Is there something constructive about discontent? You betcha. 10 Tips & 10 Posts!

Constructive discontent? Yes, you betcha!
Constructive Discontent is a Critical 3Q Edge™ Skill. 

TenTips & Ten Posts
Irene Becker | Just Coach It-The 3Q Edge™ | QBlog
Helping smart people and organizations communicate & LEAD forward smarter, faster, happier



Attitude is altitude, but what do you do when your attitude is negatively impacted by actions of another person?  No matter how optimistic or positive you are, we all come face to face with negative experiences.  We can adopt a Hobbesian view of life and see our journey as “short, nasty and brutish”, or we can uncomfortable while not being held hostage by it.

Constructive discontent is the ability to become the neutral observer in your life so that you can find the learning point, the benefit in whatever has transpired. Can constructive discontent be learned?  Yes, I am living proof, as our my clients; and the benefits are multi-fold.  How much better would you do, how much better would you feel, how much more effectively would you communicate, lead and live if you mastered the art of constructive discontent?

Think about it.  How many minutes a day, a week, a  month are usurped by frustration, stress, irritation? The World Health Organization reports that stress will be the leading cause of physical disability by 2020.  Will you become a stress statistic or a success statistic.  Success means changing your relationship with discontent.

How often do you either react and regret it, or go into the cave and disable your ability to respond effectivelyHere are Ten Simple Steps to Developing Constructive Discontent, as well as links to other posts including Building Constructive Discontent is a Critical Life & Leadership  Skill (3Q Skill)

Ten Tips for Building Constructive Discontent

1.  Expect to encounter people and situations that will challenge you.  Decide that YOU will NOT react or retreat/hide unless your personal safety is threatened.  Learn strategies to help you get past the usual 90 second window of a fight or flight response.

2.  Don’t take responsibility for the actions of others. Understand that the only person you can control is yourself.  You can learn to deal more effectively by reacting less or not running away from confrontational or unpleasant situations, by learning to respond in the most effective way.

3. Learn to set small goals, achieve them, celebrate them in your mind’s eye and start the process all over again.  The smallest goal, done consistently rewrites the neural pathway. Small changes lead to BIG steps forward. 

4.  If you cannot be happy where you are right now, be neutral.  Apply an attitude of gratitude; look at what is working before you focus on the challenge or pain point at hand. 

5. Stay in neutral by learning to move through a painful feeling or reaction.  Do a silent scream (Go to a private place and just scream with NO sound.  That’s right do silent scream and watch negative tension dissipate).

6.  Take a walk.  Do something physical for 20 minutes to distract your self from focusing on the pain point.

7. Enjoy what YOU have achieved. Often we are so busy trying to do more or have more that we do not pay tribute to our own accomplishments.

8.  Unlearn focusing on what is wrong.  Most of us are socialized to focus on what is wrong.  Start being solution focused.  Take small steps to just observe whatever you are experiencing that is uncomfortable by not focusing on the problem but searching for the solution.

9.  Balance discontent with gratitude.  Focus first on what you are grateful for.  Balance the negative with an outstanding positive.

10.  Expect to be disappointed, but know that there is a positive learning waiting for you in the most challenging of conversations, situations or experiences.  If you cannot find the silver lining, find someone who can help you see the challenge at hand with new eyes. Success is never achieved alone.  You need a village to raise a child, and many people all have different roles to play in the personal success of an adult human being.

More on Constructive Discontent?  More on living and leading happier? YES! 

Constructive Discontent – A Critical Life and Leadership Skill

Ten Steps to a Happier More Successful YOU

Rediscover Your Personal Genius -Take the Garbage Out

Seven Practical, Purposeful, Positive Coaching Tips

Get Happier-7 Steps

Rediscover YOUR Fire

Three Simple Reasons to Reclaim YOUR Joy

Step UP to Leadership, Wellbeing & More!

Get Back On Track When You Have Hit A Wall


I couldn’t see the forest for the trees so I built my own path.
I inspired others to join me. Together, we LEAD forward smarter, faster, happier!


Irene Becker | Just Coach It | The 3Q Edge™
Helping smart people and organizations communicate and LEAD forward smarter, faster, happier
Coaching, Consulting, Keynotes & Articles with a 3Q Edge™

Yorkville, West End Toronto and VIRTUALLY Everywhere   Call 416-671-4726   Email


Do you want to hire me to speak/write? Build constructive discontent?  Learn more about 3Q Edge™ coaching

8 replies
    • Irene Becker
      Irene Becker says:

      Hi Trevor: Thank you so much for your kind note. I share your passion for learning! I hope that you will enjoy all the posts on my blog. Lots more to come soon!

      Very best, Irene

  1. Helio Fred Garcia
    Helio Fred Garcia says:

    Like it all, but particularly the emphasis on an attitude of gratitude. There isn’t enough attention paid to the whole idea of gratitude, and I’m glad you’re on it.

    I have a friend who is a brilliant theologian who is developing a new book on the theology of gratitude. It will be a major contribution.

    In the meantime, we need to do more to embed gratitude as a fundamental leadership temperament.

    Thank you for being part of it.

    • Irene Becker
      Irene Becker says:

      Fred: Thank you so much for your comments, and appreciation of this post! Gratitude is such a critical area, and I believe that it is fundamental to 21st century leadership. Wow, your friend’s book is truly an important work. I cannot wait until it is published, and I can read it.

      I agree that embedding gratitude as fundamental to leadership is critical. I believe that it is something that I do very well with clients, and would like to have the opportunity to help this critical area get more resonance and reach!

      I thank you for your post, your important work…and a great book “The Power of Communication”.
      Best! Irene


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