Frustrated Leaders? It’s no surprise to us. Frustration occurs when your needs, wants, or desires aren’t being achieved or feel like they’re going to be difficult to obtain. It’s often a result of efforts and actions not producing the desired outcomes you are looking for.
It’s one of the most common negative emotions you can feel in business – as almost 100% of our time is spent on efforts and actions to obtain the desired outcome. So if that desired outcome feels out of reach or unobtainable – boom! There’s that all too familiar feeling of frustration.
However, feeling excess frustration can be detrimental to both your business and your personal health. Not only is it difficult to grow a business when results aren’t being achieved; experiencing frustration too often results in fatigue, disinterest, and resentment – productivity killers in the workplace.
Inside, you want to focus on leading from a place of peak performance. You want to feel energized and creative. You can be innovative and confident in your efforts. Leading from this positive state helps make things feel ‘easy’, and allows you to strive for bigger and better goals. Who doesn’t want that?
While it’s impossible to prevent frustration completely (wouldn’t it be nice if everything went the way we wanted it to?) – there are some strategic thoughts and behaviors we can implement to help us focus through the frustration and change our mental state around it. This results in more productivity, more results, and better business health.
Here are three strategies you can use to focus through frustration, limit the amount of time in that negative mindset, and return to a productive, results-oriented state.
BUILD FRUSTRATION TOLERANCE
Building your tolerance to anything allows you the ability to withstand more, go longer, and do more. If you want to run longer, you need to work on building your tolerance by doing more running sessions, right?
Often called “exposure therapy”, you experience small, controlled doses of the stress indicator to develop better, stronger coping skills.
You can practice this by making a list of all the everyday situations that cause you to get frustrated. Then when these situations naturally occur, take note of your internal experience. Who triggered it? What expectation were you hoping for that isn’t happening? Where there physical symptoms can you note? Do you see any patterns?
The small act of working through the experiences and changing your thought process gradually will help build your tolerance and allow frustrated leaders to quickly move on to a more positive state.
KNOW WHEN TO SHIFT YOUR FOCUS
Oftentimes, the lack of results is simply not within your control. Like traffic. You want to get to work at 8am, but traffic is heavy and you’re going to be late, which is causing you frustration in the car. The reality is you can’t make traffic disappear – so you can’t make the result of being on time happen. So what can you do?
You can try to shift your focus. By changing your thoughts to a different project or effort with a different desired outcome, you can shift back into productivity and reward mode.
So in our example of being frustrated at being late; try to shift your focus to other actionable activities. Perhaps you can conduct a call while on the drive. Or use the time to plan your priority list for the day. Shifting your focus (checking off that phone call or feeling confident in your to-do list) will help you leave the frustration behind and back into being productive and motivated for your day.
CHUNK IT UP
The third tactic we recommend for frustrated leaders is to chunk it up. Oftentimes it can feel frustrating if a project seems overwhelming or too big to complete. We as humans have a tendency to look at an entire project or problem, instead of first thinking of it in actionable steps.
Being strategic and setting achievable goals is a key process we recommend to businesses and leaders. Because having smaller goals that you achieve daily helps create a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue.
CBT often uses the tactic of breaking a situation into achievable goals. Breaking a big project into smaller tasks will help you build momentum and release the frustration. The small wins give you a boost of endorphins along with hope and energy that you can harness to keep moving forward in a positive mindset.
Whether you’re building a business, leading a team, or simply looking for ways to improve your own performance at work – it’s clear that frustrated leaders can be a huge roadblock to productivity if not handled properly.
Try one of these three techniques to help you alleviate the negative feelings, focus on actionable tasks, and return to a more productive state of being.
Doing this puts you back in the ‘flow’, where you find yourself effortlessly tackling projects, leading with ease, and accomplishing what needs to be done, all while enjoying the process.