I have struggled with being impatient most of my life. They even named a flower after me, it’s called the Impatient. I’ve been working on becoming more patient and of course being an impatient person, it’s taken me longer to become more patient than I wanted.
Why did I want to change this pattern of behavior?
I’ve come to realize that my impatience doesn’t make anyone or anything speed up. My impatience only makes me feel anger and anxiety. While I was in a hurry it seemed the whole world was in quicksand.
My impatience made me quick to judge others. I’d think about how much more efficient the check out would be if the person packing groceries did it differently, or how much time would be saved if there wasn’t so much small talk with the bank teller.
My impatience also made me exaggerate. I used to say “I had to wait forever and a day,” and “The line was backed up around the building.” In reality I waited three minutes and there were two people in front of me.
So I started working on becoming more patient. If you want to work on improving your impatience here are some steps to tame the beast.
1 Stop Exaggerating
Stop saying “The line was backed up around the building. Instead say there are three people ahead of me.
2. Clock Yourself
Every time I felt frustration due to “having to wait” I put ten minutes on my timer. I said to myself, “I can be patient for ten minutes, then I can worry about what to do next.” What I found is that most of the time I forgot about the timer and was already in the car on my way to my next appointment ahead of schedule.
3. Plan Better
Stop doing tasks when everyone else does them, and do your tasks when no one else does. You can also pad your time between tasks. Instead of worrying about wasting time, you now have extra time to check an email or play on social media.
4. See Impatience Differently
Many of us who are impatient are proud that we get things done fast, and we “see” impatience as having a high work ethic. The truth is, sometimes we don’t really get more done. Sometimes we have re-work from not being present and not being patient.
5. Know the Benefits
There are many benefits to being more patient. You’ll see others and yourself differently. You’ll have a reverence toward life. You’ll stop exaggerating and you’ll be more present. You won’t feel so angry or anxious and you’ll stop judging. You’ll be a better planner, and you’ll be more strategic. You’ll set boundaries instead of getting distracted.
How You Know You’re Changing
People will see you differently. You’ll be in the flow and experience time differently. The best part is when someone says, “Thank you for being so patient”.