Pay-off: learn the vital missing piece to solving your frustrations
Investment: 4 mins
There are many reasons why you might be frustrated when faced with a challenge or situation. But this is the one I most commonly see that frustrated people tend to overlook. I’d go as far as to say that it’s the real reason they’re frustrated.
Here it is: It’s finger pointing at the part of the problem that you can’t do anything about.
Nearly every day I come across frustrated finger-pointers who insist that their frustrations are caused by other people or other things. It’s weird, it’s never anything to do with themselves. Trouble came to them. Or so they tell themselves. You know why they think that? Ego.
It doesn’t take a genius to realise that getting anywhere close to solving a problem that’s causing you pain or frustration, requires first identifying what’s within your control.
Now, some of you will know that I usually work with non-sales people who have found themselves in a situation where they’re expected to contribute to selling. And it can be frustrating for them. (And I get that, I really do.) But what follows is the right way to handle that. A way that will make you far better off. The wrong way is to sit and complain about it.
The buttons and levers in front of you are available to improve your situation. But overlooking them and pointing elsewhere puts the very external thing (or person) you’re pointing at – and complaining about – in control. Often, when you point at someone else as the source of your problem, you’ll find that whilst you’re busy pointing, the pain they seem to be causing you gets worse, not better.
You’re literally putting any hope of a solution out of your control, becoming powerless, and turning yourself into a victim. Nice work.
So what’s the fix?
The fix is to take charge. Any time you’re less than happy with anything, switch it on. Take charge.
By telling yourself to ‘take charge’. And reminding yourself, “it is what it is (at this stage) – so what am I going to do about it?”
Run that line of code through your mind’s programming and see what happens next.
What if I don’t know what to do about it?
You just need a few more lines of code through your mind’s programming to increase your chances. Here they are:
1. What could I do about it?
2. What else? And what else?
3. How could I influence this for the better?
4. What’s the RIGHT THING to do?
The fourth one is important. Trying to identify the RIGHT THING to do will pay off in more ways than you can probably imagine.
But how do I find the RIGHT THING to do?
You could run these lines of code through your mind’s programming:
1. If a smart, courageous, kind, honest, confident person faced this, what would they do?
2. What would I advise a capable person to do in this situation, if I knew they’d pull it off?
3. What’s my mission here? What’s the RIGHT THING to move that forwards efficiently?
How can I be sure it’s the RIGHT THING?
Well, this is life. You’re a human, (despite how I’m currently treating you). Which means you can’t possibly know for sure if it’s THE RIGHT THING. But neither do you have to. This (and life) is all probabilistic. You just want to increase your chances and keep moving. But if you want a clue that you’re onto the RIGHT THING, here’s one:
Most of the time, you’ll feel resistance to the RIGHT THING. If you didn’t, you’d probably have already done it. But you haven’t. And that’s why you’re in pain experiencing the effects of the problem.
The RIGHT THING is the thing you should do that’ll take care of things, and improve your situation in the longer term, medium term, and shorter term, and you know in your gut that really, you should do it whether you feel like it or not.
That’s the one.
When you’re there – don’t aim for perfection, the clock’s ticking – the only next step is to crack on with it. Get it done.
What if I can’t do that thing?
Well, it’s the WRONG thing then isn’t it? Because you can’t do it. No, you want to be choosing something you can do.
OK, what if I can do it but I’m struggling to crack on with it?
That’ll be the resistance you’re facing. The right thing to do is to beat that resistance. I’ll tell you one thing; time doesn’t tend to improve that. (Or if it does, it’s random, lucky, and out of your control again.) No, time usually makes the resistance grow. Moving fast is the remedy.
These lines of code could be useful:
1. If I had just 5 minutes to get this done, or make an initial sizeable dent in it, what would I do?
2. How could I break this down into steps so easy that I couldn’t possibly say ‘no’ to them?
3. Fact: I feel the resistance only when I pause to look at it. But once I start on the RIGHT THING and I immerse my mind in actually doing it, I don’t have the headspace to think about how painful it would be to do it…because I’m busy doing it. Right?
The key then is to simply begin.
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