Patience Practice – How to Get More of it

Everyone knows this one, right?


I was thinking back the other day, to when I decided I wanted a book with my name on the cover. I dreamed and imagined and wished…for the day when I’d hear the magic words,

Here’s your contract!

And the waiting would be over.

Yeah, I hear you laughing. Hey, we were all naïve at one time!

It seems to me that patience is the one skill that never improves with practice. And that blows.

But since we can’t do anything about that, let’s focus for a moment on what we can do. How to bear the weight of waiting, better.

Since I’m clearly not good with this, I went to the experts.

From Psychology Today:

4 Steps to Working with Impatience

1. Understanding the addictive nature of anger, irritation, outrage

This is actually brilliant, and I never thought of this emotion as being addictive, but it is. You have to be aware of this to break the cycle, right?

2. Upgrading our attitude towards discomfort and pain

We want comfortable. We’re built that way. But that’s a transient state, right? More often, we are less than comfortable. So why get upset about it? I need to get better at – “This is merely uncomfortable, not intolerable.”

3. Paying attention when the irritation/pain starts

This was a game-changer for me: ‘We ignore the fact that we are in pain and focus exclusively on fixing the problem.’ After all, if we can’t do anything about the waiting, we CAN do something about how we react to it, right? And doing something will help me give up the ‘victim mentality’ that I hate so much.

4. Self-talk

Instead of yelling at myself for feeling this way (usually alone, out loud, in my car), I can be gentle with myself. “When — not if — you find yourself impatient or irritated with yourself, you can remind yourself that you are growing, and that, “Sure, this is understandable, this is what happens to me when I’m bothered.” You can say to yourself, “It’s true, I don’t like this, this is uncomfortable, but I can tolerate it. And, “I can be tolerant of my own flaws and inadequacies.”

Another nugget I found in research that resonated with me:  Assume that the obstacle before you was put in your way because you needed to slow down and take a break.

Helpful quotes about Patience:

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. Samuel Johnson

I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it. Edith Sitwell

A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else. George Sevile

It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience. Julius Caesar

Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears. Barbara Johnson

Patience is passion tamed. Lyman Abbott

So tell us – what helps you bear the weight of the wait?


  1. Sheila Grice on May 21, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Thanks, Laura. This post is a great reminder to slow down and enjoy the ride, bumps and all, bumps during the journey.

    • Laura Drake on May 22, 2021 at 3:52 am

      So true, Sheila. That’s a great way to look at it.

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