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How to Practice Patience and Why Impatience is Ruining Your Life

How to Practice Patience and Why Impatience is Ruining Your Life

In this age of fast everything, many of us ambitious people are intensely hungry for success, money, growth, love, etc. We see somebody with a shiny toy, say, success in a certain area. And we want it too—now. This sentiment results from the illusion that we are in complete control over our lives. In reality, we are not.

The Illusion of Control

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    If we operate under the pretense that we are the ones in control, we encounter frustration, self-loathing, and general irritability. If we take 110% responsibility for life events, we see all negative circumstances as entirely our fault. That is a lie. We are in control about 89% of the time. Unexpected events happen. We cannot control the actions of others. This is not to say you should lean back and cede control. No. I believe in having direction, goals, and intentions. However, over-attachment to this mentality is detrimental to your success and your health. Patience is the acceptance of this fact and the willingness to trust outside forces to guide you in the most appropriate way. Patience is the openness to unpredictable events. Patience allows for relaxation and the enjoyment of each moment.

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    Why Impatience is Ruining Your Life

    Impatience is stressful. It ruins relationships. It devalues you as a an individual, and impedes your likelihood of success in any endeavor. Note that patience does not mean laziness. Patience is not the art of watching life go by. Patience is instead than intelligence on when to let go—when to surrender control. You can work as hard as you want, but expecting results yesterday will leave you with low self-esteem and a sour attitude. No one wants to be friends with a sourpuss. Impatience is the result of your inflated ego. Self-righteousness and a sense of entitlement lead to impatience. When you are in this space, you feel as if the world is underserving you by not presenting your desires on a silver platter.

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    How Do You Cultivate Patience?

    patience

      You cannot try to be more patient as you cannot try to lose weight. No, readers of Lifehack are smarter than that. We are high-value and high-functioning people. We do not simply “try” to accomplish things in life. We deliberately and systematically come up with a plan and method for execution. Below are concrete ways to cultivate patience:

      1. Learn how to breathe

      • When we get anxious and overly attached to outcomes, our breath immediately shortens. Oxygen that goes to our brains is reduced. We can’t think clearly.
      • When you notice yourself getting anxious and overly attached to end results, take a quick time out. Have the discipline to drop everything, sit still and breathe with ease. A few minutes should be enough.
      • Understand that even though you do largely determine your fate with your deliberate actions, goals, and productivity plans, you are not God and you cannot control every single event in life. Let it go. You’ll feel relieved.

      2. Love kindly. Give fully.

      • Love and impatience do not mix well. They are like water and oil.
      • Love is infinite in patience, eternal. There is no “end goal.”
      • Love is giving in nature. Impatience in love is selfish and narcissistic. Impatience in love is not actually love. It’s more like a self-serving desire to fulfill basic connection needs.
      • Love is understanding, forgiveness, and compassion. Love is a temporary detachment to the self and empathy with another. Impatience cannot exist in this realm.

      3. Take notes, analyze, and strategize.

      • Like any area you want to improve in your life, you must analyze where you right now. In which areas do you need more patience?
      • Write these areas down and star the most important area. If you were more patient in this area, how would that improve you life? Find your motivation.
      • Patience for its own sake isn’t very sexy. Find a motivating factor. Your health and emotional well-being might be a wise incentive.

      4. Excel at a new hobby.

      • Try something you’ve always wanted to try. Really make the effort to be good at it.
      • Now observe your learning curve. Do you see that the desire for immediate success is an impossible wish?
      • How can you apply these observations to other realms in your life?

      5. Get confident in your ability to achieve.

      • Impatience results from an uncertainty in your self-efficacy. When you are unsure of your ability to execute, you get impatient for outcomes. You want to prove to yourself that you are capable.
      • Convince yourself that the object of your desire is yours. You are completely capable of achieving whatever it is that you want.
      • The question is when you will achieve it, not if you will achieve it. And timing, you cannot control.
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      Last Updated on May 21, 2019

      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

      For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

      If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

      Example 1

      You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

      You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

      In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

      Example 2

      You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

      People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

      You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

      Example 3

      You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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      The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

      Example 4

      You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

      Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

      If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

      Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

      • Understand your own communication style
      • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
      • Communicate with precision and care
      • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

      1. Understand Your Communication Style

      To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

      In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

      Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

      2. Learn Others Communication Styles

      Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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      If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

      “How do you prefer to receive information?”

      This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

      To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

      3. Exercise Precision and Care

      A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

      On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

      Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

      I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

      I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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      In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

      The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

      Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

      4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

      Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

      In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

      “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

      Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

      Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

      It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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      It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

      It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

      Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

      Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

      The Bottom Line

      When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

      I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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      Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

      Reference

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