Patience Builds Character

By Audrey Marlene

Patience

What Does it Mean?

To be patient means having the ability and the composure to hold back and wait for something to happen without feeling anxious, becoming irritated or panicked. In reality this is a difficult characteristic for us to adopt especially when stress has a hold. It requires enormous self-control. Although we are aware of how virtuous it is, it takes a certain level of maturity, personal growth and a well-balanced lifestyle to be able to truly achieve this. True, there are those who are genetically calmer with a more restrained personality but when life takes over even those folks can become impatient.

When one is impatient they have a strong compulsion for immediate results for whatever it is they are pursuing. When you take a child to the store, they seek instant gratification almost every step of the way. How many times have you heard "I want" this or that and if they don't get it at that moment the entire store hears about it. As adults, the drive for pursuing anything worthwhile means letting go of the "gotta have it now" mentality like we were when we were children. Success is a marathon not a sprint, it means diligently doing your part, pacing yourself, and allowing the puzzle to fall into place.

To be patient means learning how to cope with your anger and hostility. If you have a short fuse, it will blow up in your face very often. Getting to know yourself and what lights your fuse easily and having a plan for diffusing the situation when they arise helps to keep you unruffled. By diffusing your anger you can learn to be more understanding of the rhythm of the world around you and tune in to it. When you are tuned in you can better play the Game of Life with a temperament of calm and peace. This state of mind enables more clarity of thought and the ability to make more rational decisions.

To be patient doesn't mean you have to take a step back and slack off on your efforts. It means doing the tough work but understanding that you are not alone in your pursuit of your goals. There is a world out there that consists of people who you depend on and who depend on you for progress. That means things are not always go at the pace who envision. Even though you become irritated or angry and your blood pressure is through the roof, things are not going to suddenly change for you. Therefore, you must be willing to accept setbacks, human error, and disappointments along the way.

The Impatient Mindset

The impatient mindset has a tendency to question our efforts. No matter how hard we may be trying, the impatient mindset has the ability to set us up for doubt and discouragement.

When you are impatient the following are highly possible:
  • Self-Doubt- You may get upset and frustrated with yourself when things don't go according to your plan and put yourself down in the process. No matter how much you may have already accomplished can appear minimal. And you can feel as if you're just not good enough or you can't measure up. Impatience reinforces doubt and false self-perception.
  • Increased Stress – Stress and impatience work in unison. If you get rid of the impatience, the stress is reduced. If you get rid of stress, impatience is less visible. A stressful lifestyle can keep you locked into a tense, on edge pattern where thinking can become unclear and your health can become compromised. This mindset does not enable a patient, rational, calm temperament. Stress must be controlled in order to reflect a more patient conduct of behavior.
  • Compromised Relationships – Impatient people can hardly wait for things to happen. They have the tendency to fly off the handle or act mean spirited when things don't go their way. They can cut you off in the middle of a sentence because they can't wait for you to say what you have to say or because they feel what they have to say is more important. This can compromise relationships, both professionally and personally.
  • Poor leader/manager – Whether you manage your home, children, personal life, or a business, lack of patience can cause you to seem unapproachable. The impatient manager has little time for listening to what others have to say or to even make eye contact. They may have the tendency to overact when impatience leads to frustration, which can cause others to be fearful.
  • Over-anxious. The impatient person lives sitting on the edge of the seat with trembling feet as the nervousness builds. As the anxiety builds, life can grow uncomfortable. It can become difficult to enjoy family or social time. Your sleep can become disturbed. Your appetite can diminish.
  • Lost sense of balance. The impatient mindset feels they have to work harder. They stop enjoying life and put all their efforts into their projects. The time to unwind with friends or family is traded in for more work.
  • Egocentric & Arrogant – Even though the impatient person may not be egotistical by nature, it can be interpreted as just that. Impatience can be seen as arrogant, insensitive and overly demanding.

True, this fast pace world we live requires quick turnaround times with deadlines buzzing all around. Time is always of the essence. However, impatience can become counterproductive if it gets out of control. Trust your efforts and hard work by planning effectively and allowing the time for things to fall into place. Reward your efforts by taking a step back to focus on your hard work and feel the pride within. Remember success is a marathon not a sprint. Give thanks for your efforts.

Quotes on Patience

  • "All things come to him who waits - provided he knows what he is waiting for." - Woodrow T. Wilson

  • "Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams

  • "Patience is the companion of wisdom." - Saint Augustine

  • "He that can have Patience, can have what he will”- Benjamin Franklin Our patience will achieve more than our force." - Edmund Burke

  • "The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it." - Arnold H. Glasgow

  • "Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength." - Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

  • "Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour." – Ovid

  • "Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances." -Thomas Jefferson

  • "Genius is eternal patience." - Michelangelo
Patience & Thankfulness

When we are composed we have the ability for more understanding throughout life. We are clear about our progress and are in a better position to recognize the blessings that come our way each step of the way. In doing so, we can find contentment at each rung of the ladder and be thankful for the blessings in our lives.

When we are calm and not flustered we are not sitting around thinking:

  • Why are things not moving faster for me? Is there something wrong with me?
  • I have so many projects to finish - I have so many things to complete, at this rate nothing is ever going to get done.
  • Because I still have so much to do, when am I ever going to be able to enjoy my life?

Patience allows us the opportunity to appreciate our efforts. It allows us more personal growth and a chance to savor it. It builds a stronger character. Take a moment to reflect on your efforts. Put away that feeling of urgency and desperation and truly identify the milestones you have accomplished, no matter how small. Then pat yourself on the back for your efforts.

How to Be More Patient

In order to develop a system of patient living there are a several things we must contemplate.

  • Can you see how being more patient can promote more success?
  • Realize that living in the future and spending all your efforts planning for the future can deny you the opportunity to enjoy life in the "now."
  • Each person's definition of patience is different. Establish what being patient means to you. Write it down.
  • Redefine your expectations. Maybe your expectations are unrealistic. The time factor needs to be extended.
  • Reexamine your goals. Are they properly broken up into doable components? Are your short-term goals appropriately defined according to the complexity of the goal, the time needed to realize the goal, or is it within your capability?
  • Know your strengths as well as your limitations. Spend more time capitalizing on your strength so your limitations are compensated and your time is used more efficiently.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help. Ask for the advice of experts. Learn to delegate more.
  • Have faith. Through faith you can believe that while waiting for things to fall into place that they will. Of course you have to do your part and work to get deadline met or projects completed. But it can all be done with patience and less stress. Faith gives you the hope to expect a positive outcome.

    It's all about balance. Learn to sit back and enjoy life in between the big projects or the big deals. What's all the running around for? What's the bottom line? What's important to you? Use this information to bring make a decision to increase your level of patience. Watch your personality come alive when you can be tenacious yet poised. It can help to build a stronger character, which can translate into more success for you.

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