3 Ways Your Frustration Can Fuel Your Creativity


Being a creative in a structured world is a battle. Whether you have dreams of starting your own business but are stuck in a mind-numbing job or you're a millennial in a corporate office struggling to have your ideas heard, it can get to the point where frustration sets in. You have a clear goal in mind but it feels like life has masterfully placed countless obstacles in your way. Instead of letting your frustration morph into defeat and despair, why not use it as a tool to fuel your creativity? Oddly enough, frustration may be exactly what you need to reach whatever goal you have. 

I know, I know, it sounds crazy but these past few months have taught me it isn't. Here are the 3 ways your frustration can be a positive thing. 

1. Hones Your Focus

Let's create a hypothetical situation for a moment. Imagine you're trapped on a deserted island alone. Would you spend your time dwelling on the island and all the ways you're trapped or would you do everything in your power to get back home? In this scenario the answer is obvious, so why is it any different in our everyday lives? 

Concentrating on the things that can't be changed changes nothing. Sure, you're not happy where you are, but focus on where you want to be and do everything in your power to get there. Frustration can provide you the tunnel vision you need to block out all of the distractions and only see your dream. 

2. Increases Critical Thinking

Life isn't easy nor is it fair. Everyone deals with situations or circumstances that are less than ideal, but that doesn't mean you can't work with them. Not having all the resources at your fingertips allows you to create new ways to get things done. It's not easy but you'll find that in this space you come up with solutions that never would have crossed your mind before. 

Take Lukas Yla for example. In 2016 he posed as a Postmates worker to deliver his resume to tech companies he admired. He was inspired to take this direct approach due to the high level of competition in the tech space. He knew that competing at the same level other candidates were wouldn't be enough so he found a way to stand out. This unconventional approach earned him 10 job interviews. 

What can you learn from this? Stop wishing or waiting for perfect conditions that will never come. Instead, create an entirely different, more favorable situation by thinking outside the box. 

3. Circumvents Complacency

With frustration-induced focus comes the determination to achieve your goal. Good enough is not an option. The word complacent gives you hives. You won't stop until you start that business, pass that certification test, pitch a successful idea at a meeting or close that deal. It doesn't matter what others think, believe or say. You're #cantstopwontstop all the way. 

A personal example I have would be when I was applying to graduate schools. I had a few top universities that I really wanted to apply to and told a friend about one in particular. My friend replied with something along the lines of, "You'd have to cure cancer to get in". I was so upset and hurt by that statement that I set out to prove them wrong. I didn't just get into that top university for grad school, but every single one I applied to. I honestly have no ill feelings towards this friend for what they said, I can actually say I'm thankful for the focus, determination and confidence those words stirred up in me to handle my business. And best believe, your girl did.

I truly believe that frustration can push you further than you believed you would originally go. The next time it happens, embrace it and use it to your advantage. You've got this!

Want more examples on how frustration can be a positive? Watch this!

What was a time your frustration sparked your creativity? Tell me about it in the comments below!