Patience is a very hard word to define. What I might define as patience may mean something completely different to someone else.
Webster defines patience as toleration or magnanimity for the faults or affronts of others; courageous endurance.
Patience, to me, is gentle, quiet, and compassionate. It’s the ability to show kindness and understanding to ourselves and others.
This time of the year can really test our patience. Everyone is busy making resolutions, planning for the year ahead, or just trying to get back on track after the holiday rush. The new year is a great time to look to the year ahead and set goals. We may even reflect on our accomplishments from the past year. If there are big changes you want to make this year, this is the perfect opportunity to practice patience with yourself. Learning something new is not always easy. Giving yourself grace and patience to figure it out will benefit you in so many ways.
When we find ourselves losing patience, we need to take a step back and figure out the WHY. Sometimes when we get frustrated with someone, it may be triggering something inside of us. Perhaps we need to deal with unresolved feelings from our past. For example, maybe you had a co-worker who constantly showed up late for meetings. This made you feel disrespected and now anytime someone is late to a meeting, you are quick to lose your patience.
One way to improve our patience is to do what I like to call mirror work. The next time you find yourself losing patience, take a moment and ask yourself, “why does this frustrate me?” It’s like looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing you, for you. This may require digging deep and really asking the tough questions. In the example above, you could ask yourself, was that co-worker purposely trying to disrespect you? In all likelihood their inability to show up on time had everything to do with themselves and nothing to do with you personally. It’s time to forgive and let that go. Someone being late to a meeting is not a personal afront to you. Learning to ask these tough questions will be worth it. When you find patience for yourself, you find time to breathe and reflect on what’s important.
Once we learn how to show someone else patience, we can teach them by example. It’s like paying it forward, in a way. So, the next time you find your patience waning, take a step back, look in the mirror and work on yourself. May your patience help you show kindness, compassion, and understanding to those around you.
To find out more about mirror work or learn how to become a more patient you, reach out to me. I can help! Schedule a confidential discussion to see how this process works. Contact me via email at [email protected] or schedule a call directly on my calendar.