The psychology of patience

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why are some people patient?

If you are an impatient person, like most people, then you might be wondering how can some people be patient?

How can someone wait for something to happen for a year or two without getting bored or losing hope?
And why do you become overly irritated after waiting for few days or even few hours?

In order to help you answer these questions and to help you understand how patience works i decided to write this post.

The psychology of patience

impatience is mainly a person's inability to withstand a certain irritating emotion. The less you can stand irritation and emotional pressure the more impatient you will become.

But this definition leads us to a new question, why would i tolerate irritating emotions instead of doing anything else?

It was found that the more a person is confident about winning the more patient he becomes. Lets suppose that you are going through a tough life problem, the more you believe that you will be able to get out of it one day the more you will be able to tolerate it.

Emotions get fueled by self talk. Manipulating the self talk directly is a useless strategy because the self talk itself stems from your beliefs. Now what if your beliefs about your ability to win were changed? Won't your self talk change as well?

This will certainly happen and as a result you will become more patient.

Patience, self confidence and religion

The more confident you are in your plans the more patient you will become. But how can you be confident in a plan if you don't even have a plan at all?

This is the second thing that people get wrong about patience. Patience is not waiting but its the act of working hard on your plan while waiting (see What does patience really mean). If you are depressed then patience in such a case would include the following actions: finding the root cause for your depression, working on treating it, seeing experts, developing discipline to follow the treatment plan and finally waiting until the plan works!

I am against people who try to stick to a religion just because being religious has some advantages. But after you do your research and come to conclude that there is a God its time to take advantage of that fact!

Nothing can make you believe that you are going to win for sure other than knowing that God is supporting you.

Patience and triggers

Even if you decided to be patient every now and then you will encounter a trigger that tests your patience. Its the same as the situation where a person who is on diet suddenly encounters a delicious cake.

Now the only thing that can help you stick to patience is reminding yourself of the plan that you are sure of else you will find no reason to be patient.

So how to be patient?

Based on the previous facts here is a quick formula that will help you become patient:

  • 1) Increase your tolerance: Teach yourself how to stand irritation. Traffic jams, queues, bad weather and many other life situations can help you do this training everyday. The more you stay in control under such pressures the more you will become patient
  • 2) Write a plan and follow it: You can hardly be patient without a plan that gives you the feeling that you are going to be a winner one day
  • 3) Find a way to trust your plan: Find a way or anything that can help you have faith in your plan. The best source of hope is religion of course

2knowmysef is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

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