Frustration kills brain cells

Closeup photo of a car's power button. I had an important meeting to attend.

With plenty of time, I hopped in my car, pressed the power button, and… oops.

That horrible crackling noise? Dead battery. Engine trying to turn over, to no avail.

Nothing to be done, except … growl at myself for not taking action on that little niggle in my head that said something’s not right. Reschedule the appointment.

It took my husband, several hours afterwards, to remind me that, yo, this is why you’ve been an AAA member for 33 (yes, 33) years. I am writing this whilst waiting for the service dude to arrive.

Frustration kills brain cells and makes it very hard to think clearly.

And frustration tends to run rampant during change initiatives. Whether it’s a team member’s resistance, your boss’s inflexibility about the timeline, or just the random problems that inevitably come up (hello, dead car battery), there’s always going to be something.

So if you’re wondering if people aren’t thinking clearly – you could be right.

And if you’re wondering if you’re not thinking clearly, especially if you’re growling at everyone and considering stomping off in a huff (not that you’d ever do either of these things, of course) – you could be right.

Take a breath. And another one. Step back. And back again.

Talk to someone who’s not directly involved. Tell them what’s going on. They might have ideas for you to get out of the stuckness of frustration.

And just in the act of talking to them, you may come up with your own ideas. It’s a weird thing that happens: when we explain a problem to someone else, lo and behold, the answer comes to us.

Change is filled with frustrations. But they don’t have to stop you in your tracks, or bog your brain down, or cause you to growl at people – or at yourself.


Change leadership isn’t only about the people you lead. It’s about you, too. Learning to lead yourself through the frustrations of change is just as (maybe more!) important as learning to lead others.  Drop me a note through my contact form and we’ll set a time to have a conversation – not a sales pitch!