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Tiny Wisdom: When You Don’t Feel Like Being Patient

“Patience is passion tamed.” -Lyman Abbott

Running a site about wisdom can be an exercise in massive irony when you don't feel like applying what you've learned. For me, this is most relevant when it comes to patience.

For the past three months, I've been planning a new feature for this site, and I've devoted a lot of my time, energy, and resources to creating it.

Since I am not a designer or coder, much of this has little to do with me. It's simply a matter of paying people, communicating my vision, offering feedback as they work on it, and then waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

Yesterday, after I sent a follow-up email to see where everything is in the process, I found myself complaining internally that this should be finished by now, and dwelling on this frustration. This was roughly an hour after I completed a mini-interview that asked the question, “How do you get through most days without complaining?”

Faced with this obvious irony, I realized I was creating a sense of internal urgency and justifying it because this project has taken longer than I anticipated. Whether or not I expected this would be finished sooner, I was solely responsible for my feelings. And my feelings weren't creating or leading to anything positive.

The reality is there is no reason to rush. It's just that feeling out of control triggers impatience in me, and if I'm not self-aware, it can spiral into anxiety.

We all have triggers for impatience. It will likely feel far more overwhelming when the thing you're waiting for is something that really matters to you. Waiting may feel like procrastinating, or stalling, or losing a sense of momentum. That's often how it feels for me.

Sometimes those things may be true, but it never serves us well to dwell on them. All we can do is do what we can, and then refocus our energy where it's most beneficial.

Today if you feel impatient with someone or something you're waiting on, ask yourself: How can I let go of these anxious feelings and use my time positively and productively?

Photo by Wonderlane

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Yes, I’ve been faced with this exact same problem lately! It’s SO hard to sit back with those feelings. But I agree it’s about as productive an emotion as worry is. 

  • Justine

    Just what I needed to read today.. I’m facing patience and anxiety right now. only because (like you said) what I’m waiting for means a lot to me.

  • Oh Lori – who knew you have been a “fly on my wall” – this is EXACTLY what I needed to read today.
    (I seem to not be alone with that :)).  So very glad to know I am not going through this learning curve alone! love to you, Karen

  • Sheisafreebird

    Wow. I am at a standstill in life, and things are beyond my control. Was extremely overwhelmed, and anxiety crept in, threatening to doom the day. Readibg this allowed me to breathe, and use a telescope in my life as opposed to a microscope.
    Thank you! 🙂

  • Fabiana Ferreira

    wow. just what i needed to hear this afternoon! i will finally breath in and get busy with something else while i wait guilt free for other things to happen! thank you!

  • Feeling out of control and feelings of uncertainty also trigger impatience and anxiety in me.  Sometimes I can catch it and calm it…other times I must look back at my behavior and patterns to determine how I got lost in those anxious feelings.  Either way the project of ME is one that I enjoy working on.  

  • “I was solely responsible for my feelings.” So true!

    I know what it feels like when you’re “waiting for something that really matters to you.”

    But, once you’ve done your part and everything in your control to push it forward, there’s not point stressing or worrying about it. 

    Patience truly is a virtue. 

    Do your best. And let life do he rest. 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder Lori!

  • vernajast

    Your posts always seem to come to me at just the right time. Thank you.

  • Leftwinger13

    I needed this today too. I’ve been waiting on some things to happen in my personal life and I find myself saying “Can’t I just know now?” but I can’t. I need to wait and let things unfold as they will. All I can do is control my actions, nothing more. So I took a deep breath and focused on something else. Just because what I want isn’t happening at the pace I want it to doesn’t mean it’s not happening. They say “Good things come to those who wait” for a reason; because it’s true! Hang in there everyone!

    How about now….can I know now…have I waited long enough…that paragraph took me at least 45 seconds to write…nothings changed? Ugh…

    See…piece of cake 😉

  • Your last part cracked me up! I know that feeling. I’m glad this post was helpful to you. =)

  • You are most welcome. =)

  • Thanks Parin. “Do your best. And let life do the rest.” <~ I love this. Thank YOU!

  • So true, Tonya. I have to say, though, I find it tremendously helpful to have these conversations.

  • Patience is a big stumbling block for me. I just started a blog about self discovery and I find that I am so hard on myself about where I should be as opposed to just accepting where I am. I often have to remind myself that life is not that black and white and that waiting for things to be revealed is not always so bad. It’s a control issue that breeds anxiety – like you said. I just found his site yesterday and I’m really enjoying it. Thank you!

  • Goatshaver

    It’s nice to read this. My girlfriend whom I love very much just went away for another week and not even a day later I find myself missing her. It’s the combination of patience and worry that get me nowhere. Just have to wait it out and know that in the weeks time I’ll have more patience and seeing her will be that much more fantastic!

  • You’re welcome! Happy Saturday. =)

  • I love the way you phrased that–using a telescope as opposed to a microscope. Perfect! Happy Saturday. =)

  • I know what you mean, Andrea. It was a big insight for me to realize that I can be a work in progress, and I never need to be finished. I can just keep learning and growing–and even if I struggle, it’s all part of the journey.

  • Thanks Taryn! I think we all feel these kinds of things, especially when we really put ourselves out there. It’s nice to feel like there’s some type of momentum when we’re creating things we care about. Congrats on your new blog. I love the name you chose. =)

  • I think it’s always harder for the person left behind. That’s what my boyfriend told me when he went to China for 6 weeks. He was in a new place, exploring, and having adventures, so it was easier for him to not think about missing me as much. I, on the other hand, was living the same life, just without him in it. I must say though, I really appreciated him and our relationship when he finally returned. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder!

  • You’re absolutely not! I remember reading your perfectionist post and feeling like I could really relate to you. We have a lot in common, my friend!

  • G33kgir1

    Thank you for sharing, most helpfull to me as I am sometimes a control freak =)

  • Tsshair

    Thanks for the post. I also needed this today.

  • You are most welcome. I have controlling tendencies, so I know all about that!

  • No worries! Glad you liked it – it’s one of my favorite sayings and pieces of advice!

    And THANK YOU for starting such a wonderful community here at Tiny Buddha! =)

  • Thanks Parin. I love running Tiny Buddha, and I’m so happy and grateful that people enjoy the site. =)