “back to the drawing board” whenever your plan doesn’t work, relax, take a deep breath, and revisit it.
Focus on the Solution
When you have a problem, resolve to be solution oriented. Expect difficulties as a part of the process and reaolve to respond to them effectively. If you are not achieving your goals on schedule, ask, what is the problem? What else is the problem? What are the solutions? What else is a solution? What can we do now? What is the next step?
It seems that when you begin work on the achievement of a new goal, you immediately experience setbacks, obstacles, difficulties, and temporary failure. This is to be expected. It is normal and natural. It takes tremendous effort to launch something new and make it successful. But this is the price that you have to pay to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself.
Frustration. It winds you up and can take so much out of you.
Because it not only sucks energy but also distracts you and can steal quite a bit of time.
So what can you do?
Well, sometimes that frustration can actually be positive and can give you a new idea or angle on things. Or it can give you the power to keep going just a little bit more until you reach your goal.
But when you start going in circles, when the frustration just makes you mad or your mind foggy and the day is starting to slip through your fingers then there are steps you can take.
There are ways to turn such a state of mind or day around.
Into something better. Into something more helpful. And into something that will make you feel better again.
Step 1: Be here now.
When you are frustrated then you are often somewhere in the future in your mind. Somewhere you wish you would be. Or you are reliving a stumble or failure from your past.
Snap out of those headspaces and calm down by focusing your mind and attention on what is now, right here at this moment.
You can do so by for example:
Focusing on your breathing. Sit down, close your eyes and just focus on the air going and out of your nose for 1-2 minutes. Take calm and slightly deeper breaths than usual and breathe with your belly and not your chest.
Focus on what is around you at this time. The sun shining in through your window. The kids playing out in the street and the cars and people going by.
The smells and feeling of the clothes and warmth of the sun on your skin. Do this for 1-2 minutes to get your attention back to the present moment.
Step 2: Appreciate what you do have.
After you have pulled your attention back to where it can be most helpful focus it on what is still positive in your life.
The quickest and easiest way to do so is to focus it on appreciating what you do have.
A favorite of mine during this step is the important things we may sometimes take for granted. Like for instance:
A warm home and a roof over your head.
Plenty of drinkable water.
Not having to go hungry.
Access to the internet (and perhaps
your own place to express yourself ).
Your friends and family.
Spend a few minutes on this and you’ll find much to be grateful for.
Step 3: Focus on what you can do right now.
With your attention in the present moment and your mood a more grateful and positive one it is now time to get constructive about what frustrates you.
You can do that by asking yourself:
What is one small step I can take right now to improve this situation?
It may be to see what you can learn from what frustrates you and to try another path towards your goal.
Or it could be to try one more time and to keep going (because not all things in life will come to you the first, second or third time you try).
Or it could be you simply realizing that you may have taken on a bit much lately or things have been tough and that you need to take this evening or a few days to just relax, take care of yourself and perhaps simplify a bit.
So that you can recharge and then get back into moving towards what you want out of your life in a more focused way.
Make note of your triggers and see what you can do about them.
What triggers your frustration?
Is it when your partner doesn’t take out the trash as you had agreed? Or when you’re not making progress as fast you like with your career or hobby? Or when your phone’s interrupting your work all too often?
Whatever it might be, first ask yourself:
What can I do to prevent this trigger in the first place?
For example, put your phone in silent mode or airplane mode and then get back to people during 1-3 scheduled times throughout your workday.
If you can’t prevent it then ask yourself:
What can I do to reduce the frustration caused by this trigger?
For instance, if you get frustrated with delays or waiting time while on your daily commute then ask your friends or google for answers for how others handle this common issue.
You may discover that one helpful solution is an audio book or podcast to listen to divert your attention and to get something good out of the situation while you’re waiting.
Remember: you’re human (and so is everyone else).
Perfectionism towards yourself or others does most often lead to plenty of frustration and disappointment. So set your standards both for others and yourself at a human level rather than at perfection.
Accept that sometimes you will make mistakes, have setbacks and not reach your goals when you’d like to. And so will people around you too.
We can all talk about plans and what we want to do but we can all also talk about obstacles that may prevent us from doing what we wish to do. These obstacles can be of many flavours some coming at us out of the blue, and some driving toward us with a huge head of steam. But, are these obstacles insurmountable?
Several years ago, we had a plan; it was a plan to move out of the city and buy a country property. The next part of the plan was to live without debt using my small pension as our source of income.
The First Obstacle
The first obstacle came after we decided to finally make the move and that obstacle was finding a suitable country property that we could afford. We started to look through the real estate listings online and thought we had found a really good candidate. Because I was busy at the time, Catherine was the one who flew to our
potential new property to have a first hand look. Fully expecting a positive outcome, we had started to make the final arrangements to leave our jobs and start to pack. But, it wasn’t to be. The phone call I received after her property review told the story in very clear terms – the property was totally unsuitable for a whole bunch of reasons.
What had started out as a new adventure that was supposed to go quickly in finding a property now became an obstacle. So, what did we do? Give up? Decide to stay where we were?
A Set Back
While this was not the end of the world, it was a set back to the timing of our plans. So, instead of forgetting about a country property we decided to keep looking and alter our time line instead. To make a long story short, it took us two years of weekly visits to the real estate listings before we finally found three properties that might be suitable.
The Next Step
The next step seemed obvious; we had to take some time off work and drive down to see these properties. So, off we went for our little drive and after 15 hours of steady driving, we arrived. The next three days were intense – looking, then looking again and then finally making an offer. The final story has a happy ending – we found our property, and moved several months later.
There Is A Solution
Sometimes, challenges rear up out of nowhere to dash the best of plans, and some of these obstacles can be the final play. But, if you adopt the philosophy that every obstacle has a solution, then you can find your way through. And, just to be clear, it doesn’t mean that solutions will be easy and it may mean that you will have to alter your game plan somewhat whether that is a time line, or a direction that you prefer. Sometimes, to accomplish what you want, you will need to be prepared to take the long way around because the preferred short cut is totally blocked.
The secret to getting what you want is to stick to it like a dog after a bone – you have to demonstrate
perseverance despite feelings that say it is much easier to give up. Obstacles and challenges will arise no matter who you are or what you are trying to accomplish but it is only those who know there is a solution and keep digging until they find it that will conquer the day.