The question came up today, for me, and it was actually from one of our staff members. They were saying, “Doug, I’d love to hear a daily growth hack on patience,” and what they meant by patience, once we got some clarification, was patience regarding waiting for something. Maybe it’s a baby, or a relationship, or a promotion, or something along those lines, like, “I’m just working on my patience, what can I do?”
Now, when thinking about patience, there’s a lot of things to consider here. One is expectations versus possibilities. Now, a lot of times when your patience is wearing thin, so you’re not having patience, things aren’t coming as quickly as you’d like to, that’s because your expectation is up here. You’ve set an expectation really high. You expect something to happen by a certain time, so that expectation isn’t being met. Therefore, you’re running out of patience. You’re running out of time. You’ve expected something. You’ve expected the cable guy to get there by 2:00 PM. You’ve expected to get that promotion by your 30-day review. You’ve expected to have a child with your partner within the first year.
You have an expectation. When you have an expectation, that puts you in a very rigid and confined box. When you’re in that rigid and confined box, there’s just no way out, and the only thing that happens, is if you can’t hit that goal, you can’t hit that measurement that you’ve set based on that expectation, or if, more likely, somebody else hasn’t hit your measurement or hasn’t hit your expectation, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, frustration, failure, and anger. This often triggers other emotional responses within us and just natural reactions. Right?
So if you expect me to get you a daily growth hack every day and I miss one, you have an expectation, and you get upset, and then it starts triggering you, and you get really angry, and you’re angry at me for not doing the daily growth hack, but really you’re probably angry at something else that happened in the past, or earlier in your day. These triggers start to snowball for a lot of us, and they’re patterns that stack. We’ve talked about triggers in a previous episode so go back to that episode and look, and listen to it, if you haven’t heard it before. I’ll do a deeper dive into triggers later on. For the topic of patience, really what we’re talking about is an expectation, usually based on time, that hasn’t been met. Usually, somebody else hasn’t met that expectation for you.
Now, if you flip that script, we say, “Possibility.” Right? What about if there’s a possibility? What if, “Hey, I have a 30-day review, maybe it’s possible I’ll get a raise, that would be kind of cool,” or, “Yeah, the cable guy’s coming today, and it’s possible he’ll be here sometime around two.” Now, with the possibility, you have other options. Where expectations, you have one. You have one possible option, which really tests your patience. With possibilities, you can roll with it. You can flow. You can be water like Bruce Lee talks about. You have other things that are coming in there. An analogy that I use when coaching clients, is if I go into a store, let’s say it’s a sandwich shop, and I expect a roast beef sandwich. I just can’t wait. I want a roast beef sandwich. I expect it. They’re going to have it. I know it, but I get in there, and they’re out of roast beef.
What happens? I’m disappointed. It sets me up for disappointment because that’s all I wanted. Then I get angry or all upset, and that, again, can go down the whole trigger cycle. But if I walk into that same sandwich place going, “Huh, that would be kind of cool if they have a roast beef sandwich or something else, you know, I’m just really kind of hoping that’s what they have,” and I go in there, and they’re out of roast beef, then it’s no big deal. I can flow into the turkey sandwich or something else that’s there. Really, it’s just the difference between possible, something that’s possible, versus something I expect.
This goes with standards and things, but since we’re talking about patience, again, it’s patience with a timeline or expectations with a timeline, I should say. For this person, what I’m going to tell them is, “You have put an expectation on yourself, but most likely also somebody else, to hit a certain standard.” What if you were just saying, “Hey, look, what if this is possible? What else is also possible within this realm to allow you to move and flow?” That’s going to relieve your stress, and I think you’re going to find things are going to happen faster for you, because you’re going to be less rigid in your mental focus, and clarity, and really allowing things to come to you.
I hope this answers your questions. We can talk about this for hours and hours on the topic of patience and unmet expectations too, but for today’s daily growth hack, I just wanted to address that since you brought it up. I hope that helps, and I’d love to hear your feedback, as all of you. So please go over to the Author of Your Own Story community, and ahead and let me know, what’s testing your patience right now? Write it in your journal. Write down in your Five to Thrive. Where have you set an expectation really high on a timeline that’s not realistic or an expectation on somebody else? You’re expecting them to do something by a certain time, rather than hoping for it or making it possible. Like, in other words, there’s a possibility of having other options there for them to do.
That’s it for me today. Have a great day, and remember, go out and be The Author of Your Own Story.
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