Copyright 2006 Doreen Banaszak
I wish I had this phrase 5 years ago when I was sitting at my desk, wanting to bang my head on it, thinking how much more I could be doing if I wasn’t working 60 hours a week at a job that wasn’t meaningful to me. At least I would have had a phrase to explain exactly what I was feeling!
How does “frustrated potentiality” feel to you? What images does it conjure up for you?
When I came across this phrase the other day it immediately reminded me of a famous quote, that talks about people leading “lives of quiet desperation”, but with one big difference…
“Desperation” lacks hope, “frustration” indicates a willingness to do something, if you can get past the frustration.
If you’ve ever felt this and are like I was, you simply plow forward and focus on changing your circumstances.
But what usually happens when we follow this course? We get what we think we want and then we want more, so yet again we are back in our state of “frustrated potentiality”.
So if changing circumstances doesnt help, what will? Learning how to “create” your experience is the key to getting beyond frustration and into flow.
Let’s take your career for example. If you always wanted to do meaningful work, but felt as though you couldn’t make money doing it, you will always experience “frustrated potentiality” until you actually do work that is meaningful.
Ok, now you know why you are frustrated…
So, where are you feeling “frustrated potentiality”?
Ask yourself this question regarding any area of your life, your relationships, money, career, family…
Now use these 4 steps to turn your frustrated potentiality into unlimited potentiality…
Step One, Get HONEST!
Ask yourself what you really want in this area. Let’s go back to the career example. What you really want here is to make money doing meaningful work. That’s it, plain and simple. The trick here is to be completely honest. If you’re not, you will remain frustrated even though you say you think you know what you want.
Step Two, Define What You Mean
Now ask yourself, what does “meaningful work” mean to me? What would I be doing? Who would I be doing it with? Do I like to work independently or with a group? What have I always felt was important? What ideas have I had in the past around the idea of meaningful work? How much money do I WANT to make?
DO NOT THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WILL DO THIS! If you do, I guarantee you will not get to step 3.
Take a moment and just start asking. Let the flow carry you to the next question. What you’ll end up with is an idea of how this might actually be a possibility for you.
Step Three, Create a Vision for Yourself
Now create a vision of you doing what you’ve defined. Picture yourself doing the work and collecting the check.
Why is this so important? Because until you can feel that this is a real possibility for you, you won’t have the ideas and thoughts that will create the opportunities to make it happen. If you are not positive about this, you may as well stop now.
Step Four, Look for it!
I had a client who got to this level of detail and found a job description that matched exactly what she had defined for herself.
Another client took his definition on a job interview and asked exactly for what he had defined and got it.
Many entrepreneurs have used this to define their ideal client and they seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
So a life of “frustrated potentiality” or one of “unlimited potentiality”.
It’s your choice, now that you have the these 4 steps!