We’ve all heard the saying that “patience is a virtue”. We may have even proudly applied the expression to ourselves from time-to-time (usually once we’ve completed a particularly tiresome task and relief has washed over us!).
However, when we’re in the midst of a situation where we’re not seeing the instantaneous results we’d like, whether it’s waiting in line to get your lunch, or landing that job you’ve got your heart set on, it’s sometimes difficult to see the bigger picture. After all, we live in an age where we have a constant stream of emails, texts, apps and social media alerting us throughout the day with beeps, tweets and pokes.
What once took a few days to get response, now only takes seconds. When it comes to receiving a confirmation email advising that your room has been booked, this is great, however when it comes to some of life’s bigger decisions or lessons, rushing the outcome isn’t always the best solution. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
So let’s take a step back and look at how we can turn our frustration with the long line at the bank, or with the lack of response from the object of your affection, into some good old fashioned patience!
Expect The Unexpected
Nothing in life is perfect – including you. We place such high expectations on ourselves and on situations that we forget that life simply isn’t designed this way. Things will, and do, go wrong. However, how we deal with life’s unexpected twists and turns makes all the difference with moving forward. While we can’t change what’s out of our control, we can decide how we’re going to react. By accepting life’s twists and turns gracefully, we’re able to free ourselves from negative feelings of anxiety or frustration and move to a healthier place of acceptance.
Identify The Cause
Next time you feel your body tenses up because you’re not getting the result you’d like, try and take a step back and identify what’s really making you feel angry, disappointed or frustrated.
For example, is your frustration the result of a relationship where your needs are not being met? Are you just being impatient, or subconsciously, do you know this relationship is unhealthy, only adding to your frustration every time there’s a bump in the road? By trying to understand and reflect on these triggers, you can work out the root of your frustration and being to really address the problem (instead of losing your cool because they showed up five minutes late!).
Learn To Be Patient With The Small Things
There’s no doubt that learning to be patient with the small things in life is a lot easier than being patient with the things that really matter to you, such as getting another job rejection. However, by learning to accept the smaller situations, you’ll be able to deal with the bigger issues.
Next time something small goes wrong or you’re getting impatient, take a step back. Become aware of your body. Are you tense or feeling jittery with anxiety? Take a deep breath, let your shoulders relax. Be still for a few moments and ask yourself whether what’s bothering you is worth getting upset over. More often than not, your answer will be no. Smile at the situation and decide not to let it get the better of you.
Don’t Rush The Big Decisions
Something’s in life simply cannot be rushed – buying that perfect first home, meeting your new best friend or falling in love with your life partner. Of course the blow of rejection can be hard to swallow when we don’t get what we think our hearts wants, although when we look back on these situations, aren’t we glad we didn’t settle for the first available option? Sometimes the truest path to happiness requires a little heartache and a few set backs along the way.
Learning to be patient takes time and self-control – after all, there’s a reason they call it a virtue! Although isn’t choosing grace and acceptance, rather than anger and frustration, a much better way to live? One that will have a positive impact not only on ourselves – but those around us.
If you have a way to calm your frustrations and bring out your inner-virtuous-patient-self, share it below!