How to Fight Frustration (by celebrating small victories)

There is a lot of work that goes in to reaching a goal or accomplishing something.  Very rarely do things go according to plan A or hit success on the exact date we schedule (or maybe that’s just me).  Sometimes we have to use an extraordinary amount of discipline and delayed gratification in order to get what we envision for ourselves.  This can lead to a boat load of frustration.

If we aren’t careful this frustration can build.  Many times it inspires a pity party , anger, or even giving up.  It can be easy to give in to the frustration but I have found there is a way to battle it. We can celebrate the small victories. It may not make the frustration totally go away (who doesn’t love instant gratification?) but we can use it to build a sense of hope and accomplishment.  It can become fuel to sustain us in our ambition.

Even if we aren't where we want to be, we aren't where we were! Click To Tweet

How to Celebrate Small Victories

Acknowledge How Far You’ve Come

Most of the time when something does not go according to plan or even takes us a step back, it doesn’t mean that we are starting from the beginning.  That means that even if we aren’t where we want to be, we aren’t where we were!  Let’s delight in the knowledge we’ve progressed.  At the very least we can at least revel in the fact that it could be worse.

Notice the Little Things That Did Go Right

Many of the things that we do in the grand scheme of things go right but we sort of take it for granted. When things go right, we can take a minute to high five ourselves (mentally or literally, no one is judging here) and be happy (I am giving you permission).

Some instances are more frustrating and victories are harder to find.  The harder they are to find, the more beneficial it is to look for and celebrate them.

I remember when one of my children was going through that teenage I-hate-my-parents-they-are-the-devil-incarnate phase.  I was working so hard to build and maintain a relationship.  I loved her so much (still do) and it felt like all she had to offer me was the death stare and a heaping ton of distain.  Then one day I was in the basement and a shelving unit fell on me.  It, of course, made a huge racket.  She was the first one to run down the stairs to help me and was genuinely concerned about my wellbeing.  She still loved me!  Boy, did I celebrate that tiny event!  It was enough of a spark of hope for me to work even harder at that relationship.  Who knew that being pinned on the basement floor would be such a positive experience?

Pat Yourself on the Back and High Five Your Friends

When we do notice the good, when we meet a partial goal, when we even just take a step toward a goal, give yourself a pat on the back (again, literally or figuratively, whatever works best for you).  Better yet, high five your friends!  This is not as weird as you think- your friends are probably tired of hearing about what is NOT working for you.  Share the good news and they will be happy for you and be a great source of encouragement.

This can be done in all areas of your life.  

In your personal life, share that great tidbit about your spouse or your children with your friends.  They already know the annoying stuff, let them be happy for you when there is good news.

In business, if you celebrate the 4 out 5 goals you did make, it will make you all that determined to conquer the 5th.

If you are working on financial goals, celebrate the $22.63 you saved on your grocery bill or the $51.00 savings deposit you made.  It gets you one step closer to where you want to be!

Health goals?  Celebrate the fact that you ran a ½ mile, even if you didn’t do the mile you committed to.  It was certainly better than sitting on the couch and you can turn it into determination to reach it the next time. Or maybe even just celebrate that you passed on the soda that day, it was a great decision!

Maybe you’re trying to learn a new skill set and you have a pile of information to go through. Applaud every time you master a new piece of that information.  This sounds vaguely like a blogger I know…  hmmmm…oh wait that’s me!

Use frustration for motivation. It is a lot easier than turning it into hurdles. Click To Tweet

Remember, frustration is always going to be there.  We are the ones who have to use it for motivation.  It’s a lot easier than turning it into hurdles.

What little victory will you celebrate today?

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