The Gift of Frustration for Leaders

 In Branding, Business, Entrepreneurs, Growth, Marketing, New Beginning, Strategy, success

My eyes slowly opened and I found myself looking out my beautiful windows into a garden of light. The sun dappled the leaves, the flowers with their new blooms were greeting the sky. Another stunning day was unfolding out there, but inside I felt an uneasiness. Something was off. It was kind of a low grade feeling I couldn’t quite name… and after sitting with it a bit it seemed like frustration. Was it from a dream I’d had? Couldn’t recall anything strange. So what was going on? The full moon? This had been happening for a few days now and wasn’t like me at all. Turns out, I am not alone with this feeling. 

As you might imagine, this time of year there is quite a bit of client time spent looking at the year passed and how it will inform our forward movement into the next months and years ahead.

In regards to these discussions there are many variables and metrics to assess for sure, and yes these tangibles matter yet there are also quite a few intangibles that are important as well. And one recurring theme I’ve noticed is that quite a few people have been reporting a feeling of…. you guessed it… frustration.

All of this got me curious and I’ve been doing some inquiry into the value of this feeling. Looking at its purpose rather than its source.

Here’s what I’m observing with myself and others as the study subjects:
*Because humans prefer to be comfortable we misinterpret discomfort.
*When we do a self assessment most high achievers will notice what isn’t working before they notice any advancements or what is working.
*This focus on what’s not working blocks new ideas and minimizes our actual growth.
*Often our feelings of any sort of discomfort are a sign of up leveling.
*When these feelings are growth related we can miss the best part of their opportunities because we’re working so hard to avoid any discomfort.

In order to make the most of any feeling its important… sometimes Vital, to look at any feeling/emotion/trigger with open yet curious eyes. Our natural tendency is to push it away, turn away or deny our feelings. But leaning in to them actually unlocks their messaging. For instance one client found that he wasn’t acknowledging much of his company’s growth this year as he was focused on the fear generated by the frustration. Looking more deeply we discovered it wasn’t fear, he just wasn’t able to name this particular feeling. Once we opened up this ‘box’ we found so many gems and the nagging voices in his head naturally lifted. Beyond it we could see more clearly where to go and how to get there.

I wonder if in our cultures we have forgotten the blessings of all of our feelings. Feelings, intuition, emotions are all meaningful. They not only warn us of enemies approaching or weather changing, they tell us more deeply about ourselves. We’ve been taught to ignore of brush off some signs that actually serve us. Allow us to go deeper into our own gifts.

This year I invite you to open yours. Your gifts serve you, allowing you to serve more as you grow and develop yourself, your business and your capacity to lead.

And that’s something to be VERY grateful for!



p.s…For those who wish to explore further, who are ready to design a new map to future possibilities…please let me know… I’m here to help.


J. Winslow
Branding Specialist and Strategic Planner, J. Winslow brings decades of solid experience to each project and leader she interacts with. Clients range from non-profits such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to Madison Avenue Biggies including: Women’s Day Magazine, Cover Girl and Elizabeth Taylor. She also enjoys working with TEDx speakers and students ready to leverage their own brand stories. Learn more here



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