Some people seem to be born impatient. They’re chomping at the bit at the slightest sign of a delay. They’ll drive further to avoid the chance of being stopped at traffic lights, that kind of thing. Maybe that describes you and you’re already asking why I haven’t got to the point yet, even though it’s only 50 words into the article!
Work out your triggers
Certain things will trigger your impatience more than others.
Take a step back when this happens (no matter how hard that may seem at the time!) and work out what caused you to lose your patience.
This is the first stage to improving your patience levels and stopping them from holding you back in life.
No matter how dull and boring this step may sound, spend at least a minute or two on it.
Ideally, think back over the other occasions recently when you’ve been less patient than you could have been and jot them down on an old fashioned piece of paper.
There’s something about writing things down rather than typing them out that makes a difference in your mind, so go with me on this.
Because once you’ve written down even a handful of triggers, you’ll almost certainly spot a trend. That’s good because trends are easy to work with and you’ll get positive results fast.
Pick off the weakest link
Much like the game show, you want to eliminate the weakest trigger. Completely if possible but at the very least mortally wound it.
This could be as easy as laughing at it – that’s disarming and works nicely with our minds.
Or, if that doesn’t work immediately, split it into even smaller bits and work on each of those.
Again, simple is best.
So if it’s just a case of noticing when one of these almost insignificant triggers takes place and snapping it out like you’d pinch out the flame in a candle, that’s great.
This may sound weird but all our issues – including a lack of patience – are made up of component parts and the easiest way to change them is to chip away at the edges.
The change may not be particularly noticeable at first – for once, go with this rather than get angry about it – but like a tap dripping it will soon mount up.
Then you’ll have better patience levels, almost without trying.
Short term, take a deep breath
Preferably several deep breaths.
Before you do whatever it is that normally manifests your impatience.
The pause is good as it allows your conscious mind to at least get a look in on the process.
The first few times, that’s probably all the will happen and you’ll still find yourself losing your rag.
But gradually you’ll find yourself becoming more patient.
Which will reap rewards elsewhere in your life. Maybe simple rewards such as other people not avoiding you as often or treating you with more respect in return for you treating them with more respect because you’re not constantly snapping at them.
Small changes really do mount up and often have responses that are out of proportion to the effort involved.