Four Ways to Move from Frustration to Progress

Four Ways to Move from Frustration to Progress

Photo Credit: Henri Meilhac

By Emelda De Coteau


The key to transforming all those what-ifs floating around in your mind is both simple, and for many of us, difficult – taking action. Technology makes it easy to collect all this knowledge and sit on it. How many e-books, webinars, videos and online seminars have you attended? If you’re like me, a ton!

But at some point, y’all, if we want change, as desperately as we say, movement is essential. Without it, absolutely nothing gets done. Even faith is interconnected with steps we take toward transforming our circumstances.

Almost four years ago, I sat across from a woman I admire greatly, as I lamented my current situation, sighs and all, she locked eyes with me and asked a question which transformed it all – “Do you have a plan? Because ‘being sick of it’ won’t change a thing.” I heard her, definitively, in that moment. As I walked back to the office in silence, I held on to an unshakable joy.

Over dinner, my husband and I mapped out a clear plan. Within hours I transcended this block of seeming impossibility by taking action.

And you can, too. I believe in your potential. Refuse to leave this world adrift in a sea of what ifs, content to wonder, satisfied with being just close enough to your dreams, but not quite living them. You’re too brilliant to bury yourself at 25, 30 or 40 in mediocrity.


Four Steps to Help You Transform Frustration Into Movement:

Clarity: Develop a clear understanding of exactly what you want to change. Is it a job, improved relationships, more skills in one area? Great! Understanding this fully is essential to your plan.

Focus: Now that you are clear, develop a laser focus on what you want to change. Eliminate distractions as much as possible. Give up that hour of TV to spend time in deep thought. Pray and meditate, ask God for direction.

Map It Out: Sit down with your journal, iPad or Kindle and break it down – What goals and changes can you work towards? What strategies (action steps needed to make the change possible) are necessary?

Give yourself a timetable to work with – 30 days, 60 days or 90 days.

Do Your Thang!: Now it’s time to implement your goals and strategies by showing up each day consistently. As you do, realize each step is assisting you in accomplishing your goals.

Take time to continually nourish your mind, body and spirit with resources (whether it’s listening to talks on YouTube from folks like Lisa Nichols, Iyanla Vanzant, Wayne Dyer, diving into passages of scripture, following inspiring social media pages/communities, or other good reads). Recently, I downloaded this amazing book by Mark Batterson, If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God’s What If Possibilities.


Here is one of my favorite quotes so far:

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness—you are more blessed than the millions who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation—you are better off than five hundred million people in the world.


If you can attend a church meeting, or not attend one, without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death—you are more blessed than three billion people in the world. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep—you are richer than 75 percent of this world.


If you have money in the bank or in your wallet, or spare change in a dish someplace—you rank among the top 8 percent of the world’s wealthy. If you can read this book—you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all. So count your blessings and remind everyone else how blessed we all are!


When we commit to ourselves by taking consistent action, our dreams become realities, and we soar. You deserve joy, light, and a life full of purpose. And you’re just one action away from beginning to manifest it.


Emelda is a loving wife, mama, creative, and believer seeking God anew in each moment.  She serves as the founder of Women Creatives Chat, a community dedicated to empowering all creative women through events (launching in the fall of 2017), workshops and daily inspiration on Instagram and Facebook

She is also a founding member of Black Womyn Rising, a radical intergenerational organizing collective for Black womyn and girls rooted in global sistahood. She blogs at Live In Color,  about faith, activism, and inspiration, is a columnist for Beautifully Said magazine, and contributing writer for the Pretty Entrepreneur blog (a community which empowers women of color in business). 






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