How to change your perspective when you’re ready to give up
Are you frustrated? Who isn’t, right? Think about it — 2020 has not been the most idyllic year of the century, that’s for sure! We all had plans, dreams, and things we wanted to do, accomplish and become. But 2020 had a different plan and how we respond to that frustration is critical to our next steps and our future.
There are lots of ways you can respond to being frustrated and one of them is to give up — which is the most common response. I remember a time in my career when I was super frustrated with the company I was working for, the owners, the people on my leadership team, and other aspects of my job circumstance. So much so that, after a really challenging day I decided I’d had enough! I just couldn't take it anymore. My response? I gave up. Literally the next day, sitting in a meeting with the owners, I gave my notice (a generous 4 weeks mind you) grabbed my things and walked out the door. I gave up on 2 years of blood, sweat, tears, and hard-fought progress — and it felt good.
If you’ve been in this position before, I’m sure you understand the feeling I’m referring to. Leaving gave me a sense of relief, but also came with a wave of failure. Failure because I stopped before I accomplished all I had set out to do. Failure because I gave up…because I was frustrated. Quick decision making preys on all of us in moments of frustration, and this one was a great learning experience for me that eventually led me to an amazing career working with some awesome people.
However, frustration is real and it’s something we will likely encounter in all aspects of our lives on a daily basis. It’s how we deal with frustration that will set us apart from the status quo and allow us to rise to new understanding and learning — and giving up is not the right response.
The best way I’ve found to respond to frustration lies in asking yourself 4 questions. Yes, the answer is already within you — you just need to ask yourself the right questions to discover how you’ll overcome each frustration. And these questions will help you respond in a better way than I did!
These 4 questions should make you think! Give yourself adequate time to really think about your answers, and consider writing your answers down in a journal as you find breakthroughs in your thought process. (And yes, you should have a journal and practice journaling on a daily basis — you’ll be amazed at what it can do for you.)
Question 1: Why am I doing this?
When responding to this question, the focus should be on the purpose of what you’re trying to accomplish. What’s the purpose of what you’re doing? Discovering the purpose is critical to understanding why you’re getting frustrated and how to get past it. One of the key things you’re looking for is alignment with your values, vision, and mission for your career and your life — make sure your answer to the “why” answers the question of how this activity supports you, your company, and your growth.
Question 2: What does the future look like?
Likely one of the toughest questions to answer, but you’ll have to see into the future...or give it your best guess. If you were to do this activity, make this decision, etc — what does the future look like? You want to approach this from the most idyllic perspective. It’s your future, you get to define what it looks like in every decision you make, and this is the perfect opportunity. Defining the future gives you the opportunity to measure your success based on your ideal outcome. A lack of a vision of the future creates frustration.
Question 3: How am I going to get there?
Everyday I ask my clients this question. How are you going to get there? To get to the vision of your future, you have to know how — you have to have a plan to get you to your expected destination. Would you really set out on a cross country road trip without a map? No, of course not. So, why set out on creating your vision of the future without a plan and steps to get you there? Not having a plan to accomplish what you want creates frustration — and a lot of it!
This is where most people really stop and quit in the midst of business frustration — all because they don’t have a plan. The great thing about having a plan is that you can adjust it as you need to, as circumstances change, and as opportunities arise. It’s like taking a detour because of construction — you still get to your desired location, you just went a different way, and that’s perfectly fine. You have to be open-minded and willing to give yourself the grace needed to understand the plan may not be perfect, but it’s better than what most people have — which is no aims, no goals, and no plan of action.
Question 4: What’s my role?
Reality check! We don’t get where we want to go alone! Period. We all need help along the way, especially in accomplishing our biggest dreams and goals. But to remove the frustration from the experience, you need to determine exactly what part or role you play in the plan.
Once you know what your part is, you can get focused on who you will need along the way, who can help you, and how they can help you. Defining roles is important in life and business, and once you’ve determined the roles and responsibilities to make your goals happen, you can move forward to create the success and remove the frustration.
Stephen Covey said it best when he advised, “Begin with the end in mind.” We have to start now with the end goal in sight, and answering these four questions can remove almost all of the frustration you are experiencing, whether it’s in your life or business.
Once you know what’s frustrating you and you discover the root of your frustration, go through these questions to understand your purpose, the future, a step-by-step plan, and the roles needed to be filled. I promise you, the outcomes will be different! Let’s keep this conversation going! Visit my blog at www.sidmeadows.com/blog, and let me know how you used these questions to overcome your frustration.