“Are YOU F&*%#%@ SERIOUS?! Come onnnnnn!” “Wooooooooooow, nice signal buddy!!” “Ohhhhhh that’s right, we’re all here on your time. Thanks, I forgot.”

-Tyler Shoemaker, most days while driving.

Road rage… am I right? Anyone else?

I’ve always been a little bit short tempered. When I was younger, it was much more volatile. I remember even being sent to the elementary school counselor a couple of times for getting to “talk about why I’m upset”. Well, at the time I was upset because little Johnny stole my marker and wouldn’t give it back, but Mrs. Johnson wouldn’t let me punch little Johnny to make him give it back. So I got mad and punched the desk.

I wouldn’t even call it an anger issue, because it’s not. If I had to put a term to it, I’d call it “rapid onset frustration”(Just FYI, I made that up, but it sounds decent). Pretty much sense I can remember I’ve had to learn how to deal with the frustrations of life. Whether bullies in school, referees in sports, teachers in class, idiot drivers, or just those everyday dummies we all interact with, I get frustrated easily.

Like I said, since I can remember…that’s 27 years of this shit. I’ll admit, when I was young, it was an issue of maturity. Ok fine, well even today I might have some maturing to do, but that’s besides the point (or is it?). The point is that I’m better at managing that feeling today. Meaning that, just like everything else in life, you can control how you react to life’s frustrations.

  • Frustration: Noun
    • The feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something.

“The inability to change or achieve something.” That’s what gets me. I want to do this (objective), but this (thing, person, timeline, etc.) won’t allow me to do it!!? Ughgghhhhhg!

So what do we do? How do we deal with these emotions as they come into play? Better question, how do we cope but also use these frustrations as feedback and motivation to our ultimate goals? Here are a few suggestions I’ve found that help me.

  • Take a breath.

    • Seriously, stop for one second and take a deep breath. It does wonders. When you feel anger/frustrations, your body goes through physiological and biological changes such as; increased heart rate and blood pressure, hormone levels change, adrenaline is released and even your breathing speeds up.
    • Take a deep breath. Slowing your breathing will help start correcting your body into it’s resting physical state. While you breathe, ask yourself, is this a big deal? Am I “sweating the small stuff” as they say? For me, 95% of the time, I’m being dramatic. I just need to think about it.
  • It’s never as good as it seems or as bad as it seems.

    • One of my all time favorite football sayings. We used it as a tool going into film sessions and breaking down the games we played. For us, it meant the good plays were going to have corrections and the bad plays were going to have really good pieces, but the film would tell it like it is.
    • I think we all need to face that at times. Maybe your frustration isn’t coming from your opposition? Maybe, your frustration is coming from you?
    • Whichever the case, if you choose the mindset of “never as good or as bad as it seems” then no matter the highs or the lows you face, you’ll understand that taking a step back reveals the bigger picture.
  • What is done, can be undone.

    • This one is like a safety blanket. If you think about our lives and these journeys we’re all on, is there anything that’s truly un-doable? Barring any outlying circumstances like prison, or injury, or something wild.
    • We all face fears, doubts or frustrations, especially when starting something new. A new job, a move, a new team, whatever the case. There will be stressors that come with it. There will be those feelings that make you want to quit. Don’t. Continue on knowing that you hold the power of the situation and if it truly comes down to being miserable, you can always go back to where you started.

No matter what frustrations you face, I hope that you find coping mechanisms that work for you. We all have such limited time on this beautiful Earth that it’s inhumane to not let ourselves enjoy life. Embrace your personal Grind everyday knowing that frustrations will occur but rejoice in the fact that you have the control to understand, harness and let go of those frustrations.

Life’s a grind. Don’t trip over sand when there are mountains to climb.

Grind On.