Frustration: The shortcut to failure

Frustration is the real enemy that thwarts our attempts towards success. It can also be used to motivate yourself but you need to be very careful in such an endeavor.

Here’s a failure scenario:

Sam is a young man who wants to get rid of chronic negative thinking. So he reads some mind management techniques online and finds motivation. He decides that he is going to be a changed man free from negative thoughts and starts applying the techniques he’s learnt with rigorous zeal. His first attempt fails; he perseveres. His second attempt fails; he perseveres. His third attempt fails and he gets disappointed but not discouraged; he perseveres. His fourth attempt fails; he begins to get frustrated. Doubts about success begin in Sam’s head. But he still decides to forge ahead. His fifth attempt fails. This time Sam gets really irritated. Somewhere he begins to believe he would never succeed. He decides to try once more. His seventh failure breaks his resolve. He bursts out in frustration. In frustration he gives up and concludes that negative thinking is a part of his nature and there is nothing he can do about it. Instantly he is barraged with a volley of negative thoughts to ‘prove his point’.

Doesn’t this scenario sound familiar or, perhaps, even personal?


Frustration is a double edged sword. We can use it to motivate us or to…well, frustrate us! We need to use it carefully or keep it at bay altogether. For frustration easily thwarts our attempts to change ourselves.

When we are attempting to resolve an issue within, say like negative thinking or anger, we are in fact attempting to change a belief or trying to get rid of a strong habit that is coming from the subconscious mind. Now the subconscious, though an extremely powerful part of our mind, cannot discriminate right from wrong. So any suggestions put into it, provided there are no opposing stronger beliefs, it simply executes that belief like a computer executes a program. The subconscious makes our beliefs true and keeps on doing it until we alter the beliefs. So it is but natural that it takes consistent conscious effort on our part to resolve these issues. But it is also natural that as humans we tend to get impatient. However, if we let that impatience and frustration convince us to give up working towards an issue then we can never be free from our problems.

The second reason why frustration comes so easily is because of a false belief that we all tend to hold. We believe that when we fail all our previous efforts towards resolving an issue are wasted and, essentially, “we are back to square one”. That is a false belief. And that very belief is enough to keep us forever in the issue loop.

We tend to assume efforts to change ourselves is like building a house of cards and one failure will cause the entire structure to come tumbling down. We exercise self-control for a long time and then suddenly the issue bursts out, and we think all our efforts have been wasted. Not a single resource in life is wasted by our mind. Every effort we put towards self-healing is a real learning for our mind as well as our body. We never ‘go back’ on an issue. We are constantly moving with every moment in life. Are we moving out of the issue or are we pulling ourselves deeper into the quagmire is the real question. Frustration only pushes us deeper into the issue.

The very knowledge that our efforts can never be wasted and that frustration is the real enemy can give you the power to overcome your frustration. Just carry this awareness in your head and constantly remind yourself of it in every attempt to change yourself. Next time you find frustration peeping into your head, just wag your finger at it and tell it get out. It is very easy to do once you learn frustration is the real enemy for success.

Setbacks are a part of life. Failure only comes when we actually give up.

Photo courtesy: From Photo by ‘graur razvan ionut’

8 thoughts on “Frustration: The shortcut to failure

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