The art of practicing patience in trying times

A simple guide for when the frustration runs high

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As someone who is fairly decisive (unless hangry), even though I consider every which way out of most things before I land on a position, I know the challenge that comes with wanting to just run with something and instead having to wait – for that thing, or for the ‘right circumstances’ to come along.

Maybe it’s waiting until you’re in a better life position, doing a whole lot of other work to get to *the* point, practicing grace while someone else ponders their position, or waiting to see what awaits us in the time of a pandemic. There can be many contributors to the ‘waiting’ process, and none of them are particularly fun. It’s definitely possible to allow more play in the process of things, and find ways to see the beauty there, but the feeling can still remain.

Frustration. Helplessness. Patience that must once-again be employed.

Cue the eye roll and big sigh, right?

There’s a thing called ‘delayed gratification’ I learned a few years ago. It basically describes the process a person goes through when they resist the temptation of an immediate reward in preference for a later reward.

It’s not to say that we can only ever have one thing in life. These rewards are in things that are related to each other. It’s the reason we don’t (or try not to) date douchebags, because by employing delayed gratification, we free ourselves up for those worthy of us just a little further down the line.

Delayed gratification doesn’t always feel great, but being able to name it certainly helps with the patience part, even if just minutely.

The other element I practice is prioritising my energy and peace of mind. I ask myself “is it going to feel mentally or emotionally useful for me to get caught up in why *this thing* hasn’t happened yet? Or will it feel better to simply do whatever I can possibly do, and relax as much as I can about the rest?” This one can be challenging if you’re a woman (or otherwise) on a mission, a little Type A-leaning, or, as I mentioned at the beginning, are already crystal clear on what it is you want and which direction to take. From here, it comes down to learning about who you are in times of uncertainty, and how you show up in that. If nothing else, at least it’ll give you something else to focus your energy on while you ‘wait’.

The alternative solution to these would be to go off at the world but last I checked, with few exceptions, demanding things in that way doesn’t actually end up in the results I want and it feels out of integrity with how I’d want to achieve or receive them anyway.

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

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