If you’re the type to lose patience quickly or if your patience is wearing thin at this moment, here are two tips that can help immediately:
You lose patience when something you expect to happen does not happen.
You expect your colleague to get back to you within 24 hours and you’re mad when they take 3 days. You expect your kids to behave in public and lose it when they don’t. You expect the train system to be running on time and you’re angry at the transit system when you’re late for work. You expect a promotion and begin sending out resumes when you get passed over.
Be patient by giving up expectations. Nothing can bother you if it does not violate any standard you’ve decided to uphold. There is no injustice for you to get indignant or impatient over. You can still hold yourself to a high standard of excellence through your actions – you’re just giving up your entitlement to a certain outcome. It sounds crazy not to have expectations but try it on first and see what happens.
Swap “in order to” with “and“
Another reason we lose patience is our tendency to interpret other people’s annoying actions to be directed personally at us.
Our child is acting out “in order to” test our patience. The government worker is taking their time “in order to” annoy us. Our coworker forgets to give us credit for the project “in order to” undermine our career.
Save yourself some grief by switching “in order to” with “and”.
Our child is acting out “and” it is testing my patience.
The government worker is taking their time “and” I feel annoyed.
Our coworker forgets to give us credit “and” I feel undermined.
Although you may still feel bad, you’re no longer blaming the other person because you’re not confusing their actions with their intentions. When you use “in order to”, you’re implying that your impatience is caused by the other person. When you use “and”, you acknowledge there is a correlation between their action and your negative feeling but it doesn’t necessarily mean causation. This presents an opening for you to take on another reaction.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
What expectations are you holding on to that you can give up for the next week?
How often are you blaming others for the way you feel?
Patience is a choice you can make today. Don’t let anyone take it away from you.
Robert Chen is the founder of Embrace Possibility and author of The Dreams to Reality Fieldbook. He helps people who feel stuck move forward by guiding them to see other possibilities for their lives. He specializes in working with high performers get to the next level. If you're going through a tough time right now, check out Robert's article on How to Feel Better Right Away and if you're having trouble getting what you want out of life, check out How to Always Achieve Your Goals.
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