World Peace Can Wait. Wish For World Patience. (Part 1)

World Peace - CrownAsk any beauty queen what she’d wish for if she could only wish for one thing, and she’d probably say, “world peace”.

And that would make sense since there’s a whole lot of fighting (or potential fighting) going on in the world right now. Iran’s closer to getting a nuclear weapon. Israel’s threatening to strike preemptively. Syria’s a complete mess. And more…

But I say world peace can wait.

What we need right now is world patience.

Well, actually, more like…more patience with ourselves and with others. Because, in my humble opinion, in our increasingly instant-gratification society, we could use a patience refill.

And we’re in luck! Unlike in NYC, where Mayor Bloomberg has banned the sale of sugary sodas over 16oz, there’s no size limit to a patience refill!

So, grab a cup of any size and let’s go…

Before we can be more patient with others, we must be more patient with ourselves.

I should be ___ by now. I should have accomplished ___ by now. I should have learned ___ by now…fill in the blank for whatever you think you should have been, done, said or thought by now.

The truth is, many of us could fill in at least one of these blanks. A few months ago, I was saying, “I should have launched my blog by now.” And, as I alluded to in my About page, I spent many years being more impatient than patient with myself over my lack of perfection.

Why are we so impatient with ourselves? And who’s defining our by now?

Partly society, maybe – societal norms can require some pretty powerful kryptonite. And, partly, us, most usually through that well-oiled machine called comparison – “if that person’s already there, I should be too.” (There’s that word, should, again…)

Superman to the rescue!

OK, not necessarily Superman, but, since I used the word ‘kryptonite’ above, it made for a good headline. (And, sometimes, we writers do that…hey, every profession has its perks!)

So, how can we develop more patience with ourselves?

  • Never combine the words, “should” and “by now”, unless required by law (or a medical emergency) – When we should ourselves, we induce a feeling of guilt into ourselves – a feeling we make worse by tying our should to a deadline that’s often artificially created by us (again, who’s defining our by now?). So, the next time you think to yourself, “I should ___ by now”, ask yourself, “Why?” If there’s not a legitimate reason, cut yourself some slack. If there is? See bullet point #4. 
  • Adopt the pace of natureTalk to yourself like you would talk to a friend – If you noticed a friend acting impatiently with herself, you’d probably, being the good friend that you are, tell her to be more patient. Tell yourself this same thing. You deserve your own compassion just as much as your friend does.
  • Practice. Practice. Practice – Yes, developing patience is a little bit like trying to get to Carnegie Hall. It takes consistent and diligent practice. Pick one area in which you’d like to be more patient with yourself, and start practicing. Then move on to another. You may take a step back before taking a step forward, but keep going. Pretty soon, after enough practice, you’ll be on your way to a standing ovation.
  • Wait, is impatience all that bad? – This may sound contradictory to the goal of this post, but know when patience versus impatience is needed. Sometimes a good dose of impatience with ourselves is exactly what the doctor ordered for driving us to change for the better.

Now it’s your turn! Share with me in the comments below:

1. How have you learned to be more patient with yourself?

2. What tips or techniques would you share with others to help them be more patient with themselves?

Look forward to reading your comments below. Stay tuned for next week’s part two of this series on being more patient with others.

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P.P.S. – Know someone struggling with “self-patience”? Please share this post with them!





  1. I love releasing the shoulds!!! Frees us up for soo much more!!

  2. I think age and maturity play a big role with patience. Comes a time when it’s just too much work to keep up with all the unimportant issues in our life. As we see our family and friends with terminal illness issues and aging friends w/ everyday chronic -like pains, it reminds us everyday to see how beautiful ( and different) each sunset is. Enjoy your plain, everyday life!

    • Rachel Franco says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Sheri. I agree that both age and the more serious issues of life (e.g., illness) definitely have a way of putting things in perspective. When we think of those who are suffering with the larger things, we can hopefully learn to become more patient with the little things. Thanks for reading – and participating!