Patience – quiet, steady perseverance, even tempered care, diligence.
Life is filled with challenges that will always test our patience. We can become “unglued” at the smallest of things. The phrase I hear people use, and I wonder sometimes if they really know what it means, is, “I lost my mind!”.
I wonder, where did they lose it? I mean, its not like their mind goes somewhere. You can’t take it off like a watch or belt. It is permanently a part of us. So, I guess it means that they are choosing not use use it. Which is never a good thing.
Patience is part of an open/controlled mindset. We can choose not to use it, which is fine, but understand that it can be a set back. It can fuel doubt and worry, it can create anxiety and stress. It can cause mistrust and poor communication. So many things happen that cause more opportunities to lose patience. It can be a vicious cycle.
The things that cause us to lose patience are sometimes our greatest teachers. They can expose a weakness that causes us pain. They bring back old feelings that we want to forget, to avoid.
Practicing patience with these instances can make us stronger. It can allow us to let go of the past. It can heal us. I know this for certain, it will make you feel better when you can be patient when you normally would have “lost your mind.”
- Before your day, think about the situations you have to deal with. A game at night against a team you know are aggressive. A meeting to close a sale with a challenging customer, or maybe a talk with a family member that is going to be difficult. Bottom line, if you have given it thought and are ready for it, odds of a productive or positive outcome are in your favor.
- Be aware of your emotions. When you feel they are starting to escalate, take a deep breathe, close your eyes and think of something quickly that distracts you from those rising emotions. Pinching yourself can snap you out of it as well.
- Try on their perspective. A lot of times it is resistance to another’s point of view that causes the loss of control. Try to see from the other’s perspective, why would they say that, what would cause them to act that way. It may not change yours, however, it may allow you to see why they feel they way they do and change how you react.
- When you are starting to lose control, ask yourself, how will this help me? Does it really benefit me to let my emotions rule this moment? Answering that question honestly can sometimes make the difference in staying in control.
Don’t lose, gain. Practice breathing, see it for what it is- a lesson… an opportunity. It grows personal confidence and also makes the person you were losing your mind on feel a bit better.
Patience is a building block, impatience is a wrecking ball. Which one serves you best?
Patience truly is a virtue.