I was on my way out to ride and thinking about how I was feeling frustrated with the work I was getting with Mojo at the moment. I felt like we’d had a great start back after his break, he worked through his fitness weeks really nicely, and after 5 weeks prep he started on the arena work really nice and soft and willing. I’d been putting in the hard work with my PT and Exercise phys to resolve some of my movement issues, get stronger and drop some weight, and I felt like I was sitting and riding more balanced and more controlled that I have ever before.
Now, out of nowhere and unexpectedly, I was feeling frustrated, stuck, like we’d hit a wall and unable to continue to develop. I took a big breath, and smiled.
This was a good place to be.
Frustration and confusion often get a bad rap. They are negative emotions, painted as a place where you don’t want to hang out.
In reality it is important that you feel frustration, feel confused and uncomfortable as part of your learning process. Your frustration at not being able to do something, or not knowing something that’s missing from your understanding of a topic is what drives you take the next step.
The discomfort of the frustration, the tension, the anxiety, the stress of NOT HAVING THE ANSWERS, and NOT DOING THE THING GOOD ENOUGH- the discomfort of being in that place is what separates the people who grow, and the ones who stagnate.
Because at that point you have a choice.
You can shirk from that discomfort, withdraw, back off, go back to a place where you felt secure, comfortable, safe. Or, you can choose to be comfortable with that discomfort, you can choose to lean in to it, to delve into that pain and seek the other side.
Think about how many hobbies you have started over the years. How many things did you think, that would be a great thing to do? Did you learn piano as a child? Did you do dance lessons? Did you try out for the soccer team, or maybe trained with the swim squad? Did you have a go at advanced calculus or physics in school?
I guarantee you that if you look back, you will see many moments where you reached a point of confusion or frustration when you were acquiring those new skills or new knowledge. Some of them you would have pushed through, and kept going to the next big step. Some of them would have been the limit of your desire, and those frustration points sent you backwards, perhaps to the point of giving up all together.
So why was I smiling to myself as I considered my frustration with my riding this one day?
Being frustrated or confused in any pursuit- your business included- is the point of potentially great growth.
If your frustration is great enough, if the pain is uncomfortable enough and the desire to achieve something is great enough, the motivation to lean in and do whatever it takes to level up is huge.
My frustration with my increasing waistline means I now train with a specific program and a PT 4 times a week. My frustration with my online marketing meant I studied to become a certified social media manager. My frustration with not making sales meant I studied with one of the world’s great sales trainers for 2 years. My frustration with feeling helpless when 2 girls died participating in the sport they loved last year meant I created a whole new arm of my business.
If you are frustrated in your business right now, know that it is a good thing.
If you are confused in your business right now, know that it is a good thing.
Let it drive you to seek the answers, find a better way, make the changes you need to make, create the thing you need to create.
Let your frustration guide you to your next level, whatever that looks like for you. Lean into it. Feel it. If you want it enough, you will use that energy and motivation to find the answers you are seeking.
(The artwork featured is titled “The Age of Learning”. It’s in the cubist style, which I love- I’m a huge fan of early 20th Century art, and to me signifies the challenge of pushing past that point of confusion and into great learning and growth.)