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Frustrations in Business

Expectation is the mother of all frustration.

Antonio Banderas


Negative emotions inevitably follow setbacks and adversity.

For example, someone who has lost a big account, been passed over for promotion, or produced poor quarterly results is bound to feel disappointment, frustration, or anger.

For business leaders and entrepreneurs, learning how to deal with frustration in business is necessary to lead a productive and successful company. We need to find ways to address frustrations by working toward solutions and systemizing processes.

Dealing with Business Frustrations

When we get frustrated by our conditions, we inevitably end up becoming frustrated with ourselves. It can creep into every aspect of our lives, from how we relate to the people around us to how it will impact our bottom line.

The typical business model is fraught with opportunities for frustration.  Our cash flow fluctuates monthly, employees generate unnecessary issues, our clients seem irrational, and we rely on unresponsive vendors.

If this frustration builds for too long, pretty soon, we forget altogether what we were frustrated at in the first place.

At its core, the problem with frustration is the energy attached to frustration that sucks the life out of your business.  And if you’re not learning how to deal with frustration as a business owner, it’s only going to go downhill from there.

Solve the Problem

Moving back away from the problem causing the frustration is step one for finding a solution. That way, you can start to classify why you are frustrated.

Some typical business frustrations include:

  • time (there never seems to be enough of it),
  • feeling like you’re too bogged down with menial detail-work instead of bigger-picture tasks, or
  • relying on people to get things done who don’t follow through.

Once identified, it is now possible to systemize your business processes.

Systemize Your Business

The good news is that frustrations within your business are fairly easy to identify and deal with, though they may take time. Frustrations can be divided into inner and outer frustrations.

Inner Frustrations

Inner frustrations are those of a personal nature that involve your management abilities. As a result, inner frustrations take more time and energy to deal with and may also be harder to identify in the first place.

For example, you could be mad at yourself because you’ve done something poorly for so long, and you’re frustrated about not seeming able to turn the corner. Or worse, you externalize that frustration toward everybody else—the customers, suppliers, vendors, clients—everybody but yourself.

Outer Frustrations

When it comes to outer frustrations, the questions to identify them are much simpler.

  • What’s my frustration?
  • What’s the gap in the system?
  • What system is missing altogether?
  • If your frustrations begin with ‘I’, it’s about you. It’s inner directed.

If it’s about ‘them’ or ‘those people’ or ‘those lousy clients’ or ‘those suppliers’ or ‘that lousy machinery’ or ‘that way’ of doing something, you can learn how to deal with frustration by addressing it systematically and objectively.

The Bible

We live in some “trying times” right now, which have led many to feel frustrated.  And, this frustration manifests itself daily as front-page news

The Bible has several excellent examples of frustrated people.  My favorite is Jonah.  Yes, the guy who we all learned as children got swallowed by a whale.  While getting swallowed by a whale would be frustrating enough, that was not the critical part of the story.

God tasked Jonah to prophesy to the Ninevites, whom he despised and feared.  So, he tried to run away, which is where the whale comes into the story.  Nevertheless, Jonah ends up in Nineveh, prophesies doom for the Ninevites, and, unexpectedly to Jonah, they repent.

Now, according to Jonah, that wasn’t supposed to happen.  They were supposed to rebel, and then God would smite them down, much to Jonah’s glee.  Jonah was frustrated, to say the least.

Jonah was frustrated because he tried to avoid God’s call, and then when he responded, he did not do so willingly.

As Antonio Banderas’s quote suggests, the problem is the expectations that cause frustrations.  Expectations are created in our hearts.  If those expectations are of our making, they will cause frustrations even when we follow through.

But if God creates those expectations, they will cause frustration when we don’t follow through.

Work on solving your inner and outer frustrations.  But look to the expectations that are causing the frustrations, and see if they involve God.  And then turn to God for help in completely resolving your frustrations.