Early one morning, you drag out of bed. The kids have kept you up all night. The neighbor’s dog won’t shut up and you are behind on paying some bills. Now, you’re supposed to jump up out of bed and say, “Today is going to be great!” right? Wrong!

Simply put, sometimes life is not always great. The reality is, you still have to perform at your best to get the job done, even when you have all kinds of excess mental baggage. But, what can you do to get on track mentally when things don’t go right?

Personal Growth Expert, Gary Coxe shares some enlightening thoughts on turning your frustrations into success. He illustrates with a story about John F. Kennedy, Jr. who died in a plane crash. The cause of the accident was something pilots call spatial disorientation but most people can relate to it as vertigo. Once you know how this affects pilots, you’ll see how it can also affect your ability to succeed.

By the way, if you think of vertigo as simple dizziness, you’re only half right. Dizziness can be caused by the fluid in your inner ear stirring and throwing off your sense of balance. But vertigo can be caused by your belief about your surroundings. In other words, vertigo can be a mental perception. Unfortunately, conditions in airplanes can frequently include both of these sets of factors and this wreaks havoc on inexperienced pilots.

Vertigo is well known to pilots. When a pilot gets into vertigo, he will actually begin to fly by his feelings and not by the instruments in the airplane. This is not usually a problem, as long as the pilot can see the horizon outside the plane. But, if he should happen to fly through clouds, he no longer has a horizon to help him determine if he is flying straight and level. Studies show that if an inexperienced pilot who is not qualified to fly by his instruments happens to get into clouds, frequently they only have about three minutes to live!

Before someone can qualify to get their “instrument rating,” they first must get their private pilot rating. That’s what John Kennedy, Jr. had. After building experience with their private pilot rating, they need additional training for the instrument rating. The instrument rating takes nearly as much additional training time as the private pilot license, costs more, and is much more difficult. As a result, many general aviation pilots never get their instrument rating.

So then, what’s the difference between the pilot who gets into bad weather and ends up crashing an airplane due to mental vertigo and one who doesn’t? Experience!

An experienced instrument pilot knows not to obey his feelings. In fact, this pilot will have learned to ignore them completely. When a pilot is in instrument conditions (clouds, bad weather, etc.), he may literally feel that the airplane is climbing when, in reality, it’s descending. Imagine if you are flying an airplane that is diving toward earth, but because of mental vertigo, you feel that it is climbing. If you feel that the airplane is climbing and you want to stop it from climbing, the natural reaction would be to push forward on the control column to try to level the plane. But because you actually are diving, you’ve made your condition worse. This is one of those cases where you essentially have less than three minutes to live.

In the exact same circumstances, an experienced pilot says, “Hold on here. I feel like I’m climbing, however, I am going to ignore that feeling because my instruments in the cockpit say that I am really diving. So, my training tells me to pull up to level off.”

Now you might ask, “can’t the inexperienced pilot figure that out? Can’t they just look at their instruments and see that the plane is not doing the right thing?” The answer is really yes, but the desire to listen and fly by their feelings far outweighs their believe the instruments. It may not be logical but it requires experience to replace feelings with logic and act accordingly.

Coxe suggests that this analogy can be applied to sales and success in business.

Most people have had a time in their lives when they were absolutely sure and confident about their success. They made progress and were moving forward with purpose. Likewise, most people on that journey of success have hit roadblocks. Coxe describes it as that feeling of confidence you had just yesterday, or for that matter just five minutes ago, that’s no longer there. If you could take that limited feeling and put it into a bottle, you could label it as mental vertigo.

The comparison between the person who gets a lot of results and few results is the same as comparing the person who can master mental vertigo and eliminate it from their thinking as quickly as possible verses the person who gets bogged down by limiting beliefs and feelings.

We’ve all heard it before… the higher the risk, the greater the reward. The more risk you take, the more susceptible you are to mental vertigo. So mastering mental vertigo is like becoming ‘instrument rated’ in life. If we are easily controlled by our feelings, we are not going to be able to take lots of risk. And no risk means no reward.

However, according to Coxe, before you can go deeper into managing mental vertigo you first have to develop and calibrate your ‘instruments.’ “One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make is that they really don’t have a clear definition of success as it relates to their business or financial goals. Not knowing your destination can be a real danger,” says Coxe. One of your instruments is your set of goals.

He continues to explain that you need to hold on to your goals or definition of success, especially when you get into mental vertigo. Vertigo causes lots of frustration. If you don’t clearly have a hold on your big picture, the frustration will overwhelm you like a blinding cloud overwhelms a pilot. Additionally, you’ll make things bigger and worse than they really are. Having a solid, clear definition of success helps you to look beyond the vertigo. It’s your ‘artificial horizon’ and without it, you crash.

Instruments for life can be books, seminars, and other learning materials. And you calibrate them by asking successful people about their experiences, their beliefs, the things that compel them to move forward and the things that give them hope in troubled times. Ultimately the beliefs you acquire from this learning are your core instruments for overcoming mental vertigo and achieving your goals.

