Are Your Frustrations Self-Imposed?

Did you know adults still throw fits? They do!
 
They look a little different from the toddler who throws his whole body on the ground screaming and kicking but they are very much the same kind of thing.
 
We excuse toddlers for loosing it when things get out of their control and they become overwhelmed with emotions that are challenging to process.
 
Yet, adults are expected to what?... Are we expected to always have everything inside our control and manage it all well? No, that is impossible. There will always be variables that we cannot control.
 
Frustration when things don't work out like we planned happens to everyone. It is a very natural emotion and one that keeps us always looking for ways to improve. Without it, we'd be content to deal with the crap that is dished out to us. A little frustration is good, especially if followed up with actively working to avoid the same frustration next time.
 
We are all at different levels in our ability to handle frustration. Ranging from feeling like this toddler when we are out of control, all the way to being gifted at pushing things away that MAY cause frustration, and no one is completely without it altogether.
 
We should all be growing in our skills and ability to handle stress of not having control but we are also in different areas there. Some people reach 18 years of age and stop actively growing as they are now who they have been becoming through childhood. Others, like us in this group, are relentlessly on a quest for personal growth.
 
This level too though, is different inside each of us. I may be able to handle it well when things happen outside of my control with my father, after all... he's a grown man right? But I may have far less ability to handle things when I am frustrated by my husband. He's a grown man too, so what is the difference?
 
A major contributing factor with frustration is our expectations. I have more expectations around how my husband needs to do things than I have for my father. For you, it could be higher expectations with your work, your child, or something else that frequently frustrates you.
 
Expectations should be a bad word, at least the way that we use it. Expectation by definition is "a strong belief that something will or won't happen in the future."
 
This means, unless you are a fortune teller... expectations set you up with a picture in your head of how things SHOULD go. Then, when reality comes in somewhere short of measuring up to that picture it creates a false sense of failure. This gap, is called the expectation gap.
 
You could be hosting an event for work, 100 people attending. The event space is there but at the last minute the florist won't be there so the tables won't be according to plan and neither will the stage. It was to have many plants as well.
 
Also, your keynote speaker is visibly ill. They say it's just allergies and vow to keep their distance but this is not what you had in mind.
 
Next, you learn that someone forgot the notepads and pens in the box at the office and now you'll have to hope everyone has theirs or can share....
 
This really isn't turning out like you had expected, and because of these repeat hits you are ready to lose it!
 
The truth is though, none of the attendees saw that picture in your head. You are the only one missing those things. Everyone else thinks its going great aside from a sniffly speaker and they just most feel bad for him, he's not bothering anyone.
 
In reality, your event went off just fine. Everyone had a great time. In your own head it's a disaster. This is the expectation gap. That telling the future that sets us up for added failure that we impose on ourself.
 
Keep growing in your skills to manage things outside of your control.
 
Next time you are frustrated, check in with yourself and see if the expectation gap is at play. It often is.
 
Ask yourself "What's real here?" Instead of your own perception of what is real and readjust if you need to so you are more grounded in reality when the picture in our head tells us how it SHOULD BE.
 
Join the movement! #GrowUpAlready!
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