Understanding Frustration and Conflict as Symptoms of Will

Understanding Frustration and Conflict as Symptoms of Will


frustration and conflict

Frustration is a symptom of the soul that can arise due to the unfulfillment of a will (conation) in an individual. As a result, a person will lose his motivation to achieve something. One of the main causes of frustration is because one’s motives are disturbed by a conflict. Therefore, motives, motivations, frustrations, and conflicts are closely related to one another.



Learning what frustration and conflict are is one of the keys for us to deepen our knowledge about conation symptoms as a human mental process. In addition, by objectively understanding frustration and conflict we are also automatically able to become individuals who are more resistant to these problems so that we can have healthy motivation.


Definition of Frustration

Frustration is a feeling of disappointment that is obtained because a person’s will or goal is not achieved as a result of not understanding why that desire or goal is not achieved (Saleh, 2018, p. 133). Not understanding why the goal cannot be achieved is the main cause of frustration. As a result, individuals feel they have no way out of their problems, so they stop having the desire (motivation) to solve them.


In achieving goals, an individual must have the will to do so. But even when the goal has been pursued by high will and motivation, one will eventually experience various obstacles. When obstacles cause goals not to be achieved, frustration or disappointment can occur.



In addition to losing motivation, individuals who experience frustration can also experience depression, feel guilty, become anxious, fearful, and experience other negative affect. It’s times like this that emotional intelligence becomes an important thing that must be honed to handle it.


Individuals who are able to control their emotions well are called intellectually intelligent

emotional. Emotional intelligence refers to emotional competencies such as the ability to build motivation, overcome frustration, be able to empathize with others, and

maintaining a balance between reason and feeling. For someone who has emotional intelligence, frustration or disappointment will not prevent him from thinking objectively.


Frustration Causes

It can almost be said that emotional intelligence is the main key to overcoming frustration. This is because the big obstacles that hinder the goal will always be present in a mental state and the best environmental context. This leads us to the causes or other factors that can cause frustration. Some other causes of frustration are as follows.



From the environment, for example, existing social norms are an obstacle to a person’s will to carry out self-actualization. Under these circumstances, a person may experience frustration because his environment is unable to accept his will.

Competence, ability, or skills that exist within the individual are not

according to the portion of his goal, so he cannot reach it.

Conflicts between existing motives, two or more motives appear together and require fulfillment or resolution (Saleh, 2018, p. 133).


Conflict is the clash of wills or motives. Of course, this conflict can be caused by many things, depending on the type itself. Several types of conflict According to Kurt Lewin (in Saleh, 2018, p. 134) there are three types, namely as follows.


Approach-approach conflicts

This conflict arises because there are two or more motives, all of which have a positive value for the individual concerned, and the individual makes a choice between the existing motives.

Avoidance-avoidance conflict

This conflict arises because the individual faces two or more motives and all of them have a negative value for the individual concerned, the individual cannot reject them, must choose one of the existing motives.

Approach-avoidance conflict

Is a conflict that arises because individuals face objects that contain positive and negative values, this can cause conflict in the individual concerned.

When individuals face conflict, there are several possible responses that can be taken by the individual concerned. Some of these responses are as follows.


Selection or rejection

Occurs when it contains a positive or negative value for the individual concerned.


Occurs if the individual can take a compromising response, for example wanting to study, but also wanting to work, then both can do it.

undecided (worried)

Occurs when individuals are required to choose or reject between two motives, then sometimes there is confusion, in making this decision the individual must consider and examine carefully all aspects of this matter. Decisions taken must be rational, objective but still come from the heart (subjective) of the conscience of the individual concerned.

To deal with conflicts that can cause frustration, a person is expected to have a good personality. Personality is self-adjustment, namely a process of individual response, both behavioral and mental in an effort to overcome inner needs, emotional tension, frustration and conflict, and maintain

balance, between fulfilling these needs with norms and the environment (Warsah & Daheri, 2021, p.12).

Increase Motivation This Way (Continuous & Independent Method)


At some point, we all must have felt that work, assignments, and all the activities that we have to do seemed to never end. Not to mention, the various activities feel very repetitive and don’t inspire enthusiasm to finish them right away.



Only a sense of responsibility or guilt about the obligation that makes us able to stumble to keep doing it.


When that happens, it could be that we are experiencing psychological exhaustion. However, psychological fatigue is very close to the symptoms of a frustrated soul which is the opposite of motivation.


Even though it sounds cliche and even skeptical, motivation is very important to have, because this is one of the symptoms of the soul that shapes our mentality as humans.



Without motivation, all the activities we do will foster various negative emotions which will gradually erupt into stress and have a negative effect on productivity, daily life, and even our mental health.


Therefore, motivation is not just nonsense that is expected to be able to encourage us to do something, but is a mental reality that must be considered and controlled so that we are all able to fully live a productive and happy life.



