Most of us are frustrated when that "thing" we want is seemingly out of our reach or the yes that we want is a no. In less than 24 hours, I encountered it twice. My recurring back injury was radiating, and instead of going for a long relaxing walk, I spent the afternoon lying horizontally.
In the wee hours of the morning, when I could not sleep because of the pain, I started pacing the house and noticed my daughter's lights on. As soon as I cracked the door, I quickly found out that she was in the middle of her own crisis. It was after midnight, and the app that she was using to edit her video assignment kept crashing.
I tried to comfort her, but in the moment, she echoed the exasperation that I was feeling about my back. Why, why, why! Not now! I don't have time for this!
I have found that life with inopportune precision will hand us - whys, not now - I don't have time for this - on an almost daily, sometimes, hourly basis. In the end, the key is to shorten our periods of frustration by learning to expect them.
Once we accept that they are coming, we choose in advance or in the moment how we will manage them. For example, I know that my back injury is reoccurring, so I have decided, in advance, that when it does happen, there is a list of things that I can shift my focus to - my diet, daily water intake, time with family, stretching.
I won't lie to you. Choosing how to respond does not always ease the pain or the frustration. The question is, is deciding how to manage your whys and not now's better than the alternative?
Leah JM Dean is a leadership strategist, tribe formation expert, certified strengths coach, best-selling author, facilitator, speaker, and founder of the women’s leadership program, the Tribe Advantage. She is on a mission to help women and organizations all across the globe transform their tribes in life and leadership. To learn more about Leah's work, her best-selling book Assemble the Tribe, or join The Tribe Advantage Leadership Program, visit www.leahjmdean.com. Leah lives in Bermuda with her husband and two children.