I Created a New Term: Active Patience

NYC Woman on steps with phone copy

Not wanting to blow my own trumpet or anything but I believe I have created a new term, active patience.

What is it? I have a client, Trina, who is faced with a number of personal challenges that is dramatically impacting her growing business. Often when we are faced with issues at home or in our personal lives they have a direct impact on our ability to function within our business. From making decisions to motivating one’s self (and everything in between). In one of my coaching sessions Trina was expressing her frustration with the glacial pace of change in relation to solving these personal challenges.

The reality is some of these issues are not solvable, well not in the immediate future and not by herself alone and involve others.

And this is where active patience comes in.

It came from a similar train of thought of listening vs. active listening. Similarly, we often have some level of patience in our life (some of us more than others admittedly) but active patience takes patience to a whole other level.

Active patience is the conscious awareness of being patient, in all aspects of our lives, especially in relation to solving problems.

True active patience is the ability to see the solution or resolution but knowing that things often need time to naturally evolve in their own time and cannot be rushed, pushed or manipulated. It is also about knowing when is the right time to introduce these ideas to the situation – as they say – timing is everything.

When I explained this idea to Trina, she gave a very big sigh. I asked why? She responded by saying that she felt so under pressure (from herself) to resolve the situation so that she could move on. She can see how much negative impact it is having on her business and wants to move on. But often these things are out of our hands. The acceptance of this and allowing patience into the equation gave her permission to let go, to just be in the situation and allow her the space she needed.

I checked in with her a week later to ask how she is. She responded very positively. Nothing had changed in her personal life but her perspective had shifted dramatically. She no longer felt trapped or suffocated with the need to find a solution. She could breath freely and very importantly it was no longer distracting her from her business.

A great outcome!

In our age of instant gratification, patience is often overseen as a valuable coping mechanism for life’s challenges.

I wanted to share with you some of the practical steps that Trina and I came up with as they may work for you:

1. Live in the Moment. Also known as mindfulness. This helps control the mind from running away down a multitude of paths and possibilities that sometimes overwhelm us and often never eventuate.

2. Acceptance. Accepting the situation for what it is, not trying to change it (especially when it is out of our control – Google Locus of Control – there are certain things we can change and other things that can’t – wisdom comes from understanding in each situation where they lie in that equation).

3. Breathe. Focusing on our breathing not only is a basic tenant of mindful meditation but by slowing down our breath allows the increase of oxygen intake into our body as well as becoming more calm.

4. It Too Shall Pass. Nothing in life stays the same – everything is transitory. Although the weight of the world may be on your shoulders today – this will not always be the case. It will evolve. It will change. It may not feel like it but it will.

5. Physical Activity. A daily walk, yoga, boxing – you name it. By moving we can rid our bodies of negative energy, endorphins and toxins that sit and clog our bodies. Furthermore, by moving our bodies it is also a metaphor for ourselves that we can move forward; so there is both a physical and mental benefit.

6. Slow Down. Our lives can be so fast. So rushed…dare I say the word I dislike so much, busy. By allowing space into our day, by slowing down, we can create room for patience and an awareness of its positive impact on our lives.

How else do you foster patience in your life?

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