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  • Writer's picturealexadoman

3 essentials on using Expectation & Frustration to increase your Motivation

You are a motivated person, you aren’t afraid of working hard and you really really want things to change. You want to grow, to progress to see and feel that you are moving forward. However, reality happens to have different plans for you, and it’s really frustrating.

Frustration is hard. It’s a paralyser, a mood changer and an action disruptor. I’m actually writing this feeling frustrated, so trust me. I empathise. But by the time I finished writing this and by the time you finish reading this you will feel less frustrated and more prepared to turn frustration into motivation and motivation into action.

1. Exploring frustration

Imagine you’re late. And you’re frustrated, because you just missed the bus, there’s no parking spaces or you had to work longer than you thought. And you’ve got a list as long as your arm as to why you’re not on time. And that’s frustrating you. You just wanted to be on time. If only the bus driver had been kinder, someone hadn’t cut you up, your boss wasn’t so…


Breathe. Breathe again. Have a sip of water. And ask yourself “Why are you really frustrated?” x 3.

x 1) “Why are you really frustrated?” Because.…. It’s my fault I’m late. I was messing about in the house and I should have left earlier.

x 2) “Why are you really frustrated?” Because…...I’m always late and people think I’m unorganised and don’t respect their time.

x 3) “Why are you really frustrated?” Because…..I want people to think that I’ve got my s*it together and trust my word.

Ahhhh. So now we get the real reason. I'm frustrated with myself because I want to not only BE organised but SHOW people I’m organised. Now this reality is much more powerful to work with than “I like being on time”. A simple act has now been connected with a deeper meaning.

Which means that WHEN I do arrive on time I will not only be not frustrated but I will be actively showing myself and others that I do have my s*it together.

Remember. Feeling frustrated. Breathe x 2. Water. Why am I frustrated x 3? Notice. And act on it.

2. Managing expectations

A significant contributor to frustration is the poor or lack of management of expectations. Perhaps you are very hard on yourself, so you set your own bar very high. This is going to be the best presentation, workshop, annual report that you’ve ever done. And then it’s not and you feel...


Measure your expectations. If expectations aren’t ever efficiently measured and the closest they ever get to is the extreme classifications of “perfection” or “utter rubbish”, then anything that lands anywhere between the two doesn’t even register on the success/achieved/I tried my best radar.

Let's imagine as an example that you want a new job by Christmas. But you have no measurement of the progress. You want a new job and you’ve been thinking it for more than a while. Your expectation is a new job. But the only action is a half updated CV and a possible networking connect and you’re feeling extremely frustrated because all you want is a new job.

Then an example expectation management measure could be:

  • Have your CV updated by the end of July.

  • Be contacting recruiters and networking in August.

  • Applying for jobs and having interviews in September and October

  • Handing in your notice in November ready for that Christmas start.

Whilst I fully appreciate that the process of getting a new job is never that linear, I believe it’s clear that by setting these mini goals. You could help to turn your expectations into a manageable and measurable expectation and realistic plan!

3. Keeping motivated

You are a motivated person. But there’s a disconnect between motivation and action. And perhaps it’s this disconnect that is causing the feelings of frustration and...


Let’s build a bridge between them as often (more) motivation is the RESULT of action, not the cause of it. Getting started, even in very small ways, is a form of active inspiration that naturally produces momentum.

Let’s use an example everyone can relate too. Cleaning the bathroom. I HATE IT. But as soon as I start cleaning the sink, I can’t stop until I’ve cleaned the whole place. I’ve gone beyond my original intention. The action of actually doing the task was the motivation, not the motivation itself.

Merely starting that task, and doing something to close the gap between expectation and reality can be a big motivator. Is there anything that you could START doing now, that would help move you closer and produce some movement?

Next steps

So here you are, with the awareness that you could;

  • use your frustration to get clarity on what you really want

  • manage your expectations to create a clearer plan of action

  • use action to increase your motivation

Want to know why I was frustrated at the beginning of writing this? Because I didn’t know what to write. So I asked myself x3 why was I frustrated. (Because I haven’t written anything for too long). I managed my expectations. (I told myself that only a rough draft needed to be produced in one sitting). And I actually started doing the task. (And once the introduction was written, I just kept on going).

I sincerely hope that this can be useful to you moving towards getting what you want and deserve, with less frustration.

Alexa x

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To find out more about Alexa’s Coaching work and how you could start to create the life you want and deserve; not the one you’ve settled for connect with her Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn pages or book a free 20 minute Discovery call.

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