5 Ways To Become A More Patient Person


It’s a fact of life: sometimes, things just don’t go the way we want. 

Even when we put in gobs of hard work, when we’ve done all the right things, when we’ve tried everything – sometimes, life seems to have other plans.

A few years back, my client Claire came to see me for this exact reason. “I’m ready to give up,” she said, pacing in circles around my office. Claire was a talented businesswoman with an impressive track record. She ran a successful consulting service , and now she was trying to branch off into another of her passions, and create a wellness business – yet despite all her efforts, nothing seemed to be gelling.

“I just don’t know what’s going on,” she said. “I feel like a total failure. Like I’m banging my head against the wall. What should I do?” 

Poor Claire. She wasn’t used to not succeeding. She was used to pushing through and making things happen, yet for some reason, this time it wasn’t working. That’s an awful feeling – and one that usually nudges us to work harder, longer hours.

Yet often what we really need in times like that isn’t to double down. It’s to step back. 

It’s those times when we need patience.

Patience to ride out the detours. Patience to allow for things to happen at the right time, even if that’s not what we wrote on our calendar. Patience to let things happen naturally, in the way that they’re meant to.

In all areas of life—business, career, relationship, health, kids, etc—there will be times that try our patience. There will be times that we need to relax and allow when it's the last thing we want to do. We want to move, act, go faster, be busy, make time speed up. Those times are so difficult, because we're all geared up and ready to fight – but what we need then is to breathe. 

Of course, we can’t just snap our fingers and say, “Okay, I’m suddenly a more patient person.” Patience is like any other skill: it takes practice. We need to consciously choose it. 

Here are some ways to practice bringing patience in your life:


  • Identify your triggers. What makes you feel impatient, frustrated, stressed? Notice them. God, this person is annoying. I’m so pissed off I could scream. That’s good! Recognize that. Then breathe. Long inhale, even longer exhale. Where do you feel it in your body? If that place in your body could give you advice, what would it say? (That's a strange question, I know—but the body can give very profound advice. Try it.) Once you start recognizing your body’s signals, you’ll be better able to step back, find your center, and make a conscious choice to be patient.
  • Change gears. If something’s not working, do something else for a while. Work on another project, or just take a break. One thing that helps me do this is to give myself a time limit. Depending on the situation, it might be a two-hour window, or a two-week window. That way, I’m taking a break, not walking away. It’s a deliberate choice, which is empowering, and that can help with the feelings of helplessness that come from waiting. When you go back to the first one, you’ll be refreshed and ready to get back in the game.
  • Exercise. Exercise changes and optimizes everything from your body chemistry to your mood to your gene expression. And, it fundamentally improves patience. When I get a morning workout in, I’m way more patient with my kids. They notice it and I notice it. Working out boosts your mood, gives you energy, and has about a billion other brain-changing, body-changing benefits--all of which will help you find peace and patience throughout the day. 


  • Meditate. I know, this one is going to scare off some people. But hear me out. Meditation is one of the most powerful ways not only to become a more patient person, but also to relieve anxiety and depression; aid in cognitive skills such as memory, learning, attention and concentration; and physically change the brain, increasing its ability to process information and emotions. If you’ve tried meditation before and it hasn’t “stuck,” try a new kind – guided or walking meditation, or find a community online that teaches it. I promise, it will bring you patience you didn’t know you had.
  • Allow, allow, allow. This one goes hand-in-hand with meditation, because it’s what all the great Buddhists and experts teach. Just allow for whatever is happening. Don’t try to change it. Tara Brach calls this “radical acceptance” – the willingness to unconditionally accept what’s going on, rather than try to deny it or change it right away. This does not mean condoning negative behavior or accepting failure. It does mean choosing clarity and honesty. From that place, we can often see things we didn’t notice before, and identify what it is we really, truly need.

During that first session, I led Claire through a meditation, and she realized that yes, what she needed was to step back from the fist fight she was having with her new business. During the meditation, a few things came up for her. She decided to take a month off from pushing so hard to focus on other projects, and just see what happened. Meanwhile she would get back into her running routine and meditate for ten minutes every day.

After that month passed, Claire came back to see me. This time, she wasn’t pacing. She sat down, looking relaxed, and when she spoke, her words came more slowly. Her entire energy was different: calmer, gentler, less frantic. 

“What’s changed?” I asked her.

“I’m much more at peace,” she said. “I’m taking time for myself again, and realizing that my worth isn’t tied up in my achievements. It’s so freeing. And, it’s funny, a week or so ago, I got a call from an old colleague asking about my new business. He wants to talk about investing, so I have a meeting with him next week. I feel really good about it.”

When we choose patience, magical things happen. We give up the idea that we control every outcome. We’re able to see what’s really important. We get a fresh perspective. And we get to stay on the path that the universe has in store for us, rather than trying to “force it” on our own.

I invite you to examine your life, and notice any areas where you’re feeling stuck or like you’re banging your head against the wall.

Maybe it’s in a relationship, or in business, or in a passion project. 

What would happen if you chose patience? 

Maybe choose one of the five bullet points listed above – whichever one appeals to you the most. Try it this week and just notice. How do you feel what happens?

Try it for a month. What changes? 

Go out, step into your patience, and shine.


P.S. If you want more support, accountability, and guidance on whatever it is that you’re working on, email me! I’d love to set up a coaching session with you, where we’ll go deep into exploring what’s holding you back, what you really truly want, and how you can make that happen. Many of my clients are surprised by how much they uncover even in a single session.


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