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Constructive Discontent vs Frustration

Key Points

  • Not being where you want to be can create frustration or “constructive discontent.”
  • You must clearly define the goal.
  • You must clearly define the action plan to reach the goal.
  • Your plan should convert your frustration into motivation.

Think About This

What is the difference between being a constant complainer, always unhappy, versus acknowledging constructive discontent?

Discussion

When you set a goal, you are deciding where you want to be in the future in terms of work, relationships, finances, health, or some other topic. That goal describes a desired state which is different from where you are right now. This GAP can create one of two scenarios:

Frustration – The gap between where you are and where you want to be can create a lot of frustration if you don’t mentally process things correctly. You have to have realistic expectations for the time and effort it is going to take to reach your goal. That is why stepping stones and having a roadmap is important. It gives you a way to measure your progress. A plan to reach your goal will turn frustration into motivation.

Constructive Discontent – When you correctly mentally process what is occurring when you set or identify this GAP, you feel “constructive discontent.” You are not overly frustrated – you are motivated by the discontent you feel. You know where you want to be and you are engaged and excited to work to get there.

The difference may seem subtle, but maintaining the right frame of mind when the GAP is most obvious to you will prevent negative mental thoughts. See the challenge and the opportunity in the GAP. Believe in yourself and turn the discontent into a constructive plan to close the GAP even if it is just a little each day.

What to do NOW!

1) If you are feeling frustrated, then clearly define where you are now and where you want to be. Do this in very specific terms.

2) Develop a plan of action that will begin the movement, one step at a time, toward your goal.

3) Be sure to create stepping stones – incremental steps along your journey to your goal. Measure your progress on a regular basis. Keep the end goal in mind, but focus daily on the incremental stepping stones.