I am not a patient person. Waiting (for anything) has just never come naturally to me. I never thought that my lack of patience was a serious problem. It was just one piece of a patchwork of qualities that made me unique. That is, until recently, when I came to the realisation that this trait was holding me back in many areas of my life — work, relationships and, most of all, my personal development.
In any given situation, if I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted almost instantly I became frustrated and disappointed, leading me to label it or, in most cases, myself as a failure. So I gave up. Threw in the towel. Deemed myself unworthy. Where has this gotten me? Nowhere!
So, I set out to find the tools I would need to become a more patient person. After combing the internet for every tip and trick for mastering the art of patience, I learnt that patience is a skill. And like any other skill, it can be learnt, developed and mastered. Here’s how:
Catch yourself the next time you find your mind racing with thoughts of frustration. Take 3 deep breaths and ground yourself in that moment. Use your mind to search your body for any tension. Once you find it, focus on it and imagine yourself literally exhaling the tension with every controlled breath. Think of it as breathing out the bad energy you are holding in your muscles. This is a simple meditation technique that helps put you back into the present moment.
Find Your Triggers
Once you have learnt to catch your mind and ground it when impatience strikes, you can begin to identify and counteract your triggers. Were you running late? Had you skipped a meal? Did you feel physically uncomfortable?
Personally, I found my impatience spiked when I compared myself to others. I felt like my life wasn’t moving as fast as theirs and I just wanted things to magically happen to me. To tackle this trigger I told myself: ‘The less time I spend comparing myself to others, the more time I have to work towards MY dreams.’
Sometimes we are so caught up chasing the next big thing in our lives, that we forget to appreciate what we already have — family, partners, opportunities at work. Plus, research has shown that practising gratitude can make us happier, optimistic and can even reduce stress.
Being impatient is nothing more than a frugal attempt to squirm your way into the future. Into a moment where you are comfortable and happy. The harsh reality is: The only way to get there is to wait — preferably patiently. You are here, in the present moment. You aren’t going anywhere. No matter how much you huff, puff and stress-out. Once you realise this and accept the situation for what it is, you can focus on making the best of it.
Breath — Take a moment to observe your surroundings — Apply your mind to something more productive
Do you have any tips for becoming a more patient person? If so, share them with me in the comments.