Patience is a virtue, but it’s not always easy. Such was the case with present circumstances. “Deep breath,” I told myself. “Hold your horses and stop talking. Send him to his room, you go to yours. You need to calm down and have patience. This is not earth-shattering.” There are many benefits of being patient- benefits that I needed to remember right then.
I needed to remember how to be patient. After this episode was over, I wanted to learn how to master patience. I sent my son to his room, and with a sigh, put down the shoe I had purchased for him 4 days earlier with the lace that was completely torn up from him walking on it all day.
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What is the Meaning of Patience?
When I googled the meaning of patience it said, “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” It never ceases to amaze me that a few words can be used to define a concept that’s so difficult to practice at times. What does patience mean to you?
To me, it means that I stop myself from getting upset or worked up over minor things, as I was about to in the opening paragraph. (More on what happened with my son at the end of this post.) It also means that I wait for things without complaining or trying to hurry them up.
At any rate, patience falls under the category of “the right thing is not always easy.”
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Why is Patience a Virtue?
Before we get into the benefits of being patient, or why patience is a virtue, let’s back up a bit. What IS a virtue anyway? Before we can expand on why patience is a virtue, we have to know what virtue is.
Simply put, a virtue is a behavior showing high moral standards. So does patience show a high moral standard? Yes, it does. Patience is an exercise in self-control.
Sure, I may have been able to relieve some pressure from anger and frustration if I had not taken that first deep breath. But would it have been worth it? I went to my room because I needed a time out to stop and think about what the consequences of my actions would be. Would it be worth it to start yelling at my son for being irresponsible and shredding his shoelace on his brand new shoe? Would he learn anything from it? What did I want to teach him?
It took a LOT to control myself, because the whole day had been a series of small mishaps, and to me, that was just the icing on the cake. But I’m really glad that I did.
Is Patience Important in Life?
Patience is very important in life. In today’s modern age, most of us can get annoyed pretty easily. (*raises hand* Yes, I’m guilty!) It might be a traffic jam, it might be being interrupted for the millionth time, it may be getting re-directed 5 times when you are trying to find a real customer service person to speak to instead of a recording. Most of the time, these are very minor things. (Like a shredded shoelace.)
One of the many benefits of being patient is that patience helps us to make better decisions. Patience is the pause that helps us get our thoughts back in order and our feelings under control. It gives us the persistence to carry out things that will lead us to a long-term goal and helps us realize that success will come to those who keep trying.
Another benefit to being patient is that it helps preserve our relationships with those that we care about. Had I not paused and gone off on my son for that shredded shoelace, even at seven years old, he would have realized that I was over-reacting. My yelling would have hurt his feelings far more than was justified in proportion to his offense.
How Does Patience Help You Succeed?
Patience is a huge factor in success because good things take time. In a post that I wrote on transforming perfectionism, I talked about a little potter’s wheel that my husband and I got when we were first married. I expected master grade results on my first time. Spoiler alert: I didn’t get it. I didn’t even get anything that looked remotely like what I had in mind. As a result, I had no patience with it and quickly gave it up.
When I started blogging, however, I realized that I would get better with time. I knew that it was going to be full of skills that I would learn along the way and with practice, I would improve. I had patience. My first year of blogging may not have been all that impressive with the numbers, but by golly, I would not give anything for the journey and what I learned.
According to entreprenuer.com, “Patience radically increases your capacity for success.” It helps us lay aside frustration, which can lead to quitting, it helps us think more positively and make better decisions, as well as help build our reputations.
What are the Benefits of Being Patient?
Being patient gives you many benefits. Here are my top 10 benefits to being patient!
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- Benefit of Being Patient #1: Helps Focus on Long Term Goals
Back in December, I did a review of the Slay Your Goals Planner that I purchased and am still using. Before the year even began, I was thinking about my long-term goals, and how to get there.
Here’s the thing– I knew they were not going to happen overnight. In fact, much of the reason I bought the planner in the first place was to help me break down my goals. When I have a minor setback or something doesn’t work the way that I planned, I can have the patience to say, “that’s ok. I’ll try something else.” One of the benefits of being patient is that it helps you set and achieve your long terms goals.
- Benefit of Being Patient #2: Make More Rational Choices
This is a major benefit to being patient. When you are overcome with emotion, you are not going to make very good choices. Your brain can’t think straight – all it sees is the emotion that you are feeling which is temporarily over-riding your rational thinking.
That’s why I needed a time out – I needed to get over the annoyance that I was feeling with my son for shredding the lacing of his brand new shoe. Being patient allowed me to make a more rational and mindful choice about how to react.
- Benefit of Being Patient #3: Builds our Reputation for Persistence
No one likes a quitter. If I am going to do business with someone or have interactions with someone, I want to know that they are going to be around for the long haul. One of the benefits of being patient is that it builds your reputation for persistence, which in turn, generates trust.
- Benefit of Being Patient #4: Helps to Develop a Skill Set
My husband surprised me the other day with a tennis racket and a few balls. I found this very sweet since it was a surprise for no reason and it had been YEARS since I mentioned to him that trying it sounded like fun. We went off to the tennis court and believe it or not… I do not think I would have been much of a challenge for Serena Williams.
Neither of us had ever played much and we did not have the skill set! What we DID have was a good time, and lots of calories burned, mostly chasing after the ball. However, I could tell that we got better the more we played.
In all transparency, I still miss a lot more than I actually hit the ball. However, it takes a lot of swings – for any skill set before you can knock the ball back at any sort of a respectable rate. You still have to step up, take the swing, and have the patience to keep swinging. That’s another benefit to being patient – when you are willing to put in the swings time and time again, that’s what builds your skill set.
- Benefit of Being Patient #5: Makes You a People Magnet!
