Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
One thing I’ve learned from years of working in publishing is that this business can severely test your patience. Let’s look at some reasons people are often impatient; what’s harmful about being impatient; and what you might do to develop more patience.
What are some reasons you might you be impatient?
• You want something very badly and find it difficult to wait for it to happen.
• You have high standards that can translate into unrealistic expectations.
• You are highly intelligent or an above average writer (corroborated by outside sources) leading you to believe you shouldn’t have to wait for others to recognize your superiority.
• You’re not good at delayed gratification.
• You have a certain amount of arrogance.
• You don’t take the time to understand other people’s processes, i.e. why some things take longer than you like.
But why is impatience a problem? Can’t it help me be more successful?
• Impatience makes you a poor listener. Most people who are impatient are not good at receiving feedback. Therefore, your opportunities for learning, growing and becoming a better writer, or better at anything, are reduced.
• Impatience keeps you from taking in as much information as you could, even when it’s readily available. You may tend to skip over information that could help you, in your haste to get to “results.”
• Impatience born of arrogance makes you devalue others’ opinions, lessening your ability to learn from them.
• Impatience can make you annoy others by your constant checking in. Are we there yet? Is it done yet?
What are some strategies for reducing impatience?
1. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself about your expectations and how realistic they are.
2. Recognize that impatience can alienate you from others, and usually has a negative impact on relationships and career.
3. Ask some trusted friends to let you know when you’re behaving in a way that signals impatience; pay attention to what triggered it and work toward acceptance of those situations.
4. Keep busy with other things you can focus on when you’re waiting for something to happen, to reduce ruminating that leads to impatience.
5. Think about the differences between waiting, eagerly anticipating, and being impatient. Can you reframe your impatience?
6. Cultivate mindfulness and living in the present. Savor today, even while anticipating something you want to happen tomorrow.
7. Give yourself the time you need to develop new skills, rather than jumping ahead in search of a quick result.
Do you struggle with impatience? How do you deal with it?