B092: How to be a more patient person

By December 13, 2019January 9th, 2020The Simplifiers Podcast

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Who here considers themselves a patient person? NOT ME! I joke with my friends… if you believe in reincarnation, I think for this lifetime, my one big life lesson this go ‘round is patience. UGH!


It seems like most of the big hurdles I jump through in life revolve around me learning how to be more patient.

Earlier this week, I spoke with psychotherapist Terri Cole, all about how to invite Real Love into your life. And while that was a tricky conversation to have on such a public forum, I also started to see where my own negative patterns in relationships were caused (in part) by my impatience.

I want things in my life to go, go, go… like, yesterday. I want big strides to be made in my business. I crave that most all of my relationships, working or otherwise, to go deep and fast… because there’s no time to lose. Or so I thought.

But what I’ve learned over time is that patience is key and there is no fast forwarding through life to get to the prize. So, how do we become a more patient person?

It all boils down to these 4 simple things:

  • laser focus in
  • work backwards
  • build the muscle
  • pause for reflection

Let’s simplify that…

Here’s how to be a more patient person – 4 simple steps:

1. Laser focus in – 

The first step to getting closer to what it is that you really, truly want in life is all about defining it. Clarify the goal, make it crystal clear in your mind, so there is no doubt whatsoever, of what it is you’re wanting to create in your work and life. When you laser focus in, you start to learn to say ‘no’ to all the other tasks that seem to fall onto your plate. 

  • TIP: before you commit to do something on your to-do list, simply ask yourself, “does this bring me one step closer to what it is that I want to achieve?” If ‘no,’ can you delegate it, delay it, or ditch it? Patience is built when you start to see true progress towards attaining your goal. And equally, you will start to become super frustrated and impatient when it feels like you’re just spinning your wheels in busy work or nonsense.

laser focus more patient person2. Work backwards – 

Look, project management is one of my superpowers and I can tell you point blank, the very best way to achieve a goal is to work backwards. If you know where you’re headed, it’s much easier to work backwards from that point to figure out your roadmap for the journey ahead. So, instead of sitting and stewing and wishing things would come to you faster, create a plan to take action.

  • TIP: Set a 7-minute timer and write your one BIG goal down on a piece of paper. Now, I want you to brainstorm 40 different tasks you could execute that’ll get you one step closer to your goal or desired outcome. Remember, not all ideas are good ideas. So, once you’ve brainstormed them out, choose the 10 ideas that you think would yield the greatest results and then put them in reverse sequential order. Boom, that’s a roadmap. There’s your game plan.

more patient person3. Build the muscle – 

Just like the time you put in at the gym doing squats or bicep curls, patience is a muscle you train and build over time and a whole lotta repetition. You’ve heard of the ‘Stanford marshmallow experiment,’ right? It was a study on delayed gratification conducted back in 1972 by psychologist Walter Mischel. In this study, a child was offered a choice between one small, immediate reward (as in a small marshmallow) or two small rewards if they waiting for a period of time. They left the room for 15 minutes and then came back. The researchers found that the children who were able to wait longer for their reward ultimately had better life outcomes like higher SAT scores, higher self-esteem, and better emotional coping skills. Now some new replication studies show this simple experiment has some subtle nuances like socio-economic backgrounds and such that can throw the results a bit. But the bottomline is this… to become a more patient person, you need to practice more on waiting on things to happen in life.

  • TIP: Whether it’s sitting in rush hour traffic or waiting in line at the DMV, don’t forget, this is building your patience muscle like a BOSS. Not fun, I realize that. But every second you sit and are present in this (albeit, aggravating) moment, you’re getting better and better at being patient. Remember, if you believe in a higher power at work, maybe consider this seed of a thought… what if that higher power is feverishly working behind the scenes (right now) to weave together the right people, the right opportunities and the right moments for you? Keep the faith, stay in the present, and realize it’s all coming together, slowly and surely.

more patient person4. Pause for reflection – 

When you’re a Type A, go-getter, take charge kind of person, it can be really hard to take the foot off the gas pedal. Trust me, I know. But the truth is, I’m finding it’s just as powerful to pause for reflection as it is to take laser-focused action in life. Without the pause, you’re likely to repeat the same mistakes over and over again… (or find yourself stuck in the busy work of life but not actually making progress towards your goals.) And equally, on the flip side… if you’re all pause and no action, you won’t get very far that way either. 

  • TIP: Therefore, I’m finding there is balance in the practice of being a more patient person. The next time you feel your impatience rising or getting triggered by someone’s words or something that’s happened to you, I want you to try this. Stop, pause, take three deep breaths and close your eyes. Where do you feel the jitters in your body? Where are you tensing up? What would make this situation better right now? What do you need, in this moment? And finally, can you give it to yourself? Self-reflection, checking in with your body and getting back to center will help the anger to diffuse and bring back the calm. 

We get so hyped up to get to the finish line that we go through the motions of our lives like zombies. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Anxiety is living in the future, shame is living in the past. Joy is found in the present.”

Cultivate patience to bring you back (gently), over and over again, back to the present. This is where Love lives. And that’s the only real thing in life, if you ask me.

more patient person

One final whisper

We were discussing this very topic in a mastermind group I’m a part of. One person mentioned how exhausting it was for them to always sit in the state of needing to “have it all figured out.” No matter if it’s your next career move or the state of your romantic relationships, fertility, or even how you’re gonna make payroll next month. When your mind is obsessed with having all the answers right now, your body and your heart takes a toll.

Therefore, release yourself from the energy suck of needing to figure it all out now.

Like I mentioned earlier, if you have a spiritual belief that there is a higher power/God (whatever you want to call it) at work here… there is relief in knowing that you’re fully supported in this moment, right here, right now. Keep the faith. Patient people know that it isn’t all up to them, all the time. You’re an active participant in this thing we call ‘life’ – not a spectator. 

So in order to be a more patient person, you must: 

  • continue to keep your eye on the prize and be willing to take daily action towards it
  • Narrow down your focus to the top 20% tasks that’ll get you where you want to be, faster. Ditch, delegate or delay the rest
  • Create a game plan by working backwards
  • Build your patience muscle through repetition, gratitude and a little bit of delayed gratification
  • And don’t be afraid to set aside a little bit of time here and there to pause and reflect

Be content in what’s happening right here, right now. All in perfect timing.

You can do this, I believe in you.

It’s time to SIMPLIFY.

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Show credits: Suzen Marie, our Podcast Editor. Jeffrey Lynn, our Video Editor. Lyden Yardley, our Show Notes Editor, Kristin Castillo, our resident Superhero, and Manminder Athwal, our Blogger. Aubri Nowowiejski, Chris Justice and George Mills, our advisory board. And I’m your host, Mary Baird-Wilcock. Thank you so much for joining us.

As always friends, keep things simple.

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