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“Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success.” – Bo Bennett
I am a performing artist. Frustration can run rampant, whether it’s in the form of constant auditions and job interviews, unreliable sources of income and – not to mention – any personal frustrations that may prevail on a daily basis.
Frustration in any form is not just relevant to me or my performing colleagues. It is universal amongst most of us in the fast-paced careers and personal success driven world we live in.
But how can we accept frustration and turn it into a positive action, or even potentially turn it on its head to yield successful results?
Here are four tips on dealing with frustration:
1.) Believe In The Power of Positivity
Dealing with frustration can turn even the most menial tasks to that doomsday feeling. For me, going to auditions is a fact of my life’s work – but they can end up being demeaning, demanding, and altogether soul-sucking.
It can quickly turn my career path, as well as something that gives me great joy, completely sour. So when frustration yields its ugly head, I have learned to give it a positive spin with the power of positivity.
Frustration in these situations is an immediate red flag for me to change my mindset. I remember that this audition is my chance to perform today; that it is a career path I have chosen willingly; and, that I have booked many jobs in the past to warrant embracing the process to get them.
Most importantly, it is also the opportunity to show future employers my passion and talents. In turning my frustrated thoughts on its head using positive reasoning, my angst immediately disappears. My joy, love of what I do, and the reasons why I do it, come back to the surface.
Frustration can work for you too, in a similar manner, regardless of your field of work or reasoning behind the frustration. Just use it as a sign to proactively and consciously change your mindset in a positive way. Even with ONE positive reaction will warrant results.
Don’t get me wrong: I realize that this may be easier said than done. But certainly practicing the approach in dealing with frustration will allow you to melt it away even more quickly – or possibly not affect you in a similar way in the future.
2.) Take Stock of WHY You Are Frustrated
Is your frustration in response to an action you did? Or is it to an event that is surrounding you? Take your frustration and use it as a learning tool. So that in the next instance you see it occurring, you can approach the situation differently, or avoid it entirely.
Supporting myself and paying bills in between gigs can lead to frustration and sleepless nights. Instead of losing those much needed eight hours of REM, if I know I’m going to be in between gigs, I immediately start to budget for my needs and hustle for side gigs that can get me through.
In dealing with frustration, you can take charge and change the outcome. This has been an important learning experience to build positive actions.
3.) Find or Create a Support System
Find like-minded individuals or create groups to help you in dealing with frustration. This is the basis of support groups, the work of life coaches, consultants, and more. I’ve been a part of many support groups and have met with numerous life coaches to get me through hard times and career obstacles.
Overcoming these frustrations even became an inspiration for me to start a new performer-based consulting business to help others. Like those wonderful individuals who inspired me to keep working through disappointment, I could now impart my knowledge in facing the same challenges in the performing arts field.
Don’t be shy about getting help. Not only will this help you work through your frustrations, you’d also be building networking opportunities, a friend base, and a cheering squad.
You may even find a new career like I did, and receive renewed inspiration to tread new paths you never even thought about taking.
4.) Use as a Catalyst
Let frustration be a tool for proactive action to get past it. Use it to say “I can conquer this and keep pushing through.” Allow it to be the match that, figuratively speaking, lights the fire in you to come up with plans and goals to get through anything. It can become the catalyst for great things to come.
I know I get frustrated when people say or think I can’t do certain things as a performer (when I know all too well I can). That frustration becomes a catalyst to say “well, then I will show you I can”. This mentality has allowed me to conquer things beyond the scope of what I even thought was possible in my talents, career, and life in general.
Little did those naysayers know I could have made it this far years ago. But again, if it wasn’t for the frustration I received in having those people in my life, I probably wouldn’t have been motivated to work towards where I am today.
5.) Frustration Is Life’s Way of Remembering Your Passions
Lastly, keep in mind that if you are dealing with frustration, it’s probably because you also care and/or are passionate about the thing that’s frustrating you. If you didn’t, you certainly wouldn’t be frustrated.
Remember that it’s your mind working to bring your passion back to the surface. Although it may cause some bumps in the road, it is a good indication that you are still on the right emotional track.
As an artist who’s building my brand and entrepreneurial endeavors, new frustrations is part of new opportunities. However, knowing that these are the results of hustling as hard as I can in pursuing my passions and goals, I wake up each day with joy and the feeling of accomplishment.
Use frustration as your passion indicator. Let it work to re-inspire, motivate, and help steer your course to your own personal success. Let it lead to positive action to create the life your soul imagined.