Yet another benefit of being patient is that it makes people attracted to you. If you are a patient person, they will want to deal with you more than they will someone blows their top when they get mad. We all make mistakes from time to time. People will want to talk to someone that will be patient with their mistakes, especially if they are trying to learn and develop a skill set.
- Benefit of Being Patient #6: Better Mental Health
When you are not patient, that’s when worry tends to set in. Worrying too much is not good for your mental health. If you are constantly going “what if” you are not enjoying the things that are. Most things that we have to be patient for are not things that can be hurried along. Better mental health is one of the benefits of patience because while you are waiting, you rest instead of feeling like a coiled-up spring inside.
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- Benefit of Being Patient #7: Better Physical Health
People that have patience usually enjoy better physical health as well as mental health. The more I research the more I find that the two seem to be linked. It makes sense. If I don’t feel well, it affects my mental state and my outlook on life. When you cultivate positive thoughts, it makes your physical health better as well. Thus, one of the benefits of being patient is better physical health as well.
When you are impatient, you stress more about things. Stress has been linked to things such as heart disease, as well as things like ulcers and high blood pressure, and stomach issues.
- Benefit of Being Patient #8: It’s a Way to Practice Kindness (Which makes You Feel Good Too!)
Being patient can be hard! Sometimes it seems like I struggle with it daily. However, do you remember that I said that one of the benefits of being patient was that it made you a people magnet? There is a reason for that: being patient is a way that you can practice kindness. When my kids were toddlers, my patience experienced a growth spurt. It had to! There were a million little requests and it seemed like I could not go 15 minutes without interruption unless they were napping.
Think about it from a child’s point of view – you can’t get a drink, so you ask Mom, who you love and adore and quite literally look up to if you can have a drink. She gives you a big cup. But it takes her a minute, so while you are waiting you notice that the tiles on the ground are squares in a pattern. Let’s jump on the squares! Jump! Jump! Crash! Right into Mom who spills water all over your head and on the floor. You didn’t mean to bump into her.
Mom has two choices: she can yell at you and get mad, or she can have patience and say “Oops! You were jumping and bumped into me. Your glass was full of water and it spilled right on your head! Is it cold? Let’s get a towel and clean up this mess, then I will fix you another glass of water.”
Which is the kinder choice? Notice I did not say the “easiest choice” or the “most common choice.” Often times the right thing and the kind thing is not the easiest thing, but it is always worth doing anyway. As a mother, I always felt better when I made the kinder choice and had patience.
- Benefit of Being Patient #9: It can Bring You Peace
I feel much more at peace when I practice patience. When I am impatient, all it does is bring about discontent. It makes me feel on edge, I do not enjoy the time that I am waiting, or I can get very discouraged if what I am waiting for is a challenging situation to pass. I think the peace it brings to my heart and to my life is one of the best benefits of being patient there is.
- Benefit of Being Patient #10: It’s a Way to Practice Faith
God’s time is not always our time. ( Which is annoying.) I pray and I ask God for what I want and I want it NOW! Kind of reminds you of that toddler I talked about asking for a drink earlier, doesn’t it? There is a toddler inside all of us that wants things now! Often we change our minds about what we want as often as that toddler too.
However, that’s not how it works. Psalms 40:1 says “I waited PATIENTLY for the Lord; and he inclined unto me and heard my cry.” That one word is a kicker, isn’t it? It is for me. It does away with my impatient cries of “NOW!!!” If you are praying for something and it’s not happening, know that you are practicing faith in patiently waiting for the Lord.
I used to think that my Prince Charming was lost in the desert somewhere and I would never meet my “Mr. Right.” I kept praying for him and praying for him, but he didn’t come. God was still working on his heart, making him the man that I needed him to be. In hindsight, we met each other at exactly the right time because it was God’s time. God has a time for what you are praying for as well. Remember that often God answers prayers “Yes,” “No,” and “Wait.”
Patience Quotes to Remember (And Repeat to Yourself When You are Struggling.)
Patience is a virtue, but it’s not an easy one. If you struggle to have patience, then you are not alone. I am right there with you. Next week’s post will be specific techniques to use to increase your patience. Until then, here are a few patience quotes that I find helpful. Feel free to pin any or all of them!
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” –Joyce Meyer
“Patience with others is Love. Patience with self is Hope. Patience with God is Faith.” – Adel Bestavros
“Patience is a form of wisdom. It shows that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Patience is when you are supposed to be mad but you choose to understand.” – Via (The Minds Journal)
“A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret.”
The Last Thing You Need to Know About The Benefits of Being Patient
Friends, patience is a hard road to follow, but it’s one that’s worthwhile. When you are patient, it improves your mental and physical health, it’s a good way to practice faith and can bring you great peace. Among the benefits of being patient are that it makes you a people magnet because you are using it as a way to practice kindness. It helps to build your reputation for persistence, develops your skill set, and helps you make more rational choices so you can focus on your long-term goals. Patience is important in life and will help you succeed both personally and professionally.
As for my son, I went to my room, closed the door and hit my knees and prayed. When you are a Christian mother raising children, it involves a lot of praying. A lot of times it’s “Lord, please don’t let me mess them up!” and “Thank you for blessing me with my children. Please help me to be a better mother to them.”
Afterward, I went into him in his room, sat down on the floor with him and calmly told him how I felt. I explained why paying attention to detail and taking care of our things is important. I still let him know that I was unhappy with him and that he needed to STOP and tie his shoes instead of walking on the laces all day, but I felt good about how it turned out. I hugged him and told him I loved him before I left. (Then made him go get his shoes on and practice tying them five times each.)
What Benefits of Being Patient Have You Seen In Your Life?
How has patience benefitted you in your life? Can you tell me about a time that you practiced patience or that you wish you had? Leave me a comment below! I’d love to hear from you!