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Patience

Change is a recurring theme in my newsletters, and I came across a fabulous article about patience, because without patience, change is very difficult. 

Qualities such as confidence, focus, motivation and resilience (among others), are necessary to grow personally and become the best versions of ourselves, but I believe patience is the most important attribute to possess. Patience is important to make meaningful changes in your life because change is hard and slow. Without patience, you won’t devote the time and energy necessary to allow those changes to emerge.

Unfortunately, patience seems to be in short supply in our fast-paced, impatient culture. Our lives have become defined by instant access and immediate gratification through digital technology, which has only amplified our impatience - think from the seemingly ancient fax machine to up-to-date tech like internet searches and texting.

Impatience is the most common reaction and the greatest obstacle to the always slow, oftentimes unpredictable, and never linear journey to positive life change. The unfortunate consequence of the absence of patience is the inability to do what’s necessary to improve your life.

Impatience begins with a set of perceptions and beliefs:

  • This is taking forever.

  • My goal is unachievable.

  • I’m never going to change.

  • I just can’t do this.

  • What’s wrong with me?

  • I give up!

In turn, these perceptions and beliefs trigger the “negative emotional chain,” which comprises three links: frustration, anger, and despair. These links in the negative emotional chain are not only immense obstacles to positive life change but are actually sabotaging by making that desired change more difficult at a practical level and aversive at an emotional level.

Patience begins with an emotion. That emotion is hope. And with that emotion comes a belief that if you stay committed to the changes you want to make, good things will happen.

Without hope or believing that good things will happen, you will simply not have faith that change is possible. Patience also encompasses several essential ways of looking at yourself and the challenges you face as you work to become the best version of yourself:

  • Be driven by your values and an inner determination to change (change must come from within)

  • Have a long-term perspective (change takes time)

  • Stay committed to your goals no matter what happens (change has ups and downs)

  • Make your commitment to change a moment-to-moment choice (you have the power)

From this foundation of patience, you can then build your new self with persistence (continuing to try), perseverance (overcoming difficulties), and resilience (getting back up when you fall down).

When you take patience and add all of these other ingredients to your recipe for positive life change, you set yourself up to know what lies ahead and are willing to stay the course until you become the person you’ve always dreamed of.



 

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