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I’ve had many others tell me over the years that I’m an extremely patient person. People have complimented me on my ability to steer through difficult and tense situations with class and calmness even when most wouldn’t blame me for losing my composure. There are some who see my patience as a weakness or as something that allows other to walk all over me. The truth is that it’s one of the hardest things that I’ve had to learn to do. Even today it can be a struggle. In all reality it takes a lot of strength to be patient. Being patient isn’t a natural trait for me. It’s not something I was born with. It’s something that that I had to really WORK towards, it’s something that I had to practice.
We all have different thresholds of tolerance, but most of us claim to be impatient wishing we had more patience. We have accepted being easily aggravated as part of our personalities and part of what makes us who we are. We want things done quickly, we demand immediate answers, and we think things should be done our way. There are a variety of thing that may set us off. Bad customer service, traffic, being disrespected, or when things don’t go our way. We even converse with other impatient people in order to justify our impatient actions not realizing how damaging it is. Being impatient or the way we deal with it can lead to a lot of negative outcomes.
Impatience can lead to having a lot of anxiety and to being overly and sometimes obliviously hostile. This all causes stress. According to the CDC 110 million people die every year as a direct result of stress. They calculate that to be 7 people every 2 seconds. Not only that but it can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and heart attacks.
Being around impatient people can sometimes be difficult. When someone becomes impatient they become counterproductive, rude, and sometimes just flat out embarrassing to be with. Impatience causes you to be selfish and dismissive of others. Even today there are certain people that I refuse to do certain things with because I know how impatient they can be and how they react to that impatience. In this way it can ruin relationships in your life. No one wants to be spend time with someone who’s constantly stressed out, hostile, and complains all the time. Also to be candid, sometimes it just makes people look foolish!
When you choose to accept that you’re an impatient person it’s like choosing to think negatively. It can cause you to quit or to give up easily. When you become impatient you become angry and anger causes you to behave and think illogically and irrationally. You may not realize it but impatience is a really dark trait to hold onto. It’s why you hear stories on the news about regular people just completely losing their minds in the spur of a moment and they end up hurting others emotionally and physically. Impatient people can be abusive, mean spirited, and disrespectful.
Once I realized how much of a negative impact being easily irritated could have on my life I realized that I had to do something about it, so I simply just stared trying. I tried my best to be patient and I failed many times. Today I still fail occasionally and lose my patience but I’ve learned that by consistently trying that I was becoming a more and more patient person. I’ve also realized that even when I am impatient I don’t always have to react negatively.
Even though most see me as patient and laid-back from the outside, on the inside sometimes something different is happening. I can actually be easily frustrated and can be sensitive to the way I’m addressed by others. I get just as annoyed as the next person does. People think I’ve been walking around my whole life being optimistic, when in reality I’ve had to struggle to fight off pessimism. Today I’m still impatient at times but I’m more patient because I put in some hard work to become that person. It didn’t happen overnight, it took time. I also had to be honest with myself realizing that sometimes I’m too impatient. That’s the hard part that most of us don’t want to do. (Becoming the Best Version of You)
Now there are times when being impatient is an appropriate response; I think the same thing about anger. For example I remember when I broke my leg and went to the hospital the doctor and nurses were being lackadaisical about dealing with my injury. My dad became extremely impatient, but while keeping his composure he very sternly demanded that I be moved to a different hospital. His impatience led to me getting better care but realize I said that he kept his composure. Sometimes we think that we have to act out negatively in order to avoid suppressing our feelings or to get our points across when we don’t. There’s more than one way to skin a cat but a lot of the times we choose the hardest way.
If you truly want to become more patient it’s going to take some work and honesty on your part. The next time you get cut off traffic instead of having road rage move on with your life. When you see things aren’t going your way instead of throwing an adult temper tantrum think about possible solutions and remedies. If you experience horrible customer service somewhere instead of cursing someone out just ask for the corporate number and let them know your concerns. Before snapping at someone find a more effective way to communicate. These alternate reactions will bring more peace and positive energy to your life. The more you practice the more patient you become.
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You know what really sucks? Pain! I’m not talking about physical pain though; I’m referring to emotional hurt. Whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve all experienced disappointment, having our feelings hurt, being rejected, hurt pride, etc. Maybe you really believed in a passionate idea you had and it didn’t work out. Maybe that person that you’ve liked for a while turned you down and started dating someone else. Maybe you really looked up to someone and they let you down. Maybe you’ve been lied to, cheated on, played for a fool, I could go on with countless examples but I think you get the point. We hate how we feel when going through situations that cause us pain and hurt and therefore do everything we can to avoid them.
Since this is my blog I’ll go ahead and admit that I feel like I’ve experienced quite a bit of emotional pain in my life. Now before I go on, let me say that my life is far from the worst and I’m not about to tell you some super sad story that’ll have you tearing up like the end of Toy Story 3. I know that I am truly blessed and won’t complain about my life. That being said, the pain I’ve experienced has come from different situations in my life that I know a lot of you have been through as well. I’ve had a close friend date and sleep with “the girl of my dreams”, I’ve been led on just to be let down, I’ve been rejected repeatedly, I’ve failed, I’ve been cheated on, I’ve been lied to, I even had one girl deny that we were together to someone else because I no longer fit the image of a “cool” boyfriend. Each time I felt pain from these situations I always found myself shutting down and feeling depressed. I didn’t really tell people how I felt. I pretended nothing bothered me, that I was happy, and just absorbed the blows. Even now it’s hard for me to express my feelings because I’m so used to handling it on my own. I would always think “What’s wrong with me?” or “What I am doing wrong?” after ending up in similar situations.
As I get older and gain more experience I’ve come to realize that this whole time I was looking at pain the wrong way.
You probably know this but feeling emotional hurt is normal and natural (Yes even for us men!), it’s something we all go through. Matter of fact without experiencing the pain I’ve felt I would not be the person I am today. It’s like working out at the gym. When I lift with some of my close friends (shout out EJ and Kendrick) and we always challenge each other to lift heavier than we did before. The next day or two I’m always soar and hurting but when I go to lift that same amount of weight again, it’s a little easier. I’ve learned that ME + PAIN = GROWTH! Without my painful experiences I could not have grown into who I am at this very moment. I’ve learned to let toxic people go, to be humble, to be assertive, to walk away, to keep certain people at a distance, not to judge and to choose carefully who I allow to be a part of my life. All of these lessons are the results of me feeling pain.
Today, whenever I experience pain, the feeling sucks but I can’t help but look for the new lesson(s) I’ve learned from it. No one enjoys feeling pain but we have to realize that we have to go through it, and not just go through it but see the value in it. I hate pain but I love the lessons I continue to learn from it. I can tell you that I am no longer afraid of pain. I no longer play the victim to pain. I use pain to evolve and conquer. Pain, if you can hear me…..Bring it on!