As I was preparing to type a Talkback Tuesday post tonight, there were some things going on around me that led to me reflecting on patience and what it means to be patient. Hence, this Talkback Tuesday is about patience.
So, what is patience?
For this reflection, I referred to The Field Guide to Emotions: A Practical Orientation to 150 Essential Emotions by Dan Newby and Curtis Watkins.
According to this book, when we are in an emotion of patience, we are thinking or saying “I can wait”. The action that this emotion therefore predisposes us to is waiting, and the time orientation is the present.
So why do we experience patience? The Field Guide to Emotions suggests that patience allows us to adjust to the rhythm of others.
The Field Guide to Emotions offers the difference between tolerance and patience, and I found this to be quite interesting. It suggests that tolerance is about putting up with a situation until it changes where as patience is about being willing to wait until everything is ready to move forward.
When I think about my own experience of patience, it feels calm, peaceful and relaxed. I feel as though I can be curious about where we are going, rather than frustrated about what we haven’t achieved. It’s funny how the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of patience is an image of my mum teaching me to knit when I was very young, and I am sure this is because I remember my mum once saying that I never learnt to knit as a child because Mum was not patient enough to teach me and I was not patient enough to learn! That said, we both managed to achieve the appropriate level of patience required for me to learn to knit in my adult years, and with instructions from Mum over the phone, nonetheless!
Is it ever unhelpful to experience patience?
According to The Field Guide to Emotions, patience can be dangerous when it is not warranted. It can also allow us to betray our standards and sacrifice our dignity. I can think of times when I have fallen victim to this, and I wonder what it would take for me to not allow patience to guide me in this way?
And so, this Talkback Tuesday, I would really love to hear your thoughts on patience, if you are willing to share. I have included some questions below that you may find useful.
- What is your experience of patience?
- When do you find patience useful?
- When have you found that patience hasn’t served you?
As a leadership and life coach, these points are all points that I am able to help people to explore. If you feel that it would be useful to have a conversation with me, please feel free to view my services on the Leading and Being website.