Have you experienced a frustration-tsunami? An overwhelming series of frustrations that urge you to give up? Be reassured, there are some tricks to fight them. Breathe and read on.
Life can get tough and as an entrepreneur, chances are you face frustrations on a regular basis. Working on your market validation, running against your cash burn, boosting your growth or gathering relevant partners are only a few examples of potential frustration triggers. We all know the feeling and most of us have probably overcome it quite a few times. However, how do you cope with repetitive frustrations? The ones that make you doubt your project? The ones that bring you down and paralyze you?
Obviously, there is no magic or a one fits all formula. However, here are 5 tips that helped me stay on track during challenging times.
Go to the Balcony
Feeling frustrated because you have been trying to get that one certain client for weeks without success? Instead of letting negative feelings overwhelm you, take a step back. Famous negotiator William Ury refers to it as “going to the balcony” and “keeping your eyes on the prize” by winning perspective. The trick? Take a few seconds “time off” and become a third-party observer. Rationally assess. Have you really tried everything you could? Are you focusing on the right things? Could you act differently?
Take a break
If going to the balcony seems impossible right now: Take a break. You won’t do any good neither to yourself nor to your work if you’re merely “reacting” instead of “acting” consciously. To distance yourself sometimes requires to take a break from what you’re doing. Go for a run, call a friend or work on something that gives you satisfaction. Free up your mind from the noise that has sneaked in during those long hours wrestling with that particular pain point.
Let it out
Feeling depressed, sad, angry, terrified? It’s ok, it happens to all of us. It’s also perfectly fine if not necessary to express those feelings. Let go and acknowledge that things are not going the way you want. Be aware of emotions that rise up even if you’d prefer to ignore them. Yes, I’m referring to that “mindfulness-kinda-stuff”. However, even if you’re skeptical, try it out! You’ll be amazed how empowering it can be to realize that the anger that was taking possession of you is controllable. Because once you are aware of your feelings you can take action, let them out and be free to move on.
Even if you only say it out loud, share your issues. Reflecting on them out loud often gives you fresh perspective. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely road, but a bunch of places, be they offline or online, offer sharing opportunities such as the co-development sessions at nyuko. The idea: 4-6 entrepreneurs form a co-development group. On an alternating basis 1 entrepreneur shares one of his issues, the others being coaches. This process unlocks collective intelligence where entrepreneurs can not only share their knowledge but also their networks and experience.
Wake up darling
You have reassessed the situation, went for a run, let off steam and benefited from collective intelligence? Well, you have two choices. Either giving up or get back on track. You might have expected a complaisant ending, but hey, you’re the only person deciding whether a situation is wasting your time and money or if you are going to keep fighting for something you strongly believe in. There will always be hurdles. A lot. If it’s your dream though, the reason why waking up in the morning gets you pumped, then get up, put on your power song and get your hands dirty!