Header Graphic

 Home      *      Blog      *     Contact    *   Book         


June 30, 2012


Why, Why, How, Who

What it is


Frustration is caused by unmet expectations; often the work of an external force blocking you from what you want

Why it's Important

Three categories of  control:

  • Can Control
  • Can’t Control
  • Influenced

Struggling to control something that you simply can’t control will frustrate the dickens out of you.

The Problem

We often don’t stop to consider whether something frustrating is within our control or just within our circle of influence.

 The Tip

Clarify and Experiment

Obey The Small Step Rule

Step 1

Time of Day

Pick a time of day that presents the least frustration.

Step 2


Identify 3 slightly frustrating things that happen during this time of day.

Step 3


Why do I want this?  Sometimes you find that you used to want it, but don’t anymore. Sometimes you find that you don’t really know why you want it. How about letting it go?

Why do I expect something different?  Maybe what you want isn’t possible given present circumstances.

How am I contributing to my frustration?  Are you self-handicapping? Do you lack a skill?

Who else contributes?  Life isn’t personal and yet it is.  “Stuff” coming from other people isn’t about you until you react—your reaction is what makes it personal.


Step 4


Pick the easiest of the Why, Why, How, and Who for your experiment.  Find one small thing that you can do differently for 2 weeks. 

Example:  Feeling slightly rushed in the morning?  Experiment by putting your alarm clock in different locations.  Small changes are powerful because the devil is in the details.

Step 5


To err is human; to laugh at yourself feels divine.  Frustration is your ever present 2 year old self stomping her feet.  Lighten-up on yourself and use frustration to broaden your awareness about that which you can and can’t control, and all the rest that you can (and must) influence 




Free from struggling against obstacles.

Any frustration, even simple and reasonable frustration, creates feelings of aggression that spread out in all directions.


Awareness prevents overwhelm and panic.


Choices become easier.

 Influence Demonstrating how a leader accepts the responsibility for her own emotions is a powerful and positive influence to anyone watching—not just your kids.

Related Articles: Obstacles to Happiness, A Laugh A Day, Good Deed Frustration,

Related Tip of the Week: Recognize Perfection, Able to Change  

You can lead a kid to broccoli but you can't make her eat


Check out life coach training and certification at the Center for Coaching Mastery at Westchester Community College



WCC logo

Registration Opens Fall 2013 - Coach Training and Certification with Lorraine Esposito



Coach Lorraine Esposito, PCC



Influence ChidlrenAmplify your influence with children


Influence Relationships

Amplify your influence in relationships


Influence ClientsAmplify your influence in business

  Higher Ground Leadership Coach


CoachVille Mentor Coach


Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation