While it may seem odd to consider frustration a friend, frustration is essential to every person. It is part of the instant feedback loop that your brain and body provide to you. In order to learn new things, we have to do them wrong a few times to know what is right.
It can seem overwhelming to welcome frustration into our lives, but when we do, we will see personal growth that may not have been possible without the struggle of frustration.
It has become a source of entertainment to watch someone struggle with learning a new skill or completing a task they have never done before. We need to change our interpretation of frustration to be a part of the learning process instead of something to laugh at.
Bobby Chiu takes us on an adventure through animation as he demonstrates how we need frustration in our lives.
What Defines Frustration?:
Frustration comes to all of us in many ways. It can show itself while learning to play a new instrument or complete a daily task that goes horribly wrong. We have all had those moments where we want to throw the object of our frustration across the room, but instead, we need to learn to embrace the frustration.
According to the wise words of an internet search, frustrated is defined: feeling discouragement, anger, and annoyance because of unresolved problems or unfulfilled goals, desires, or needs. The second definition is: having an ambition that has not been realized. Both of these definitions show a lack of control over events in your life.
Being frustrated is a part of life, but it is not an unsolvable problem. You will need to learn how to be creative and solve problems. Annoyance and anger are the main feelings that make up frustration, but without these feelings, the joy that comes after successfully completing a task or learning a new skill would be meaningless.
Frustration is related to a feeling that your problems cannot be solved. Think of every superhero movie and how they end up facing a battle they cannot win and spend half the movie frustrated that they are going to lose and want to give up. The only way they survive is to overcome the frustration and use it to fuel their desire to defeat their foe.
Our lives are full of situations we have never been in before. Learning how to drive. Starting a new job. Moving to a new home. These are examples of where frustration is present, but to be successful, we need to welcome the nerves and frustration.
Why Do We Need Frustration To Improve Our Art?
The world is continually evolving, and if we have no drive to overcome the difficulties, we will be forced to be satisfied where we are at any given moment. Every single person has something about their life that they would like to change.
Frustration does not need to be presented to the world as something to be ashamed of. It is easy to make fun of professionals because they did something wrong and tripped while playing basketball or made a mistake while giving a speech. As a society, we need to understand that they likely went through years of frustration to master a skill and are entitled to a few mess-ups.
There are thousands of articles on the internet telling us that we need to embrace frustration and use it to accomplish our goals, but in the depths of our frustration, it can be difficult to see the other side.
Just by reading this post, you have overcome great frustration in learning to read. Most people do not remember the struggle of learning to read as we were too young for those memories to still be around. Where would we be without the ability to read? It opens millions of doors in this world, and we don’t remember the struggle of doing it.
While frustration is a strong emotion, joy is stronger. The frustration will be forgotten, and the elation of completing your goals will remain.
My Friend Frustration, How We Can Use it as an Artist:
People can get frustrated and quit rather than enjoy the process of learning something new. Instead of giving themselves a chance to learn and practice, they quit saying, “It’s not for me” or “I don’t like it.”
An example of this is painting a picture of a flower on an easel and replicating it perfectly, then replacing that easel and canvas with new technology and a digital pen. The image doesn’t come out nearly as clear and precise because it is something new.
The invention of new technology is not intended to make you feel like you have to start over, but it is to be used as a tool to improve on a skill you already have. If you are a successful painter with a brush and a canvas, you can use your knowledge of color to translate the image to a digital format.
The medium of the art may be challenging at first, but if you push through, the reward can be infinitely greater than the struggle. When learning something new, try to find an alternative purpose for your newfound skills and apply it to more than one aspect of your life.
Many people would give up and quit when they aren’t immediately good at using the new technology, but the frustration that goes along with it is part of the process. We need to get used to being frustrated and use those emotions to get through to the other side. He says in the video:
“One of the most important things that we can do is to get used to learning and get used to frustration.”
We need to bring frustration into our lives and embrace it rather than shoving it aside when things get tricky. It is something that is always with us, and we cannot get rid of it, so it is better for us to accept that it is there and use it to be better people.
Frustration is also the key to achieving great goals. If people liked frustration instead of pushing it away, the learning process wouldn’t be so complicated, and we, as a population, can learn new things much easier and faster.
Pick something new to learn and stick with it through the frustration. We can become better artists through our frustration. Don’t give up on what you are trying to do until you get somewhat good at it and can feel the joy and elation of success.
Take an online art class, participate in a workshop, download a learning app. Pushing yourself and your limits can help you overcome frustration. It may even motivate you to work harder.
If you make it to the point where you can successfully do the task but still aren’t feeling the joy of success, only then should you reevaluate if it is something you should continue with. If you quit too early, you will likely miss out on an opportunity for joy.
Even if you end up not liking what you learn, you can use the skills to help you succeed at something else that you are interested in. Think of it like this: you may be learning how to do layouts on the computer, but through the process, you discover that you like to paint characters instead. The skill of learning layouts is still useful, so you can use it when painting characters.
The skill you learned that you might not have enjoyed may help you in your career or assist you in accomplishing another goal that you are more passionate about. You have to get beyond the annoyance and frustration and learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Learning itself is a skill that should be celebrated and can be applied to all aspects of your life. There are so many positive attributes that can exist when you are friends with your frustration.
Use Your Frustration to Achieve Great Artistic Goals:
The overall message here is to embrace frustration as a friend. Personify your frustration as another figure that is always present during your struggles and can either discourage you or lift you to success.
It is your choice whether you let your frustration use you or if you use your frustration to your benefit. Don’t picture frustration as a person yelling behind you that you are not able to do things because you are horrible at them, but instead hear encouragement and understanding. You may not have the skills now, but you are working on them, and you will get there.
Learning is an ever-present concept that is not going to go away simply because you are frustrated. There is an age-old saying: “You learn something new every day,” and we need to do our part to make that a reality.
When we stop learning, we stop growing and developing, and that is no way to live your life. Remember to treat frustration as a motivational tool rather than a nuisance and debilitating voice inside your head. You are more than your frustration, and you can get used to your frustration.