Today, I wanted to talk to you about patience and in particular, being patient with yourself especially when you're struggling.
I have recently realized that I live most of my waking hours in a state of striving. There is constantly a nagging voice in the back of my mind adding more and more items to my to-do list. My phone notes are full with things that I'm telling myself I need to do, finalize this new product, edit my website, write this blog post, email this person and my to do lists are just limited to my phone notes, my house and office are covered in sticky notes, my purse is full of scraps of paper and all my notebooks are full. My to do list is an evolving beast that can never be satisfied and if I'm being honest, it leaves me feeling frustrated and restless. Can you relate to this?
I recently read an article that mentions "Overstimulation sets us up for failure" and that hit home for me. My mind is constantly skipping ahead to the next task, oftentimes before I've even finished the current task and more often than not, I can hit or surpass a goal without even acknowledging it because I'm so focused on what hasn't been achieved yet. It's a bitter and never ending circle. And it's funny because we as humans crave peace - we crave the ability to be fully present in the here and now and to truly soak it all up because we don't know how long we have on this earth. Yet we still live our days in the chaos of our to-do list.
As we evolve and our world changes, we are making fast-paced culture the norm. With a digital connection to the rest of the world going 24/7 and all the noise and pressure that surrounds us, we constantly feel the pressure to cram anything and everything into our schedules and brains as humanly possible and it's exhausting. A huge consequence of this overstimulation, as I'm sure you know, is that holding ourselves to crazy high standards is leading us to impatience and the never ending feeling of "slow or no progress" because we aren't stopping to really take in all that we have achieved thus far.
Another thing I keep seeing lately is this "hustle culture" - what is this about? Seriously, it's so toxic to think we need to hustle and be working 24/7 to feel "accomplished" when in reality, sometimes just getting through our day feels like a task in itself.
"Patience can unlock productivity and open the door to growth."
I get it, sometimes multitasking makes us feel good and accomplished but research has shown that multi-tasking can damage our productivity and can negatively impact the way our brains process information. What we know is that rest is essential for our well-being and creativity. There is an amazing article about disconnecting from our tech and making the intentional choice to be bored rather than being on our phone.
Being unplugged can be hard and honestly sometimes frowned upon. However the benefits of unplugging and slowing down far outweigh that feeling.
Patience is the antidote to this sense of restless striving — especially learning to have patience with ourselves.
Here are a few ideas to help you cultivate this in your own life:
1. Understand that your energy will ebb and flow.
There is a good chance you probably already know your creative energy time-of-day and have a good sense of whether you work better in the morning, afternoon or evening. This applies to the seasons -- your productivity and whether or not you’re feeling at your best, in general, can be hugely influenced by other factors like your hormonal cycle, your health etc.
2. Stay curious about your road blocks.
When you create a habit of observing the things that are roadblocks for you and that hold you back from making the progress you want, you can have more empathy for yourself.
3. Notice, celebrate, and cultivate gratitude for the good.
I know sometimes it can feel kind of corny to stop and give yourself a little pat on the back when you do something you're proud of, but it is so important to celebrate those small wins. Remember to focus on the bigger picture to see how far you've come.
Let's remember that patience is a virtue.
In summary, the ability to have patience with ourselves can help us to develop deeper patience for others. I hope these tips help you to self-assess and put patience into your daily practice and remember, when things speed up, we should slow down.