Becoming more patient as a human is hard enough if you weren’t blessed with this trait. It’s even harder to battle if you’re in the creative industry because we want to instantly see our ideas come to life.We also live in a world where we get things instantly these days, so expecting the same from ourselves doesn’t help. How many of us get upset when a web page isn’t loading fast enough, our bill isn’t at the table yet or we’re in rush hour traffic (it’s rush hour, what really did you expect?)? When it comes the the creative world or our creative work, it’s super important to remind yourself to be patient.
Why? Because patience is proven to reduce depression and negative emotions. All super important things when it comes to our life and work. Even better, it’s a personality trait we can modify and change and manage. So before you tell us, you’re just not a patient person, um, be patient about being patient – and read these tips from NY Times.
Identify your trigger(s)
Impatience is the “fight” component of the fight-or-flight response, according to M.J. Ryan, executive coach and author of The Power of Patience: How This Old-Fashioned Virtue Can Improve Your Life. “That’s why you’re honking at people or annoyed in the line or whatever it is you’re doing that’s your impatient behavior,” she said.
We need to figure out what gets us POed, and once that is done, we can start acknowledging it.
Interrupt the cycle and evaluate the risk
Secondly, think of what sets you off.
“There’s something that you’re either saying to yourself, an image you have, a feeling in your body that is triggering that response, that you’re under threat,” Ms. Ryan said.
For example, if you’re internet is taking forever to load, tell yourself you’re in no rush for it and take a breath. If you can’t find a parking spot, tell yourself you will find one soon. Look at it as objectively as you can and let it pass. It will pass, and because you didn’t angry, you won’t even realized it happened.
Ask yourself if it’s actually a risky or serious situation, and that if it’s risking you’re life.
“Almost always, always, always, no is the answer,” Ms. Ryan said.
Then take a chill and relax.
Reframe the experience and connect it to a larger story
Sarah A. Schnitker, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University and a leading researcher on the topic of patience, suggests using a powerful technique called cognitive reappraisal, which means thinking about a situation differently.
“Give grace to each other,” Dr. Schnitker said. Or think, “you know what, this is actually helping me to grow as a person.”
Basically, think Ariana Grande’s song, “Thank You, Next.” No, we’re serious.
For instance,” Dr. Schnitker said, “if I were talking to a parent who is struggling with their kid, I’d say, ‘Well, first, let’s think about the really big picture: Why is being a parent an important role to you? What does that mean in your life?’”
If your idea folds at some point, see why it is. Maybe a bigger better idea of yours is coming. Perhaps it only needs some adjustment for a better outcome.
Thinking about the whole picture “will make it a whole lot easier to stick with practicing patience on a daily basis and building up those skills,” she added.
Train, don’t try
Remember, will doesn’t change you. You need to practice these techniques. Really, it’s like a form of meditation, which also takes practice.
“You want to train, not try, for patience,” said Dr. Schnitker. “It’s important to do it habitually.”
By creating a mantra that fits your needs or a meditation for these experiences, you can practice with the small at first, and get bigger as it comes.
“It’s like any other skill,” Dr. Schnitker said. “If you do it on a daily basis and then also connect it to that bigger picture story of why it’s important, it can grow and develop just like a muscle.”
Consider making lifestyle changes
If impatience is waiting, find a way to avoid the stress. Listen to music, play a game, make a phone call. If being late is what pushes your buttons, leave even earlier. If waiting on an answer from someone for an important business idea is driving you crazy, consider they could be taking their time for a reason. You are in control, and that is where you need to make the biggest acknowledgement.