1. Recognise that impatience has arrived.
This may not be easy at first. When things aren’t going our way (for example, we’re stuck in traffic), we tend to think that the cause of our impatience is external to us (outside of our control). But, of course, the cause is what’s going on in our own minds, that is, our response to whatever problem we’re facing. So start by setting the intention to watch for impatience arising in your own mind as a response to not getting what you want right away.
You may know some of your triggers already:
- Being put on hold on the phone for a long time
- Getting stuck in a long line at the supermarket
- Struggling to figure out a problem on your iPhone
- Facing an extended wait at the doctor’s (when does that NOT happen!)
- Having to listen to someone take what seems to be a LIFE TIME to explain real simple
2. Find out how impatience feels in your mind and in your body.
Work on becoming comfortable with how impatience feels.
- Is your mind calm or agitated?
- Is your body relaxed or tensed?
- Do you spiral into a negative mindset?
Really tap into what happens when you start getting impatient.
3. Begin to transform impatience into patience.
This takes practice—patient practice. Patience is an act of self-compassion, and we all need more that right?
Let’s start with those times when the environment or people aren’t following to your expectations: for example, you’re stuck in a traffic jam. First, notice that you’re responding with impatience. Second, pay attention to how it feels in your mind and in your body. Then ask yourself: “Is there anything I can do to change the situation for myself?” If the answer is “no” (which it almost always will be), then see if you can find what I’ll call “the good” in the situation. By this I mean, begin to focus on something pleasant or interesting while you’re waiting, maybe that’s music, or a podcast or listing 5 things you are grateful for right then and there.
4. Reflect on your journey so far
If your impatience, like mine, is related to a goal or to something you want to achieve, I want you to take a moment to reflect on all the incredible things you have achieved on the journey so far.
- List 5/10 things you have already achieved since starting this journey
- What is your best highlight of the journey so far?
- What do you know about yourself now that you didn’t at the start of the journey?
We can transform impatience into patience. It’s well worth the effort because being patient is a way of treating ourselves with compassion and it also helps us calmly accept things as they are, and that always feels good.
Get in Touch…
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