“How,” you ask?
In order to understand how impatience causes anxiety, I need to walk you through a few definitions…yeah, this might seem a little elementary and school-like, but stay with me, okay?
We begin by defining “impatience,” which according to Google is the tendency to be impatient; irritability or restlessness.
Synonyms: restlessness, restiveness, agitation, nervousness, anxiety; eagerness, keenness, jitteriness, irritability, frustration, exasperation, annoyance.
“She crumpled up the pages in a burst of impatience.”
So then, I Googled the definition of “patience” and discovered the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
“You can find bargains if you have the patience to sift through the dross.”
Synonyms: forbearance, tolerance, restraint, calmness, composure, equanimity, understanding, perseverance, persistence, endurance, tenacity, application, staying power, determination, resolve, resolution.
Diving deeper into my own anxiety over the years, one of my greatest lessons has involved trust or the lack of it.
Google defines “trust” as the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
“Good relationships are built on trust.”
Synonyms: reliance, confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence.
Sounds pretty similar to patience, right?
Lastly, I Googled “anxiety,” which I know all too well: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
“She felt a surge of anxiety.”
Synonyms: worry, concern, apprehension, apprehensiveness, uneasiness, unease, fearfulness, fear, perturbation, agitation, angst, misgiving, nervousness, nerves, tension, tenseness; heebie-jeebies, butterflies (in one’s stomach), jitteriness, the jitters, twitchiness.
Can you see the similarities between anxiety and impatience, and between patience and trust? Fascinating, right?
I know I’m being a little teachy, but it’s important that you get this stuff…that is if you want to really understand your anxiety, you, and how to begin creating some real, long-lasting emotional ease.
Here’s what I want you to chew on:
Anxiety as it’s biologically intended is to alert us to an imminent, possible, threat of danger or harm.
However, the anxiety that we create in our mind, day after day, when there is no threat of danger or harm, is more often associated with our lack of patience and our lack of trust.
What do we do when we don’t trust and lack patience?
Trying to control everything and everyone in your life, including your anxiety, will only make you feel more anxious.
The uncertainty you feel about your work, relationships, home, body, health, money, business, and future is about your lack of trust and impatience.
Without trust and patience, we feel anxious.
Then, when we feel anxious, we seek to control.
Impatience breeds anxiety.
Anxiety is about control.
Control is a lack of trust.
Here’s what I want you to do:
Grab a journal or notebook, a favorite pen, and explore these questions:
- Why am I impatient?
- If I was patient, what would patience look and feel like?
- Why don’t I trust?
- If I did trust, what would trust look and feel like?
- Why am I controlling?
- If I released control, what would releasing control look and feel like?
Take your time with these questions, be honest, and really sink into your responses.
It’s through the process of clarifying your thinking that will lead you toward patience, trust, releasing control, and experiencing some relief.
Of course, there’s more work to do beyond awareness, and yet your answers to these powerful questions will prove priceless moving forward.