How to handle losing your patience



I recently lost my patience.  It occurred with the provider of a service I was considering hiring.  Their lack of transparency was making it hard for me to determine if the collaboration was a good idea, despite a strong recommendation from friends.

Yes, meditation and mindfulness are almost "superpowers" that, with practice, prevent such things from occurring.  Yet, these things can still happen.  Embracing this reality allows me to accept where I am today, and thus be proactive about learning tools and strategies that will help me grow further.  Unless I accept where I am today, fully and without judgement, I won’t be able to identify where I need to improve. 

So this is how I handled losing my patience recently:

  1. I became aware that I had lost it, in the moment. Meditation and mindfulness allows me to notice how I change physically, mentally, and emotionally when this occurs. I raise my voice slightly. My sentences become shorter. I use pointed words.  I take exasperated sighs. 
  2. I paused and inquired. I honestly remembered thinking “I have lost my patience. What is triggering me?” and “How do I want to proceed?”
  3. I apologized. You don’t have to spend a lot of time here, you just have to make sure it’s authentic. Do you want to treat others with less respect than you would like to be treated?  That question enough activates sincerity within you. For me it looked something like this: “Apologies for reacting this way.”
  4. I shared my triggers. A key piece.  Here, I gave the other party a small peak into my mind: what were the facts I was choosing to look at, what were the stories I was telling myself about those facts, what my feelings were, and what was triggering me. Be careful here.  You don’t want to justify your behavior (that’s a very quick way to turn off the other person), you are looking to just share your experience and triggers.  Not justify.

The above 4 steps are powerful.  By the end of the last one, the other party empathized with me in a “Well, I probably would lose my patience too if I were you!” type of way. Super powerful.   

What YOU can do TODAY:

  • Of the above four steps, which ones would be most difficult for you to do?
    • Notice you have lost your patience
    • Pause and inquire as to why
    • Apologize
    • Share your perspective
  • What can you do to cultivate the ability to do the above?
    • Do you need to establish a mindfulness or meditation practice?
    • Would cultivating more humility be of use for you? More on humility, what it actually is, and how it is indispensable in the next newsletter.
    • Improve your communication skills so sharing is easier?

If you would like recommendations on resources for the above, feel free to email me. 

Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or question below.  If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you share it with your friends, family, and community.

Lots of love,