“A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else.”
Patience has never been my strongest suit. I have a hard time accepting that things happen when the time is right, not when I expect them to.
Now, I’m finally beginning to notice that my getting upset about a situation that cannot be changed serves only to make my already unpleasant mood worse. So, after a particularly anxious afternoon, I’ve decided to figure out a way to proactively develop patience.
First things first, though. Let’s meet the enemy.
Impatience is triggered when we have a goal and realise it’s going to cost us more than we had initially thought to reach it. We then start searching for alternative strategies to reduce the costs of reaching our goal, or even to switch goals.
In practice, we tend to question the value of our current activity, become less productive and engaged in our undertakings. We experience a lot of unnecessary agitation, second guessing and irrational choices.
So, what can we do about it?
The good news is that patience can be cultivated, just like any other soft skill. By pressing pause to notice and understand what’s happening, we connect to our patterns and regain the power to change them.
Here, I’ve rounded up some ideas that support the long-term process of transformation.
- Notice when you’re responding with impatience.
- Pay attention to how it feels in your mind and body.
- Recognise your triggers.
- Put things in perspective.
- Learn to accept what is.
- Embrace the uncomfortable.
- Stop imagining the ideal.
- Practice gratitude.
- Take a time out.
- Relax you body.
- Celebrate small milestones.
- Stop rushing around, slow down.
- Assess and evaluate what’s important.
- Make the waiting time enjoyable.
- Find healthy ways to relieve frustration.
- Stop putting a timeframe to progress.
- Trust that the seeds you’ve planted will grow.
- Support your efforts with kindness and compassion.
- The most important lessons are the ones we learn along the way.
- Keep practicing.
What about you? Have you managed to master patience through proactive practice? How do you shield yourselves from becoming impatient? Please, share your stories in the comments section below.