Reading time: 2 minutes
Wait a minute!
Are you asking me if I am a patient person?
Hmm, let me think about that. “Am I myself a patient person?”
But I should be, and so should you. Here’s why.
A lack of patience can damage personal and business relationships.
When you get impatient, you might snap at someone. Words are powerful.
Once we say something stinging or hurtful, the words are impossible to take back. An emotional outburst escalates into more drama. Harsh words can make a small child cry and can make a co-worker or boss angry.
Don’t I know it!
And “keeping your cool” can make you more successful at your job.
How can that be, you ask?
Well, when you step away from the urgency of a situation and examine it calmly, you will see a new perspective.
Then when you comment or react, you come across as “thoughtful,” “in control,” “intelligent.”
Honestly I am struggling with not losing my patience all the time.
Philosophically, I have a “way out there” theory that our personal concept of time is directly related to our level of patience. Hang on, I can explain.
When we feel impatient, aren’t we really feeling a lack of time? I know most of my fears, deep down, come from the fear of “missing out.”
Because I don’t have the time. And when I get fearful, I often act impatiently and thought-less-ly.
I came up with some tips to help you “keep your cool” and be patient even in challenging situations.
These involve creating a “mental tool kit” in advance of any situation where you might get pushed into impatience. Once you’ve done this, you can keep it with you always. Either in your mind, or take an image of it and keep it on your smartphone.
Breathe! Your body reacts immediately when impatience hits you. Stop what you are doing and breathe. Recognize that you are in a state of impatience. Take a deep breath and focus your attention on inhaling and exhaling. Allow yourself to calm down.
Shift your focus. Shift from emotional reaction to mental observation. And try to review the situation dispassionately. Take a few seconds to put things into perspective. Consciously think about the volume and tone of your voice before you speak. Then speak.
Can you find the humor? A sincere laugh or chuckle could be the best reaction to a frustrating situation where you are getting impatient.
There’s an old saying that may apply here: If it will be funny later on when we retell it, then it’s funny now.
Laughter is the best medicine of all once we choose to use our sense of humor to get us through moments that aggravate us.
Don’t let situations catch you by surprise.
Okay, admittedly this you have to do beforehand. I’ve found that I react impatiently “automatically” when someone’s words or actions surprise me.
I overreact when I’m caught off guard. So, I recommend role playing.
Think ahead to what’s coming up. Try to imagine what could happen. The good and the bad. Practice your possible reactions in advance.
Tap into your great resources of love, joy, and laughter.
Looking at the situation from a place of love allows us to have more understanding and compassion as we relate to another person.
Finding joy, either big or small, allows us to lighten up and redirect our energy in a positive manner. Smile with an open heart as you breathe in the joy of life.
Try to get more sleep. If you have time before a potentially stressful situation, take a nap.
Give your mind and body a chance to recover and prepare for what’s ahead.
I put this on the list because it is the solution to so many of life’s issues. I know that when I’m sleep-deprived, I get grumpy.
Patience requires balancing our mind, spirit, and body in alignment with our intentions, desires, hopes, dreams, and goals.
It is a skill worth developing, so that your relationships with your family, your friends, your co-workers, and your loved ones are more stress-free and harmonious.