Not the Spinning Rainbow Wheel of Death!
“Not the Spinning Rainbow Wheel of Death!”
Ever rage behind your machine when the little spinning rainbow stops you dead in your tracks? It seriously interrupts my work flow. How can I be singing one minute, and so frustrated the next?
Learning frustration tolerance and delayed gratification are life skills introduced in early childhood. For some of us, these skills took longer to internalize due to differences in the rate of our brain development and maturation. At the same time, some of us moved into our adult lives without mastering these key developmental milestones. We continue struggling with low frustration tolerance, and difficulty with transitions. And, for others, our frustration tolerance has eroded overtime because we’ve reached a level of comfort where we never have to wait for anything. No need for delayed gratification when we get what we want, when we want it. Most of the time, that is.
Yet, a high measure of tolerance is necessary to achieve worthy pursuits, be it physical, or intellectual. Taking the path of least resistance works well on a mountain bike; however, it doesn’t work so well when you want something requiring hard work, persistence, and patience.
Scott Peck speaks to this issue in his novel, The Road Less Traveled. He states, “the road out is the path of most resistance, and most reward is the road of delayed gratification.”
“Pursue what you want most, not what you want right now.” ~ Scott Peck
What I want right now is for the spinning rainbow to STOP! Guess what? It’s going to take a smidgen of patience, and a high level of tolerance to work through this spinning wheel dilemma. It’s a problem because I have a project deadline. I need all green lights as I head down this freeway if I’m going to pull this off.
Can you see the real problem here? It’s not about the spinning rainbow. It’s about unrealistic expectations, and me denying the fact that my brain moves faster than my fingers. And, my work style is not aligned with what I am trying to do in a very short period of time. Good insight, you say… Now what?
Here are a few Tips from the Trail if you find yourself raging against your machine when that cute little spinning rainbow wheel stops you in your tracks!!
1. Breathe. Move away from the computer so you don’t pick it up, throw it, and embarrass yourself in front of your colleagues.
2. Notice your thought pattern and the words you choose to go along with your inner angst.
“I can’t stand this.”
“I am going to blow it.”
“This is stupid.”
Notice how you default to negative messages that fuel your frustration and make you want to rage.
3. Now, be kind to yourself as you learn this coping strategy. Rephrase the script, change up the story line, and like all worthy pursuits, understand this, too, takes time and patience.
Here’s an example of a new script:
“The spinning wheel is back. I must have too many programs open.”
“Time to take a break.”
“I’ve got this.”
“What a good opportunity to revisit my to-do list and reset my compass.”
Repeat this Mantra: Pursue what I want most, not what I want right now.
Then – Practice, Practice, Practice.
4. If you, or your child is experiencing relationship problems due to this issue, contact a professional counselor.
Sometimes we need a little extra help mastering these skills.
I hope this helps. Please take time to laugh and get outside for a walk everyday.
Happy trails, Allison