Sometime you may feel like you're stuck on a plateau where you can't seem to get to the next level. Whether you're pursuing goals in health, business, relationships, or in a specific skill, it may be your approach to progress that is holding you back.
It may not be the strategy itself, but the way you think about your progress that is the problem.
Why you may be frustrated
If you look at what you're trying to achieve negatively because you're not constantly improving, it could lead to some pretty bad consequences.
You may stop trying as hard if you feel like your actions aren't producing great results or you may even quit.
One thing you can pretty much guarantee is that you will have to work hard (and smart) without quitting to achieve just about anything worthwhile.
So, if your frustration is one of the main problems, you have to realize where the cause of that is.
I've learned that impatience is a big part of it.
How impatience may be the problem
We live in an age where patience is becoming more difficult than ever to develop as a skill. Like for my generation (Millennials), we've always had the internet, video games, TV, etc.
As we got into our teenage years, smartphones, Netflix, social media, Amazon Prime, and other things have been built to make money by providing more convenient, instantly gratifying ways of doing things.
It's getting harder and harder to wait for anything. It won't get any easier in the future either because of how companies are learning to use notifications and other things to keep us coming back to their products or services.
So if frustration causes us to quit or not work as hard, and frustration comes from the lack of constant progress, while society makes patience even more difficult, what do we do?
The first step to dealing with your impatience
One thing you can do is look at the REAL stories of successful people. This doesn't mean looking at their Instagram feeds where everything is a snapshot of the best highlights of everyone's lives.
No, you need to read biographies, watch interviews, and listen to podcasts about what really led to the success of the people you look up to.
Why? Because you'll realize that work and patience are always a big part of achievement. You'll realize that most people struggle one way or the other and just keep moving forward before they finally figure it all out.
A few examples
Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest NBA basketball players ever, didn't just rely on his natural talent to become dominant.
In fact, he would keep shooting in practice until he made 400 shots. He would also play teammates 1-on-1 in a game to 100. Those routines sound crazy to most people, but look where it got him.
You can't have sub-par focus or patience to take that many shots or play an entire game to 100 on a constant basis.
Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors in American history, didn't just quit and try something else after failing to invent the lightbulb.
In fact, as you probably know, it took him around 10,000 tries before he found one way that worked. And look where society is today because of his patience and work ethic.
The lesson in all this is…
Impatience leads to frustration and prolonged periods of frustration lead you to work less or quit. So you have to become more patient, which is easier said than done these days.
But, just knowing how your brain works makes a HUGE difference. Knowing what the problem is and being aware of why you're frustrated can help you turn it around.
Also, you can't expect your goals to be easy. Hardly anything worth having comes easily.
And, to quote Coach Christopher Sommer, an amazing gymnastics Olympic coach, “If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals.”
You have to learn to enjoy the journey because you will spend a lot more time on that than you will at the end when you reach the goal.
Keep working. Keep failing. Keep adjusting. But, never stop or let yourself get frustrated. And stop trying to do things in unrealistic time frames. Slow, steady progress is what top achievers thrive on.
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