Learning Patience

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Summer Skill Series: Patience

What is Patience?

Take a deep breath and count to ten—we’ve all probably heard this ubiquitous bit of advice at some point. Despite seeming like an obvious call to action, it’s actually a call for time. Time, after all, allows flared emotions to evaporate. To count to ten is to count for calm.

Why is it Important?

More than likely, everyone has at least once seen someone lose their cool—or we’ve had the misfortune of losing ours. A difficult colleague at work or a misbehaving child at home can sometimes strain our composure, after all. Stepping back and allowing time for palpable tension to dissipate and inviting patience to prevail can help us maintain our composure. It can likewise help us maintain our relationships.

How to Practice Patience:

  1. Become what you admire. Imagine the kind of person we want to be—the ideal image of ourselves—and emulate that. By gluing that ideal to the forefront of our minds, we can readily glimpse those inspiring traits when challenging moments arise in our professional or personal lives.
  2. Press pause. There is no shame in stepping back from a tense situation. Take a break from stressors when we feel our patience wearing and our frustration rising. Indulge in a relaxing activity and then return to the challenge with a clear and rested mind.
  3. Slow down. Take a breath. To practice patience, we must learn to appreciate the moment we’re in. Instead of insisting on a quicker pace, try to find things to enjoy here and now.

Recommended Content:

How to Be Patient, MindTools

Do You Want to Be More Patient?, Greater Good Science Center

The Most Important Leadership Quality is Patience, TED Talk

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

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