I’ve been in a bad mood lately, the type of mood where I’m just hating life, hating everyone, and hating everything. You know the one, right?
One thing I know about myself is that I have very little patience. I have personality tests that confirm I am a very Directive person. I am a doer. I like meetings to be efficient. I like to get down to business. I don’t like to waste time. If I have to depend on someone else, I would rather just do it myself.
For me, patience can be quite painful, and it is definitely a skill I need to practice. Luckily, I know this is a weakness, and I try very hard to recognize when I actually need to put it into play.
When I find myself in these hateful moods, what I now recognize is that I see all my weaknesses reflective in those other people or other things. I’m feeling insecure about the things I cannot control, and what I want is being magnified by the others who have it.
For someone who likes to take control of the situation, practicing patience in these moments is very, very difficult, especially if other people are involved. I have to consider their thoughts, feelings, perspectives, motives, intentions, etc. I can’t force someone to work with me or care for me. And if I push that person too hard in the effort to get results, it can totally backfire.
Seeing all that others have that I do not essentially creates the feelings of not enough. I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough, skilled enough, skinny enough, whatever. This is me whipping through the shame storm.
So, how do I deal in the meantime? I can’t mope around and do nothing until these people realize that I’m amazing. I am a doer. I need to be doing. So what can I do?
Here’s my directive personality: I will read books, I will practice that talent or skill, I will go to the gym, I will eat healthier. These are things that I can do to achieve results.
The worst part? I’m already doing these things! So, wtf?
I’ve identified the problem, and I’m actively working on a solution, but I’m not getting results. This is a Directive person’s worst nightmare. What am I missing?
I’m so caught up in what I’m not that I’m not appreciating what I am. And if I’m already actively working toward a solution, I’m better off than those who haven’t even started. (Not that it’s a competition, but this little bit of recognition that I’m ahead in something helps boost my pride and energy when I’m feeling behind in everything else.)
Practicing gratitude isn’t going to magically solve my problems over night (as much as I’d like it to). And if practicing patience is so hard, do I want to do it while thinking negative thoughts about myself or positive ones? As a person who believes in “mind over matter” and “what you think, you become”, I definitely don’t want to flood my brain with thoughts of being less than what I really am. I want to recognize my accomplishments and my growth, because that is going to inspire me to keep moving forward.
Patience is not idle, but sometimes it does feel as if it slows time down. (Canceled flight at the airport, anyone?)
Time is something we all wish we had more of. So if practicing patience gives me more time, I should make the most of it.