Our guiding word this week is patience, which is one of my biggest challenges. Too often, I get frustrated with the pace of progress, and I let it get to me. My frustration level rises until it’s so high, I almost always do something stupid that will set me back. Inspired by this week’s Angel Word, I put together nine strategies I can refer to when I feel impatience creeping into what I’m doing. I hope they’re helpful to you as well.
1. Identify triggers. Figure out what’s making you feel impatient. Are you running late? Did you take on too much at once? Do you feel like you’re out of control? Once you figure out what kinds of things trigger your impatience, you can work on creating specific solutions that will help move things in the right direction and reduce frustration.
2. Stop! Instead of plowing ahead and doing less-than-stellar work because you’re working from a place of frustration, literally stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath and remind yourself to slow down. Often I’ll repeat the mantra “be patient” in my head to hit the slow-motion button and get a grip on whatever is frustrating me.
3. Let it go. It’s useful to gather some perspective about the situation and remember that it’s probably not the end of the world. It’s probably not the most important thing in the world either, in the grand scheme of things. Realizing that can help diffuse the situation and increase patience.
4. Have self-compassion. Recognizing that you don’t have to demand perfection of yourself can be a huge relief. I can be very tough on myself and impose unnecessarily high standards. But when I stop and admit that I’m human—that we’re all human—I can take a step back, refocus and accept the best that I can do in the time given, rather than expect perfection.
5. Look for the upside. Learn to turn the negatives into positives. Discover the silver linings. Optimism is uplifting, whereas impatience is exhausting.
6. Have a change of plan. Inflexibility is often a trigger for impatience. Everything looks better when I’m willing to adapt my plan or take a different route that will result in the same outcome. Sometimes it’s even smart to rethink the outcome and make it more realistic and achievable.
7. Lighten up. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at the situation. Send a funny text to your best friend about your frustration. Think about how silly it will all seem when you look back a few hours from now or next March or in five years.
8. Step away. Get up. Stretch. Take a break. Get some fresh air. Breathe.
9. Release stress. Do something you know will relieve your stress. Put on some music. Go for a run. Bake something. Call your sister. Book a massage. At the very least, close your eyes, become aware of the tension in different parts of your body and consciously relax and release each of those stress points one by one.
How will you be incorporating patience into your week?