Frustrated? Join the club

I spend a significant amount of my time being frustrated. According to psychologists, frustration is an emotion that occurs in situations where a person is blocked from reaching a desired outcome. So pretty much, it’s to be expected for business owners. If you set any goal (never mind lots of goals) you will be met with adversity, challenges, hurdles, obstacles and setbacks on route to achieving your goals. Throw in a bunch of other people (your team) that you must lead and manage and motivate and hold accountable and you are guaranteed even more frustration. Ultimately you need your team to achieve your goals, but they are just are human beings with their own lives, hang-ups, quirks, flaws and frustrations of their own. Somebody once said God must have a sense of humour if he created us. It applies doubly to business owners.

Here’s the thing. Frustration has a positive energy to it. It isn’t passive. It’s proactive. A sign that you are moving, trying, doing things and massive action is a key to success. So frustration isn’t a problem. It’s how most people think about frustration that trips them up. If you think frustration is the result of you somehow doing something wrong, then you need to stop beating yourself up. You’re simply misinterpreting the message the universe is sending you. There are no business owners on the planet who are running a successful business without any frustration. If you have a business, you have problems. That’s as sure as taxes. Your frustration is there to help you. It points the way. It highlights what needs your attention. That is its purpose. So it’s helpful to think of it in a positive light rather than wish it away. Here’s my mantra, that I picked up from Tony Robbins years ago; Frustration leads to breakthrough. That pattern of thought will help you. Now every time you feel frustrated your brain reminds you that you are near to a breakthrough, you’ll start looking for breakthroughs and you will find them. Useful stuff, this practical psychology.

There is no getting around the fact that what we are doing here and what you are attempting to achieve with your practice takes hard work. It is difficult. The sooner you make peace with that fact and go ahead and commit to your goals for your practice and your life regardless, the happier and more successful you’ll be. But you must commit. Most practice owners out there don’t commit to their goals and as Henry David Thoreau said are living lives of ‘quiet desperation’. Plodding along. Not content but afraid to change. Afraid to commit.

We occasionally get a new member who joins Optical Success Academy because they’re frustrated with their current results, they want to change, they see the potential and are excited about a bigger, brighter future version of their practice and life. But then less than 3 months later they are gone. They have given up. They tell themselves that it’s too hard and they go back to plodding along and ‘quiet desperation.’ And I think “Is that all you’ve got? Where’s your stick-to-it-iveness? It that all the effort your dreams and goals are worth to you?” For example, if you’re frustrated that you don’t have enough time, it’s a sign you need to change your approach to time management. You need to stop doing some things. And you need to start doing some things. And you need to commit to fixing the issue no matter what. And you maybe need to stop beating yourself up so much and think accurately about the fact that achieving anything worthwhile is hard work.

Most people give up on themselves way too early. And they underestimate their own worth and their own potential.

Growth always happens in an area that you are unfamiliar with. It happens in a space that is unknown to you. Here’s an illustration of the self-imposed limits we put on ourselves versus the real limits. The way you get to your real limits is by committing to your goals and accepting that frustration is part of the process for getting there.

Never forget this and don’t let a little frustration cause you to lose sight of your potential and that your goals for your practice and your life are worthwhile.

The Future is Bright!