All organisms in the world, including humans, need strength that comes from within to push themselves to do something. The urge that comes from within to do something is called a motive (Warsah & Daheri, 2021, p. 121).



Motivation itself is a process to move motives into behavior or actions to satisfy or achieve goals (Hidayah in Nurjan, 2016, p. 151). Thus, to get motivation, what we have to do is to have a motive first.


Although motives are drives that come from within, usually the triggers themselves emerge from outside, whether it’s from the family, community, school, and so on.



Some experts even define various external factors and stimuli that stimulate this motive as motivation itself. This is why many try to generate motivation through various inspirational stories or motivational lectures conducted by motivators.


However, these motives and motivations are actually complex mental symptoms related to many factors. Therefore, external stimulation, such as from inspirational stories, is not enough to grow them consistently.



Motives can also be interpreted as a driving force from within to carry out certain activities in order to achieve goals (Asrori, 2020, p. 54). Thus, one of the practical and concrete steps to get consistent motives and motivation is to set clear goals.


Even though it sounds trivial, it is the failure to set goals that often demotivates us.


For example, people tend to make goals that are too general and big like “tidy up the room” instead of “make the bed sheets”. That way, our mental processes unconsciously fail to interpret their motives which will lead to failure in stimulating motivation as well.


In fact, if the goals we propose are more narrow, this will further motivate us to complete small jobs one by one, so that in the end we are able to complete the big task as a whole.


However, that narrow goal will only be able to create small motivations that will have an impact on the processes and activities that we are doing at that moment.


Motivation is an active process that must be managed all the time in a certain process and at some point, it will disappear after experiencing tedious repetition.


That is why, these various concise goals must also be packaged by a big goal that we hope to achieve in the future or what is commonly referred to as a vision or aspiration.


This is why one of the most common questions asked in job interviews is: “What are your plans for the next 5 years?” or similar questions that essentially question the vision we have and implicitly provide an overview of our work motivation.


Vision or aspiration is an important component in forming motivation, without a clear vision, someone will find it difficult to generate motivation for various missions that will be carried out daily.


If we don’t have a vision, then this must be contemplated and determined immediately so that we are able to burn motivation independently. The trick can be as simple as making a list of the various goals and productive activities that we do every day, then generalizing and multiplying them by big targets that take a long time.


As unrealistic as it may sound and a mere textbook point, this vision is one of the strongest traits of a successful and happy person. Someone who doesn’t have a vision tends to not have various plans and is moved to do everything he does in life.


Maintaining Consistency of Motivation

Besides being tied to many external factors, motivation is also a mental symptom that is interrelated with other mental phenomena. Humans have three mental symptoms or main interrelated mental processes, namely: cognition which involves reason, affection which regulates feelings, and conation which relates to will or will.


For example, by watching inspirational success stories or motivational stories, our feelings will be moved so that we are motivated to be better through the mental process of conation. Unfortunately this situation will not last long.


This is because feelings or emotions are very volatile and can lose their strength at any time if they are not stimulated again. This affection or feeling is indeed a symptom of a soul that tends to be unstable and difficult to steer.


On the other hand, cognition or thinking mental processes are mental symptoms that are very consistent and can be controlled more flexibly. Thus, it is the mental process of cognition that should be the conation driver to get consistent motivation.


Think of those excited feelings that are motivated as just a lighter that starts a fire. After that, it is our cognition or common sense that must keep the embers of motivation from going out.


Even so, in fact almost all the symptoms of the human soul or mental processes will go hand in hand. Like how when our cognition succeeds in solving a problem, then a feeling of satisfaction or relief will come to us, which means it is related to affective mental symptoms.


Likewise, when we have the will or are motivated to realize certain motives, feelings of laziness or other discomfort may take hold. Emotional control is the only way to avoid its negative impacts. Therefore, maintaining our mental stability is another important aspect that must be considered in maintaining the continuity of motivation.


Meanwhile, if the mental process of conation or our will no longer provides sufficient motivation, then stimulate it with various sources of motivation, be it from motivational books, motivator videos, or various inspirational stories from films and other public entertainment.


Yes, this conation actually can’t only be recharged by specific content designed to increase motivation. Some people actually don’t like and find it amused to watch or read motivational stories, but instead they can be motivated by watching anime series that are rich in stories of the spirit of life and friendship.


In essence, the sources of motivation for people are very diverse, because our mental processes and personalities are the same. Try to find out exactly what things can motivate us more effectively and efficiently, don’t get hung up on things that have become the daily norm.


Through setting detailed goals, an overarching vision, and always maintaining the balance of our mentality, motivation will approach much more consistently and can be achieved independently, which means that it will continue to provide sustainable benefits for all productive activities that we carry out.

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