Patience can work well for you in certain circumstances, yet in others, it can work against you. Follow these six steps for determining when to be patient or when to take action.
Listen to “The Joan Jerkovich Show” this Saturday December 6th where we talk about impatience and judgmental attitudes. If you struggle with either of these, or have had people judging you harshly, you’ll want to listen in and hear Joan’s story of being judged for how she conducts her radio show!
1. Identify your impatience
Once you identify the times when you feel the most impatient, you can step back and consider whether or not you have control over the situation at hand. If you don’t, such as when stalled in traffic, patience is called for. No amount of road rage, screaming, yelling, and honking your horn will get traffic moving any faster.
When you have no control over the situation, practice patience.
2. Monitor your feelings
If you are feeling stressed or anxious, in addition to feeling impatient, identify what it is that is stressing you. If being late on a report at work makes you feel impatient and irritable while waiting in line at the grocery store, practice patience at the store, but also vow to resolve any possible issues of procrastination that may feed in to your impatience in other areas of your life.
When outside issues are feeding your impatience, take action.
3. Monitor your thoughts
Thinking ahead to all the things you need to get done, when your hands are tied and you aren’t able to move forward, only keeps you in a state of worry, frustration and impatience. If you’re waiting for a package to arrive, fretting and worrying over it will only distress you.
When worry and frustration take over your thoughts, practice patience.
4. Look in the mirror
Take a serious look at how you appear to others when you’re impatient; if they are calm and in control in a situation where you are impatient, look to identify what is triggering you. Showing yourself as testy, irritable, short-tempered and grumpy is not a good look for anyone.
If everyone around you is calm, practice patience.
5. Evaluate your beliefs and values
When you obsessively believe that you should be accomplishing something all the time. When you believe that there is not a minute in the day that should be wasted, you may need to take a look at your beliefs and values. Overvaluing accomplishments can lead you to be overly scheduled, harried and habitually running on the treadmill of time.
If you are chronically overscheduled, take action to simplify your life.
6. Consider how impatience affects your relationships
The impatient person will barely look at you much less listen to what you have to say. Their thoughts always seem to be somewhere else. They seem to be impatiently waiting for you to finish talking so they can take their turn talking. They will act put out if they ever have to wait even a couple of minutes for you. The only time clock they operate on is their own, and you’d better not keep them waiting.
If your impatience offends others, practice patience.
Deciding when to exercise patience and when to take action is a balancing act. In the moment when you feel impatient, step back and consider which course of action best suits the immediate circumstances.
Practicing patience can make you feel better about yourself and reward you with closer relationships.
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