David S. Isaac, CPA

Three Steps to eliminate frustration in Sports, Business & Life

In today’s fast pace world, most people are racing towards their dreams and running from their nightmares at the same time.  Sadly, if you are like most people, you are probably trying to outrace your nightmares to the finish line. For most people, the finish line is just out of reach and almost seems like one is moving backwards while trying to move forwards.  For others, crossing the finish line wasn’t the “happily ever after” they thought it would be and for still others, the finish line is no more than a moment in time to measure your progress on your journey to reach your full potential.    One of the first things to ask yourself is “Do you focus on the finish line or do you pay attention to how you run the race?  How you run the race is everything.  You run with passion or you run with desperation.  You run with a purpose or you run aimlessly.  You run without distractions or you run with baggage.  You run with expectation of excellence or you run with frustration.

According to Mirriam Webster Dictionary frustration is defined as a deep chronic sense or state of insecurity and dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs.

There are three steps to eliminating frustration while “running” your race in life, sports or business.

1.  Where do you place your focus?  Do you focus on what you can’t control or what you can control?

Step one:  Change your focus on only the things you can control about the situation.  For example:  If you want to obtain more sales in your business, rather than focus just on more sales, focus on what are the steps, behaviors or actions that lead to obtaining more sales.  Like, setting up appointments, meeting more people, making a set number of proposals each week to potential clients.  These are the things that are under your direct control and these are some of the things when done well can lead to success.

In Sports, only focus on how you are playing.  Focus on the things you can control.  Are you executing the plays the way they are designed?  Are you playing the game with passion, anticipation of greatness, and playing in a way consistent with the game plan.  Once you allow frustration to come into your mindset, your focus becomes split between what you can’t control and what you can control.  You can’t control the last play if you were out of position, dropped a pass, missed a shot, etc.   You can control your reaction to those events and remain in control of your mindset.   A clear mind (congruence in thoughts and alignment to the teams goals) is the starting point and foundation for the potential of success.  A clear mind with passion, determination and drive to be your best and perform above your self imposed limitations is the flame that will ignite ones full potential.  And in addition to the previous two,  a clear mind with the discipline to refine & improve ones skills through continuous practicing and  performing at a standard of excellence during game time is the formula for success.  A clear mind will keep you in the game.  Distractions such as frustration will be just enough to create mistakes, poor execution and or playing below your capabilities.

Step two:  Change your focus from the larger overwhelmed thoughts to the smallest component of your thoughts.  For example, if you are thinking about wanting to contact 20 people in a sales context, just think of the first person you need to contact and only focus on that person.  If you have a a big project to complete, focus on only one aspect of that project and complete each step one aspect at a time.  If you want to clean the kitchen, then focus on cleaning only one dish at at time.  This is called chunking down in NLP.  You can chunk down tasks into smaller components, time into more manageable time units and space into smaller areas.

In Sports, you can chunk down any particular play to its smallest component in terms of a part of the play, time, and space.  You can practice one element of the play.   You can chunk down time into segments of each quarter, period, inning, etc.  Chunking down is a great tool that can lead to a clearer mind if one is getting confused by focusing on the bigger picture and thus not executing the smaller parts.  Remember, the smaller parts lead to the whole.

Step three:  It is OK to know what you want (i.e. having goals) however these goals are not under your control directly and thus can lead to frustration or even worse lowering your goals to match your current skills, beliefs and values.  Thus, the order of setting goals would be to start with “State of being” goals so that you bring in the types of States that ignite your passion and energy as you bring these states into the “doing” goals.  Behaviors, actions and tasks without having a supportive state of mind is just a robotic type of motion without emotion or even worse, not doing anything and becoming immobilized.  Thus, start with “State of being” goals, then list doing goals (behaviors, actions and tasks) that support your “having” goals.  And remember, to enjoy the journey!

This aspect of goal setting is so important, it deserves more emphasis.  Examine the type of goals you are setting.  Do you just set “having goals” (HG) such as “I want more money”, I want to win the championship this year” or I want a loving, kind and deep relationship with someone”?  Do you set doing goals (DG) that reflect the types of behaviors, actions and tasks that are necessary to lead to accomplishing your goals?  And perhaps most importantly, do you set “States of Being” goals (SG) such as being in a state of  passion, enthusiasm, excitement, focus, calmness, etc.

Most people want something and thus set having goals.  Having goals are not in your complete control.  When people do not get what they want, they step up their doing goals.  Thus the formula for most people is:  HG + DG = SG  (Happiness, passion, excitement, etc.)  This formula does not work because it is out of order.  The sequence is contrary to the concept of control.  The most effective formula is:  SG + DG= HG.    The only thing you can control is your state of mind despite the external circumstances.  Thus going into a sporting event, a business meeting or life in general, the starting point is your state of mind.  (Passion, excitement, enthusiasm, etc.)  Once your bring you state of mind to whatever you are doing, the next thing is DG which gives you a much better chance to your HG.

Dave Isaac is a Certified Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming NLP).  NLP is the study of human excellence.

 

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