Thank you all for being PATIENT with me (aha – today’s topic, like how I did that there?) as I did not really write a proper post yesterday due to the insane day I was having. I was seriously beat up yesterday. There is a lot going on in my life right now, if you can believe it. I know, after everything I’ve been through in the last year, you would think there would be some kind of break in my life. But nope! If it’s not one type of problem, it’s another. But that is life for you and nobody said it was fair. We just have to make the best of what we have and try to find happiness in between. That’s my motto lately at least.
However, today I did want to talk about the importance of patience, especially when it comes to having patience with yourself. A lot of can find it almost easy to have patience with other people or other things in our lives, but when it comes to being patient with ourselves, we just can’t seem to do it. I think that part of the reason why we are this way is because we expect far too much out of ourselves. We expect complete perfection and of course when you expect the impossible out of yourself you’re not going to have much patience when you begin to fall short.
But part of the journey to loving ourselves is to cultivate this virtue. To have patience with others, but most importantly to have patience with ourselves.
The Self Love Daily Challenge #014: Be patient with yourself.
What does it mean to be patient with ourselves? Well patience is defined as tolerating without getting angry or upset. But we don’t simply want to tolerate ourselves, we want to be kind to ourselves. We want to give ourselves a little love and say it’s ok to not get it right away. Or it’s ok to be the way we are in that moment. In other words, not expect perfection for ourselves, but rather understanding instead.
Instead of becoming upset with ourselves for not getting something right or not being able to be at the point we would like to be, instead we should be understanding that change and growth take time and that if we are putting in effort, than in reality that is all we can ask of ourselves. We weren’t made to get everything right on the first try, otherwise nothing would be a challenge. We were meant to make mistakes and to grow from our mistakes, not beat ourselves up about them or make ourselves feel unworthy.
Patience was one of the virtues I really I had to learn with myself while I was/am going through my transformation. Being a former perfectionist, I simply could not accept anything less than what I expected. If I did fall short, I immediately began to beat myself up over it and this would then lower my self confidence and I would either keep trying but keep failing because I was rushing myself, or I would give up completely and miss out on something that could have potentially been really good if I just had patience.
Just how long do you have to be patient with yourself? Well forever. There is no time limit on patience. If it takes you 5 tries, then great, if it takes you 50 tries then still be kind and loving and patient towards yourself. Don’t put a limit on your patience. Remember that it does not determine your worth whether you get something right on the first try or not. Just to give you an example of where I am struggling in this area more recently, at work there are a ton of new procedural changes happening because our company is moving in a new direction. It’s been extremely difficult for me to get in the swing of things, almost to the point where I am rebelling and not wanting to even work there anymore unless things change. The reason I felt this way at first was because I kept failing at getting the new procedures right the first time around. I became impatient with myself and angry and didn’t even want to try giving myself a bit more time to work things out and get used to the new routines. Of course, I then started to blame the company, that if they just wouldn’t have changed, then I wouldn’t be having this problem. But in reality, the problem was me. I was being impatient with myself. I wasn’t giving myself time to adjust and adapt and learn new things at a slower pace. Instead, I expected myself to just get it right the first time around and if I couldn’t than it was either my fault for being incapable or everybody else’s fault for changing things in the first place.
Then I came to the realization that maybe if I simply gave myself some time and a lot of kindness and patience, then maybe I wouldn’t feel so pressured to get it right, but instead take my time to become familiar with the tasks that were brand new. So today, I took a different approach. I slowed down and I changed my attitude. I told myself that this was a major change for the company and my co-workers were also likely feeling the stress of learning new things too (which I found out they actually were!) and that learning new things takes time. It was ok for me to not get it the first time around or even the second. It was ok for me to work at a slower pace than I normally would. It was ok for me to ask for help if I needed clarification. And by the end of the day, I realized that I finally had the swing of things. That I learned the tasks and that I actually felt proud of myself for doing so without having to beat myself up for the time it took me to learn them.
This is having patience with yourself. This is what self love is all about. So today if you feel yourself starting to get angry at yourself for not getting something right away or doing something wrong, just stop and take a moment to have some patience. Realize that you are only human. That you don’t have to be perfect. That it takes time to learn things. Treat yourself like you would a friend – you wouldn’t yell at a friend right? So why become upset with yourself? That’s not very nice. And our goal is to be nice to our selves this year in every aspect of our lives.