Iwonder if the title of this post reveals my age. After all, it takes many years of allowing yourself to become frustrated before you just stop it. That's where I am at this point in my life. After nearly 16 years in business, and a few gray hairs (thanks mostly to my offspring), I rarely become frustrated anymore.
As an entrepreneur, there is no shortage of things to be frustrated about. Slow sales days, the printer is on the fritz, the product labels look awful, I cannot figure out how to use the latest shiny social media thingy …
It all still happens to me, but these days, I just don't let it get to me like I once did. And it's not just because I'm a certain age or have been in business for a certain number of years.
It's because I made a decision. I decided not to let anything frustrate me to the point where I stop enjoying my day. Period.
Let's dig beneath the surface for the gold. Here are proactive ways to minimize the frustration in your life.
Change what you can change
You can always change your circumstances for the better.
While you're not in total control of your life, you are in total control of how you respond to every single thing that happens in your life. This empowering realization is your constant companion, and it will help you move quickly past any frustration.
Do you hate the company that hosts your website? You can switch.
Are you unhappy with your children's behavior? You can lay down the consequences, enforce them, and let them decide what to do based on which set of consequences they prefer.
Are you so angry with your spouse that you could leave him or her? Well, you can.
Some circumstances can be changed more easily than others, but you can still change them if you want to live with the consequences of doing so. It's up to you, so why become frustrated? Just look at the situation, assess the options going forward, choose one, and keep on paddling.
Solve what you can solve
You can solve problems, instead of complaining about them.
When I was more wet behind the ears in business, when things didn't work the way I wanted them to, I fixated on my frustration and kind of “stewed” over my situation. I wasted no time venting to anyone who would listen. I allowed my frustration to sap my energy so much that there was no energy left to actually solve my problem — which just ensured that it would happen again.
Today, it's a different story, and it can be the same way for you. Pinpoint why you are frustrated, and quickly move into problem solving mode. How can you solve the problem? If you cannot solve it, how can you learn from it and prevent it from becoming a problem in the future? That is energy well spent!
Plan what you can plan
You can plan ahead, even when you don't think you need to.
Early in my business, I planned what I absolutely had to plan, and let everything else kind of fall into place. Lucky for me, it usually did. For example, I planned big events in my business, but not my day-to-day social media strategy. I planned to publish a newsletter on a certain day, but I didn't do a very good job of planning what I would actually put in it until the last minute. I learned fairly quickly not to do this. You can plan better too.
I still have to remind myself to solve the problem instead of just complain about it. (Complaining just feels so **good** sometimes!)
Once you start planning pretty much everything, a huge burden will lift from your shoulders. Taking the time to plan well helps you anticipate potential snags that might surprise you down the road. This saves time and shields you from more of life's last minute hassles that add up to big problems and more frustration.
Donna Maria, Indie Business Network
Accept what you cannot change
At those rare times when you cannot change your circumstances, you cannot plan your way around a nasty outcome, and all the planning in the world won't spare you a particular hassle, you can just embrace and accept what you cannot change — without complaining.
Easier said than done, I know. Just remember — to minimize frustration, change what you can, solve what you can, and plan what you can.