Is Frustration Your Affliction? [episode 28]
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Welcome back! The topic of this Unleash Your Power session is pretty meaty because it deals with something that plagues each and every one of us….frustration.
Good old frustration… we’ve all been there from time to time. But this is not a conversation about the isolated hair-pulling, teeth-grinding incident, but about the chronic frustration that may derail you on a regular basis. “Is there a cure?” you ask. Of course!
To remedy this affliction, you must first understand frustration at the most basic level. So let’s answer the primary question “What is Frustration?” with the following definition: ‘To prevent from accomplishing a purpose’.
It’s plain to see that feeling frustrated is merely a symptom, not the problem itself; the underlying issue actually being the prevention of “purpose”. And purpose is ‘the objective for which someone exists’.
A sense of purpose is something that countless people, just like you and me, are either lacking entirely or have ongoing confusion about. And frustration will continue as long as you neglect its source… so stop circling the obstacle and turn it over to see what’s been living beneath it all this time!
When you do that, you’ll come around to the juiciest question of all. “What’s the purpose of my life?” That’s the proverbial question we all have to ask ourselves sooner or later, if not over and over again. Only when you know how to answer that question, will you fully resolve frustration at its source.
Like so many things, discovering your purpose is a process. But even small steps towards clear purpose can begin to alleviate the symptoms of frustration. Frankly, there’s no good reason for any step along your way to be taken alone which is why we all need to find strong allies, mentors or coaches. Some years ago I finally hired my own coach because of her specialty with supporting writers.
You see, I’d wanted to write for years but felt thwarted by huge life changes, parenthood, obligations and so on. I only began to write my first articles as homework to be seen by no one other than my coach. I wrote them never knowing who else might see them and certainly not with the thought that I would later become a coach myself, much less a podcast host and blogger; all as a result of my first attempts at writing.
So the work I did with that coach meant setting a goal: to write just ten articles while juggling single parenthood, divorce, full time work and deep spiritual healing. I wrote about the things that interested me, perplexed me and rewarded me. Having an accountability partner that I knew would be holding me to my commitment was an integral part of taking those first important steps.
And after reading my early articles, her comments changed the course of my life. She said “Did you know you’re a coach?” “What?” I replied. And she repeated “You’re a coach!” “Just read what you’ve written and you’ll see that coaching is exactly what you’re doing!”
It was her valuable input and support that lead me to later pursue my coaching certification and to discover my purpose of healing with the powerful medicine of words because compassionate language is unequalled in its ability to inspire positive change.
What I love about that story is that is so clearly illustrates how the path to purpose is steeped in wonder because all paths to our future require the courage to enter the unknown; not knowing what you’ll find and, more importantly, not knowing what will find you!
Part of what makes my work so meaningful is the opportunity I have to empower people like you to live YOUR life on purpose. It’s interesting that the meaning of the term “on purpose” literally means “by design”.
So, are you ready to live your life by design? To do that, you must first accept that there’s no predicted outcome for your life based on your history. Once you get that, you’re then free to powerfully imagine your purpose through the creative design process. Just think of it as Dynamic Dreaming! Yes, it’s up to you because no one else can tell you what your purpose is! How wonderful, how thrilling… how unbelievably scary!
Wouldn’t be easier if we were just told what to do? Well, we were… by our parents, teachers, friends and bosses and all the while we were wishing for true autonomy. Oh, the sweet flavor of self-determination. Freedom at last!
I hereby confer upon you the power to design your way to the boundless, unique, expansive and delicious life that’s yours to be claimed through creative action.
You have, this very moment, been liberated to pursue a life that’s so happy it isn’t respectable! Isn’t that funny to think that we should limit our joy and brilliance to satisfy the narrow definitions placed upon us by others? I tried that to no good end and I’m guessing you have too! Let’s try it another way…
Creating and eventually manifesting your design is not only incredibly entertaining, but is your duty to yourself and all life around you. For when you are living on purpose, you’re being wholly yourself, completely in your power, being in your delight which is the single, best way to live by brilliant example.
When you are THAT engaged in shining your light, you’re equally an outstanding parent, worker and citizen for everything will grow in your radiance. Indeed, the many shadows of the world command that you illumine the darkness before you as an integral function of your true purpose.
It was Harold Thurman Whitman who said:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs – ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Here’s my challenge for you:
Step 1: Recognize that purpose will change as you evolve, so be fluid with your plan.
Step 2: Expect many possible directions because all creative work is a process. So just relax into the knowledge that your life might look far different than what you imagined. Choose not to judge that you don’t have “the answer” by now.
Step 3: Make friends with the unknown by setting aside 20 minutes a day to explore whatever you feel like doing in that moment (*not what think you should be doing, but what feels like play, think “I am playing on purpose”. This step is about experiencing the powerful flow of life energy that’s always available to you!)
Step 4: Start noticing patterns in your play time: what do you repeatedly return to and why?
Step 5: Take notes of how you experience different activities or areas of interest.
Step 6: Begin to plot your map to purpose by indicating milestones of clarity, development and progress.
Keep in mind that setting aside your Playing On Purpose time is most effective when it take its rightful place at the top, I repeat the top, of your to-do list. This kind of personal effort is NOT the reward you give yourself for finishing everything else.
Playing is critical to making friends with the unfamiliar or uninitiated facets of your self. You’ll learn to stop fearing what you don’t know by bridging the distance between the current and future expressions of yourself.
Remember, play time is not your perk, but your work. It’s work that no one but YOU can do and, by avoiding it, you’ll only perpetuate frustration and a lack of purpose.
By committing to the steps above, you’ll begin to connect the dots; eventually mapping out your future from what first appeared to be faraway points and unreachable destinations.