Success Lives On The Other Side Of Frustration


Have you ever felt frustrated with the progress you’re making in your teaching business, or with any other area of your life? I feel frustrated in more areas of my life than I would care to admit, but I learned a few things about frustration that have really changed my perspective.

Have you ever thought about the fact that you can HARNESS frustration and use it as a tool to reach your goals and see the success you want to see in your business? Most people let feelings of frustration STOP THEM, but that doesn’t have to be the case with you. There’s a valuable lesson to be learned here if we’d just take the time to listen…

A Personal Example

I remember several years ago when I first started seriously teaching guitar lessons. It was really exciting at first, trying to get my teaching studio set up and getting my first handful of students. But then things got frustrating for a while…I lost some of my original students for various reasons (things I wouldn’t understand until later), and it wasn’t easy to replace them. I started to think that maybe I wasn’t really meant to be a guitar teacher after all…but thankfully I didn’t give up. I studied and learned as much as I could until I figured out how to fix my student retention and marketing problems, and ended up being successful. It would have been so easy to quit, but I learned FIRSTHAND that success lives on the other side of frustration.

The inspiration for this article came from a quote I read by Tony Robbins (from his book “Unlimited Power“):

“All successful people learn that success is buried on the other side of frustration. Unfortunately, some people don’t get to the other side…they allow frustration to keep them from taking the necessary actions that would support them in achieving their desire. You get through this roadblock by plowing through frustration, taking each setback as feedback you can learn from, and pushing ahead.” – Tony Robbins

There are several good ideas in this quote…let’s unpack a few of them together.

Success Is Buried Behind Frustration

I have a little-known secret of success for you…this little nugget of truth can change your life forever if you can grab onto it. Are you ready? Here it is: the biggest thing that separates SUCCESSFUL people from UNSUCCESSFUL people is the ability to manage their emotions. We all need to tattoo that one on the inside of our eyelids. It’s not enough to have good business acumen or marketing skills or to be good at what you do…if you can’t manage your emotions and stick with it when the going gets TOUGH, you’ll never reach the success you want to see. Frustration is basically an EMOTION…just like fear, doubt, anger or happiness. It doesn’t have to control you…you can learn how to manage it, instead.

Like Tony Robbins said in the quote, the success you’re looking for is BURIED on the other side of frustration. That means there’s some DIGGING involved here…but the cool thing is that now you know where the TREASURE is! If you keep digging long enough, you WILL find it. Which brings me to the next point…

Most People Quit Digging Too Soon

I makes me sad to think about how many people WORK HARD to pursue their dreams, and then QUIT right before they would have reached them. Few things are so tragic. Imagine spending YEARS of your life and THOUSANDS of dollars trying to build a successful business (digging day after day through frustration), only to get fed up and quit DAYS before you actually experience the success you’ve been working so hard for.

I love this quote by Charles Kettering about how each failure really brings you one step closer to success:

“Virtually nothing comes out right the first time. Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. The only time you don’t fail is the last time you try something, and it works. One fails forward toward success.” – Charles Kettering

If you can learn how to “Fail Forward”, then every mistake…every setback…every frustrating experience…will move you FORWARD and get you one big step closer to your goals. You KNOW where the treasure is…it’s right on the OTHER SIDE of frustration. Don’t give up too soon!

Perseverance Is The Key To Success

The real key to accomplishing ANYTHING you want to in your teaching business and in your life is to simply KEEP GOING until you reach it. That means you need to develop the ability to FEEL the frustration that comes with failure and keep on moving forward IN SPITE of it. This kind of thick “emotional skin” is what separates the winners from the losers…winners simply REFUSE to quit!

President Calving Coolidge did a great job of explaining the importance of having an IRON WILL and never giving up:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge

It’s true! You can be the smartest, most talented person in the world…but you will FAIL if you don’t persevere to the end. The good news for “less gifted” people like you and me is that what we lack in TALENT and GENIUS, we can make up in PERSISTENCE. You can KEEP LEARNING from every mistake you make. You can use frustrating experiences as VALUABLE FEEDBACK, make some mid-course corrections and keep moving forward. Simply by having the hard-headed WILL to PERSEVERE, you can see more success than 99% of the rest of the population…it’s all up to YOU.


Frustration doesn’t have to be FATAL…you can see it for what it really is, deal with your feelings and keep moving forward. If you can find the courage to do that, success is probably waiting for you just around the corner!

What are some of the things that FRUSTRATE you as a guitar teacher? How can those things be turned around and used to make you more successful? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!


Success Lives On The Other Side Of Frustration was last modified: November 14th, 2012 by Donnie Schexnayder