Yikes! It’s been awhile since I posted. Life has gotten away from me a bit the past few weeks. I started a new consulting role at an awesome company called SelfMade, spent Labor Day in the Hamptons for my friends 30th birthday, and took off to Copenhagen, Paris, and the Loire Valley for a wedding.
This past weekend, I took some time to decompress, get things in order, and set myself up for the week ahead, so I’m back and ready to go! Even though I planned to decompress and get a lot done, I still ran out of time and didn’t get to everything I wanted to. I tend to do that, set myself up with really lofty goals and expectations of how much I think I can get done in a small window of time only to rush around like a chicken with my head cut off not actually living in the moment of what I’m doing.
When I’m in this mode, I forget my credit card at stores, leave my water bottle in a workout class, think I’ve left the stove on when I leave the apartment, forget to text people back, and act like a total airhead in general.
I was in one of those modes on Saturday, when I was sitting at the nail salon waiting for my nails to dry. Enter lack of patience.
I HATE waiting for my nails to dry. LOATHE! DESPISE! This might seem like a funny or strange thing to hate, but it’s just SO freaking boring. Anyone else feel the same way?
As I was sitting there, I realized how ridiculous this is. Why do I always need to be in such a hurry to move on to the next thing in my life? As I sighed heavily and tapped my foot waiting for the time to be up, I was reminded of a quote that I got inside a Dove chocolate wrapper in college….
“patience is a virtue”
I remember getting this quote inside the wrapper so vividly and think of it every so often since…what exactly does that mean, patience is a virtue?
As I sat in the nail salon, I really started to think about patience, in what situations I lack it, and how I feel when I do incorporate it.
If you’re anything like me, a busy body rushing from one thing to the next who over schedules themselves, you understand that patience does not always come easily. Perhaps my impatience stems from an excitement or a zest for life or maybe it’s the fact that we live in a world of instant gratification, wanting things done yesterday. We like to see results from our actions almost immediately.
But is there something special, beneficial, and more profound about waiting.
Let’s think about the small example of the nail salon. I often rush out of the nail salon because I’m too impatient to wait an extra five minutes for my nails to really dry, and every time I chip them. Then I get pissed off and upset that I chipped them – time and money wasted.
So in reality, those 5 waiting for my nails to dry minutes would have made me a more happy, peaceful, and satisfied person. Just 5 minutes!
While this is just one small example, I think it’s relevant and applicable to a lot of moments in our lives.
When we’re constantly thinking about what’s next and looking for instantaneous results, we leave little to the imagination suppressing our creative juices from flowing and even block other amazing things from happening in our lives. We also cause unnecessary moments of stress, which can turn into a vicious cycle.
So in our fast paced world and busy lives, how do we find the time to be patient?
3 Ways to Find Patience
When you find yourself feeling impatient, try incorporating breath work into the moment. Stop what you’re doing (unless you’re driving), take a step back, close your eyes, and take 10-20 deep breaths. This will allow your heart rate to slow and your nervous system to calm. You’ll be able to approach the situation with more mindfulness and ease.
In our lives, we can pretty much do or have anything whenever we want. Whether it’s something small like craving a snack before dinner or having dessert as soon as dinner’s done, make yourself wait for these little pleasures. You’ll find that you might be able to incorporate waiting with ease into other aspects of your life.
Whenever I find myself becoming impatient I ask myself why I’m feeling impatient. Am I going to be late for something? Is it harming me in some other way? Or am I simply annoyed? Often times, I’m just simply annoyed at the current state of affairs for no apparent reason. I recognize this and remind myself that this is something small that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. This allows me to relax, chill, and just calm down.
Implementing these three simple actions into my life have allowed me to become not only a more patient person but also happier, more content in the moment, and calm.
What do you do to maintain your patience when you’re feeling anxious or dissatisfied?