One of the meanest lies the world tells us is that the good things we want in life will come quickly, easily, and comfortably. I see even the most humble people struggle with this sometimes. This entitled way of thinking is ever-so-present in our culture. Whenever something unpleasant wrecks our perfect plans, we see it as pure injustice—even when there is literally nothing anyone could have done to prevent it from happening.
It’s especially hard, too, when it involves the bigger life things like marriage, fertility, getting out of large debt, a hard past, or uncontrollable family drama. One of the worst things we can do at this moment and look around and compare ourselves to others.
But we do it anyways.
Friends, life is just not fair. One of the first and best things we can do is remember that everyone struggles with patience in different ways and at different moments.
Maybe your neighbor doesn’t have fertility issues like you. But maybe they have financial setbacks that they are growing out of.
Maybe your coworker didn’t have to wait forever to find a spouse like you. But maybe they come from a very hard family background that they are still getting over.
Maybe your best friend doesn’t have to work at being socially adept. But maybe they wake up to deep anxiety issues every day that are healing very slowly.
The point is that the things that challenge our patience may not all be the same, but everyone’s patience definitely gets challenged with something. It’s erroneous to think that no one struggles with this. The next time you catch yourself comparing, instead remind yourself that you’re not alone. It will make your struggle feel less singular. Then, we encourage you to bravely wait, creating a space for growth and maturity to happen.
Here are some of our best tips to become more patient with the bigger life things:
Just. Pause. Deliberately stop yourself and just take some deep breaths when you feel the impatience boil up. It’s a simple act that will have huge impact.
Know Your Triggers. For the next 30 days, keep a record of what really pushes your buttons and then look for patterns. Are you more impatient when you are tired? Hungry? Thirsty? Bored? Is there a time of day when you are more apt to lose it? Once you know what causes you to spiral into impatience, you have a better chance of being able to combat it.
Keep Your Control Realistic. Consider how much of your impatience comes from wanting to be right or wanting to be in control. Be willing to step back and just let things be if there is realistically nothing you can do to help things.
Tell yourself, “I am patient.” Your mind will begin to believe what you tell it, so keep affirming the idea that you are patient. If that’s too much of a stretch at first, say, “I am becoming more patient.”
Give it up. Sometimes the only way to exercise patience is to give up your expectations, your desires, and your ideas. As the saying goes, “Let go and let God.”
Keep a Gratitude Journal. Simply just write down 5 things in life you are thankful for each day. This is how you will turn “the wait” into a gift.
We would love to hear from you! What are some of your best tips on patience while you wait on the big things to get better?