The Upside of Frustration

It’s natural to feel some frustration when we don’t know the answer, when we’re not sure what to do, when what we do doesn’t work–or doesn’t work as quickly as we wish it would. 

But feeling frustrated doesn’t mean that you’ve failed! It’s not a dead end. And it’s definitely not an emergency–especially when you can see it as an opportunity. 


  1. Frustration is not necessarily a sign that things aren’t going well. 
  2. By working through frustration, you have created more durable learning.
  3. Reframing the feeling of frustration as a positive sign can make it less frustrating and more fruitful.
  4. Frustration is actually an opportunity to refine your thinking or beliefs, to set up more robust systems or revise your tactics – and to really learn. 

Article: Is Frustrated Learning Key To Building Creative Problem Solving Skills?

Lab Experiment

The next time you feel frustrated, stop and ask yourself what your frustration telling you. What data is it conveying?  How can you use either that information–or the feeling of frustration (which is a desire for change)–to fuel positive growth?