Many women live in the realm of frustration. You always want to be further ahead, have more done, and of course, be more successful. However, there is GOOD frustration and BAD frustration.
Specifically, GOOD frustration shows up when you have a distinct aim with tangible targets and benchmarks. Good frustration drives us forward to achieve each goal, so we stay on target. It's the little extra fuel we need. This keeps us from binge-watching Netflix instead of pursuing our passions and goals.
BAD frustration can show up during chaos and confusion. These act as signal flares to show we are stuck and need a breakthrough to move to the next level. If we ignore chaos and confusion, we breed a kind of frustration that makes us snippy, nasty and depressed. When we settle down into this miasma of self-pity, we are on course for some terrible days. Because if we stay stuck here, we degenerate into moaning, whining, self-haters. Hope can't live here. And if hope can't live, we can't create anything powerful and beautiful.
The splendid news is that once you identify the chaos, you know that something incredible is just around the corner.
“Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.” Chuck Palahniuk
Fuel for the Journey
There is an art to developing a positive, hopeful outlook that lives in confusion. It requires the discipline to show up each day, despite the feeling you don't know where to turn.
It's what compels a writer to sit down and pound out 1000 words, even though she feels entirely uninspired.
Or for example, an athlete who continues to get up early to train, especially on the days she wants to stay in bed. And my favorite illustration is the woman who wants to lose weight and keeps looking for a way, even and especially when the old ways don't work. (Ahem...I'm talking about me.)
First Steps Out of Bad Frustration
Step into the middle of the chaos and confusion, embrace the frustration and pray.
Yes. I said pray. Because for a Christian, there is only One Source of Divine Direction - the Holy Spirit. What I'm telling you is to claim the promises of God.
"Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21 NLT
"And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and He will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but He will overwhelm your failures with His generous grace." James 1:5 TPT
Even science talks about the Chaos Theory. It is the "science of surprises." It's where the Butterfly Effect was born: a butterfly flapping its wings in Mexico gives birth to a hurricane in China. Bizarre? Yes. But oh so interesting to consider.
But you can't stop at prayer and science! YOU MUST DO THE WORK!
Whatever you hear...do something with it. Just as a sculptor grabs a lump of clay and fashions it into a beautiful work of art, or a dish for your soap, the critical thing is to mold your life. Clarity and confidence only arrive when you take steps forward. Frustration transforms into traction and you climb up and out of the pit.
Frequently, you'll face days when the effort feels too hard. On other days, you will soar. But eventually, you have that lightbulb moment, feel the rocket boosters kick in, and know it was all worth it.
And finally, remember Dory's incredible truth...