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Easing Frustration

Have you felt it, too?




That feeling that you’re running out of time. That you need to finish something. Drifting in nowhere. There’s an itch you cannot resist, but you do not know how to scratch it. It just makes you feel hurried and worried — “What to do? Where to go?” Until you’re too tired to function well. And you’ll end up feeling worse because you’ll feel you’ve failed.

There were times, when I was still at college, my mother will walk into my room at 4am. She’ll see me at my table, with a lamp on, laptop and papers in from of me. She’d exclaim, “Why are you still awake? What are you doing?”

To be honest I don’t know what I was doing, too. I can’t say I was doing something productive. I was just thinking. Listing down notes, ideas, things I thought I have potential in, goals. I did it repeatedly. Because I felt I needed to be someone. I have to be successful someday.

It’s harsh to feel that way. It’s like you’re a prisoner planning your way out. You feel despair. But what we don’t see is that most of it, are self-inflicted.

There were times I will lose sleep, like, I have a class at 9am but I’ll only start going to bed at 5am.

I kept wondering how I can be successful. Kept trying to figure out what I want and how to get it.

Now, I am older. I have experienced how is it to be an adult. Or at least a young adult. I learned about responsibility and independence. I suppose I matured in many ways. But more importantly, I learned that I am not what I thought I was — a kid with so many unfulfilled potentials, missed opportunities, the last one in the race, a somewhat failure.

And if you feel the same way I have felt; or will go through that phase, I hope you find these reminders helpful:

  1. Stop the comparison

They say we compare to see where we stand in life, but sometimes we take it too far. Comparing ourselves to others is hurtful at times. When we compare, we tend to copy what others do with the hope that we’ll become as successful as them, but what we don’t realize is that when we do this, we lose the opportunity to create a story of our own and define our own success. We have to learn to live by our own terms and our own pace.

2. Share what you feel

Talk to someone. Someone you feel will not judge you. Sometimes when we open up to others, we also open up to discovery and understanding of our own feelings. And most of the time when we share our most honest feelings as humans, we realize where not alone. Others have felt it too someway. And that lifts us. From feeling we’re underground.

3. Acknowledge the fact that great things take time

Frustration sometimes comes from impatience. Yes, we want things to happen, we want dreams to come true — but do we give enough time for it? Many thing in life happen in slow motion. Let’s be patient and just keep taking our steps.

4. Accept that sometimes we’re just too idealistic

We list down bucket lists, we feel we can do it all, we think we are too capable, we got all the time in the world. Sometimes we don’t foresee our limitations. We only see it after time. And because we haven’t done what we wanted to do, we feel we’ve failed. We have to accept that some days, or even months, or even a large phase in our lives, do not go as we imagined they would. Sometimes we get caught up with responsibilities or adversities. Sometimes we lose resources or motivation. We make mistakes. And we have to forgive ourselves. Don’t beat yourself up for that.

5. Just have fun

Try to forget about success and just have fun. Do the things you enjoy. Too much focus on success, on achievements, on recognition, sometimes makes us not see the other sources of happiness out there.

6. Do things for love

When we remember why we do what we do and who are we trying to help, isn’t it much lighter to work and keep going? Try to not do it for the numbers, for the percentage, for the deadline, for the title. Try to do it for love first.

Sometimes we get lost, but it’s okay. Our hearts are our compass and it will not fail to get us back to our paths. We’ll get back to our rhythm. We’ll work on our dreams. Many opportunities await us. Let’s just keep working hard and dreaming, one day we’ll cross paths with these opportunities and we’ll be able to take it.

— Jerico Silvers