Business Magazine

The Power of a Definition- Part 2

By Stacylrust
How to find sanity in situations that make you want to scream and stomp your feet

You can read Part 1 of this post here.

One more area where definitions can have a dramatic effect is daily frustrations. Have you noticed that daily tasks can often get us REALLY worked up and annoyed?

You are trying to meet a deadline and the printer won’t print…

You get a flat tire on a rainy day…

You find yourself in a predicament and you want to SCREAM and STOMP YOUR FEET!!

The Solution

I’ve come to notice one very important thing about situations like these- defining them will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD!

Here are few characteristics of these situations that we typically don’t think about:

  1. The situation is more complex than we think it is

    • Most of the time, we find ourselves frustrated because we hold onto a false belief that the task at hand should be easy and simple. Let go of this assumption- if a task is making you frustrated, IT IS NOT SIMPLE OR EASY! Give yourself some credit… Most tasks are complex and filled with smaller tasks and different dimensions. Take a breath and a step back, and notice all the little processes required.
  2. The situation is completely new to us and requires a tremendous amount of learning (usually in one or more areas)

    • We often get really frustrated because we hold onto the belief that we should already know how to fix the problem. Maybe the problem is common, such as a flat tire, so we think we “should” know how to do it. If you’ve never done something before or have only done it a couple of times, then YOU SHOULDN’T KNOW HOW TO DO IT! Plain and simple. You CAN’T POSSIBLY know how to do something that you’ve never done or only done once or twice, so let go of that assumption. Recognize when you are learning something new, and define it as such. Treat yourself as you would a child learning to walk- you would never condemn or yell at them, you would give them nothing but your most enthusiastic encouragement. Treat yourself this way. If you are learning something new, it is really no different than learning to walk. Congratulate yourself at every step.
  3. The situation pushes us out of our comfort zone

    • Some tasks are frustrating because they cause us severe discomfort and stress. They make us feel inadequate. Keep this in mind when you feel frustrated, and remember that part of your emotions are coming from being pushed out of your comfort zone. EMBRACE THIS! It is always good to be pushed out of our comfort zone, it helps us grow. Remember at times like these that you are BRAVE for letting yourself be pushed into uncomfortable situations.
  4. The situation is really important to us

    • Many times, when we are dealing with something that is really important to us, we find ourselves frustrated because we are so heavily invested. Remember this, and let it be a source of encouragement to you. You REALLY CARE about the end result of this task. (Even if it’s a broken printer… you probably REALLY care about the document you need to print, or the outcome that document will bring you- a new client, a good grade in a class, a new business venture, a good reputation at your new job etc.) Remember that this source of frustration is coming from a really positive place- engagement, hard work, and significance.

When it comes to those “little annoyances” throughout the day, we like to downplay their importance because it seems as though that will make them easier to deal with. But if we take the time to clearly define them, it is no surprise that they have become so frustrating- they are really important to us, really complex, and different than anything we have ever experienced!

So take a moment during these situations and define what you are REALLY doing: starting a business, pursuing a great education, getting a new client, learning auto mechanics, discovering the inner-workings of a printer, learning how to use a new software program, learning how to communicate with a person who is vastly different than you, etc. Let this bring you great comfort, empowerment, and reassurance.

And always remember… define your task as your grandparent would

Grandparents always have a way of giving us incredible amounts of credit. You all know what I’m talking about- grandparents always notice the little things we do and give us lavish praise, making us feel like we can do ANYTHING we set our minds to. They are always proud, and always look at our achievements with amazement. Look at your daily achievements through their eyes. Remember the big picture of what you’re actually doing on a daily basis. Be proud of yourself, and never forget to pat yourself on the back because MOST of what we do isn’t easy or simple.


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