What is patience?
According to Wikipedia, the exact definition of patience is “the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties.” But I think you’ll like my simpler definition better:
I feel that being patient is simply your ability to tolerate and persevere when things get tough. It is your ability to keep calm and think clearly in times of stress and practically speaking it is your ability to wait without becoming annoyed or anxious.
Why should you want to become more patient?
Patience is vital to success and you should put a lot of effort into mastering this “skill”. And if you want to become successful in all areas of your life you should make every effort to become a more patient person. Here are the 3 main benefits you`ll get by becoming more patient:
1. Better Decision Making
By learning how to be more patient you will become better at making decisions. You will take the time to assess every situation and will understand that making rash decisions is never beneficial. Your chances of making a big mistake will decrease because you will avoid making decisions in haste.
Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing” it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way. ― Fulton J. Sheen
2. Less Stress
By becoming more patient you will greatly reduce the mental stress in your life. You will begin to understand that some things take longer than others and that waiting for things to happen is not always a bad thing. You will find that as you become more patient you will automatically begin to feel less stressed, angry and overwhelmed in tough situations.
3. Better Relationships
By becoming more patient you will become more flexible and understanding towards your spouse’s or friends’ supposed mistakes or shortcomings. This will help you to create more intimate connections as well as build a strong foundation for longer-lasting relationships.
Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. – John Quincy Adams
Some background information about patience
I always stress the fact that to truly fix or solve a problem you should first understand it completely. That is why before you learn how to become more patient you must realize where your current patience level comes from.
The initial root of patience is your childhood.
The coping style which you learned as a child is generally the same in later life. If you learned that kicking and screaming loudly resulted in your mom and dad caving in and letting you “have it” you likely began with an initial low level of patience. On the other hand, if your mom or dad were firm but encouraging, you likely developed a different mind-set when faced with inconveniences and likely began with a starting higher level of patience. As you grew older and progressed in life, your interactions with people defined the patience that you now have.
How To Be More Patient:
Finally, we are here. These strategies will help you mold yourself into a more patient, easy-going person.
1. Understand & Counteract Your Triggers
Impatience is something that is triggered. This trigger is different for everybody but it has the same purpose. To become more patient try to “understand“ what your trigger is. What is that thing that you think about or feel right before you lose it? Maybe your trigger is when someone screams at you? or if someone calls you a certain name? Point is whatever your trigger — the first step to countering it is to understand it and try to uncover the deep-rooted insecurity that is causing this trigger to exist in the first place.
Once you understand what your trigger is you can work on counteracting it by doing calming exercises or techniques whenever you feel the trigger building up.
2. Increase Your Self-Confidence
Impatience usually rears its ugly head when you feel let down or when you don’t feel in control or perhaps feel that your hands are tied. You want something to happen NOW, but you just cannot seem to do anything to speed things up. A person with a high level of confidence will accept the situation as it is; they will not fight it or rail against it. Rather, they will work with it.
To become more patient, realize that patience and confidence go hand in hand. A good example I like using is of rafting in the ocean. If you try to paddle against the tide you will exert a lot of energy and will feel extremely tired, yet against the power of waves, won’t travel that far of a distance. But if you paddle with the current, not just will you exert very little energy, you will also travel a much further distance.
In life, you have to pick and choose your battles. Sure there are times you must take a stand and travel against the current, but in most day to day moments, it is not just healthier but also much easier to go with the flow of things and have the confidence to deal with life as it happens.
3. Put On Your “Positive” Glasses
Patience is all about perspective and how you look at situations.
For example, if you miss your bus don`t focus on the negatives but emphasize the positive things such as you`ll get exercise from walking or that you can enjoy the fresh air. So try to put a positive spin on everything you do; you will find that you will not just reduce tension but you`ll become a much happier person.
Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation. ― Michael Jordan
4. Change Your Attitude
Most people struggling with patience can never answer this question.
“Why are you in such a hurry?”
Realize that even if something happens a few seconds or even a few minutes late, nothing will happen (If your job requires you or your team members to be extremely punctual, that is a different topic altogether. The scope of this article is more about being patient in day to day life) The task will still get done and everything will still work out. Try to keep an open perspective and don’t give yourself useless stress.
5. Visualize Worst-Case Scenarios
This might seem counterproductive, but if you try to be one step ahead of the game by visualizing yourself facing the problem before it happens. This lets you set goals for how you are going to react and react in a more positive way when faced with that stressing situation.
A lack of patience is really just insecurity packaged differently. You are impatient and not able to “handle the pressure” and succumb to letting go because you are not ready to deal with the consequences of not getting what you want right away. For example, after a long hard day if you have requested your spouse or child to bring you some water, but they are late and don’t bring it right away, and you lose your cool — is this a problem in them or a problem in you? Why can’t you wait for longer? What is the worst-case scenario? Is simply some temporary dryness of your throat the only real “negative” to you waiting?
You should ask yourself similar questions like these in every situation when you feel your patience running thin. You will discover there are very few real-life scenarios your body is not fit to withstand or tolerate.
6. Periodically Release Tension and Stress
In most cases, impatience is the release of pent up stress, tension, and anxiety. Say you had a long day at work, and your boss was grilling you all day long. But because if you talk back to your boss you can get fired, you “tolerate it” and absorb all of that negative energy and stress. But unfortunately just like physics, once any object absorbs energy or better said it’s energy level increases (for example a rock lifted off the ground, now has the innate energy inside of it to fall down due to gravity), the energy is never destroyed but only converted. So sometimes people who seem impatient aren’t really to blame at all, they just are not able to release this pent up energy inside of them correctly and instead leaks out during moments of stress.
There are many ways to release this pent up stress and anxiety inside of you, But the methods I like the best include:
- Exercising Regularly
- Taking Time For Short Meditation Sessions
- Doing Breathing Exercises
- Practicing “ME” Time where you daily track where you are in the day, how you feel, why you feel how you feel, what is triggering any negative feelings and being compassionate to yourself and treating yourself with love. Use this time to help yourself like you would a really dear friend who has had a tough day. Self-love goes a long way.
7. A Few Motivational Quotes About Patience
This is obviously not a “tip” in its own right, but I find quotes to be so powerful. These are some of my favorite quotes about patience and will make you realize that this “skill” is not something new, but a patient person has always been revered and has been seen as a successful person throughout the history of mankind.
- A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else. -George Savile
- Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius. -Benjamin Disraeli
- It is hard! But what cannot be removed becomes lighter through patience. -Horace
- He that can have patience can have what he will. -Benjamin Franklin
- I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. -Lao Tzu