How To Cultivate Patience

Patience.

Not something that comes easy for many of us.

We want everything now, even yesterday.

Mostly, we want it with as little discomfort as possible.

Take losing weight.

You eagerly start a weight loss program and within days, you feel anxious because the scale hasn’t budged.

Not seeing progress, you feel frustrated, defeated, and want to quit.

You want it to be easy, comfortable, and quick.

You’re not patient.

And, you’re not alone.

I had cervical spine surgery recently to fix a couple of compressed disks.

I thought I’d be back to my normal active self, and even better than before in just a few days.

Wrong.

Day three post-op and my frustration is mounting.

I’m uncomfortable, nothing is easy, and it’s sinking in that healing is not going to be quick.

I’m not patient.

Like you, I want it to be easy, comfortable, and quick.

I don’t want to feel the discomfort of waiting.

I want to feel better now!

So, here’s what we need to know about patience.

A lack of patience is a lack of trust.

When we trust, patience is easy because we believe that we will succeed.

When we don’t trust, patience is difficult to access because instead of believing, we’re consumed with fear and doubt.

For example, weight loss is a challenge for you because you really don’t believe that it’s possible.

You don’t trust that you’ll lose the weight, so you have little patience with the process.

You get frustrated easily, resist taking action, and even sabotage your success.

Same with me, I’m not trusting that I’ll heal and so have little patience with slowing down and accepting that it’s going to take time.

If we were patient, we’d believe and trust.

We wouldn’t complain, self-sabotage, and we’d most definitely not give up.

With patience, losing weight would be easy, comfortable, and maybe even fun.

With patience, I wouldn’t feel so frustrated, I’d rest more, and my body would most likely heal faster.

“Patience is not passive waiting. Patience is active acceptance of the process required to attain your goals and dreams.”

— Ray A. Davis

So how do we cultivate patience?
 
1.  Acknowledge that our lack of patience comes from our lack of trust.
 
Ask, “Why am I impatient? Why don’t I believe that I’ll succeed? Why don’t I trust myself? Why am I in such a hurry?”
 
By answering these questions, we’ll reveal all the negative thoughts and limiting beliefs that are feeding our lack of trust.
 
Thoughts like, “It’s not working.” “I can’t do this.” “What if I fail?” “This is too hard!”
 
2. Accept where we are.
 
Surrendering to what is calms the mind and body, which promotes healing and also weight loss.
 
When we relax into the present moment, we ease the fight or flight response, our nervous system settles down, and our bodies respond naturally.
 
3. Celebrate the wins, no matter how small.
 
Small steps taken consistently add up to big results.
 
High-five the one pound your body let go of.
 
Me, I’m celebrating being able to take a shower. Yay!
 
4. Practice self-compassion and gratitude.
 
For heaven’s sake, look how fortunate we are and all that we have.
 
Sure, we’ve experienced devastating, traumatic events in our lives; but we’re vertical and breathing.
 
We each have a lot to be grateful for, so let’s cut ourselves some slack and show ourselves a little more self-compassion.
 
5. Never, ever, ever give up.
 
Let’s keep our eye on the target, moving forward, and step-by-step, we will succeed.
 
You’ll lose the weight.
 
My body will heal.
 
And we’ll both feel less anxious.
 
Believe. Trust. Patience.