How To Stop Feeling Frustrated


When we are criticized, particularly at work, our first reaction is to be defensive, yet the only way we can grow or improve is to evaluate the criticism.  You can take the criticism as a lesson for improvement, perhaps how to make something better or what not to do next time.  Or perhaps it is just to be mindful that there will be some who respond a certain way to what you are doing.


Did a customer annoy you today? Perhaps it was someone you work with.

Typically when someone angers us, offends us, irritates us, annoys us or frustrates us it is our unconscious mind is being triggered. Whatever it is that is annoying you is often something deep down inside that you resent about yourself.

It is your shadow-self reflecting back on you. Take a moment to meditate on the issue or event that has irritated you about that person. What is it that annoys you about them?  Identify when you have demonstrated the same behavior.

What do you need to do to change? What can you learn from this?


When read I read the book How To Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, I had one of those “A-ha” moments. I had always dismissed the book as being too old to be relevant, but I learnt about effective leadership. I learnt the true difference between Management & Leadership.  Managers control people and are time poor, their productivity is limited. Leaders empower people to work independently, without the micro management of a Manager, thereby increasing productivity. If you are frustrated by the mistakes or errors made by your team or an employee, you need to ask yourself where have YOU failed, not why have they failed.

A true leader sets their employee up for success, ensuring they have all the tools they need to complete the task, full instruction and understand the value, importance or priority.

Have you, as their leader, made things perfectly clear and supported their success.  Do they feel valued, empowered, motivated?  If not, you need to then ask, is the right person in the position, can their skills be better used in another area?


Sometimes your frustration can stem purely from a cycle of negative thinking and increase the level of damaging stress hormones in your system.  Why not release those love hormones (oxytocin) by shifting your thoughts to a position of gratitude.  When something frustrates you, shift your thinking.

For example:

When you ruin dinner or burn the food

  • Be grateful for the lesson you learnt (that temperature is too hot)
  • Be grateful there is more food and you are not in a starving nation
  • Be grateful you have access to food/stores nearby
  • Be grateful that this is not your career and you are not in a cooking competition, it’s just dinner!

When someone cuts you off in traffic or you are stuck in traffic

  • Could their need be greater than yours? Show compassion? Are they late for work and this could be their last chance before they are sacked? Is there an emergency? Do they feel disempowered in their life and the road is a place where they feel powerful and important? And aren’t you a humble gracious person, for letting them go before you.
  • Be grateful you have a car
  • Be grateful you weren’t in the accident (if this is the reason for the slow traffic).
  • It is better to arrive late and alive than risk death by saving a few minutes.

When you can’t be with someone you love at Christmas time

  • Be grateful for the times you have had already, appreciate their value
  • Be grateful for the people who are around you – give them some extra love
  • Be grateful for phones, skype and facebook to stay connected
  • Be grateful for the solitude that you may have.


If you feel yourself getting more and more stressed by the frustrations in your life, why not try a complimentary half hour “De-stress Phone Session

You will come away with immediate strategies to manage a key stressor in your life right now.

Click here to make an appointment time that is convenient for your schedule.

About the Author:

Barbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a time management & stress management enthusiast based in Alice Springs, Australia.  She has spent over 20 years working in time precious and stressful industries such as film, hospitality and marketing.  She has always had a burning passion for creating order and making sense of things.  She is sought after like a beacon in a sea of chaos to provide professional development in the business environment through workshop training, coaching, mentoring, online training programmes, webinars and as a guest speaker around Australia.  Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships. Follow Barbara on Twitter @barbclifford.