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Why Patience Pays (And How To Get More Of It) – Part Three

Last week we explored the psychological impact of losing patience and its consequences. This week we explore the psychological impact of having more patience and examine how we can begin to cultivate more.


The psychological impact of having more patience


When we have more patience we are more calm, less anxious and generally happier and more content. Whilst there are many psychological benefits to being more patient, I have explored the main benefits below.


Improved relationships


When we are more patient our relationships flourish. Rather than being irritable we are accommodating and calm. There is much less potential for conflict and our relationships are more harmonious as a result.


Realistic expectations of yourself and others


When we are more patient we have more realistic expectations of ourselves and others, helping to combat perfectionistic tendencies and thinking.


For example, if I always carry out others requests of me straight away because I am a perfectionist, practicing patience will help me realize that I work differently to others and that this is not necessarily better or worse – just different. Likewise, I may begin to realize that my perfectionism and self-imposed expectations are unrealistic and perhaps even unhealthy.


Increased self-esteem

True self-esteem is based upon ones character and when we practice patience with others and are less irritable and angry, our self-esteem naturally increases. Having said this, if you do lose patience, it is important to use self-compassion to cultivate an understanding and kind attitude towards yourself.


If you suffer from being overly hard on yourself please read my article titled ‘How to silence your inner critic and become your own best friend through self-compassion’.


Improved performance


By practicing more patience we invariably perform better. Have you ever read of a sculptor or carpenter rushing their work and doing a better job as a result? Probably not.


Fulfilled dreams and goals due to more grit.


Do you have any big goals in life like having a book published or reaching the top of your career? With any major life goal, patience is vital to achieve your dreams.


Patience is needed for your learning and progress, with every step requiring patience in its own right. Needless to say, patience is a huge factor in developing grit and successfully reaching your goals.


How to cultivate more patience


Patience doesn’t come naturally to all of us, myself included. Reassuringly though, we can all cultivate more patience, no matter how impatient we might currently be. The most important thing is to be patient with the process of cultivating patience.


Don’t try to be patient with your most severe triggers at first, start off small!


Instead, gradually work up to your most sensitive triggers – all the while remembering to maintain a balanced perspective. For example, will this situation matter a year from now, in five years or even ten?


Give up unrealistic expectations


I’ve found this incredibly hard to do and in all honesty this is something I am still working on. Although having more patience creates more realistic expectations of you and others, the reverse is also true, in so far as if you give up your unrealistic expectations of you, and others, you actually cultivate more patience.


One very effective way to give up unrealistic expectations of yourself is to imagine a friend is in the same position and confiding in you. What would you say to her? Then use these same words to comfort yourself and adopt more realistic expectations of yourself.


If you are struggling to have realistic expectations of others, you need to remind yourself that everyone on this planet is unique, we all have our different strengths and weaknesses and we all handle things differently – and that’s ok! Just remember to be understanding and compassionate towards others and your expectations will become more realistic.


Expect the unexpected – be flexible


This sounds like a contradiction – how can you expect the unexpected after all? What I mean by this is to be flexible enough that when something unexpected does happen you can adapt.


Remember that old adage that asks ‘which is the strongest tree, the one that bends with the wind or the one that does not?’ It is the one that bends, the wind broke the tree that didn’t bend long ago! Similarly don’t let the winds of life break you, be flexible and adapt, making the most out of life.


Stay tuned – next week we continue to look at how we can all cultivate more patience.


Further Resources:


‘Patience: The Art Of Peaceful Living’ By Allan Lokos


When you look back to times when you were patient, did you benefit from any of the positive impacts of having more patience? Do you have what others class as unrealistic expectations? Do you consider yourself flexible? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

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