Recently I attempted to get in touch with a local branch of a national company and found myself in a maze of automation.

When I first called, there was a set of recorded FAQs that were helpful but didn’t answer my question about this specific location. I called the number for the local facility and was connected to an automated virtual assistant that couldn’t answer my question, then proceeded to connect me to a person at the national level. That national-level person could not provide information about the local location. One more call to the local establishment led me back to the FAQ and virtual assistant, at which point I gave up.

While I’m used to automated systems being helpful in some ways and not in others, this is the first time I encountered one where there was no path to speak to someone who could actually answer my question.

Ahhh Frustration…the feeling that pops up when:

  • You get stuck in a maze of automation with no clear way out
  • Someone talks around your question but never gives a straight answer
  • A person deflects the blame onto everyone other than themselves
  • Something is “promised” to your face but the behind the scenes behavior you witness contradicts the promise
  • You speak to three experts about a problem and are given contradictory resolutions
  • You give it your all but the results fall short

In the situation I described, the way out of frustration was to let go of my attachment to the outcome, and look at other ways to gather the information. Driving to the location became the least frustrating of the options provided. While it was not the optimal solution, it was a way out of the maze.

My approach highlights two ways to create new pathways towards an endpoint when frustration sets in:

  • Detach from the outcome – Holding onto something too tight can make it more difficult to achieve what you want. This was the topic of one of my very first blogs –
  • Define options – What are other possible approaches for getting to your desired outcome? In my instance, it was to speak to someone in person.

Other ways can include:

  • Asking for help – how might the assistance of others provide support?
  • Tapping into the sense of frustration – and explore what you can learn and then choose something different

Now over to you. Consider situations in which you encountered frustration. What steps did you take to shift out of the maze and find another way to achieve your intention?

If you find yourself sabotaging your dreams and goals, feel like you’re going in circles or caught in a maze, or your aspirations are in some other way out of reach, contact me for a coaching conversation. Let’s design a customized package of transformational approaches that can best support you in moving forward.

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