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7 things you might not know about being patient

26 July, 2021

We’ve all heard that patience is a virtue. It was drilled into us by our parents and teachers growing up but learning how to be patient is a skill and one that not so many of us are very good at practicing. 

Impatience can look like this; 

  • Trying to control everything 
  • Overthinking everything 
  • Quitting your goals 
  • Quitting on yourself 
  • Not trusting the process 
  • Negative self-talk 
  • Perfectionism
  • Self-doubt

For a long-time, my impatience displayed as self-hatred and negative self-talk. I would beat myself up so hard if things didn’t go to plan or if I couldn’t see the results of the efforts I was putting in straight away. It stopped me so much in my life and completely zapped the joy out of me. Learning how to be patient has increased my positivity, expanded my curiosity, and helped me live a much kinder and calmer life. 

This simple piece of advice changed my life so much.

Instead of waiting (impatiently), I choose to focus on how I behave. My behaviour is the sum of my daily habits, rituals, and mindset towards playing the long game. 

The benefits of developing a skill of patience have included; 

  • Living more in the moment 
  • Enjoying the present
  • Gratitude 
  • Momentum towards achieving goals 
  • Calmness
  • Positivity 
  • Self-compassion 
  • Strong self-belief 

When I was working through increasing my patience, this is how I did it: 

1. I learnt to breathe (deeply) and calm my mind 

I committed to a daily breathing practice while listening to a short meditation. It felt uncomfortable sitting there for ten minutes – my impatience took hold. However, over the course of a couple of weeks, I started increasing my time for sitting still, and I could use the breathing exercises throughout the day to help me feel grounded and clear my mind. 

2. I used self-reflection to keep my perspective of how things were going.

I started an evening journaling routine to reflect on my day, focusing on what went well (the stuff we tend to forget about), and would then set one action for the following day to keep me on track of my goals. This simple exercise really helped me see how my day had been and keep perspective on my progress. 

3. I set a daily intention on how I wanted to BE that day. 

I would take 10 deep breaths, look at my to-do list for the day ahead and write down how I wanted to act during the day to practice being patient with the process. Often I would want to go through the day feeling calm. Therefore I intended to be calm, and for me to be calm, I needed to breathe deeply, pause before I responded to things or situations, and add time for myself on my to-do list. Other days I would want to be focused and productive, and for that, I had to keep my goals at the forefront of my mind. I would revisit my written goals and vision board, listen to a motivational podcast, and set a specific milestone to achieve that day. 

4. I would make a conscious effort to do things differently. 

Developing my self-awareness helped me recognise what did work for me and the things that didn’t. I often refer to the saying, ‘if you want things to be different, you need to do things differently.’ So I consciously started changing how I did things – from what I was eating, how I spent my mornings, what I was reading, how I would speak to myself, how I took compliments and who I was hanging around with regularly. 

5. I became clear on the game I was playing. 

I chose to develop patience like playing a game (rather than a struggle). It reminded me that self-growth and taking steps towards achieving my goals is a fun and exhilarating process. When I felt frustrated, controlling, or negative, I would refer to my game plan to shift my perspective positively and uplifting. 

6. I allowed myself time off. 

I’ve caught myself in the trap of overworking so many times in the attempt to achieve more and be better, and ultimately it has left me at the brink of burnout. This impatience to have it all now and the mindset that ‘I should be doing it all’ had to stop to deepen my patience, and to do that, I had to commit to taking time off, literally creating space in my week and month to do nothing. When I felt most uncomfortable, it was essential to practice patience and to experience for myself that taking one day off does not mean ‘the world will end.’ It showed me that it’s ok for things to take time, and it will all be ok in the end. 

 

7. I was willing to learn and unlearn what I already knew. 

Adopting a growth mindset helped me accept that making mistakes and failing are all part of achieving a goal. Experiencing these mishaps helps us evolve and grow in ways we cannot plan or control. Learning has expanded my mind and opened my eyes to what is possible if I allow myself to be patient during the process. It’s helped me develop a more profound sense of self and the belief that I will reach my goals – but actually, who I am today is what matters most. 

I know if you’re opening my emails you’ve got some big plans for your life. I bet you’ve set some goals, and I want to help you enjoy the process of achieving them!

So, if your patience is running thin, choose one of the suggestions above and start taking it one step at a time.

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