In our world of instant gratification, patience is becoming an attribute that many are struggling with, even losing sight of. Our life style has become so “instant”. We have become conditioned to finding what we want, when we want it without sometimes thinking about the WHY.
Todays’ working world is FULL of stimulation. Ten years ago, we would leave work at the end of the day, and maybe make two phone calls on the home phone, watch TV until 10pm and go to bed with a book. Todays’ world looks more like a CONSTANT stream of stimulation and activity: Social media, emails on phones, SMS, Facetime – checking emails at home. We are ALWAYS connected, often with multiple devices at the same time. Our minds have such limited down time, time to be reflective, time to just be and sit with our thoughts. Patience is an attribute that we are losing.
Be comfortable with being uncomfortable…
A wise friend and business mentor recently gave me some of the most valuable advice in regards a work situation I was managing – “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable”.
My natural tendency is to always make right for those around me and to fix whatever is concerning my staff (or my family). In recent years as a business owner, however, I am learning the skill of “watch and wait”. My instinct, in the past, has been to rush a decision in order to be seen to be doing ‘something’, rather than nothing. To be seen as a leader in my business I thought I needed to be always ‘doing’. There is no doubt a leader needs to lead, to be prepared to make the hard and tough decisions in the business. However, I have learnt that making those hard decisions does not mean making them in haste. I have learnt to “be comfortable with being uncomfortable”. Remaining in the head space of being, rather than doing, allows us to sit with our thoughts, to contemplate and to think clearer. Patience is what is needed. We need to avoid filling our mind with the stimulation and decision making, and rather sit with the unease at times when making decisions.
It’s ok to choose patience, rather than haste..
My mind space and awareness has now shifted and I now see and understand the value is ‘being’. I am learning to embrace true and enormous value of patience. If I am faced with a difficult situation, when I am unclear about the solution, I consciously CHOOSE patience. I CHOOSE to wait, to not react, to sit in my thoughts and be “uncomfortable”. It takes awareness and courage, as so often when we are faced with a personal or work situation that makes us feel uncomfortable, we want to pack it away or move forward so the feelings of being uncomfortable also move on.
My new mind space does not detract from the ability to lead or to make decisions, it is about trusting the space of being uncomfortable and trusting MYSELF that I will move through it. I think it’s important to consciously turn off the stimulation, give your mind a break. We are incapable of truly listening to our thoughts if our minds are constantly thinking about work, replying to emails, responding to Facebook messages & watching movies. Being uncomfortable with our thoughts teaches patience. Patience to accept our thinking and patience to reflect and find a solution to a problem
Give your mind time away from the stimulation – from the switched on working world. A brisk walk in fresh air, as simply as it sounds, can free your thoughts, clear your mind and allow you to re-focus. Try deep, slow breathing to calm your mind.
Breath work is very powerful for calming our busy minds. The key is breathing out for longer than you breath in : Breath in for a count of 2, then out for a count of 4.
You can slowly increase this to in for a count of 3 -4 , and out for a count of 5-6.
Just a few breaths can make all the difference to calming your mind and thoughts. Using our bodies to calm our mind is essential when practicing patience. Patience is a state of mind and in our busy world is an attribute that can serve us well.