And just like airplane instruments, you should regularly check to see if the results your various beliefs are giving you are the results you want. If not, you’ll need to adjust.

Your airplane can be full of instruments but if they are off just a few degrees it can take you hundreds of miles off course. Likewise, if your beliefs are off just a few degrees, you too will be off of course.

Here is another possibility. You can have all the right instruments or beliefs, but if you don’t believe them, they will still do you no good. If you know that most successful people believe there is a level of risk that must be taken to succeed but if you are not willing to take those risks then you can expect to get limited results or none at all.

When Gary was sixteen years old he made it a point to associate with millionaires. He learned early in life that millionaires think differently than those who are not millionaires. He was able to appreciate that thinking controls our actions, what we perceive about ourselves, and whether it is positive or negative.

Another tool you can use to help in your journey is adapted from a law of physics.

“Years ago, when I learned to fly helicopters, I learned a law of physics instructors teach in order to help people understand how you can control and fly a helicopter, even if the engine fails. I know this is contrary to what most people believe, but it’s true. The thing that makes this possible is the law of inertia. Specifically, ‘Things in motion want to keep moving.’ The corollary to this is that things that are stopped stay stopped. I’ve come to realize that, with people, it’s much more important to move and keep moving than it is to get hung up on your speed. Momentum is more critical than pace. So it’s better to regularly take action toward your goals, even if it’s baby steps, rather than to wait until you have enough energy, time, interest, or other resources to jump in full speed.”

According to Coxe, you can use this understanding to stay on track toward your goals when you hit rough patches or when you find yourself feeling down. Just move forward. Do something, however small, to maintain forward motion. That way, when your energy and interest are back at normal or good levels, it won’t be so hard to get started moving again. All you have to do is apply your renewed energy and you’ll find that, since you’re already moving forward your renewed energy adds considerably to your pace. It takes a great deal more energy to start something moving that has stopped.

So is the law of inertia limited to physical objects or does it really apply to people and their efforts to reach goals? “Sure it does,” says Coxe. “People tend to get hung up not being able to do enough so they just quit. We’ve all heard that winners never quit and quitters never win. We know it’s true. And the reason it’s true is that once you quit, people get good at making excuses for why they quit and why they can’t get going again. Just take baby steps and you never have to worry about making excuses for why you quit. And if you never quit, your attitude will stay positive. So if business is slow, do something toward making that next sale. When than next sale finally comes, you’ll be in a much more prepared position to keep moving and make even more sales.”

Besides using beliefs as instruments and the law of inertia to help you reach success, Coxe present this next thought with a half-smile. He tells us, ‘frustration equals success.’ More accurately, frustration is an indicator that you’re on the path toward success. And if you understand that, you can use this new understanding to propel you forward rather than letting it become a road block.

“One thing that all successes have in common is that there is a tremendous amount of frustration attached to them,” says Coxe. “The fact is, giving in to life’s frustrations is like letting others rent space in your head. — Unfortunately it seems so hard to remember this little ‘rule’ when you’re in the middle of all the frustration. But the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or incredibly frustrated at some aspect of your business, try reminding yourself that frustration equals success and see what happens.

“When there’s a frustration in business you have three options. 1) Route around the obstacle; 2) power through the problem and overcome it; or 3) quit. — Assuming quitting is not an option, I suggest that you’ll be much better equipped to redirect or power through if you are in good spirits and positive. So if you believe that frustrations are just an indicator that you’re on a pathway toward success and if you tell yourself that frustration equals success, you’ll be in a far better frame of mind to persevere. Frustration is a feeling, and feelings can be changed and controlled.”

What’s nice is that these concepts can all work well together as part of your overall success system.

So the next time while you are on your journey of success and things aren’t going your way, always remember that frustration equals success. Although you might want to quit, keep telling yourself, ‘things that move want to keep moving.’ It’s a sure-fire way to stay out of mental vertigo!

2008 Copyright Coxe’s Enterprises

Gary Coxe is a Personal Growth Expert and is recognized as one of the nations leading experts in the personal growth arena. He is a master at teaching others how to make dramatic change in their lives as well as a powerful resource in helping others create an extraordinary life with lasting results. He is the author of Don’t Let Others Rent Space In Your Head! His tragedy to triumph story is so outrageous that fiction writers would be shocked. He has made an impact on so many lives and his work has been seen on everything from The View, Inside Edition, Fox & Friends to a regular feature on CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. www.GaryCoxe.com

Author's Bio: 

Gary Coxe is a Personal Growth Expert and Life Strategist and is recognized as one of the nations leading experts in the personal growth arena. He is a master at teaching others how to make dramatic change in their lives and is a powerful resource in helping others create an extraordinary life with lasting results. He is the author of ‘Don’t Let Others Rent Space In Your Head!’ His tragedy to triumph story far succeeds anything you’ve ever heard of. He has made an impact on so many lives that his work has been seen or featured on every thing from The View, Inside Edition, Fox & Friends and he is a regular on CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.