How to Develop Patience For Personal Growth
My first article of the year “The Overnight Success Myth”, focused on what has become an inherent disposition towards impatience. This article goes a stage further in cultivating patience in order to facilitate growth.
On reflection, although many of us do have time, we have very little patience and we want to get instant results or achieve instant changes in our life. Lack of patience invariably results in wrong decisions and ultimately stifles growth and happiness. Cultivating patience gives you a far greater chance of achieving a favourable outcome in your goals.
Now I am more than aware of the positive picture posts depicting that “good things come to those who chase them and not sit around waiting for things to happen.” I´ve even posted some of those on my own Facebook page. However, sitting around waiting and procrastinating is not nearly the same as learning to be patient.
I certainly don´t mean giving up and resigning your fate to circumstances you believe to be beyond your control. In fact, I mean exactly the opposite. Patience can be used as a positive reflective practice, allowing you to separate yourself from the emotional entanglement of a situation. It affords you the opportunity to look at your strategies with greater clarity and act in a timely manner on newfound more reliable information.
Instant Gratification versus Delayed Gratification
I get the idea of instant gratification. I really do. If you have the means and resources to get something you want right now, then why not?
However, the reality is that, sometimes time and patience may be all you have and you have to delay what has become an incessant need for instant gratification.
When we don’t get what we have our hearts and minds set on, the instant that we decide to have it, disappointment sets in and frustration takes over our thoughts. We start to behave badly towards others, we become irritable criticising the words and actions of others. Worse still, we slip into a mode of playing the victim and shower others with reasons and justifications of life having dealt you a bad hand. These self-defeating actions are only likely to move you further away from those close to you and will most certainly delay if not ruin the chance of you achieving a favourable outcome in the near future.
Frustrations caused by lack of patience kill dreams and stifle growth in all areas of our lives. They rob us of our attitude. We lose our perspective and purpose. Most of all, these frustrations are the thief of time and when all you have is time; why would you want to lose it?
Cast your mind back a moment to the times when your decisions, actions or words, added fuel to the fire or compounded the problem because impulse got the better of you. Although there is often a financial cost to impatience, there are also painful intangible costs as many working and personal relationships have suffered under the pull of impatience.
It´s not easy to adopt a patient attitude. However, I strongly believe that practicing patience and delayed gratification in our daily lives has a better chance of us seeing favourable outcomes, than seeking and demanding instant gratification.
How to Practice Patience
Think things through
Make sure that you have all the available information and possible outcomes, so that you can make a decision on balanced information.
Think before you speak
Hold your tongue and don’t let the emotion of the situation cloud your judgement.
Make a list
List all of the things that you have done that required patience. When you see how this list grows and how patience has had a positive impact, you will see that the more you practice it, the better you become.
The Benefits of Patience
It’s a human tendency to make decisions based on emotions and then justify later with facts. Patience affords the time to gather facts, resulting in more rational decision making.
Increased Emotional Awareness
Developing patience doesn’t just help with your own decisions and actions. It helps you to become more emotionally aware of the situations and circumstances surrounding others. The net result of that is stronger and more fulfilling relationships.
Reduced Stress Levels
The less patience we have, the more stressed we are. When we are stressed, we are not in control of our emotions. Stress is a killer and can take years off your life. It makes perfect sense for the good of ourselves and our loved ones to limit the stress in any given situation. Positively, the reverse helps take the sting out of difficult situations and paves the way for a happier, healthier life.
Some Final thoughts
As a teacher and trainer for the greater part of 30 years, I have learned that patience is something that can be developed. Therefore, it’s a choice. Choosing to delay your actions, decisions and words for the optimum moment, may sometimes test your nerve. You may even question your reasons for letting things flow but ultimately, making your move at the right time under the right circumstances has a greater chance of seeing a favourable outcome.
There is so much more that I want to learn and experience in my life that the only sensible approach to having a more fulfilled life is cultivating patience in my personal and business life.
When you find something within your reach that makes your heart race and lights up your life. It may seem like an eternity before the moment comes when you can reach out and hold it and finally call it yours. Nevertheless, when that moment comes, you will treasure it forever and appreciate it so much more.
Thank you for taking time out to read this article.
There is so much more to be discussed on this topic and I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and opinions.
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