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Frustrated? Back up. Instead of sitting in that same old ditch, do something about it.

frustrated back up

What is frustration?

Frustration is a socially acceptable word for anger. So think about that for a minute. If you’re feeling “frustrated,” ask yourself what you’re mad about. Are you mad because you’re not making enough progress? Or enough money? Or maybe you’re not getting the respect you deserve. And notice that these are just three examples of why you might be mad. But here’s what’s happening when you’re angry: there is something missing.

Go back. What’s missing?

This is the question you need to ask as soon as you get “frustrated.” What’s missing? From the examples above, what’s missing is progress, or money, or respect. So take a minute right now and ask, “What’s missing?” Let’s say it’s progress. You’re feeling a lack of progress, and you’re frustrated about that. So the next question is: why?


Please stay with me — we’re almost there. In this example, the question you need to ask yourself is, “Why are we not making enough progress?” And then have the balls to say why. And if the reason is because of you, you need to make a change. Maybe it’s because you’re procrastinating again. Or maybe it’s because you don’t have enough information. But there is a reason why you are the reason that you’re not making progress. And instead of being angry about it, face it. But what if the reason why you’re not making progress is because of someone else? Then — again — you’ll need to grow some balls and go talk to the person or people who are holding you back.

Frustrated? Back up.

So — did you notice what we’re doing here? We’re doing the simple and powerful act of backing up. We backed up from the nice way of saying it (frustration) to the real cause (anger), and then moved on to asking another question (what’s missing?) and then digging deeper (why is this missing?) to making a plan to deal with it (who and what needs to change?). All of which is the simple and powerful action of backing up. So — frustrated? Back up.

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