7 Ways to Develop Patience

Patience is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.  For me, patience is on the Mount Rushmore of Virtues.

Patience is the Ultimate Enabler

  • Active listening. Instead of waiting to speak, you’re listening to understand. This enhances communication and strengthens relationships. It also impacts persuasion, creativity, and learning.
  • Empathy. You can endure the discomfort that comes from sitting with someone in their emotional pit of pain which leads to deeper connection and influence. It also impacts vulnerability, resilience, and trust.
  • Self-control. The ability to delay gratification is a key to success. This allows you to reap greater results due to the proper investment of your time and resources. It also impacts integrity, mercy, and discipline.
  • Mindfulness. The ability to respond rather than react to emotional triggers.  This leads to the ability to effectively manage stress by fostering non-judgment. It also impacts curiosity, empathy, and communication.
  • Wisdom. Rather than rushing to judgment, you thoughtfully consider what you know and seek further insight.  This allows you to be a better decision maker. This also impacts influence, humility, and learning.
  • Love. According to 1 Cor. 13:4, patience is one half of the love equation.  Because patience must be exercised, love is a decision and an action. This allows you to overcome the grip of fear. It also impacts courage and vulnerability.  

Patience is a Super-Virtue

Patience is a critical virtue that enables the development and attainment of countless other virtues.  To develop patience, I recommend the following:

  1. Prayer and meditation.  The hardest part of being patient is remembering to use it in the moment. Both will help develop in you the mindfulness needed to access patience when triggered by life.  
  2. See it and Believe it. Utilize affirmations and visualizations to reinforce the new identity that you intend to be. Make sure the affirmations are positive, present tense and include feeling.
  3. Deprive yourself. Make yourself wait for things.  Delay your gratification for a moment or a week. Sleep on a pending decision. Fast from food, television, alcohol, shopping, social media or sex.
  4. Get Un-Busy. Re-prioritize your life by focusing on the important over the urgent. What can be deleted? Which can be delegated? What can be delayed? What’s left is what you’ve got to get done.
  5. Calm down. Count to 10 or Box Breathing both work to quell the emotions that surge as we’re triggered so we’re not reacting in the moment.  This allows your calmer head to prevail.
  6. Schedule time. Things can tend to pop into your day unannounced. Like an office visitor or family member. If the present moment is inconvenient, make arrangements to get back together.
  7. Funeral focus. Foreshadow what you’d want people to say about you at your funeral.  Allow this to change your perspective toward how you treat people. Be patient with people.

Patience is how we’re able to endure the discomfort associated with the fear associated with whatever we’re impatient to get back to.  Developing patience is how we can take control of our lives. By taking control of how we react to life’s inevitable inconveniences and setbacks.