Byron's Babbles


Posted in Coaching, Education, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on January 18, 2012

This past week I defended my research proposal (successfully I might add) as part of my Doctoral journey. At the end I was asked if I had any comments I would like to make about the journey. Well of course I did. For one of my comments I used the term “frustrated.” After saying that I quickly tried to correct, and said “I’m sorry, frustrated is not the correct term, I didn’t mean to sound so negative.” My doctoral committee chair quickly jumped in and said “Byron, it is o.k. to feel frustration – it’s part of the process.”

Let me tell you, as a card carrying “Positive/Possibility Thinker” it frustrated me to think I had been frustrated. So in reflecting I thought, “How can we turn frustration into a positive emotion?” Off to I went. Here’s what the website had to say: Frustration – The condition that results when an action is thwarted by an external or internal force. The blocking or thwarting of an impulse, purpose, or action (who the heck uses the word thwarted anyway?). Also, it is ironic that one of John Maxwell’s Minute with Maxwell videos was on the work frustration this week as well. Click here to watch his video and hear his thoughts on “frustration”

So here’s what I learned: When I get frustrated I need to use the impulse to evaluate my purpose and create actions that will eliminate the frustration. Really, frustration is a gauge pointing us to the next action necessary to carry out our purpose. Frustration happens to you and it happens to me so let’s harness it’s effects for positive action.

3 Responses

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  1. Julia Serafina said, on January 23, 2012 at 3:07 am

    A really interesting post! You gave me a lot of think about for a Monday morning, considering I had ironically, experienced a very frustrating Sunday 🙂 I particularly like your comment about “creating actions that will eliminate the frustration” ; and using frustration “to harness its effects for postive action”.

    I view frustration as an indicator that something is awry or wrong in my doing…which means I need to change something, take another approach, view a situation or problem from a different angle or seek help to find an alternative solution or pathway. Usually, I stop everything, step back and try to gain perspective, so I may be able to identify the source of my undoing. However, if I am too frustrated and nothing is truly working, I move on to doing something else, so that I can at least feel that I have achieved something – even if that something, is not even related. Then when I am better placed, I re-attempt to achieve what I had set out to do in the first place, however, usually with more insight and a different mindset. Its funny, how emotions can teach us a lot about our own truth. BTW congratulations on your defending your Research Proposal!


    • byronernest said, on January 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      Julia, thank you for your kind comments. I hope you found useful thoughts to turn your frustrations into creative actions to make your life better.



  2. Amber Chandler said, on February 6, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Really thoughtful synopsis on “frustration”.

    …so it’s what we do with the frustration that makes the difference. Nice!!!


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