Frustration is the feeling we get when we are hindered from achieving a goal. With this in mind, we can better understand why we feel the way we do when certain things we’ve been working on don’t seem to come to fruition. I, like everyone else knows the feeling of frustration. Especially if you’re like me that has many things going on at the same times, and for a long period of time, things seem to be hanging in the air. It’s the feeling of being in limbo, you’re not there yet, but you know you’re not quite where you were before. It’s just like an airplane that missed the landing window, and is having to circle for 2 hrs before it lands. I get it, this is the feeling of frustration.
One of the things I have to learn in dealing with frustration is patience. Mind you, patience is not a passive word, rather it is an action word. Patience in it’s truest sense is to remain consistent in expectation of a desired end. I have identified three things that help me deal with the feeling of frustration. So my patient expectation involves the following:
1. Keep the vision clear. Florence Chadwick, who was the first woman to swim the English Channel both ways, in 1952 determined to swim twenty-six miles from Catalina Island to the California coastline. The weather was foggy and chilly, and she couldn’t see much of what was happening around her. After swimming for fifteen hours, she asked to be taken out of the water, but her mother, who was in a boat alongside her, told her she was close and that she could make it. Finally, physically and emotionally exhausted (elements of the feeling frustrated), she stopped swimming and was pulled out. It wasn’t until she was on the boat that she discovered the shore was less than half a mile away.
At a news conference the next day, she said, “All I could see was the fog…I think if I could have seen the shore I would have made it.” Two months later, Chadwick tried again. This time was different. The same thick fog set in, but she made it because she said that she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind while she swam.
When your eyes are set on a goal and you focus your energy and resources on attaining that goal, you will get there. Your success and achievement in life depends on a clear vision of your goals and purpose.
2. Continue working the principles. Principles never fail. I am sure that if I throw a coin up, it will come down because of the law (or principle) of gravity. There are principles of success and achievement that you may have learned, and are practicing, yet you are feeling frustrated because you are not seeing commensurate results. If it is a principle you’re practicing that has consistently produced success and achievement in the life of others, then rest assured that it will work for you.
Being born in Lagos, a maritime city in Nigeria, I’ve been able to see ships attempting to dock at the Apapa wharf. For minutes, it looks like nothing is happening as the ship tries to turn so it lines up perfectly with the pier, but eventually it does line up. I imagine the captain of the ship turning the wheels of the ruder multiple times, and to the one who has no understanding, the number of turns on the wheels does not seem to have any correlation with the degree the ship has turned. But the captain patiently works the principle, and the ship eventually turns.
Don’t give up on working success principles because they do not seem to be working. Remember patience is about being consistent in your actions, and in your expectation of your desired end. “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.” (Hab.2:3)
3. Strive to maintain the right attitude. Zig Ziglar says, “your attitude determines your altitude”. You can’t rise higher than your attitude. As you wait patiently to see the fulfillment of your goals, you must ensure you have a positive attitude. People with negative attitude will be dragged down by the weight of their attitude. Your attitude helps shape your perspective and outlook to the situations of your life, and the truth is that your perspective really determines your reality.
James Allen in his book As a Man Thinketh said, “The mind is the master weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance.” In essence, we can trace the roots of our circumstances and behavior to the thoughts that dominate our minds. If you have learned to control your thought life, you will begin to experience control of your life.
How do you do this? No matter how frustrated you feel, be sure to be an incurable optimist. Don’t let the feeling of inadequacy get the best of you. You must remain committed to fulfilling your goals, and resolve not to be discouraged. This is the attitude of faith, it holds on to the expected end irrespective of the circumstances surrounding you.
As we make plans, life happens, but as you remain faithful and committed to the goal, you character is strengthened. Patience is an element of good character, and as you work towards your goals, even in the midst of adversity, though you may be feeling frustrated, be sure to never give up!