The Secret to Endless Patience

Developing Patience

Discover the patience panacea.

During the last year-and-a-half, you may have noticed patience is not one of my virtues. It’s why I started this blog without any planning, why I jumped into school and how I racked up roughly $12,000 in credit card debt. (That was before marriage and my pledge to share Mr. Man’s additional copious debt. Hence why we enrolled in a debt management program [DMP] to help us achieve our goal of becoming debt-free.)

Lacking patience isn’t all bad. I’m action-oriented. I get things done. I’m not afraid to start something. And it keeps me excited and intrigued for the next big adventure.

However, I realize I could benefit from having more patience.  But how does someone with no patience develop more patience? It’s not as if it’s a muscle that can be strengthened or a mantra that will work if repeated. It’s more of an innate tendency – some of us have more than others, right?

That’s what I thought until the other day when I was lamenting to a friend about how Mr. Man and I had only been on the debt management program (DMP) for six months and yet it had already felt like a year. Sure, we were making progress, but – and this is if all goes according to plan – we still have about three and a half years of this torture before we reach our financial goal! I so did not have the patience for this!

Because she was the person who recommended the program to me, I often gave her updates about our status. Previously when I had complained, she reminded me that we were indeed making progress and to just “be patient” and “stick with it.”

This time, though, she had different advice.

“Screw patience,” she said. “It’s time for you find a new word. Do you have the endurance to see this program through to the end?”

And there was my little “a ha” moment. My friend had pulled the simple trick of reframing! She took a negative concept to me (patience) and renamed it with a positive spin (endurance) so that I could get a better mental grip on it.

She knew me well enough to know that as an impatient yet tenacious person, all she had to do was turn it into a challenge to reignite my vigor. And it totally worked – I immediately responded with something like, “Well, of course I have the endurance, I mean I know I’ll get through it, I just wanted to whine about it in the meantime!”

Again, notice that if you interchange endurance for patience in that last sentence, suddenly, I have all the patience in the world!
If you, too, are tired of banging your head against the patience wall while you hunt for a new job or fight with the scale over your weight, it’s time to ditch patience. Replace it with a call to action:

Do you have the endurance to see your goal through to the end?

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This entry was posted in Financial Goals, Goals, Habits, Life Lessons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Secret to Endless Patience

  1. Crys says:

    Not that I recommend it, but as an instant mother to three children that aren’t mine and an ex-wife that drives me up the wall with her absence I find more patience in relaxing with a bowl of frozen yogurt or some crown on the rocks (you know, when I’m not pregnant.) Renaming it didn’t always help me and trust me I’ve tried, but making time for myself to relax and unwind does. I’m glad that you were able to find something though that helped you. 🙂

  2. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Ah, I didn’t think about the concept of patience with another person. Yes, that is quite another story. Especially when it’s someone you must interact with frequently. I feel for you! And in your case, I think the ice cream, Crown or bubble bath is definitely the way to go!

  3. Heather says:

    This is brilliant! I’ve already been doing it and I feel SO much better. I definitely know I have tons of endurance. Not so much with the patience. 🙂 Thanks!

  4. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Thanks, Heather! Yep, whenever you hit a wall, just keep reframing until you get to a better place. And you’re one helluva tough cookie — you’ll be fine!

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